Fishing is a year round activity in Rifle, Colorado. The Colorado River runs through the middle of town and Rifle Gap State Park and Harvey Gap State Park Reservoirs are within 20 minutes. The White River National Forest and Grand Mesa area offer the adventurous angler an opportunity to catch native Cutthroat and Brook Trout. The Roaring Fork River and the world famous Frying Pan River are less than an hour from Rifle, so when you come to Rifle, you’ll have plenty of options.
No matter the season, you’ll be able to find trout either in the river or one of our beautiful reservoirs. Come prepared to have the trip of a lifetime. You’ll catch pike, bass, bluegill, perch, trout and maybe even a muskie at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap State Parks! The rivers are full of Rainbow, Cutbow and Browns. Most fly-fisherman are able to use dries, nymphs and streamers to catch some of the largest fish in the state. In fact, the Colorado River holds the Catch and Release State Record Brown Trout of 38 inches!!!
Several area outfitters offer float trip excursions down the Colorado River, or you can just bring a pole and relax down on the banks of any area lake, stream or pond. Brown and rainbow trout are likely not the only wildlife you’ll see fishing, as the Rifle area is also home to bald eagles, deer, beavers, fox, ducks, geese, and more! A short drive north of town will get you to Rifle Gap State Park where boating and fishing are a popular summer activity as well as ice fishing* in the winter. Rifle Gap State Park has a paved boat ramp and offers outstanding trout, walleye, and small mouth bass fishing year round. Watch for your chance to WIN $20,000 at our annual ice fishing tournament each January – see our Calendar of Events for more information!
Enjoy fishing and taking a stroll along the mighty Colorado River nearthe Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce offices at Lions Pond. Besides the well-known Colorado River, the Rifle area includes many discreet streams and tributaries that are perfect for fly fishing in Colorado. Bring the family for a picnic or enjoy solo the peaceful mountain scenery and nature’s beauty while enjoying your Colorado fishing vacation.
>Don’t forget to buy your fishing license before you head out! A fishing license is a requirement for people 16 and older. Anglers can buy licenses at local area Sporting Goods Retail Businesses (see the online Business Directory for a listing of area businesses) or call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 1-800-244-5613. For more information about fishing in Rifle, Colorado, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
*Note of Caution when Ice Fishing: On all lakes, be aware of the ice conditions! The freeze-melt-freeze conditions can cause ice to be unstable. It is better to be safe than sorry. Check with local contacts for up-to-date ice conditions