Steamboat Springs The most aggro anglers in Routt County won't be putting away their poles when winter finally grips the valley and the ski runs are open. However, for many, when the white stuff comes it's time to grab the sticks and go skiing.
But it's still time to get that last good fishing experience in before the cold season. Guide Duncan Draper and Steve Henderson at Bucking Rainbow weighed in on some of the places where people can take one final shot at pulling in that big one.
n Yampa River in town
"There is no need to leave Steamboat; right through town is great," Henderson said.
With the nice late fall weather, anglers have been spoiled with ideal water temperatures and ample fish.
"It's the time of the year to catch some of the big fish," Henderson said.
Typically, fish that spent most of their time in waters going through private land through the summer are more active and in other parts of the river, he said.
n Colorado River in the State Bridge area
"This is the best time of the year to fish the Colorado River," Draper said.
Throughout the summer, the river is taken over by paddlers, which can distract a fishing experience there, he said. But now the paddlers are gone and stretches of river once crowded are lonely.
"At times, you can feel like you are in the wild and unexplored," Draper said.
The trout isn't all that bad either, he said.
n Green River
Just a three-hour jaunt west, the C-section of the Green River is still active. Brown trout is the name of the game there, Draper said.
n North Platte
It may be pushing it, as far as weather goes, but one more trip to the North Platte River could be achieved this year, Henderson said.
"That's always a fun time to go fishing," he said.
Stretches of the river north of Walden and into Wyoming are good spots to hit.
n Green Mountain Reservoir and Blue Mesa
Anglers who make the drive down Colorado 9, just north of Silverthorne, will catch the kokanee salmon run. While some anglers are snagging the salmon going upstream to mate and then die, others are waiting about 150 yards behind.
"They (the salmon) go up to spawn and they will be full of eggs," Draper said. "Then, the trout follow behind and eat the eggs."
n Sarvis Creek
Just like the salmon, white fish are spawning and the trout are real active eating the eggs.
"This is a great spot in the fall," Draper said.
n Stagecoach Reservoir and tailwaters
It's a short drive down to Stagecoach Reservoir, where the pike are biting and right below the dam is some of the best fly-fishing around.
"I've been catching some nice pike there," Henderson said of the reservoir.
Last month, someone pulled out a 43-inch pike, though Henderson said ones around 35 inches are more common.
Meanwhile, people going below the dam are being greeted with some of the best fishing around, Draper said.
"The Stagecoach tailwater is as hot as a firecracker right now," he said.