Best Place to Fish: Blue River

The Blue River is pictured June 1, 2020, in Silverthorne.
Jason Connolly/Summit Daily News archives

Chris Refakis of Cutthroat Anglers — winner of Best Fishing/Hunting Outfitter — said the Blue River is such a great spot to fish because it can provide once-in-a-lifetime angling experiences for individuals of all ability levels.

For beginner fly-fishers, the proximity of great fishing right in Silverthorne, whether it be below the Dillon Dam or outside the shop’s backdoor, makes it as straightforward as possible for an angler to reel in a radiant rainbow trout.

“We catch more fish right behind the shop than anywhere on the Blue,” Refakis said. “There are regularly a dozen nice, big fish: rainbows, cutbow hybrid and some browns.”

Rainbow trout are the most commonly caught fish on the Blue River, but cutbows — cutthroat-rainbow trout hybrids — and brown trout are also in strong supply on the river. That’s in part because the river is stocked in town to maintain a bounty of large fish for anglers to catch and release.

But even in spots where fish are accustomed to biting — such as at the Cable and Rodeo honey holes below the dam — Refakis said angling can be tough because of the popularity and the variable nature of the Rocky Mountain runoff.

As for the fishing spots near Cutthroat Anglers, a bridge that spans the Blue River is a perfect place to look down through polarized lenses and spot fish to figure out your plan of attack.

However challenging your fishing turns out to be, anglers in town often catch rainbow trout around 18 inches and sometimes as long as 26 inches.

Anglers can also fish the Blue River in winter thanks to the fact that the water coming out of Dillon Dam is near the same temperature year-round. But Refakis cautioned that winter angling only lasts about four hours a day.

For a more solitary, remote experience, the fishing north of Silverthorne is as great as the scenery, with the Gore Range serving as a picturesque backdrop to the banks of the Blue. Refakis recommended checking out the angling in the Eagles Nest area as well as Slate Hole above Green Mountain Reservoir.

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