Fly Fishing & Ice Fishing

Here in the Yampa Valley, we have some of the best waterways for fishing! The snow-covered Rocky Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop for a day on the water. Find yourself waist deep in the Yampa or Elk Rivers catching various forms of trout or the Colorado Northern Pike. Even in the winter, fishing in the valley still goes on. There’s plenty of great spots to fly fish, or head out to the lake for a day of ice fishing. Here are some local vendors who offer great fishing trip options.

Ice Fishing

Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures

Big Ed’s is the longest running charter company near Breckenridge, having been in the business for 15 years. Most recently, they have expanded to cover the Steamboat Springs area as well! So if you are looking for a fun day on the lake catching some pike, Big Ed’s has you covered.

Their daily fishing adventures provide you with all the gear you need. They’ve got
heated huts, rods, reels, tackle, bait, a power ice auger, and of course, your guide! The only thing they won’t provide is a one day fishing license, but don’t fret—you can pick one up at City Market for $9 and it is only required for ages 16 and older. In preparation for your day on the ice, it’s suggested that you dress in ski clothes. That does include base layers, waterproof outer layers, and something to cover your head, face, and neck like a neck gator or a buff. Also, warm, dry, waterproof boots are the most important article of clothing!

Anglers should arrive at the lake 15 minutes prior to your tour time. This will give you time to meet your guide and learn what the game plan is! From there, you will take a short walk onto the ice to where your hut will be heated and set up for your three hour fishing excursion. Drop your line and prepare for bites from pike and trout!

Some of the largest pike are caught during the winter months, including one that was 46.5” and 30+ lbs! In order to protect and sustain the trout population at Stagecoach Reservoir, wildlife managers are encouraging anglers to harvest any pike caught. Pack some snacks, fill the thermos with some hot cocoa, and enjoy a beautiful day in the high country!

Pricing With Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures

Prices are as follows.

  • 1 Person- $135
  • 2 People- $200
  • 3 People- $290
  • 4 People- $375

Anyone over 4 people is an additional $50/person. For large groups of 7 people and over, there is a discount of 10% off.

Reservations With Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures

To make a reservation, jump online to You can fill in the e-form with specifics on your party. Credit cards are required to hold the reservation and there will be a $50 deposit. The deposit will be applied towards your trip. You may also call them at 970.389.1720.

Fly Fishing

Steamboat Flyfisher

Owned and operated by Steamboat Native and former Nordic Combined Olympian, Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Flyfisher is the premier outfitter in town. Their location down on Yampa Street is 2,200 square feet of all the fly fishing equipment and great outdoor gear you need for a day on the water. After getting fully outfitted, head across the street to the Yampa River to try out rods and practice your skills.

The guides for Steamboat Flyfisher really know their stuff! They can answer all kinds of technical questions and teach you different techniques for any occasion. If you are new to fly fishing, get expert instruction for reasonable prices. For the more experienced angler, Steamboat Flyfisher offers the finest equipment and information as well as Northwest Colorado’s most extensive selection of flies and fly tying material.

Trips Offered By Steamboat Flyfisher

Steamboat Flyfisher has access to some of the best stretches of private water in the state! With over a dozen trip options, many of them visit parts of the Elk and Yampa Rivers located on a few of the big ranches in the area. Here are some of their most popular trips:

Camilletti Ranch

The Camilletti Ranch is located about 10 miles west of town, down stream of the confluence of the Elk and Yampa rivers. This stretch of river is slightly larger than what most anglers are accustomed to. But it does produce some of the most prolific hatches during the summer and fall. The Camilletti Ranch holds some of the strongest trout on the Yampa and has fairly easy walk and wade trips.

This trip has both a full and half day option. It is generally open for fishing until it freezes over in late December.

Yeager Ranch

The Yeager family has been ranching in the Yampa Valley for generations. Their ranch
sits 9 miles north of downtown Steamboat and contains a stretch of the Elk River that is easy to walk and access. Anglers will find much different water to fish here.

The Yeager Ranch trip also offers full and half day trip options. Trips will run until the river freezes over in late December.

For an extensive list of trips, rates, and seasons, please visit their website at

Pricing And Reservations With Steamboat Flyfisher

Pricing does vary depending on the trip you take. The Steamboat Flyfisher website will detail out all prices for you. Reservations can be made by calling Steamboat Flyfisher at 970.879.6552.

Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

Since 1994, this family owned shop has been outfitting and guiding anglers to the best fly fishing in the Yampa Valley. They are the only Orvis endorsed outfitter in Steamboat Springs. Bucking Rainbow has access to over 60 miles of the finest trout streams including both public and private waters. Private waters means more fish, and more fish means more opportunity for you to get that trophy catch!

Trips Offered By Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

Bucking Rainbow offers many trips on public waters as well as trips to private ranches. Depending on what you are looking for, they’ve no doubt got the trip for you. Here are a few excursions they offer.

Stetson Ranch

The Stetson Ranch sits just above Stagecoach Reservoir and offers 2 miles of exclusive access to the Upper Yampa River. See views of the Flat Top Mountains as herds of elk move through the ranch. Expect to catch brown, rainbow, and cut bow trout. This trip is perfect for anglers of all experience levels. With half and full day trips available, this is a very popular trip.

Elk River Ranch

The Elk River Ranch is one of the hottest private sections of water in the Yampa Valley. This river is fed from the runoff in the beautiful and expansive Zirkel Wilderness. With two miles of beautiful freestone river to fish, you are sure to find that trophy trout!

For a full list of fly fishing trips offered with Bucking Rainbow Outfitters, please visit their website at

Pricing And Reservations With Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

Pricing does vary based on the trip. For a full list of prices by trip, please visit the Bucking Rainbow website by clicking here.

Reservations can be made by phone. Just call the shop at 970.879.8747 and speak to one of their experts.