The Yampa River is an excellent fishery in an even more amazing area of Colorado.  Born and raised in Colorado, I have spent many of my summer days fishing the area, though I often overlooked the yampa in town.  Fishing it more recently as of late, I’ve really grown to love it.  There are a lot of fish in the river and they all vary in size quite a bit and in species.  This is super fun for me as I like the surprise of not knowing what you’re going to catch next.  This keeps things interesting and while the larger fish can be harder to fool, it isn’t an overly difficult place to catch fish making it great for beginners and all skill levels to enjoy the town of Steamboat and fish.  There aren’t too many places you can fish and get a real “freestone” experience on the river and then in 15 minutes grab a margarita and steak dinner without ever getting in your car.

Fish ranging in 6” to 18” is common and you can catch mostly browns and rainbows, though cutbows, cutthroat and brook trout are present in the river system and are caught on occasion. Dry flies and nymphs will take fish with a lot of active hatches throughout the year.  BWO, PMD’s stoneflies of all kinds and plenty of caddis give the river the dynamic that the fish are always eating something either above or below the surface.  Give the fish respect, they get a decent amount of pressure and aren’t caught easily unless you have a good presentation and the proper fly selection.  With a little practice and moving around on the river, you can often find a pod of feeding trout worth pursuing and make the most of the day.  At even the worst of days fishing, it’s a beautiful place and enjoyable area to spend a day or weekend trip.

There are dozens of other spots to fish around the area up on Rabbit ears pass or up the Elk river area towards steamboat lake (including the lakes, also great fishing!) You can’t go wrong up here and it’s all a great time in this area.  Check it out and plan your next trip and you won’t be disappointed.