FISHING GRAND COUNTY | Tips, tricks and a few locations

By Bernie Keefe

You’ve planned this vacation for a while. It’s what got you through the last two weeks of hectic work. Now you’re here and have a few hours to get outside.

First, you need to decide how adventurous you want to be. Does an eight-mile hike deep in the Rockies sound like the thing to you? How about a short walk to a nice, little creek? Or how about renting a boat and fishing one of our bountiful bodies of water?

If a hike to the backcountry is what you want to do, grab a trail map, water, raingear, snacks, rod, reel and a small assortment of small spoons, spinners, jigs and flies. There are plenty of lakes a short hike from the vehicle, as well as overnight hikes. Just always be prepared for afternoon storms or any other circumstances that might occur.

Most of our lakes have brook trout. You can also find cutthroat and splake, a hybrid of resulting from the crossing of a male brook trout and a female lake trout, in a few.

The higher lakes might not thaw until late June and July in some cases, which means the water will be cold. Most of my fish have been caught casting along the shorelines, but I always make a few casts into the deeper water. Also, the creeks coming out of these lakes will have fish in them.

Grand County’s waterways are well known for having various species of trout and other fish.
Robert Mendoza / Sky-Hi News

These fish are very spooky — everything above them wants to eat them. Stealth is the upmost important. Google Earth can help you find these lakes, but a map will get you there.

Sunset at Meadow Creek reservoir is stunning. While gazing at the peaks an occasional brook trout or tiger trout is more than happy snap you back into reality.

In most high mountain lakes, I will have a couple small spoons, a small box of flies, which consist of light and dark colored wooly buggers and a few black ants along with a small casting bubble. Place the fly 4’-6’ behind a bubble. After casting, reel it in very slow with an occasional twitch, which seems to get their attention. Monarch Lake above Lake Granby is another excellent choice.

The Colorado River starts in Rocky Mountain National Park. After runoff subsides, it fishes very well for brook trout with an occasional brown trout.

If your goal is a simple place to take young kids, the Lions fishing ponds in Fraser, Cozens open space ponds just outside of Winter Park, and the pond at Kaibab Park in Granby are excellent choices.

If creek fishing is what you enjoy, a few places to try some fly fishing in are Vasquez, St. Louis, Willow and Muddy Creeks. These creeks fish very well with rainbow, brook and brown trout in them. Again, stealth is very important since the fish are spooked easily.

The Fraser and Colorado rivers are great choices for the person who likes to fish larger rivers.

Granby, Grand Lake, Willow Creek, Shadow Mountain, Willow Creek and Williams Fork all have great trout fishing.

And if boating is your thing, rent a boat from one of the marinas or hire a guide for the day.

The opportunities to explore some great places in Grand County are endless. Grab your fishing rod and get outside for a few hours. You just might get a very fresh trout dinner.

Bernie Keefe is the owner of Fishing with Bernie. He has been fishing in Grand County for more than 25 years. For more,

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