CMC's Denver Fly Fishing Section
Colorado Rivers Information

Page Three (L - P)


Name Region
Lake Fork of
the Gunnison
The Lake Fork of the Gunnison is a freestone river with headwaters above Lake City in the San Juan Mountains. Riffles and pocket water are the main characteristics. July thru September are the primary fishing months for rainbows and browns.

The Lake Fork flows some 40 miles north until it joins the Gunnison River at Blue Mesa Reservoir. There is plenty of public access. The river is a small stream above Lake San Cristobal, but picks up speed and size below.
La Plata SW
The La Plata River is a small freestone, twenty feet at its widest. Headwaters are in the La Plata Range of the San Juan Mountains. Fishing access requires hiking boots and scampering across boulders in the upper section above the town of Mayday. The river below Mayday and Hwy 160 lies on private land.

The La Plata continues through desert and the Southern Ute Reservation until it reaches the New Mexico state line. Browns and rainbows populate the Mayday portion.
Laramie North
The Laramie is a tributary of the North Platte near the town of Glendevey in North Park. The Laramie is a small stream populated mostly by brown trout. Bugs and brush make casting difficult in summer.

The river emerges from Chambers Lake in the Roosevelt National Forest. The first half of the Laramie flows through National Forest. with the remainder, past the town of Glendevey, on private land.
Little Navajo SW
The Little Navajo River is a freestone stream in Archuleta County near the town of Chromo. It joins the Navajo River downstream.
Little Snake NW
The Little Snake River is a tributary of the Yampa. Headwaters lie in the Park Range of the Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Lake State Park. The middle third of the Little Snake flows in Wyoming before returning to Colorado.

Trout fishing suffers due to wide swings in water levels and temperatures caused by irrigation demands. The river joins the Yampa as a warm-water fishery 45 miles west of Craig.
Little Thompson North
The Little Thompson flows from headwaters just south of the Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain National Park. It flows east by northeast from Boulder County into Larimer County between Longmont and Loveland. It joins the the Big Thompson on the plains near Greeley.
Los Pinos SW
The Los Pinos River, also known as the Pine, is divided into two distinct sections by Vallecito Reservoir. Six miles above the reservoir lies the Weminuche Wilderness boundary. From there to the Continental Divide the Los Pinos offers backcountry fly fishing.

The wilderness section holds brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout. Here, the river is characterized by pools, riffles, rapids. The southern portion, below Vallecito, is either private or on the Southern Ute Reservation
Mancos SW
The Mancos River is a desert stream that flows through Mancos Canyon and the town of Mancos near Mesa Verde National Park. The upper forks offer the best fishing for trout. Most of the Mancos flows through tribal and private lands before entering New Mexico.
Michigan North
The Michigan is a tributary of the North Platte in North Park near Walden. Access to the stream is limited. Mosquitoes and brush make casting difficult in warm weather.
Navajo SW
The Navajo River is a tributary of the San Juan in Archuleta and La Plata counties. Headwaters are located in the South San Juan Wilderness near Blue Lake. The best public access is between the headwaters and Bridal Veil Falls.

Much of the stream lies on private or tribal lands. The river crosses Hwy 84 near the town of Chromo and continues into New Mexico. The Navajo later returns to Colorado, joining the San Juan on the Southern Ute Reservation near Juanita.
North Platte North
The North Platte begins with the merger of Grizzly and Little Grizzly Creeks near Walden in North Park. The upper river, mostly private, is a meandering meadow stream. The river flows faster and wider from the confluence with the Michigan River to the state line in Northgate Canyon. The five mile portion above Wyoming is a Gold Medal fishery for browns and rainbows.
Piedra SW
The Piedra is a small freestone river that begins north of Pagosa Springs. Much of the Piedra is accessible only to hikers and backpackers. Headwaters are located in the Weminuche Wilderness in Hinsdale County. The canyon terrain here is rugged and rocky.

Browns, rainbows and cutthroats populate the hard-to-reach area. This stretch, from the headwater to the tiny community of Piedra, is best fished in late summer - early fall.

The Piedra below Hwy 160 is 25-30' wide, much slower and characterized by pools, riffles and pocket water. Stoneflies and caddis are prevalent. The Piedra continues through the Southern Ute Reservation and into Navajo Reservoir.
Piney West
The Piney begins in the Gore Range near Vail in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. It flows through great mountain and canyon scenery before joining the Colorado near State Bridge. The Piney offers the chance to catch four trout species in a day. It is a small stream, 25' at its widest.
Purgatoire South
& SE
The Purgatoire River begins in the Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It flows through the town of Trinidad and the Comanche National Grasslands before joining the Arkansas near the town of Las Animas.

The best fishing for trout is in the headwaters between Stonewall and Weston. Below Trinidad, the Purgatoire becomes a sluggish warm-water prairie stream, heavily used for irrigation.
Name Region

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