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16 Feb 2024
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With the scenic beauty of the majestic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, an abundance of lakes and rivers teeming with a variety of fish species, and rich habitats for various game species, including elk and deer, Breckenridge is the perfect base for a fishing or hunting escapade in Colorado. Add to that the thriving local community of enthusiasts and the uniqueness that each season brings, and you have a total winner location for hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

There are so many opportunities in terms of hunting and fishing in Breckenridge that it can be hard to know what to do and where to go, especially if this is your first time exploring the outdoors in Colorado. We're here to the rescue — in this blog, we will bring you all you need to know about fishing and hunting in Breckenridge. 

Let the next paragraphs be your ultimate outdoor guide, and let's explore!





Fishing in and around Breckenridge, CO 


Fishing in the region around Breckenridge, CO, is a year-round experience. In every season, you can enjoy a variety of fishing styles, with fly fishing being the most famous. The clear and cold mountain streams provide an ideal habitat for anglers to target rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, and more. Let's go over some spots for fishing in and near Breckenridge, CO, spanning the best rivers and lakes:

Blue River: as it meanders through Breckenridge, the Blue River beckons anglers from all over the world with its Gold Medal waters. Famous for fly fishing, this river offers your perfect chance to hook rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout amidst the stunning Rocky Mountain scenery.

Sawmill Reservoir: tucked away in the high alpine setting near Breckenridge, Sawmill Lake promises that serene fishing experience some people adore. Anglers can cast their lines for elusive trout in this pristine mountain lake. The scenery? You are surrounded by lush forests and breathtaking vistas.

Maggie Pond: located within the heart of Breckenridge, Maggie Pond provides a unique fishing opportunity amidst the charming town setting. Urban angling meets mountain beauty as rainbow trout and brown trout inhabit the clear waters of this picturesque pond. All just a stone's throw away from all the city amenities you need.

Dillon Reservoir: Dillon Reservoir, or Lake Dillon, is a vast expanse of water near Breckenridge. You can embark on boat or shore fishing adventures, targeting rainbow trout, brown trout, Arctic char, and kokanee salmon. You better have your camera as ready as your fishing gear; the shimmering lake is framed by towering peaks, something that creates nothing less than a breathtaking fishing backdrop.

Blue Lakes and Mohawk Lakes: situated in a high-alpine paradise, Blue Lakes and Mohawk Lakes offer a remote fishing experience. Surrounded by rugged mountain landscapes, you can cast lines for trout in the crystal-clear waters — a totally unforgettable fishing adventure.

Blue River: Blue River continues its journey beyond the city, providing diverse fishing opportunities. From its headwaters to downstream stretches, you can explore varying landscapes and target trout species, immersing yourself in the river's natural beauty.

Lower Cataract Lake: Lower Cataract Lake, nestled in the Cataract Lake Recreation Area, invites you to a tranquil setting. Surrounded by mountain views, the lake is stocked with rainbow trout, offering a peaceful escape for those seeking a rewarding fishing experience.

Colorado River:  flowing through the picturesque Colorado River Valley, this iconic waterway presents any fishing enthusiast with a diverse ecosystem. You can target various species, including trout and smallmouth bass — all while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Colorado River's meandering course.


What's fishing like in Breckenridge each season?

As we mentioned above, Breckenridge, CO offers great and unique fishing opportunities in each season. Let's delve into some of the specifics:

Spring Fishing in and Near Breckenridge, CO

Everyone looks forward to spring fishing. As the ice, snow, and cold of winter are starting to disappear, longer days with warmer temperatures arrive. March, April, and

May offer great fly fishing opportunities since that's when rivers and lakes come to life with fish actively feeding, like rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout. Also, during early spring, midges and blue-winged olive hatches are common.

Summer Fishing in and Near Breckenridge, CO

The warm temperatures draw fish closer to the surface, perfect for exploring high-altitude lakes like Dillon Reservoir. Also, The Blue River continues to be a hotspot for fly fishing during the summer. Longer day hours mean you can take advantage of evening fishing sessions which means more chances for success!

Oh, late summer is hopper season in Breckenridge. Grasshoppers become abundant, and fish are known to aggressively strike hopper patterns.

Remember: days can get hot and sunny, so wear sunscreen and a hat!

Fall Fishing in and Near Breckenridge, CO

Fall also brings unique experiences for fishing, especially as the landscape transforms with some breathtaking fall foliage providing a wonderful backdrop for fishing adventures.

The Blue River continues as a prime location for all fishing, with rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout. While catch-and-release is encouraged during this time to protect spawning fish, it provides anglers with a chance to witness the unique and natural behavior of these species. Also, fall is when fish become more aggressive to prepare for winter months.

Some high lakes may experience ice-off again in the fall. Best of all, as fall is considered shoulder season, you may experience less crowded spots! The dress code? Bet on layers, temperatures can already drop significantly during fall.

