Waterton Canyon Fishing Report

Last Update: 2/4/16- Waterton Canyon is gridlocked with ice until you get up above the bridge about 6 miles up. The upper section can produce some decent winter fishing on a sunnier, warmer day. The browns in this section will come up top eat dry flies in a heavy midge hatch but you have to be super stealthy and precise with your presentations in order to get a rise. Dead drifting scuds and worms trailed by small zebra midges in some of the deeper pools can also be a productive method of finding fish. Cover water and look around for active fish.

River Information

Waterton Canyon is best accessed by mountain bike and offers Denver anglers a chance to catch trout close to home. This stretch of the South Platte River flows out of Strontia Springs Reservoir and tends to hold Rainbow and Brown trout of the small-to-mid sized variety. However, like most every river in Colorado, is home to a few very nice ones. The larger fish are typically ones that have moved out of Chatfield Reservoir and taken home in some of the larger pools and holes that exist in this 6.5 miles stretch of river. 


Winter/Spring: Midges, Baetis

Summer: Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, Attractor Dries

Fall: Midges, Baetis, some Caddis

Seasonal Conditions

Waterton Canyon can be fished year round. Spring and Fall can be popular down lower near Chatfield Reservoir, as anglers look for migrating fish moving up into the river to spawn. 

River Access

To get here from Denver,  take C-470  to Wadsworth Boulevard. Exit here and take a right at the bottom of the ramp. Drive 4.2 miles. Turn left on Waterton Road. There is a parking approximately a quarter of a mile down the road and on your left. As you move up the canyon, there are six public parking lots availble named Mule Deer, Blue Heron, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Rattlesnake, and Bighorn Sheep.