We love our home river on the South Platte. It’s popular for good reason. There’s potential for big fish and the fishing can be excellent. But let’s face it – even weekdays can be busy, let alone weekends. And while the fishing is good, it’s also very challenging, especially for new anglers. So what’s the alternative?
In last week’s blog post, we outlined some important resources for new anglers and offered a few tips on getting started. If you didn’t already see it, go check that one out here. Now assuming you have the gear and you’re all ready – where do you go? This can be especially tough question when you’re new to the sport.
Many new anglers have cut their teeth on the South Platte. It’s an excellent teacher. As many have said, if you can fish the South Platte, you can fish anywhere. But there are a variety of other waters available. And for new anglers there are options that offer a slightly less intimidating learning curve.
Whether you’re new to fly fishing or just looking to escape the summer crowds on popular tailwaters, here are two ideas:
1. Head for the Alpine
As runoff is still having an impact lower in the river systems, higher elevation lakes and creeks are opening up for the summer. These alpine waters are a great option throughout the summer months.
Anglers can find excellent fishing on high altitude creeks and lakes all throughout the state. From the Front Range to the western slope, these opportunities are everywhere. Designated Wilderness Areas are open to foot travel. These are often great opportunities for solitude. But in many places, small rivers, creeks and lakes can be accessed by vehicle.
Not only do these waters offer an escape from the crowds. They usually offer less technical fishing than the popular tailwaters and more crowded stretches of river. Fish here will often readily eat dry flies and offer a ton of fun for anglers of all skill levels.
How do you find these alpine waters? Research and explore! We like to pick an area, look on a map or Google for blue lines and circles, research trailheads that mention hiking along a creek or up to a lake. From here, pack your hiking boots, fly rod and a rain jacket and explore! You will be glad you did.
2. Explore the Warm Water Options
If you missed our blog post last month about catching bass and other warm water species on the fly, go take a look here. This is a great way for anglers to do something a bit different and get away from the typical busy hotspots.
Front Range lakes, reservoirs and even neighborhood ponds are home to warm water species like bass, crappie, bluegill and carp. From the northern end to the state to the southern end, there are opportunities everywhere. Whether it’s a full Saturday chasing bass or just a couple hours after work, this is perhaps your best fishing close to home.
No small urban body of water should go overlooked. While being so close to home or work, pop in and make a few casts, you may be surprised at what happens next!
If you’ve never hooked up with a bass or a carp on a fly rod, you’re in for a fun surprise!
If you need help getting started, please don’t hesitate to ask. One of our favorite things is to share our knowledge, strategies and favorite places with our customers. We will happily send you in the right direction depending on what you want to do!
The fly shop in Littleton is now open for regular business hours. Please bring your own face mask. We are limiting the number of customers in the store to seven at a time. Alternatively, you can give us a call at 303-794-1104. And we’re continuing to offer free shipping or curbside pick up for all online or phone in orders.
Instead of fighting the crowds this summer, go explore some new species and new opportunities!