Enjoy the best fishing on Colorado's Western slope with these top tips from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
1. STAY LEGAL
Be sure you have a current fishing license and follow all regulations. Pick up the latest Colorado Fishing Brochure for detailed information.
2. CHECK YOUR GEAR
Before you head out to your favorite fishing hole, check your gear to make sure you have what you need and that it is in good working order.
3. BE PREPARED TO BE OUTSIDE
Don't forget the sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks, water, beverages, appropriate clothing, and eyewear! And remember, even during warm days, the water can still be ice cold.
4. BE AN ETHICAL ANGLER
If you do not intend to keep your catch, consider using a barbless hook and quickly release fish gently back into the water. Trout are especially sensitive fish. Do not keep them out of the water for too long unless you plan on eating them.
5. RESPECT FISH HABITAT
Live bait fish are illegal in almost all areas in Western Colorado. NEVER release a live fish into the water unless it is into the same body of water where it was caught. Please be responsible!
6. TEACH YOUR CHILD, OR A FRIEND
On your next fishing trip, bring along a child or someone new to angling. To teach a child how to fish is a gift that will last a lifetime, for both of you.
7. FISH IS GOOD FOOD, IF YOU TAKE CARE OF IT
Take care of your catch. It makes big difference in how it will taste. If possible, try to clean your fish immediately and place it directly on ice, not floating in water or in a plastic bag.
8. STAY SAFE ON THE WATER
Always wear a life jacket when fishing from a boat. It can help prevent a fun day from turning tragic! And remember, boating and alcohol can be a deadly mix.
9. BE AWARE OF CONDITIONS
If fishing at altitude, remember that conditions can change very quickly. If you see lightning, take shelter! Always be prepared for dramatic changes in the weather.
10. FISHING VESTS ARE VERY USEFUL
A fishing vest helps you stay organized, keeping your tools, lures, forceps, flashlights, fishing license and other accessories with you at all times.
BONUS TIP — The most important fishing tip of all: HAVE FUN!
To find a place to fish in Colorado, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Fishing Atlas or you can purchase the latest Fishing the Grand Mesa, a detailed guide book to the great fishing on the "largest flat top mountain the world." Purchase your copy from Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Northwest Regional Office, 711 Independent Avenue in Grand Junction.