As the most fully-stocked fly fishing equipment shop and bait shop in all of Grand County, Kirks Fly Shop Grand Lake is your go-to source for not only gear, but also the most up-to-date fishing information. Our staff spends more time fly fishing the Grand Lake area than anybody, and while we might not share our top secret locations with you, we can point you in the right direction for sections of rivers and lakes where you are sure to have success.
This blog outlines some of our favorite spots to fish in Grand County, but the success you have at these areas can often be highly contingent on the time of year and current conditions. For the most up-to-date Grand Lake fishing report, feel free to stop by our store in downtown Grand Lake or give us a call!
Best Fly Fishing Locations
If you are in Grand Lake, you have quick and easy access to the entire western slope of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. While there are many bigger rivers that offer great fishing a couple hours west of Grand Lake, we focus primarily on the Colorado River and smaller local streams.
Rocky Mountain National Park
RMNP is what draws many visitors to Grand Lake. With some of the most scenic views in America, an abundance of wildlife, and opportunities to catch wild trout on a fly rod, what’s not to love? Here are a couple of locations inside the park that are less than 20 minutes away from downtown:
If the east inlet trailhead was on the Estes Park side of RMNP, the trailhead parking lot would be full before 7:00 AM all summer long. However, Grand Lake receives much less tourist traffic, and therefore there are very few people who actually fish the East Inlet creek running into Grand Lake. If you are interested in fishing dry-droppers to native trout, this is a great spot for you. Don’t expect to catch any trout over seven or eight inches, but when the conditions are right, you can catch more brook trout than you can imagine. The best thing to do is to wait until mid-June into July when the river levels have receded from their winter run-off, and make the short hike above Adams Falls to begin fishing.
Colorado River in RMNP
The Colorado River inside of the Park is another section of stream that looks like it belongs on a postcard. In fact, this is where the mighty Colorado River that flows through the Grand Canyon originates. It is also home to native brook, brown, and the occasional cutthroat trout. If you are looking for the most genuine Grand Lake fishing experience, this is a great spot for you. Simply park your vehicle at any of the campgrounds or trailheads in the main Colorado River valley and hike across the meadow to the river. The river levels are also typically best here from the middle of June to the beginning of August.
Colorado River below Shadow Mountain Reservoir
This is another spot that is practically a stone’s throw away from downtown Grand Lake. Making the short drive down to the western side of Shadow Mountain Reservoir will lead you to a parking lot where the Colorado River leaves the reservoir. For roughly two miles, this section of river flows through public land before it enters Lake Granby. When the flows are up (above 400 cfs) the best thing to do is follow the trail down the river a couple hundred yards and fish for the abundance of rainbow trout that move up out of Lake Granby.
Colorado River at Byers Canyon
Byers Canyon is an adventurous fishing spot 20-30 minutes outside of Grand Lake near the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. Due to the difficulty of access, Byers Canyon is best for the nimble footed angler. Reaching the river requires scrambling down steep boulder fields. That being said, the rewards are highly worth it. This public section of river doesn’t see all that many anglers, and the brown and rainbow trout are plentiful. Fishing stonefly nymphs and emergers will yield high numbers of fish here all summer long.
Colorado River at Pumphouse
If you have done any amount of research on fly fishing the Colorado River, you have likely heard of this place called “Pumphouse,” or you may have already fished here yourself. This boat ramp is located just outside of Kremmling and is where most of our guided float fishing trips originate from. However, there is also great DIY wade fishing to be had at this spot. The best thing to do is to park at the Pumphouse parking lot and hike a couple hundred yards up Gore Canyon before you start fishing. There are a high concentration of healthy sized browns and rainbows in this section of the Colorado River, and the views are textbook Colorado fly fishing.
Best Bait & Tackle Fishing Spots
Whether you have the family in town for a couple of days and are looking for a good place to take the kids fishing, or you prefer a traditional rod and reel over fly fishing, here are a couple of good fishing locations around Grand Lake to check out.
Point Park at Grand Lake
Unfortunately, the majority of shore fishing along Grand Lake is privately owned. There are very few access points for spin fisherman to fish, unless they have a boat. That being said, one of the best spots to go is called Point Park, located near the north end of the lake where Grand Lake connects to Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Early in the summer, this is typically where the Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock the highest quantity of fish.
Shadow Mountain Reservoir
Shadow Mountain reservoir is also another great lake to fish early on in the season, during May and June. Fishing from the bank near the dam can yield large brown trout, and even the occasional lake trout. Later in the summer, the lake typically experiences heavy weed growth and becomes more difficult to fish.
Colorado River Below Shadow Mountain
If you are interested in fishing a river using either bait or lures near Grand Lake, the Colorado River below Shadow Mountain reservoir is one of the best places to go. There is always a high concentration of fish in the holes directly below the dam, but hiking down to the mouth of where the river opens into Lake Granby can also be very successful!
The Spillway Into Lake Granby
When there is water being poured into the lake through the tunnel on the northwest side of the lake, many fish will concentrate their to feed on the extra food. Fishing from the bank on Lake Granby here can be relaxing and productive if you are hoping to grill some of your own trout. If the water is being flushed in, you can’t miss it from the road. There will likely be other cars parked along the highway into Kremmling fishing along this bank. If you have questions about how to find any of these locations, please stop by our shop, and we can point them out on the map!
Guided Fishing With Kirks Fly Shop
The most effective way to fish the local lakes is to hire an experienced guide. At Kirks Fly Shop, we have several lake fishing guides who own Crestliner boats and can take up to three people out fishing at a time. You will have a much higher chance of success fishing from a boat, and our guides know Grand lake like the back of their hand.
We also offer guided fly fishing trips in and around Grand Lake. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned fly fisherman, our knowledgeable guides would love to take you out for a half day or full day of fishing. We look forward to hearing from you soon!