Whether you are fishing from the bank of a lake or stream, looking for gold medal fly fishing waters or fishing from the comfort of your boat one of the 17 national forests and seven national grasslands within the Rocky Mountain Region will have a fishing spot that is just right for you.
Follow these general guidelines to help ensure that your Fishing experience in your national forest or grassland will be a safe and memorable one:
In response to the threats posed by Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS), like zebra and Quagga mussels, all boats and other floating devices of any kind including their content, motors, trailers and other associated equipment are subject to inspections for any of the nasty exotic invasive species identified as Aquatic Nuisance Species prior to launch or departure from state waters.
Before and after a trip, wash your gear, watercraft and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species. Remove all plant material from watercraft, motor, trailer and other gear and dispose on dry land in a garbage container. Drain livewells, bilge water and transom wells at the boat launch prior to leaving.
Check the weather forecast for your destination and plan clothing, equipment and supplies accordingly
Carry a compass or a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and know how to use it
Obtain a map of the area you will be fishing in and, if possible, obtain a trail sheet from the local Ranger District office to help with land navigation
Please respect private landowners and don't trespass on private property
In the backcountry, be mindful of damaging fragile vegetation and soils along shorelines and stream banks. Choose access to fishing spots wisely.
Pack out any discarded fishing line. Monofilament line is especially dangerous to all wildlife.
Use only artificial lures. Live bait has the potential to accidentally introduce exotics and cause more damage to fish when being released, as they often take live bait deeper. If you do use live bait, use only bait native to the area.
Be a sportsman; practice catch and release and keep only what you need
When practicing catch and release, keep fish in the water as much as possible, with air exposure under 30 seconds at a time and 60 seconds total. Handle them as little as possible with wet hands and release them gently into the water so they are sure to survive.
All fishermen and women should follow the ideals ofLeave No Trace and practice the concept of Pack It In - Pack It Out.
For more detailed guidelines regarding responsible summer recreation on US Forest Service lands, please check out the Tread Lightly! information below:
Fishing – Tread Lightly!'s Tips for Responsible Fishing brochure:
The Rocky Mountain Region map below can be used as a starting place to find information regarding fishing opportunities on US Forest Service lands located throughout our five-state region. When you move the cursor over the state you want to go fishing in, a filled-in map outline and tool tip will appear. Click on the map outline to view that state's fishing information map in a new window. Repeat the same process with the state map as with this map and you will be able to select the individual national forest or grassland that you would like fishing information about.