So You Want to Go Fishing

Fishing is fun and a great activity for all ages. Don't worry if you are a newbie to fishing: you only need to know the basics, opens a new window to get yourself or your children started with a great lifelong hobby (and an excuse get out of the house)! 

Fishing Spots

There are plenty of good fishing spots around town, from small ponds to big lakes and reservoirs.


If you're looking to get out on a boat to fish, you can hit up one of these nearby reservoirs.

Quincy Reservoir, opens a new window

A popular fishing spot for trout, largemouth bass, perch and crappie. They have a boat launch and rental (non-motorized only) and a fishing dock. You'll need a pass to enter the reservoir (not a state park).

Aurora Reservoir, opens a new window

Another popular fishing spot for trout, walleye, smallmouth bass and perch. Non-motorized boats are allowed and kayak rentals are available. They also have a swim beach and other activities. You'll need a pass to enter the reservoir (not a state park).

Chatfield Reservoir, opens a new window 

Chatfield has a healthy population of trout and bass. You'll also find walleye, channel catfish, perch, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and carp. The lake is open to boating and there is a marina where you can rent fishing boats. You'll also find a campground and a swim beach.

Cherry Creek Reservoir, opens a new window 

This reservoir offers good fishing for wiper, largemouth bass, trout and walleye. They also have a swim beach, camping, marina and tons of other activities.

Place a hold on one of our State Parks Passes for free entry into Chatfield and Cherry Creek State Parks.

Lakes and Ponds

If a smaller lake or pond is more your style, there are plenty of those to choose from as well.  

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, opens a new window 

The Arsenal has two lakes, Ledora and Mary. This is a great place to fish, with fishing open from April-October, and an annual fishing derby held in April to kickoff the fishing season. Live bait is prohibited. You must use barbless hooks. In addition to your fishing license, there is a $3 daily fee to fish at the Arsenal. 

Berkeley Lake Park, opens a new window

This park off I-70 and has a great lake with a trail around it for walking/running/biking, a rec center, pool and a dog park. It's also right down the street from Lakeside Amusement Park, so you could make a day of it. You'll be sure to catch some panfish here, including the colorful pumpkinseed, or try your hand at some crappie.

Rocky Mountain Lake, opens a new window 

Right down the road from Berkeley is a fun little lake full of largemouth bass. 

Overland Pond, opens a new window

A fun little pond alongside the South Platte River, so you can do some river or fly fishing while you're there, or take a walk on the Platte River Trail. There are a lot of places to fish from around Overland. You might hear bull frogs croaking, see turtles basking in the sun and snakes slithering through the water while you're there. You can find largemouth bass, trout and green sunfish here. It's also a great place for a picnic and is usually quiet. 

Ferril Lake, opens a new window

This lake at City Park is great for fishing. The location is prime as you are near the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and a splashpad (H2Odyssey). You can rent boats and bikes from the boat rental. You'll find largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, perch, green sunfish and more at this lake. 

Washington Park, opens a new window 

Wash Park has two places you can fish from. Lily Pond is a stocked tiny little pond just for the kiddos and Smith Lake is the main lake at Wash Park. Look for largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, perch, carp, bluegill and green sunfish. You will also find boat and bike rentals at this beautiful park. 

Garfield Lake, opens a new window

Another pretty little fishing hole. A playground and outdoor pool are nearby. You can find largemouth bass and bluegill here.  

These are just a few of the fun places around town to spend a few hours fishing from. You can find even more places to fish all over Colorado with this 101+ places to fish interactive map, opens a new window


  • If you are looking for some fishing events, check out this event calendar, opens a new window through Colorado Parks & Wildlife.  
  • You can also learn to fish for free with park rangers in Denver's Fishing Is Fun, opens a new window program. Kids and adults can learn the basics of fishing, do beginner to advanced fly fishing or even take a fishing trip to a local lake.

Apps, Websites and Licenses

  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife has an app called CPW Fishing, opens a new window. You can scout out a fishing spot, see what fish are stocked, get tips, log your catches and so much more.
  • Another fun app is Fishbrain, opens a new window where you can track your catches and share them with others.  
  • Get more Colorado fishing tips and resources at, opens a new window.
  • Don't forget, before you go fishing anywhere you'll need a license. Kids 15 and under do not need a license. For adults 16-63, you can buy a license at many outdoor retailers including Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, Walmart and REI, or buy one online, opens a new window. A fishing license is valid from April 1 to March 31 of the following year (not one year from the day you buy it).

Fishing Books

Do you have a favorite fishing hole around town? Share with us in the comments below!