How do I Select Fly Fishing Equipment in Colorado?

How do I Select Fly Fishing Equipment in Colorado?
Colorado offers some of the most challenging and best all-around trout fishing to be found anywhere in the United States. From Gore Creek, Blue River and Eagle River to the Arkansas and Colorado Rivers, Colorado has water to meet and satisfy the needs of almost every angler. Choosing the right equipment is the foundation of most any fishing excursion. Take the time to match the gear to the stream you will be fishing.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly rod with matched reel
  • Fishing flies
  • Vest or chest pack
  • Waders and shoes
Step 1
Research what river you will be fishing in Colorado. Consider the size of the river in regard to width and depth for choosing a fly rod, line, waders and shoes. Establish what time of the year you will be traveling to Colorado to fish as this will impact your choice of artificial flies.
Step 2
Match your fly rod to the water you will be fishing and your skill level. A small river such as Gore Creek that flows through Vail might dictate the use of a 7- to 8-foot rod while larger rivers such as the Arkansas will require a 9-foot rod. Choose a rod with a moderately fast action that is responsive for seasoned anglers and forgiving for those learning. A rod in a five or six weight is a good choice with a matched reel and line.
Step 3
Use flies that are currently "hot" or producing results. Choose either dry or wet flies, nymphs or streamers that imitate the natural food of trout during the time of year you will be fishing in Colorado. Match the hatch, or match what is currently flying around and landing on the water for best results. Purchase flies from local outfitters and guide shops to get good matching fly patterns.
Step 4
Equip yourself with a vest, chest pack or waist pack for carrying your fly boxes, floatant, forceps, leaders, tippets, snacks, water and other items you need on the river. Select a waist pack for hot days in shallow waters, for example, or a traditional vest or chest pack when fishing deeper rivers to keep items above the water surface. Choose a method of carrying gear that is comfortable and based on preference.
Step 5
Wear waders or shoes based on the river. Consider wet wading a shallow river or stream in hot weather by wearing a mesh or vented pair of shoes only. Wear hip waders with studded soles if wet wading is not your cup of tea. Deeper rivers can dictate chest waders with wading shoes.

Tips & Warnings

Keep in mind that many Colorado rivers may not allow the use of felt sole waders or shoes due to the increase in invasive aquatic species such as the mud snail.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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