Elk River Fly Fishing Report

River Information

The Elk River, a tributary of the Yampa located north of Steamboat Springs can is a fantastic little river, depending where you are. Ideal for a 3 or 4wt fly rod, Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat and Brook trout live here, as well as the Rocky Mountain Whitefish. Fish numbers are quite high and the catching can be very good at times. Fish average in the 8"-14" range throughout the majority, however fish over 20" are seen every year. This river is definitely worth checking out if you're up in the 'Boat. 


Recommended Flies

Winter/Spring: Midges, Mayflies

Summer: Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, Midges

Fall: Midges, Mayflies, Caddis


Seasonal Conditions

The Elk is fishable year round, however the warmer months are going to be most productive. Abundant bug life is found here and the fish respond accordingly. As you head upriver, you eventually end up on considerable national forest ground. The dry fly fishing can be absolutely outstanding in this lengthy stretch. 


River Access

The Christina State wildlife Area is located about 8 miles outside of Steamboat and offers the closest access to town. Approximately 1 mile of access exists here.

North of the town of Clark, extensive public water exists in the Routt National Forest.  Note: The rocky road into the national forest is dirt and a 4WD vehicle is advised.