Some of the Best Fly Fishing in ColoradoThe White River
The Best Fly Fishing in Colorado - The White River out of Meeker
“I have to take you to my favorite piece of water in Colorado.” How could I pass up that offer? When a man who has ownership in a New Zealand Fly-Fishing Lodge and guides there for fun, owns a condo in Steamboat Colorado to stay close to fishing waters, and frequently heads West from Denver to enjoy the variety of honey-holes that Rocky Mountain waters have to offer – you jump at the chance to fish with him!
My friend Kevin and I took off one sunny day in late August to Meeker Colorado – home of the glorious White River or ‘Rio Blanco’. With all of the fishing opportunities presented to my guide-friend, I was impressed to hear that his biggest and best local fishing trips had been to a certain stretch on a private piece of water protected by the Rocky Mountain Angling Club..
Private water fishing is no different than public water fishing except for one glorious fact, (and this is what makes it some of the best fly fishing in Colorado), few if any other people will be nudging you out of your spot on the river. Everything is untouched. This differs from much of the waters associated with Fly-Fishing lodges – where often times boulders are arranged and trees are felled in order to create the perfect habitat to grow a stocked trout into an all-out pig-fish.
Private waters are home to native trout - both brown and rainbow, and the occasional white fish. But these fish do grow large – every fish we caught was over 20 inches and two lbs. plus!
We started our hike across the farmer’s field at a right angle towards the river so we could start down-stream and fish up. Careful to close the gate – the horses and cow-dog will get out! Before we hit the tall grass, Kevin turned to ask me, “What’s your perfect catch – nymphing or dry-fly?” Well that’s easy. “If I could have my druthers I would always fish with a humongous dry-fly so, one: I could see it easily, and two: so I could watch the fish attack!” As if on queue, we were surrounded by grass-hoppers plentiful as pop-corn.
Kevin tied on one of his special hoppers for me and led me to a virtual fish hotel. The bank across the river was covered with tall grass, providing plenty of opportunity for grass-hopper entrees to fall into the current. A tree had fallen and collected other branches as if to suggest a comfortable overnight stay for a weary trout. You could see the food in the water - cadis casings attached to river rocks. Lucky fish; a Caddis-fly amuse-bushe and grass-hopper banquet.
My casting had been “off” up to this point. For some reason I wasn’t getting any distance and my accuracy was way off. Kevin was trying to coach me but he was being too gentle and wasn’t getting through with his instruction. Finally, I asked him what he would say to one of his male buddies if they were having a hard time getting any distance on their cast. He said, “I’d tell them to quit being a pus*y”. Well then, Kevin, talk dirty to me! The next thing out of his mouth was, “Sabrina, quit being a pus*y or go home and make cookies!”
Hearing that is like a double-dog dare. My next cast shot out straight and true across the river, right on target, inches away from the fallen log. On the count of three, we both watched in awe as a fish rose from deep within his lair. As if in slow motion, with mouth wide open in anticipation of the tasty morsel he was about to inhale, the 22” rainbow torpedoed to the surface and BAM! Fish on!
To date – fly fishing Colorado in the White River out of Meeker Colorado offered me, visually, the most entertaining catch I’ve ever made. Viva la Rio Blanco and if Kevin wants some cookies, he’s going to have to make them himself!
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