With only a few short weeks until the snow starts to fly, October can start to feel like purgatory in a ski town. The seasonal forecasts have been released (and they look great), but all the ski films haven’t come through town yet. You got your skis down from the rafters in the garage, but your bike is still sitting on the porch. So instead of clinging to my summertime activities or pining away for winter, this year I chose to occupy my month of limbo with fishing!

(Full disclosure: I’m a terrible fisherman. But the photo above proves that even terrible fisherman can get lucky every once in a while, so it’s always worth trying.)

The Yampa running through downtown.

As I’m sure a lot of you out there will remind me, the fishing is great all summer and even in the winter here in Steamboat. Unfortunately for me, my other sports keep me too busy to think about grabbing the rod and heading back to the river. So my fishing experience has ended up being mostly with clear water on beautiful bluebird fall days. If you are in town this time of year, it’s a great way to get outside and enjoy one of the Yampa Valley’s best resources.

I’m just a beginner fisherman, but there are a lot of great stretches of public water in and around Steamboat for any visiting angler to enjoy. If you’ve ever had lunch on one of¬† Yampa Street’s patios, then you’ve noticed that the downtown stretch is one of the most popular. This area is popular for good reason: With a ton of hungry trout swimming around and close proximity to all the fly-fishing shops, it’s the easiest place to get what you need and get on the water quickly. It’s also the best place to grab a beer after your day on the Yampa and tell some tall tales about the monsters you caught.

A stretch of the Elk River

If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, you can head south on the Yampa to the stretch of water by Rotary Park or drive all the way out to the tailwaters of the stagecoach damn. While I personally haven’t had much luck out there, I’ve been told by a lot of people that this is the easiest place to catch trout. Even if you don’t manage to hook anything, the drive is beautiful, and you get to see an area of the valley that very few of our visitors get to see.

No matter where you choose to go, a relaxing afternoon on the water is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy Steamboat.


Dan Tullos

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