Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Yampa River - Steamboat Springs - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Mid-day 18-22 Zebra midge, Black beauty
February Midges Mid-day 18-22 RS2, Miracle Midge
March Midges, Blue Winged Olives Mid-day 18-22, 16-20 BWO Emerger, Pheasant Tail
April Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Mid-day to late afternoon 16-20, 12-16 Elk Hair Caddis, JujuBaetis
May Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Stoneflies Mid-day to late afternoon 16-20, 12-16, 6-12 Pat’s Rubberlegs, Stimulator
June Caddis, Stoneflies, Pale Morning Duns Morning to early afternoon 12-16, 6-12, 14-16 Sparkle Dun, Yellow Sally
Green Drakes Late afternoon to evening 10-12 Royal Wulff, Comparadun Green Drake
July Pale Morning Duns, Caddis Mid-day to evening 14-16, 12-16 Neversink Caddis, Parachute PMD
August Tricos, Caddis Morning 20-24, 12-16 Trico Spinner, X-Caddis
September Blue Winged Olives, Tricos Mid-day 16-20, 20-24 BWO Emerger, Trico Spinner
October Blue Winged Olives Mid-day 16-20 JujuBaetis, BWO Emerger
November Midges Mid-day 18-22 Zebra midge, Black beauty
December Midges Mid-day 18-22 RS2, Miracle Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs boasts a variety of top-rated locations for fly fishing, known for their beautiful scenery and abundant fish species.

  • Saratoga Springs: This location offers both wild and stocked trout species, including Cutthroat, Rainbow, and Brown Trout. Its large, open areas make casting easy in and around fast-moving water sections.
  • Stagecoach State Park: This area located just south of the town hosts a reservoir packed full of Rainbow, Cutthroat, and some Pike. Fish from the banks, a float tube, or a small boat.
  • Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area: This lesser-known spot is perfect for a more secluded and peaceful experience. It offers some of the best hatches in the whole river and very healthy trout populations.
  • Elk Park: Just downstream from the town, this popular site provides easy access and a great variety of water types.

Best Access Points

The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs offers excellent fly fishing opportunities. Prime access points include:

  • Tailwaters section at Stagecoach Reservoir: Known for its large Rainbow and Brown Trout.
  • Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area: A public access point, just south of Steamboat Springs, that provides excellent opportunities to fish for Rainbow and Brown Trout.
  • The Town Stretch: From the 5th Street Bridge down to where the river meets the Chuck Lewis Area, offering good access and plenty of fish.
  • Saratoga Hot Springs: Further downstream, this is great area for beginners with easy access and plenty of fishing spots.
  • Pleasant Valley: Located between the Hot Springs and the Chuck Lewis Area, this section offers some of the best fishing spots and is accessible from Routt County Road 18.

Always remember to respect private property when accessing the river and make sure to have a valid Colorado fishing license.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout: Recognizable by their colorful sides and spotted body, Rainbow trout are a popular target for fly fishers on the Yampa River.
  • Brown Trout: Known for their cunning and impressive size, Brown Trout often provide a challenge for fishers on the Yampa.
  • Brook Trout: Although smaller than some other species, Brook Trout are treasured for their beautiful markings and delicious taste.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Native to Colorado, Cutthroat Trout are easily recognizable by the distinct red slash on their lower jaw.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Though often overlooked in favor of Trout, Mountain Whitefish provide an exciting opportunity for fly fishing in the Yampa River.
  • Pike: With their sharp teeth and aggressive behavior, Pike are a thrilling catch on the Yampa River.
  • River Bass: Though less common, River Bass can be successfully targeted with the right fly fishing techniques.
  • Arctic Grayling: Known for their distinct, sail-like dorsal fin, Arctic Grayling are a unique and challenging species for fly fishers to target on the Yampa River.

About The River

Nestled in the beautiful high country of Colorado, the Yampa River serves as the heart of the idyllic town of Steamboat Springs. It is the last free-flowing river in the Colorado River Basin, gleaming with refreshing water and teeming with diverse wildlife. Established in the late 1800s, Steamboat Springs was originally a summer resort.

  • Steamboat Spring’s history is deeply intertwined with the Yampa River, driving its coal mining and agriculture industries. It later blossomed into a treasured destination for myriad outdoor activities like fishing, rafting, and so much more.

The once native Ute Tribe named the river after the wild yampah plant that grows along its banks. Today, the Yampa River and Steamboat Springs together offer a serene and stunning experience, painting a picturesque landscape that soothes the soul while narrating tales of a rich past. It’s a harmonious blend of history, beauty, and recreation, guaranteed to leave you with unforgettable memories.

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