Flowing from the top of the Flattops to the Western border of Colorado, the Yampa River moves through downtown Steamboat Springs, giving you easy access to a diverse group of fish right out your front door. Approximately 250 miles long, fishing on the Yampa varies depending on where you decide to settle down with your gear. ‘The Upper Yampa holds cold-water species whereas warm-water species are found downstream at river’s end. Somewhere in-between, the two meet with opportunity to fish for trout and pike in the same river spot.’
The Yampa is known for being one of the best Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike fisheries in the United States, but is not limited to these species. ‘A summertime trout grand slam is possible on the Yampa in the stretches around Steamboat Springs: rainbows, browns, Snake River cutthroat and brookies all call this part of the river home.’ And with the abundant insect and whitefish population the trout are huge.
The flow of the Yampa varies between 600m3/s in the spring runoff, to 17 m3/s in late summer.
The Yampa is also one of the last river systems in the west that is still a relatively intact riparian zone. ‘While riparian areas occupy less than 3 percent of the western landscape, they provide habitat for 80 percent of the region’s wildlife. Mature Cottonwoods line the river corridor and provide the base for other riparian plant species.’
Fishing Advice- ESPN.com wrote an article in late 2006 about Fly-fishing on the Yampa. They recommend to ‘bring the usual assortment of midges, emergers, Prince Nymphs and Hare’s Ears. Streamers are tops for both pike and smallmouth (black is the favorite color), and tube jigs are a top choice for the bronzebacks.’
For more information and video tours of specific sections of the Yampa River, feel free to visit our Steamboat Springs Fly Fishing Map!
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Yampa River Flow Charts – Shows the current flow rate for the Yampa River
Private Sections of the Yampa River - Some of the Yampa River flows through private property, click here for more information about fishing these beautiful locations.