One of the greatest relaxing pastimes is fishing, and there’s no better place to fish than in Keystone and Summit County. The high mountain rivers and lakes are filled with many different kinds of trout, salmon, and other tasty critters.
Summit County is home to numerous lakes, rivers and creeks to fish in and there are numerous opportunities for fly-fishing, river-fishing and lake fishing throughout the area. With the Snake River in Keystone, Lake Dillon and many other bodies of water, you’ll never get bored or fish in the same area. There are a number of unnamed lakes in the high mountains that can be accessed through hiking, horseback riding or through off-roading and remember that many of the guides and white water rafting companies offer private ranch fishing to areas that are otherwise inaccessible.
You are required to have a fishing license to fish in Colorado and fishing is allowed all day, everyday unless otherwise stated. Non-resident licenses cost $56 for an annual pass, $21 for 5-day passes, or $9 for a single day pass. Residents of Colorado can enjoy fishing for about half the price, except for one-day passes.
Some of the fishing areas have restrictions such as type of bait or catch-and-release. There are numerous publications and guides to fishing in Summit County. You can purchase the Angling Guide for Summit County Area by Michael Shook or find the Topo map for the area. The areas and rivers tend to be long, so there are plenty of spots to go fishing on the same river.
Here’s a list of some of the most common species of fish found in Summit County:
Cutthroat (Native) Trout: Cutthroat have a crimson slash on either side of the throat beneath the lower jaws. The greenback cutthroat trout is Colorado’s official state fish.
Brown Trout: Spotting pattern is made up of black spots and red-orange spots inside light blue circles.
Rainbow Trout: Identifying marks are black spots on a light body and red stripe along sides.
Brook Trout: Pectoral, pelvic and anal fins often orange, edged with black and white. Body is dark with white and red spots inside blue circles.
Kookanee Salmon: At the end of their third summer, females develop a red-gray-white pattern. Males develop hook jaw and turn brick red.
Lake Trout (Mackinaw): Has a white, irregular spot pattern on dark body. Vermiform markings over back and head. Unlike other trout, they have a deeply indented tail fin.