Our Fishing Staff Knows!
Our Fishing Shop:
We offer a fully stocked fishing department for all of your fly, spin casting or bait fishingneeds. We offer the latest flies, lures and baits and can make recommendations to accommodate your fishing wishes. We also have a wide assortment of rods and reels to choose from, including St. Croix rods and Stone Creek Reels. Our staff is knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions you may have, as well as offer insight into locations that suit your fishing style or wishes.
Be sure to check out our new Staff Fishing Report, written by our own Estes Park Mountain Shop fishing guides.
Anyone 16 years old or older needs to be licensed to fish in the state of Colorado. This does include all of Rocky Mountain National Park. We sell all applicable fishing licenses right here at our store. Available licenses range from one day to the entire year for both residents and non-residents. Contact us for information regarding pricing. Licenses are available to anyone who needs one, not just for our guided trips.
To purchase a fishing license in the state for Colorado you must provide a valid United States picture ID and your Social Security number. For international travelers, you must provide your passport. A drivers license from another country will not be accepted.
Our Favorite Rivers:
Big Thompson River:
The big Thompson River originates in the RMNP and offers good fishing from its headwaters in Forrest Canyon past the town of Drake. The river is dammed in town creating beautiful Lake Estes. The river below Olympus dam is part tail water and part freestone creating an aquatic environment that supports a large number of blue-winged olive mayflies, midges, caddisflies and Stoneflies. Fishing on the Big Thompson you can expect to catch numerous Rainbow and Brown trout with the largest fish located in the Trophy Area just behind our store.
North St. Vrain Creek:
Accessed upstream of the Wild Basin Entrance in RMNP, the St. Vrain is easily accessible due to the first few miles being paralleled by the entrance road. Water of the North St. Vrain is typically fast flowing creating a beautiful assortment of pocket pools and fast riffles. This area is ideal to get a sampling of what the higher elevation streams will be like and a good area to practice your small stream fishing techniques. That being said, there are consistently good hatches of mayflies as well as caddisflies. You can expect to catch Browns, Rainbows, Brookies, and the highly sought after Greenback Cutthroat Trout.
Accessed via the Wild Basin trailhead. Ouzel Creek is notorious for its brushy and tightly tree lined banks, but is worth the sometimes strenuous effort. Here you will find a mountain stream in its most natural condition. You will encounter steep runs dotted by waterfalls and sparking pools that are home to Greenback Cutthroat Trout in surprising numbers. Catch-and-release, barbless single hook flies only.
Accessed via Bear Lake Road or the trailhead at Bear Lake. Glacier Creek is paralleled by Bear Lake Road for a few miles offering easily accessible fishing in the Beaver Ponds and the gentler sections of the river. Nearer the Bear Lake area the river becomes less negotiable and more demanding in respect to fishing skill and river navigation. Following the river upstream, 4.5 miles, you will encounter Mills Lake, and, further yet, its headwaters in Black Lake. Fishing in Glacier Creek can provide the angler nearly every conceivable type of water and terrain. Also, you can expect to catch nearly every species of trout this region has to offer. A Colorado Grand Slam!
Accressed via the Lawn Lake trailhead. Roaring River is one of the most accessible rivers that feature Greenbacks. This river can be fished from the parking area, but is most productive about three miles abover following a moderatly difficult hike. The beauty of fishing Roaring River is you are in an unusual valley. Here the landscape has been scoured by the floor of 1982 when the Lawn Lake dam failed. The area has changed little and is a reminder of the power of water. Did I mention the views? Pack your camera as you will want to capture the spectacular views of Longs Peak and get close-ups of those colorful Greenbacks.
Our Favorite Lakes
Accessible from Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead. The Loch is one on the most spectacular lakes in RMNP. Spectacular in that the views of Andrews Glacier and the surrounding mountain peaks seem to make the location of the lake idyllic. The Loch is also spectacular because of the insect life that thrives here in this Alpine environment. Some days this can translate to mean wearing a head net, but on most occasions the mountain breeze takes care of these small annoyances. Due to the exceptional amount of insect life, fishing the Lock can be outstanding. Standard hatches include various mayflies and caddisflies. Expect Rainbow, Cutthroat, Cuttbow, and Brook Trout.
Access via Wild Basin Trailhead. Ouzel Lake is small in size and a bit difficult to reach, not to mention sometimes tricky to find. Of the limited number of people that visit Ouzel Lake each season, most are hikers and campers, not fly fishers. If they only knew this lake was filled with hungry, wild, Greenback Cutthroats they would surely pack a rod. To reach Ouzel requires five miles of mountain hiking, but the rewards certainly are worth your efforts.
Accessed from Bear Lake Trailhead. Dream Lake is nestled above Bear Lake and Nymph Lake. This lake is relatively easy to reach and would prove to be a good destination for younger fly fishers looking to explore the techniques and tactics of Alpine lake fishing. Dream Lake contains good numbers of healthy Greenbacks in a beautiful mountain setting making for a good half day destination.
Accessed via Bear Lake Road. Sprague Lake is one of the most accessible lakes in RMNP. With a parking area just yards away and a paved trail encircling it, Sprague Lake is perfectly suited for those desiring a fishable lake without getting into the backcountry. The lake itself is home to many Brook Trout and is a good choice for those with limited mobility.
Accessed via Corral Creek Trailhead. The Northern area of RMNP is one of the least visited parts of the Park. Fewer trails, even fewer lakes and far fewer people make this an area where nature comes alive. Mirror Lake is an unbelievably beautiful gem of a lake. The views are breathtaking and the tranquility is glorious. Enjoy the solitude and be the only one around to watch as Brookies and Browns sip your dry flies.