Where to Fish in Summit County?

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.

If you are looking for more information on fishing areas 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 and follow the directions to the nearest place you want to go fishing!


The Snake River that flows through Keystone is a great place to do some fly-fishing and catch some trout. This pristine river offers stunning views and peaceful areas to practice your skills. Fishing in Keystone mainly catch-and-release. The nice thing about the Snake River in Keystone is that it is easily accessible. Oftentimes you can walk to the river from your condo and in the late spring you can ski/board at one of the local resorts and then head on over to the river for some fishing in the afternoon. Another nice bit about Keystone is that you can always walk over to the local restaurant or bar and enjoy some après fishing beverages or a nice dinner (if you didn’t catch anything). Keystone usually stocks the river with healthy Rainbow trout and the natural Brook Trout population makes this a great place to fish. Many of the areas throughout Keystone are quiet and seldomly used, allowing this peaceful area to be a little sanctuary. The river is generally lined with large trees making you feel isolated from civilization only if it is a short walk away.

Another great place to fish on the Snake River is the inlet to Dillon Reservoir (just off Highway 6) and up in Montezuma. The high altitude and naturalistic isolation attracts fishermen and lovers of nature. There are loads of ponds, some fairly large, which contain Brook Trout. You’ll need a 4WD or high-clearance vehicle. The roads follow the Snake River and Deer Creek a good part of the way. It’s not difficult to hike up to the various ponds. There are even some higher-altitude lakes. One, Chihuahua, has Colorado River Cutthroats and they’re a pretty healthy size. This does demand a hike as the lake sits at over 12,000 feet in elevation. The Natural Forest Lands are up here and provide some bountiful catches and beautiful scenery.


Lake Dillon Reservoir is a spectacular high mountain lake and is stocked annually with Coho & Kokanee salmon and cutthroat & brook trout. And while many anglers are happy fishing along its 26 mile shoreline, you may find that trolling from a boat could prove much more worthwhile. There are many boat launching ramps located around the lake for your convenience and plenty of rentals at the Dillon or Frisco Marinas. If you are looking for a guide, the Mountain Anglers or Cutthroat Anglers are the people to call. They’ll take you out on the water in their fishing boat and you can rest, relax and enjoy the lake and the scenery. One of the premier Charter Boat Fishing operations is Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures and there are many other lake float companies willing to let you rent out a boat or take a guide and fish the blue waters of Dillon Reservoir.

If you want to fish shoreline, there’s over 25 miles of it to enjoy catching some fish shore side. Dillon Reservoir is a great place to both lake fish and shore fish and the lake is chock full with many different types of fish. There are also many other activities to take part of on Dillon Reservoir, so fish, boat, bike, do whatever you would like to and enjoy the glorious day.


The Blue River starts in Breckenridge and goes all the way to Kremmling, passing Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir. The best place to fish the Blue River is in Silverthorne, where there is public land to fish on and plenty of spots to wade out into. The Blue River is quality freestone and tailwater fishery consisting of brown, brook, and the enormous rainbow trout found below Dillon Reservoir. Beautiful pools, deep runs, and classic riffles characterize the river from Dillon Reservoir to Green Mountain Reservoir. Boulders, bends, and depressions in the river bottom account for the variety of seams and excellent holding habitat for the trout. The river averages from 80-100 feet across, flowing through the Gore Mountains to the Colorado River near Kremmling. Below the Reservoir, is a tailwater fishery where monster trout feast on the thousands of mysis shrimp spilling out of dam. Keep in mind that fish caught in the town of Silverthorne must be released immediately.

Colorado Highway 9 runs parallel to the river all the way to Kremmling, there are numerous parking areas along this highway and you can find a spot with the big ‘P’ signs spotted all over. There are even sign telling you about the fishing regulations in these areas. Several National Forest easements, clearly marked by Division of Wildlife signs, access the river. Quality angling can be found all the way to where the Blue meets the Colorado River. The water level in the Blue varies a lot, due to release from the dam, so check the stream flow level before you go. Waders are nice to have, but not always necessary. This river never gets too deep, but it can get darn swift when water levels are up.

