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 we can always use an excuse get out of the house!)
There are plenty of good fishing spots all 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 is 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 is 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 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, a campground and a swim beach.
Cherry Creek Reservoir, opens a new window offers good fishing for wiper, largemouth bass, trout and walleye. They also have a swim beach, camping, marina and tons of other activities.
Borrow one of our State Parks Passes for entry into Chatfield and Cherry Creek State Parks.
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 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 is 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 is 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 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 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 is another pretty little fishing hole. A playground and outdoor pool are nearby. You can find largemouth bass and bluegill here.
Those are just a couple of the fun places around town that are fun to spend a few hours fish 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 AND RESOURCES
- 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 takemefishing.org, 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, an annual license is $34.75 (plus $10 for a habitat stamp for ages 18-64). You can buy one at many outdoor retailers including Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, Walmart and REI, or buy one online, opens a new window. The fishing license is valid from April 1 to March 31 of the following year (not one year from the day you buy it).
- Explore the basics of fishing with The Complete Fishing Manual.
- Learn to tie a knot with Practical Fishing Knots.
- Find out what fish live in your area, what kind of tackle to use and more with Kids' Guide to Fishing.
- Get tips on how to pick the best lures, baits, flies and tackle for every situation with The Total Fishing Manual.
- Field & Stream's Fishing Guide shares practical advice for fly-fishing, baitcasting, spinning and noodling while offering tips on gear, knots and locations.
- In Fish of the Rockies, you'll find 68 species of fish found in the lakes, rivers and streams of the Rocky Mountains.
- Check out Jeremy Wade's (River Monsters) book How to Think Like a Fish for his insight on a life spent fishing.
- If you like fly fishing, you'll want to check out Flyfisher's Guide to Colorado's Lost Lakes and Secret Places to get the scoop on which lakes and creeks fish well.
Do you have a favorite fishing hole around town? Share with us!