Winter Fishing in and Near Breckenridge, CO

If fall brings foliage, during winter months in Breckenridge, Colorado, you can fish amidst snowy landscapes, enjoying the utmost serenity, and even try ice fishing on frozen lakes.

For the latter, Dillon Reservoir is a popular spot, and that's where you can catch species like lake trout, brown trout, and Arctic char.

Heads up: always check safety when heading to frozen lakes and make sure ice thickness is safe; four inches at least for one person walking. To learn more about ice conditions, chat with local authorities or with the staff at specialized shops.

Finally, fishing in winter is a lot slower, so patience is key! The best way to go about it is to drink hot drinks and snacks and dress warmly.


Are there any regulations for fishing near Breckenridge, CO?


Yes! If not explicitly prohibited, individuals aged 16 and older must obtain and possess a valid fishing license when engaging in fishing activities or capturing fish as well as amphibians and crustaceans. 

This ensures compliance with regulations governing recreational fishing in the designated areas. Acquiring the appropriate fishing license not only allows adults to enjoy the recreational aspects of fishing but also supports responsible and sustainable practices while contributing to the conservation efforts of aquatic ecosystems.

For more on regulations check Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

What are the Gold Medal Waters?


The Blue River, flowing through Breckenridge, has sections designated as Gold Medal Waters. These areas have enhanced fishing regulations to maintain high-quality fisheries. Special rules may apply, including specific tackle and equipment requirements. It's very important to familiarize yourself with the regulations for Gold Medal Waters to ensure compliance.


Other aspects to have in mind when fishing in and around Breckenridge, CO


Respect spawning areas: be mindful of spawning areas and follow ethical angling practices. Avoid wading through spawning beds, and handle fish with care to ensure their successful reproduction. Fishing seasons and catch limits can vary depending on the species and the specific waterbody. It's essential to check the current regulations for the area you plan to fish. Breckenridge offers year-round fishing opportunities, but certain waters may have specific seasonal restrictions.


Local Guidance: if you can't find the information you need online, the best way to go about it is by chatting with local experts, authorities, and shop owners. They'll be informed of the regulations. Also, they can provide insights into specific hotspots, effective fly patterns, and the latest fishing conditions, ensuring a successful and enjoyable angling experience in the stunning surroundings of Breckenridge, Colorado.






Hunting in and around Breckenridge, CO


Although not as prominent as fishing, hunting in Breckenridge, Colorado, offers a diverse and rewarding experience. The area provides opportunities for hunting species like elk and mule deer on a mix of private and public lands. Many organizations support and promote ethical hunting practices, including responsible shot placement and humane harvesting.

Here is some practical information to take into consideration:

Elk Hunting and Mule Deer Hunting in Breckenridge, CO


The challenging pursuit of elk hunting is popular in the region and the season typically runs from September to November.

Mule deer can also be found in the surrounding areas of Breckenridge, Colorado, and the hunting season generally aligns with elk seasons, during the fall months of September to November.

Hunting both species is challenging. Both mule deer and elk are known for their keen senses and wariness, making them challenging targets. Successfully hunting these species requires skill, adaptability, patience, and a deep understanding of their behavior.

There's the thrill of the chase involved, and, of course, the allure of connecting with heritage tradition – elk and mule deer have deep roots in American and local cultures, connecting hunters with traditions and practices passed down through generations.

This is also an opportunity to learn about the habits, biology, and ecology of mule deer and elk. Observing these animals in their natural habitat contributes to a deeper understanding and appreciation of wildlife.

What to keep in mind when hunting near Breckenridge, CO


Yes, you need a license to hunt in Colorado. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Agency manages hunting licenses and regulates hunting activities in the state. Hunters must obtain the appropriate license for the specific species they intend to hunt and adhere to the rules and regulations.

Needless to say, every hunting escapade should be done responsibly. In Colorado, hunting is a regulated activity that contributes to wildlife conservation efforts. The funds generated from hunting licenses and permits go towards habitat preservation, species management, and conservation initiatives, ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems.

Also, bear in mind the local human communities. Check private property and land access, recognize that gunshots and other hunting-related activities can be disruptive to local communities, and understand the cultural and social sensitivities of local communities. Some areas may have strong opinions about hunting, and it's very important to be respectful and considerate of these sentiments.

Heads up! Always refer to the latest Colorado Parks and Wildlife regulations for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Before you embark on your hunting escapade, make sure to study this website.


Fishing and Hunting in Breckenridge, CO


Fishing and hunting in Breckenridge not only offer thrilling adventures but will also connect you with traditions deeply rooted in American and local cultures. The best part? Enjoying the beauty of the region while fishing and hunting encourages a profound appreciation for nature.



Where to Stay During Your Nature Getaway to Breckenridge, CO?


While in town, why not stay in style with the great backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in one of the most iconic rental properties Breckenridge has to offer? At Great Western Lodging, we offer a superior selection of luxury properties, ski-in/ski-out options, and downtown lodgings

Staying in one of our properties, we guarantee you'll have nothing less than a 5-star experience during your trip to Breckenridge.