Estes Park or Steamboat Springs

#1
I am planning a trip next year to this area... I know its a long ways away, but we have to plan well in advance.

I read several posts about Estes park and the big thompson in the park.. Not ver encouraging to say the least..

what about other options that are like within an hour or two of estes? also what about the river that runs trhough steamboat.. yampa?

thanks for any info...
 

David Prutsman

All men are equal before fish
#2
What sort of fishing experience are you hoping for? There are several options available within a couple hours drive. The Thompson was my home river for the last two years and the park has great opportunities if you are patient. You may want to look into the Delaney Buttes about two and a half hours drive from Loveland, opportuinities for huge browns do exist! The Yampa is an excellent fishery as well. I have a very good friend who guides out of Kirks Fly Shop in Estes Park, I can hook you up with him if you would like.

David
 
#3
Hi there. I live in CO, and just like to view this web site from time to time. Id be happy to help you any questions about fishing out here.
Personally, id say steamboat spgs. over estes park. The yampa is a tailwater that produces many large trout. Further down from the tailwater the yampa has pike and small mouth bass. The reservior that starts the yampa, stagecoach, is where the state record pike was caught from shore, they also rent nice big pontoon boats, that come with a grill, and shade,Just another option. Other fishable rivers near steamboat: the colorado river(30 min away), the lower & upper blue (20-40 min away). The frying pan(2 hrs away), the roaring fork(1.5 hrs away),and the Eagle(about 1 hr away). These are all very resepctible rivers. I dont think you will find that many rivers so close at estes park.
Let me know if you have any questions?
Feel free to pm me.
 
#4
well its still to yet be determined.. but the family is leaning towards Estes.. Just for the accomodations.. the time shares we have there are nicer than the ones in Steamboat..

Looking at a map they don't look to far away from each other?

The kind of fishing I am looking for... well I will be wading 99% of the time, unless I can swing a float... see how the finances are... Little 4-6" trout are only fun for a little while.. I do enjoy just getting out and having a relaxing day, but would like some opportunity to get into that 12-17" range...

Thanks
 

TrevorH

Active Member
#5
Steamboat is a really nice town too, just a little out of the way. My mother lived there for several years. It's a great place.
 

Rob Zelk

I swing, therefore i am.
#6
I love steamboat. Its a cool place. The yampa flows right through the town, and there is some great fishing in the yampa, big bows, not as many browns, and also some big pike down lower. Great area, you guys will have fun!
 
#7
I really enjoy fishing in both places, but then, there aren't too many places to fish in Colorado that I don't like. Steamboat has more opportunities for different places to fish, an assortment of water, and a chance at bigger fish. (I like fishing above Steamboat in the Routt National Forest). The Big T (both inside and outside the park) is easily accessible and has plenty of fish - just not a lot of big ones. It's a great river to fish dry flies.

I'd have to vote for Steamboat, assuming averge or better snow pack this winter. If the snowpack is below normal and the water is low, it can be tough fishing. Rob Zelk had a nice report a while back about his experiences there in what I recall was a low water year. I haven't known the Big Thompson to have low flows due to drought, but I supposed it could happen. It's probably the safer choice from that perspective.

What a terrible choice! I don't think that you can go wrong with either one.
 
#8
Thanks for the info so far.. its really helping..

Seeing that this is a "family" vacation, and I am just turning it into a fishing one too.. I need to keep my propective and realize that I may be the only fisherman on the trip... Got to look into other activities too.. both places look like they have plenty of outdoor fun..

How is the park? Lots of views and wildlife?

Thanks.
 

