Nothing says fly fishing like outlet malls, highways and gawkers. But that is the case on some parts of
the Blue River. Located just 60 miles west of Denver, you can be out your door and into gold metal
water within an hour.
Flowing north out of Breckenridge this undulating river takes you on a scenic trip to the Dillon Reservoir.
There are three main stopping points along the way: the Breckenridge access, which houses over 3.5
miles of fishable water. The Gold Hill access, about 2 miles farther downstream has ¼ mile of public
water. And the Swan Mountain road access runs from the road’s bridge down towards the reservoir.
From there the Blue puts you in the middle of the action in Silverthorne. You will have to battle the
crowds of professional tourists and shoppers if you want to garner the attention of the trout. Trust me
though, this water is well worth it. Pulling up a 20+ inch rainbow to an applause never felt so good.
Make your way downstream a bit farther and you will find yourself at my favorite fly shop in the area,
Cutthroat Anglers. Behind their shop you will find more public water with less crowds. Scope out the
hotspots from the suspended walking bridge before making your way down.
If you care to get away from the crowds completely you can head downstream. After leaving town there
are pockets of public water you can fish all the way to Green Mountain Reservoir. Below that, only a few
spots welcome you as a public fisherman until this river meets up with the Colorado.
I’ve had the best luck nymphing from March-April. I tie a Charlie’s Mysis Shrimp on the top trailed by a
Black Beauty. September-November can also be very good. I personally have never made the trip out in
the fall, but I’ve heard it can be outstanding. If you find yourself at the Blue in the summer, it’s not that
you won’t find quality fishing, you will just have to compete with dozens of people you are likely to
When it comes to flows, I’ve seen good fishing anywhere from 150-600 cfs (Below Dillon reservoir). I
know 600 may seem high, but last year, a couple buddies and me stopped at the Blue for 2 hours and
caught 30+ fish when the flows were nearing 600 cfs.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Please share your stories below if you have experience with this
great river. For those of you who are familiar with other rivers in Colorado, I would love to get your
opinions on those as well.
For more quality content about fly fishing and other ramblings of this humble man, check out my
Thanks for the info JD, I know who to call now when we head down that direction.