Some of the best fly-fishing in Steamboat can be found just out your backdoor. The Yampa River begins above town and runs almost through to Utah. The convenience of the river allows you to get up early and hit one of many holes and locations in or outside of downtown Steamboat. With 22-inch trout a common site, the Yampa is a great place to spend a morning, afternoon or evening. And if afterward you still want to head out for a hike or bike ride or grab some dinner with your family, you are still in downtown Steamboat with more than enough options right down the street.
For those who prefer a little more privacy while they fish, Harrison Creek is a beautiful secluded spot that’s only about a 15-minute hike. Drive 8 miles past 131 heading up Rabbit Ears Pass. On the right, just before Highway 40 veers to the left, there’s a small road. Park at the end and walk past a couple of campsites – about five minutes. The trail is a little hard to locate, but can be found just past a campfire ring. The trail wanders down pretty steeply. There are two stream crossings before reaching Harrison Creek. The landscape is currently speckled with wildflowers of every color. An open field and aspen grove are a great place for relaxation in the sun. Down at the river, there is shade and you’ll be guaranteed to avoid the crowds and plenty of brook and cutthroats.
The Elk River is another public river that flows from the Flattops into the Yampa River. Flowing down through Clark and alongside Elk River Road, there are many places to simply stop and find a great place to fish. Or if you are looking for a bit more seclusion you can continue up Seedhouse Road, toward the mouth of the river. Near The Home Ranch is a great location for wild rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout.
Mad Creek – The Mad Creek trail is a favorite hike of many in Steamboat. If you are looking for a different option, bring your fishing rod and your flies for a great hiking and fishing trip. This is a great way to spend a day if you are looking to combine a bit of hiking and fishing. Before you hit the Zirkle Wilderness boundary there are a few great open sections to the river that are great at the beginning and middle of the summer.
Pleasant Valley – At the upper end of the Yampa about 15 miles south east of Steamboat is Stagecoach Reservoir. Flowing through the reservoir when the Yampa River flows out the other side, this area is referred to as Sarvis Creek. Accessible by car but not busy, you are often alone in many areas. With variable terrain you can surly find an area that matches your favorite fishing tastes. Stagecoach Reservoir, the small canyon after the dam, and open winding river are all within a 10 min walk. A perfect place to enjoy fishing while your family relaxes in the lake or on the small beach just a few miles up the road.
Hahns Peak Lake – Driving out west of Steamboat Springs on Hwy 40 will drop you at the eastside entrance to Hahns Peak Lake. There is easy access to fishing around the lake in the summer. The lake is stocked yearly and is good fishing for 10-12 inch trout.
For More Information, details and Fly-Over Videos of a few of these sections described above Check out our Fishing Map of the Yampa Valley!