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
#9
i'm not familiar with estes park, but i live in steamboat springs (for now). steamboat has fishing right in town along the yampa river. there's a 5 mile walking trail that follows the river through downtown and imo it is lightly fished. i run the core trail all the time and might see 5-10 fishermen on the entire 5 mile trail (often there's more people fishing fetcher pond). there will be tube hatches on hot summer days, but mornings and evenings are more comfortable anyways. what this means for a family vacation is that you can quickly go fishing and spend less time driving (more time fishing and more time with family).

of course, i do not know what the rest of your family likes to do, but for quick access to fishing steamboat is pretty nice.

one word of warning, do your best to avoid coming during the triple crown baseball or softball tournaments. it's much less busy during non-touranment times.
http://www.triplecrownsports.com/
 

David Prutsman

All men are equal before fish
#10
Thanks for the info so far.. its really helping..

Seeing that this is a "family" vacation, and I am just turning it into a fishing one too.. I need to keep my propective and realize that I may be the only fisherman on the trip... Got to look into other activities too.. both places look like they have plenty of outdoor fun..

How is the park? Lots of views and wildlife?

Thanks.
If you are leaning toward Estes I would recommend you call Julie, owner of Bob's Fly Shop in Loveland. Bob's is not a high end fly shop by any means, but rather a small hole in the wall, most their products are hung on peg board. If you are looking for Simms or Sage this ain't the place for you. It's the "Cheers" of fly shops. Hell, I can't tell you how many times I've walked into Bob's and the first thing said to me is "want a beer"? Now that's a fly shop! Their customer service is the best I've seen and you would be hard pressed to find better local knowledge. I swear up and down Julie has fished every inch of every body of water in the park, literally!

One of my favorite locations is a small, beautiful lake outside of Estes by about 30 minutes. Lilly lake is home to the gorgeous greenback cutthroat, Colorado's state fish. It is surrounded by scenic mountain peaks and a plethora (my word of the day) of wildlife. There is a visitors center literally across the two lane higway and an easy walking path around the lake for the family.

I almost forgot, my old boss has a camper on a prime stretch of private water six miles down from Estes on the Big T. He has a shortage of fishing partners, I might be able to set you guys up if you would like.

David

http://www.bobsflytying.com/
 

TrappedinCO

Help! I'm trapped in a landlocked state.
#11
Both are good choices. Steamboat will have a lot more options for bigger fish. But Estes Park is nice, too. If you're into small stream fishing with dry flies, there a lots of options in the RMNP. If I was in Estes, I'd focus on the high mountain streams and lakes - the Big Thompson is alright, but if you drive down the canyon, you'll find half of Denver there.

And although they look close as the crow flies, Estes and Steamboat are pretty far from each other by road - your best bet being driving through the park. If you want to hit up the park and Steamboat, you could stay on the other side by Granby.

I'm probably just rehashing what's already been said. You'll have fun either way.
 
#12
Trout Tamer,

One of my favorite locations is a small, beautiful lake outside of Estes by about 30 minutes. Lilly lake is home to the gorgeous greenback cutthroat, Colorado's state fish.
That's what I would have suggested. There is also a creek with beautiful, but small, greenbacks cutts in it which climbs into the Mummy Range from Endo-Valley in the park. I forgot the name of the creek, but the time overhead from Estes would be minimal.

I believe that Estes combined with the precious time with your family in the better lodging situation which you had mentioned would be the better choice. Take a few day hikes. Drive over the big pass in the park to the Never Summer Wilderness. Front Range Trout angling won't get you into any big trout, at least not on the public access waters. However the scenery is unforgettable.

Both Steamboat as well as Loveland are quite far away from Estes. If you want to drive a shorter distance, then drive south on Peak-To-Peak Highway (forgot the number of the road). Most of those stream-and-lake systems between Estes and Eldora on Peak-To-Peak Highway are as good or better than the stuff in the park, both in regards to fishing pressure as well as size of fish. If you walk a bit away from the roads, then the St.Vrain creeks as well as the the high-country rivers and lakes to the west of the town of Ward can be quite goot for a variety of trout including brookies and cutts, even some original stock greenbacks. I am not talking about the stuff which is adjacent to the road, but that stuff requiring maybe a few minutes or an hour reach by foot.

Have a safe and pleasant journey, wherever you go. Watch out for those afternoon T-storms.

Sincerely, Chris.
 

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