Where to Catch Salmon in Colorado

Where to Catch Salmon in Colorado

Colorado, known for its picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. While it may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking about salmon fishing, Colorado offers a few hidden gems for anglers seeking the thrill of reeling in these prized fish. In this article, we will explore the best locations to catch salmon in Colorado and provide answers to frequently asked questions for those planning their fishing adventure.

1. Blue Mesa Reservoir: Situated in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Blue Mesa Reservoir is home to a thriving population of Kokanee salmon. These landlocked sockeye salmon provide excellent sport fishing opportunities and can reach impressive sizes. The reservoir’s deep waters and rocky shorelines make it an ideal habitat for salmon.

2. Eleven Mile Reservoir: Located near Lake George, Eleven Mile Reservoir is another great spot to catch salmon in Colorado. The reservoir is stocked annually with Kokanee salmon, offering anglers a chance to reel in trophy-worthy catches. Fishing from a boat or the shoreline are both popular options here.

3. Spinney Mountain Reservoir: Adjacent to Eleven Mile Reservoir, Spinney Mountain Reservoir is renowned for its excellent salmon fishing. This reservoir is known for its trophy-sized fish, with salmon reaching sizes of up to 20 inches. The abundance of food sources in the reservoir ensures healthy and robust fish populations.

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4. Lake Dillon: Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Lake Dillon is not only a stunning destination but also a prime location for salmon fishing. The reservoir is stocked annually with Kokanee salmon, attracting anglers from far and wide. The scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains adds an extra touch of magic to your fishing experience.

5. Taylor Park Reservoir: Located in the Gunnison National Forest, Taylor Park Reservoir is a hidden gem for salmon fishing in Colorado. The reservoir is home to a population of Kokanee salmon, offering anglers the chance to catch these prized fish while surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas.

6. Rampart Reservoir: Situated in the Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs, Rampart Reservoir is a lesser-known spot for salmon fishing. The stocked Kokanee salmon provide ample opportunities for anglers looking to test their skills. The calm waters and scenic surroundings make it a pleasant place to spend a day on the water.

7. Vallecito Reservoir: Tucked away in the San Juan National Forest, Vallecito Reservoir offers excellent salmon fishing opportunities. The reservoir’s deep waters and diverse submerged structures provide ideal conditions for salmon to thrive. Anglers can enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding forest while casting their lines.


Q1. What is the best time of year to catch salmon in Colorado?
A1. The best time to catch salmon in Colorado is typically during the fall, from September to October. This is when the salmon run occurs, and they are more active and abundant.

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Q2. What fishing techniques work best for catching salmon in Colorado?
A2. Trolling with downriggers, using spoons, and spinners are popular techniques for catching salmon in Colorado. Additionally, fly fishing with streamers or nymphs can be effective, especially in rivers and streams.

Q3. Do I need a fishing license to catch salmon in Colorado?
A3. Yes, a valid Colorado fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older to fish for salmon or any other species in Colorado’s waters.

Q4. Are there any size or bag limits for salmon fishing in Colorado?
A4. Yes, there are size and bag limits in place to protect the fish populations. It is essential to check the current regulations before heading out, as they may vary depending on the specific location.

Q5. Can I fish for salmon from the shoreline?
A5. Yes, many reservoirs and lakes in Colorado allow shoreline fishing for salmon. However, certain areas may have restricted access, so it’s important to check the regulations and any specific guidelines for the chosen location.

Q6. What equipment do I need for salmon fishing in Colorado?
A6. It is recommended to use medium to heavy spinning or baitcasting rods and reels, capable of handling larger fish. Additionally, having a variety of lures, such as spoons, spinners, and flies, will increase your chances of success.

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Q7. Are there any fishing guides or charters available for salmon fishing in Colorado?
A7. Yes, there are fishing guides and charters available in Colorado that specialize in salmon fishing. They can provide valuable local knowledge, equipment, and guidance to enhance your fishing experience.

In conclusion, while Colorado may not be the first place that comes to mind for salmon fishing, the state offers some fantastic opportunities for anglers to reel in these prized fish. From the stunning Blue Mesa Reservoir to the hidden gem of Vallecito Reservoir, Colorado’s waters are home to thriving populations of Kokanee salmon. So grab your fishing gear, secure a valid fishing license, and head out to one of these prime locations for an unforgettable salmon fishing adventure.