Glenwood Canyon is classic Colorado. Home to hot springs, granite walls, western history, and some great fly fishing – it’s a terrific destination for any angler. What caused Glenwood Canyon? The same body of water that’s partially responsible for the Grand Canyon – the Colorado Rider. More than an earth mover, the Colorado River below Glenwood Canyon is also a great place to fish.
Let’s learn what you need to do before hitting the Colorado River including which fish to target, when to fish, local resources, and more. After a great day’s fishing you can enjoy all the history of nearby Glenwood Springs.
The Colorado River winds its way across the Centennial State but prime fishing waters are found near Glenwood Canyon. The rugged 13-mile stretch of canyon is found approximately three hours from Denver along Interstate 70 West near the ski town of Aspen.
You can fish multiple sets of roads, reels, and flies with success on the Arkansas, but an ideal rig is a 9 foot 5 to 6 weight rod with a floating line. 9-foot leader is a great base for great bites. For flies you can use dry flies, nymphs, and streamers, depending on the hatch. The Arkansas has many distinct hatches and you can easily find success by matching the hatch. Unlike other spots in Colorado fish on the Arkansas hit a wide variety of flies so bring plenty of tackle to find the biggest fish. You can fish from the shore, wade, or float the Arkansas River so match the waders to your fishing. Chest waders are recommended if you know you’ll be wading into deeper spots.
You can approach the Colorado by wading, shore fishing, or floating. Because the Colorado is a wide river, it’s suggested you can bring breathable chest waders, so you don’t get soaked. Fly choice depends on time of year and targeted species, but you’ll be well off with a variety of midges, caddis, stonefly, nymphs. Once you get on the water it’ll be easy to see what’s on the local menu and which fly you should be using. Toss those flies onto a 9-foot, 5-6-weight rod and you’ll be prepared for great fishing.
The late spring and early summer hatches make for excellent angling in Glenwood Canyon and the best time to hit the river. There’s a caddis hatch in the spring, stoneflies and blue-wing olives in the summer, and midges in the winter. The variety of hatches make the Colorado a great place to fish no matter the time of year though it can see some nasty snow and ice during the winter.
Surrounded by towering walls cut by the river you’re fishing, Glenwood Canyon offers great angling during most of the year and some sizeable catches. Pack your gear with the right flies, bring the right equipment, and look to a local guide for a head-start on learning the water. This old west town offers some classic Colorado fly fishing.