Fishing Around Estes Park

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

Greenback Cutthroat

Greenback Cutthroat

Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch

One of the best parts of our cabins is the proximity to the river. You can fish 15 feet from your cabin! Fishing activities in our parks are balanced with efforts to restore and perpetuate natural aquatic environments and life.

River Spruce owns both sides of the river so fishing is private to our guests. We have 450′ of river frontage and stock the river six times per season so you don’t have to go anywhere to catch a fish. However, there are great spots you can walk to in RMNP or if you feel like a little competition, then join the fishing derby held the first part of June every year.

Estes Annual Fishing Derby

Usually the first weekend in June. Visit the website for registration.

Peak fishing in our area takes place from mid-June through mid-October when the trout are plentiful and bite frequently. Browns, brookies and rainbows swim the waters, but so do greenback cutthroats and Colorado River cutthroats, indigenous trout species that the park has helped restore and propagate since 1975.

You get to fish in insanely good scenery. While you’re fishing, you usually see more wildlife like moose, bear and elk. Anglers often hear bulls bugling throughout the day, sounds that remind them to stay alert for what locals call the “800-pound ghost.”

The best fishing takes place in the warmest part of the day, usually noon or later, using caddis flies, yellow sallies, ants, grasshoppers, or beetles.

Outside of in front of our cabins, here are some of the favorite fisheries for summer and fall (please remember that Colorado fishing licenses are required for all fishermen 16 years of age or older):

Glacier Creek

Located off of Bear Lake Road, this creek pours out of Glacier Gorge. It’s easy to access with much of its right along the road. You don’t need any special gear, such as waders, to fully enjoy this stretch.

Mills Lake

From the Bear Lake Trailhead, hike roughly 4.5 miles up Glacier Creek to this gem where you can snag a “grand slam.”

Dream Lake

Other trails radiating from the Bear Lake and Glacier Gorge trailheads lead to several good fishing lakes, including this one and Loch Vale, which locals call simply “The Loch.” Both are easy hikes. Take a float tube if you wish, it’s not necessary but may increase your success-and the effort it takes to get there.

Roaring River

Access is easy here too; you can cast a line about 50 yards from your car. Or, hike about 45 minutes up a horse trail to reach the upper section where you might have the water to yourself.

Upper Thompson River

An easy hike from the Fern Lake Trailhead leads to this traditionally excellent fishery, the future of which remains uncertain because of its proximity to the recent Fern Lake fire. Anglers and biologists aren’t sure how the ecosystem will react to the potential influx of mud, dirt and ash falling into the river.

For more on fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit the official website.