Fly Fishing Steamboat Lake – A Minturn Anglers Review

Fly Fishing Steamboat Lake – A Minturn Anglers Review


Sitting within Steamboat Lake State Park located just north of Steamboat Springs this 1,060-acre still water offers fantastic fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout. A true gem! Hahn’s peak fills the backdrop over this beautiful lake. Designated as Gold Medal Water by the Colorado Parks and Recreation she is one of only 3 still waters in the state that has earned that title. The elevation here is 8,025 feet making it an ideal place for big trout. With a number of small streams filling the lake there are plenty of bays and channels to keep you busy.


APRIL or MAY just after ice off  “weather dependent.” Willow Creek and it’s bay is your best shot at some big Cutthroat trout. Cutthroats exceeding 20″ are common with an average length being 14″ to 16″ long. This will typically produce some crowds up and down the walk wade sections of the creek but for good reason.

JUNE brings some incredible midge hatches that can produce excellent action all across the lake. Small midges in sizes 18-20 to Chironomid midges in the 10-12 size range keep things exciting all day and evening long. Big midge hatches happen in only certain areas on the lake and the fish will cruise back and forth across these areas. Focus on where shallow bays drop off into deeper water and you will pinpoint these spots.

JULY and AUGUST bring longer days and warmer water temps. Steamboat lake becomes a early morning and late evening fishery. Mayfly and Damselfly patterns are my go to choices for these warmer months.

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER are your best shots at large and aggressive rainbows. With winter looming, trout are focused on fattening up. Stripping buggers and crayfish patterns in size 2-4 for rainbows that can exceed 10lbs!!! What more could you ask for…




Boat Ramps:
* Sage Flats, southeast side of the lake.
*Placer Cove, northeast side of the lake.
*Dutch Hill Campground, northwest side of lake.

A state parks pass is required to enter the park. Camping reservations can be made from late may to early September. 183 Non-electrical and electrical sites between two main camp grounds, Dutch Hill and Sunrise Vista are available through the State Parks website. Camper services include water, coin operated hot-showers, laundry, general store, dump sites and vault toilets near all the campgrounds. Camper cabins are also an option you should look at if camping is not for you.

To reach Steamboat Lake travel (north) on CR 129 just west of Steamboat Springs off of Hwy 40. 26 miles down CR 129 you will see Steamboat Lake State Park on your left hand side. Turn left (south) on road 62 this will be the main entrance to the camp grounds. Follow this road passed the campgrounds and it will bring you all the way around the west end of the lake.

It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

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Justin Nolan

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