Ironically, if it’s too cold to ski, it’s never too cold to go fly fishing.
It’s said that colder weather actually increases your odds of landing some fish. During the winter, the bigger fish are more lethargic, if you fish the right stretch of water. For example, fishing the Yampa during the chilly, winter months will probably send you home empty handed and 10 flies less than what you started with because it is frozen over. If you head Southwest of town towards Catamount or the Stagecoach Reservoir you have a good chance of catching a big one and you’ll notice the water there is still open. Why? It’s because below both of these damns the water is bottom released, keeping them at a constant temperature for the entire winter.
You can even ski for a couple hours in the morning because the best fishing doesn’t start until 11ish when the bug hatch begins and continues for about four hours. Another pro to winter fishing is that you can shorten your cast, use heavier lines and use smaller flies.
If you are new to fishing, there are some great guide shops in Steamboat, such as Straightline who has access to 3 private winter fishing stretches. They’ll provide all the gear and tips, you just have to show up at their shop. And if fly fishing isn’t your cup of tea, you can always try ice fishing!
Who knew that Ski Town USA wasn’t just known for its skiing during the winters!