With the official start of summer approaching, the best spot for fishing is debatable.
The place to fish, according to Yampa River State Park manager Ron Dellacroce, all depends on what time of summer it is.
“There are a variety of fishing opportunities right now,” Dellacroce said. “Steamboat Lake and Stage Coach (State Park) are great for this time of year.”
Once summer gets going, Elkhead Reservoir and the rivers will become hotspots, Dellacroce said.
“Give it about three weeks, and a lot more areas will be better for fishing,” he said.
When it comes to rivers, warm water fish usually stay west of Hayden and Craig while trout are usually found around Steamboat Springs, Dellacroce said.
A common place where people get some great fish is at Yampa River State Park, Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said.
“When the water goes down, I think a lot of people like to head out there,” he said. “They can get some really good fishing in.”
The state park is also a great place to take kids while they are learning how to fish, Dellacroce said.
The pond behind the Moffat County Public Safety Center in Craig is another kid-specific fishing area that is stocked with fish, Dellacroce said.
The Green River, which cuts through Dinosaur National Monument, is one of Jantz’s favorite spots, he said.
“It’s my home water,” he said. “It’s just a place (where) I have a good time.”
People looking for fishing gear have plenty of options in Craig as well.
Wal-Mart, 2000 W. Victory Way, and K-Mart, 1198 W. Victory Way, both sell the fishing equipment basics.
Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply typically expands its fishing section, with fly-fishing supplies being added this year.
These additions join the likes of bait holders, hooks, lures and tackle boxes.
Auto Parts of Craig, 1875 W. Victory Way, has most of the essentials and more, co-owner Brad King said.
“Including fishing equipment just helps bring people into the store,” King said. “My brother (Rich) is in charge of that stuff, and he tried ice-fishing products this past winter and we did well, so we wanted to keep expanding.”
Included in the store’s stock are spinners, poles, bait, night crawlers and more of the fishing basics.
“We just keep trying to add a few things here and there,” King said. “I like fishing, and want to provide others who like it with the right equipment.”
A Colorado fishing license is required to fish in the area, and a state park pass is required to fish in the state parks.
Licenses can be purchased at Yampa River State Park’s office for $26 for a resident annual license, or $56 for a non-resident annual license.
A $9 one-day license can be purchased as well.
There is also a senior pass, which costs $1 for the annual pass for anyone age 64 and older.
Wal-Mart also carries fishing licenses that cost $31 for a resident annual license or $56 for a non-resident annual license.
It includes a habitat stamp, which allows anyone to fish on state property.
Anglers 15-years-old or younger do not need to have a fishing license.
For more information on fishing in Colorado, or for current fishing conditions, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us.