The town of Breckenridge offers year-round recreational activities among the natural beauty of the Ten Mile Range in Summit County. At 96,000 feet, the town is perfect for escaping extreme summer heat and brings in outdoor enthusiasts who are attracted to the area’s hiking and mountain biking trails, white water rafting, alpine slides, and of course, fly fishing. In this post we will focus on fly fishing in the Breckenridge area and hopefully provide some tips to either help you get started if you’re a beginner or to help you reel in your next big catch if you’re an expert.
In the Breckenridge area you have a number of bodies of water to choose from to launch your rod, including the Blue River, South Platte River, Colorado River, Swan River, and the Mohawk Lakes just to name a few. There are also a dozen smaller streams and a few reservoirs.
A very short drive from Breckenridge gives access to some good opportunities to catch High Country Trout at the Blue River. The closest access from town is found at the Breckenridge Recreation Center. After the high spring flows, it settles into a fun and easily fished river, where fishers can attempt to reel in Blue Wing Olive. By mid-summer, the Green Drakes will have come out in the thousands. The Stair Steps, a series of drop ponds created by the city for trout during low flows, are a great spot for beginners. Further on Highway 9 is the access for the inlet of the lower Blue River into Dillon Reservoir, where anglers may be able to cast to Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow and Brown trout.
South Platte River
Often referred to by fishers as the “Dream Stream,” the South Platte River holds approximately 4,000 fish per mile. It’s not uncommon to catch fish over 20 inches. Because the river is so heavily populated with trout, it’s a very popular spot. If you prefer peace and solitude this may not be the place for you.
The Colorado River is home to many Rainbow and Brown Trout and can be fished year round. The upper river’s waters are shallow and easy to wade in and no matter where you fish in the river you can be sure to enjoy stunning views. Anglers can hike into the canyon to avoid the crowds. Pumphouse is a very popular boat launch for float trips and rafting trips including fly fishing lessons. The turbid canyon waters surrounding Pumphouse offer the perfect habitat for Salmonfly.
A 15-20 minute drive from town is the Swan River. The first access area is home to the historic remains of a local dredge boat left from the town’s mining days. Follow the trail to the river to begin your adventure.
If you don’t mind a moderate hike, try your luck at the Mohawk Lakes, where you have the opportunity to catch native Cutthroat Trout. Breathtaking scenery, beautiful snow white mountain goats, and some historic mining structures are alone worth the hike. Drive south on Highway 9 and take a right on Spruce Creek Road. Follow it up to the trailhead and park, or drive further up the road if you want to get a little closer to the lakes.
There are a number of fly fishing outfitters, professional guides and tour companies in the Breckenridge area to help you prepare for your first fly-fishing expedition or your next great day out on the river.
Breckenridge Outfitters is a full service fly shop and offers year-round guided fly fishing adventures designed to accommodate all skill levels from very beginners to the most experienced anglers. Their guides are professional, friendly, and up-to-date on all the latest teaching techniques. They have also all attended the Orvis Endorsement School. Breckenridge Outfitters is honored to be 'The 2013 Orvis Endorsed Outfitter of the Year' and one of the most decorated Orvis endorsed Outfitters in the Country. Prior to departing the shop on any of their fishing trips, Breckenridge Outfitters make sure to provide you with the best fitting equipment and teach you about fly selection for your day on the water. All guided trips include full equipment use (rod, reel, waders & boots, terminal tackle), transportation, guide service and beverages. View their offering of fishing trips here.
The Mountain Angler Ltd. is Summit County’s oldest fly fishing guide service. Since 1985 the Mountain Angler guides have been sharing their wealth of knowledge on fly fishing in Summit County and have secured the rights to guide on almost all of the public waters in and around the area. Their fully stocked fly shop includes a wide variety of rods, reels, waders, wading shoes, vests, chest packs, rain gear, luggage, and of course all the fly patterns and accessories needed for a successful day. They also provide fishing and hunting license services, maps, and the largest fly tying material section in Central Colorado. Whether a novice or an expert, all customers are greeted with enthusiasm and outfitted with the appropriate gear. View their list of day trips here.
So are you ready to plan your next fly fishing adventure in Breckenridge? If so, check out Summit Vacations for lodging and accomodations. We promise to make your trip that much better with a great place to come home to at night to grill those fish for dinner. And of course snooze and rest up so you're ready for another day on the river!