Fly fishing can get as technical as you want it to be, but you have to know the basics. A leisurely day of summer fishing in Colorado can become a mess if you don’t know the trick to casting or how to tie a knot, according to Todd Clough, a veteran guide and fly fisherman for 40 years.
Clough recommends taking a couple of hours on a Saturday morning for a free Fly Fishing 101 class at an Orvis retail store (Cherry Creek and Park Meadows locations), which run May 7, 14, 21 and 28 and June 4, 11 and 18.
Casting for fly fishing takes practice and technique, and knot-tying keeps lures on the line, so make sure you have a basis for both of those and rent/buy a rod based on your level of interest. Colorado provides everything you need from there.
Take advantage of the first full weekend of June to fish for free; all other times require a license from the Department of Wildlife (cpw.state.co.us or 1-800-244-5613). Staying close to home means fishing for warm-water fish such as bluegills, bass and perch, while heading higher usually makes trout the catch.
Fishing in an unspoiled mountain stream is certainly the dream, but a simple drive down to near the Broncos’ stadium (new name pending?) does the trick. Add carp fishing on the South Platte to the list of trendy things going on in Downtown Denver. From June to October, the carp will be biting, and some of them are monstrous.
Bear Creek is one of Clough’s recommendations for a trout spot that’s not as busy as spots on the South Platte near Deckers and Cheesman Canyon, while hitting up Clear Creek outside Golden also allows more time for fishing and less driving. Visit the Division of Wildlife website for a handy guide for places near and far to try your hand.
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