Castle Rock is adjacent to loads of outdoor adventure including on-the-water fun like fly fishing. There aren’t many fly fishing hot spots directly in town, but there are a few great options nearby. Let’s learn everything you need to know for fly fishing near Castle Rock including where to go, what flies and equipment work well, and nearby resources for a productive day of angling.
Fly Fishing Close to Castle Rock
South Platte River
The South Platte River drops in from Nebraska before winding its way through Denver and into Waterton Canyon near Roxborough State Park. Great fishing spots on the South Platte are only a short drive northwest from Castle Rock. The South Platte along Colorado’s eastern slope has earned gold medal status for the size and quality of fish.
Fish Found in the South Platte
You can fish for classic Colorado catches in the Platte including rainbow and brown trout, but also other sport fish like bass, walleye, and carp, which has become one of the most popular fly fishing targets in the Denver area.
Best Bets on Equipment
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.
Chatfield Reservoir: Littleton, CO
Located a few miles northwest of Castle Rock, Chatfield Reservoir in Chatfield State Park is fed by the South Platte and offers options for both traditional and fly fishing. Because this is a reservoir you won’t be reading the current or finding riffles, but you can easily use your fly rod and reel to nail some great fish.
Fish Found in Chatfield Reservoir
Chatfield is regularly stocked with rainbow trout if your goal is to target traditional fly fish species. If you just want to maximize fishing potential you can go for other sportfish like bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Fly fishers can have hours of fun knocking out giant sunfish or trout that would be afraid of heavier traditional fishing equipment.
Fly Fish Equipment for Chatfield Reservoir
You can fish a variety of equipment and flies at Chatfield with success. Because you could be targeting sunfish or trout depending on your mood and conditions, it’s best to bring a wide range of flies including smaller dry flies to top-water fish species like bluegill. You can wade as deep as you want to in Chatfield though it’s designed for shore and float fishing – hip waders are all you need. Bring a medium weight rod and line for targeting multiple species.
The Arkansas River is much further than the other destinations but is less than a 2-hour drive in most traffic conditions. Though it isn’t on Castle Rock’s doorstep the Arkansas provides some of the best fishing in all of Colorado and is worth the drive for any Castle Rock residents who want an amazing fishing destination.
Fish Found in the Arkansas River
If brown trout is your game than the Arkansas is the place to be. According to the Colorado Department Parks and Wildlife (CDPW) the Arkansas is roughly 90% self-producing brown trout with introduced rainbow trout rounding out the numbers. The most recent CDPW numbers estimate 2,000 fish per mile of river.
Fly Fish Equipment for the Arkansas River
If you’re smart, you’ll be fishing for brown trout on the Arkansas so keep that species in mind when you’re packing up. Which flies work depend on the time of year and what hatches are happening so match the hatch for your best fly selection. The browns in the Arkansas have an open and varied appetite due to the local variety of insects so pack a mixture of dry flies, nymphs and streamers. You can get away with waist waders on the Arkansas, but chest waders are recommended. Pack a 9-foot, 5- weight rod and you’re ready to go.
Local Castle Rock Fly Fishing Resources
River Fly Fishing Co. Castle Rock, CO
Although we don’t have a physical store you can wonder into on your way to the river, we do offer quick shipping and a selection of the best flies at a fraction of the big box stores. Shipments within Colorado arrive quickly and we work with some of the best fly tiers in the world, making sure our flies are just right for Colorado destinations.
Minturn Anglers: Lone Tree, CO
Minturn Anglers is the closest full-scale fly fishing outfitter to Castle Rock. You can use Minturn Anglers to grab equipment, find out what local areas are hot, book a guided trip to several nearby destinations, grab a license, and more. If you want to only stop at one place before fishing near Castle Rock, Minturn Anglers is a great choice.
Cabela’s: Lone Tree, CO
If you just need to grab fishing equipment and quickly be on your way you can stop by Cabela’s off Interstate 25 a few miles north of Castle Rock. Cabela’s is a full-scale outdoor retailer that will have all the necessary equipment and flies to give you success anywhere near Denver. Don’t rely on Cabela’s to get all your local fishing information though some employees know more than others. You can also purchase a fishing license at Cabela’s.
Getting on the Fish
There aren’t many places to fly fish within Castle Rock city limits but there are several offerings nearby or a short drive from town. Decide your destination and what you want to fish, hit up a great local retailer, and use our advice above to get on the fish. Always check local reports and get your license before going for an uninterrupted and productive day on the water.