Fishing Hot Spots in the Teller/Ute Pass region

Summer is Prime Time for Colorado Angler Action

Trevor Phipps

It’s often regarded as one of Colorado’s best kept outdoor secrets: The Centennial state is a prime haven for fishing year-round with many options available, whether you want to test your angler skills inside our vast number of lakes and rivers, or on the ice.

Not surprisingly, the summer, spring and fall is when fishing is most popular across the state. And many of the top spots for fishing are right in our backyard.

After receiving a large amount of snow this winter, many of the lakes and rivers in the high country have experienced higher water flow levels than what is typical for this time of year. This news isn’t necessarily great for fishing buffs because high water levels in rivers make fishing tough and dangerous.

In fact, parts of the Arkansas River have been closed to activities recently due to unusually high flow levels. Sections of the South Platte River also seem very high compared to normal, possibly making the fish harder to catch

According to the fishing report submitted by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division (CPW), most of Colorado’s lakes started to get stocked for the season in mid-May with the fish stocking process wrapped up mostly by early June. There are currently some fishing closures across the state, but luckily none of them are in the Ute Pass region.

The Orvis Fly Fishing Reports at list all of the popular fishing spots across the state and label them from poor to excellent. The South Platte River and Spinney Reservoir were two spots near Teller County where fishing has been excellent.

River Fishing

Temperatures in the South Platte have been between 70 and 85 degrees and water flows have been around 800-900 cfs. “Because of the high flow, trout are keying on larger insects like stoneflies, crane flies, larvae, scuds and worms,” the Orvis website states.

Other fishing report websites break the South Platte into sections: Cheesman Canyon, Deckers, the Dream Stream, and Eleven Mile Canyon. According to various fishing reports, Cheesman Reservoir is 100 percent full and spilling over the top, creating high levels in the South Platte River downstream.

Fishing experts from Angler’s Covey and the South Platte Fly Shop contend that fishing this part of the river is difficult right now but the fish are still feeding. The experts say to stay on the banks and use larger bug patterns to replicate the insects that have been washing down the river with the high-water flow.

The Dream Stream between Eleven Mile and Spinney Reservoirs has also been running higher than normal but not as high as it is downstream. Angler’s Covey states that the South Platte everywhere is running fast with all of the reservoirs at capacity making it difficult, but not impossible to fish.


Through Eleven Mile Canyon, flows have been high. That is a good trend, since the canyon has been relatively dry the past few seasons. Fishing has been good, even though the water is a little higher than most fishermen prefer.

The Orvis site doesn’t rate fishing as high on the Arkansas River, with the site giving it a standard rating. Ark Anglers say that fishing has been slow with the high water levels, but anglers are starting to do better with flows starting to decrease in the last week.


Lake Fishing

Orvis rates Spinney Reservoir as the best to fish this season, but many say it is not as good as past years. “The successful anglers have been moving around a lot or even fishing areas they normally don’t fish,” states. “The fish have been a lot more nomadic than usual due to the higher levels of water.”

Spinney’s neighbor, Eleven Mile Reservoir, has also pleased anglers recently with one post calling the fishing there “sneaky good.” But the Angler’s Covey report did say that fishing is best in a boat because the fish have moved out more into the lake.

Further east at Antero Reservoir the water has been calm recently making for good fishing especially for brown trout. But as with Eleven Mile, fishing on Antero is best on a boat, but some fishermen have still had luck catching them off of the shore.

North of Lake George, many have been having luck shore fishing at Tarryall Reservoir. However, insiders say that a boat or kayak is best because the fish seem to travel more when the water temps are low like they are now.

Fishing reports for other local lakes were not available as of press time. But insider reports from the local anglers indicate that closer lakes than those previously mentioned have also been producing nice catches. Many enjoy fishing at places  such as Rampart Reservoir east of Woodland Park, the Upper and Lower Catamount Reservoirs near Cascade at the foot of Pikes Peak, Skaguay Reservoir near Victor and Cheesman Reservoir, which is close to Deckers.