The Blue River area south of Dillon Reservoir are usually on private owned land and difficult to find a good spot, whereas the areas north of Green Mountain Reservoir are usually restricted for security reason, your best bet for some solid fly-fishing is in Silverthorne along Highway 9! There are also the Blue River Ranch Lakes that are usually off limits to the public, but there are some areas to fish. If you get bored of fishing, just walk on over to the Outlet Mall and do some Shopping or head back to your vacation rental in Keystone for some continued R&R!


The Swan River is located off of Tiger Rd. in the beautiful Swan River Valley, about 3 miles north of Breckenridge, near the Golf Course. The Swan River provides good casting on numerous beaver ponds for small, feisty, mountain brook trout. The Swan begins in the North Fork of the valley and flows approximately 9 miles to join up with the Blue River. The Swan River has quite few restrictions when it comes to fishing, so be sure to check with the local authorities to be up with the rules.

The Swan River area is nestled near Breckenridge and offers stunning views of the mountains and river. The Breckenridge Golf Course is nearby, as well as numerous hiking and biking trails. This is a great area to do some fly-fishing (usually only artificial flies and lures are allowed) and enjoy the Rockies.

To get here from Keystone, simply take Highway 6 and connect with Swan Mountain Rd. and follow Swan Mountain Rd. until it connects with Highway 9 and continue south. Turn left off Highway 9 onto Tiger Rd. (CO Rd. 6). The river flows along this road, just follow this down a few miles until you find a good spot!


The Ten Mile Creek follows I-70 from Frisco to Copper Mountain. It also has multiple hiking and biking areas and it is one of the less popular places to fish in Summit County (meaning more fish for you!). The Ten Mile Creek is easily accessible and is a great place to enjoy some relative solitude and catch some trout.

Here the water types vary, from lower gradient, rocky stream beds to plunge pools. Although these wild trout will be keen to leap to a dry, or grab a nymph, they can also spook easily. In parts of the stream, you can cautiously approach the water and spot the fishing holding in the pools. Use a light cast to set your fly above the trout .If this is not for you, head to the higher-gradient sections of the stream and fish the pocket water and plunge pools, where the fish are a little more likely to bite. There are also some beaver ponds that have developed at particular spots along the river and offer a slightly different experience.

The trout are mostly browns, but cutthroats, rainbows, and brooks are also present. Although most of the fish will be on the smaller side, some large trout will migrate into Ten Mile Creek from Dillon Reservoir during the spawn. Head to the Frisco Marina in spring or fall if you’re interested in angling for the bigger guys. Otherwise, enjoy this creek as it is an easily accessible mountain stream with some fun fishing. Once again, this river offers some gorgeous views of the mountain area and both Frisco and Copper Mountain.

To get here from Keystone, simply follow Highway 6 back to I-70 and hop onto I-70 going west. There are a few frontage roads and other side stops on the way for you to pull over and get out your fishing gear! There are also numerous lakes in the area that also have some great views and fishing opportunities.



An ideal spot for fishing, hiking, and picnicking! Walk around the lake (2 mile round trip) to the falls and Cataract Creek at the far end of the lake. The falls drop 300 feet down the cliffs to the creek. Fishing is often best where the creek flows into the lake! This is an ideal spot for the whole family to enjoy! Different kinds of trout are seen swimming in these waters and because you have to hike to this location, there is seclusion and peace.

To get here from Keystone Resort: Take Highway 9 North out of Silverthorne for 16.5 miles. Turn left on Heeney Road #30. Continue for 5.4 miles to County Road 1725 and turn left. The parking area is 2.6 miles ahead.


The Black Lakes are near the Copper Mountain Resort and offer a great fishing spot for the public. The lakes are in an absolutely stunning area. The Rainbow Trout in the lake are big gorgeous catches and seem to be drawn to attractor flies and spinners (or so says my reliable source). The is lots of shoreline in this area and for family outings and picnics coupled with a lazy afternoon doing some fishing.

To get here from Keystone take I-70 west from Dillon to exit #190 (first exit past Copper Mountain and route 91). Turn left and cross over I-70 and make an immediate right to the lakes directly ahead; park at the convenient lot between the two lakes.

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