The Yampa River is an extensive waterway, running from the Flattops to the Green River. The fishing conditions for anglers vary nearly as much as the landscape surrounding the Yampa River, which offers over 250 miles of free-running water. The Yampa River should definitely be on your bucket list of places to fish.
All through Steamboat allows fairly unfettered access to the river itself as well as the Bear River tributary and a good number of lakes and streams. White River National Forest and Stagecoach State Park have tons of great camping and public access to the banks for anglers.
Why fish on the Yampa?
One word: rainbows. The Yampa is some of the best water for landing trophy-sized rainbow trout.
Best Places to Fish the Yampa River
One of the best spots along the Yampa for trophy fly fishing are the headwaters up in the White River National Forest. The colder waters nearest the Flattops provide plenty of riffles, pocket water, and other ideal trout hiding and hunting places all along the headwaters and among the lakes, ponds, and streams that feed into the Yampa River and the tributary Bear River. Access is easy since Highway 131 follows the river here, and all of the land is public property.
Stagecoach State Park is another great location for rainbows, especially below the dam. The fishing here is wonderful year round thanks to plentiful hatches and muddy banks.
Best Time to Fish the Yampa River
Some of best hatches of the year are in the fall, and the river is less crowded at this time of year. However, the fishing is great all summer long and can be enjoyed in the winter as well!
Yampa River Fishing Tips
Hatches on the Yampa include tricos and midges earlier in the year, and on gray days you can count on a large number of blue wings olives. Caddis and tricos are most active in the afternoons, and golden stoneflies are a good all day fly. Terrestrials patterns are effective on days where the water clarity is poor or the weather is cloudy.