Overall River Rating:


Waterton Canyon Fishing Report

Last Update 05/21/15: Waterton was back open and a few folks have been in the shop earlier this month with consistent reports of catching fish in this stretch of river. But like the rest of the rivers right now expect higher flows, it is running at 1500 cfs right now and that is extremely high for the canyon so if you to venture to this spot use caution when wading and talking around the river. Baetis, Worms and most beadheads size 16-14 will be the ticket!

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.