Silverthorne Colorado

Information
Strategically located near the Blue, Williams Fork and Colorado Rivers, Silverthorne is an ideal destination for great fly fishing. First established as a mining town by Marshall Silverthorn in the mid-1880’s, he went on to become the town’s Hotelier, judge, justice of the peace, postmaster, storekeeper and ferrier. After a long and prosperous run, the interest in mining waned and the town was forced to re-invent itself.

When the state decided to built Dillon Dam and Reservoir in the early 1960’s, scores of construction workers came to the area. After the dam was completed, many workers stayed on and a new town was incorporated. Today, Silverthorne is a small village with less than 4,000 full time residents, but it is entirely focused on tourism, eco-adventures and outdoor sports.

Since the Blue River runs right through the center of town, its actually possible to fish for trout without having to go more than a few blocks from your hotel room. If you happen to be traveling with friends or family less interested in casting off, there is a long list of other things to do. Surrounded by high mountains and scenic beauty, Silverthorne is close to the million acre Arapaho National Forest, the 2 million acre White River Forest, the 1.2 million acre San Isabel National Forest and the 1.1 million acre Pike National Forest, all worth visiting.

Outdoor activities include skiing, both downhill and cross country, horseback riding, white water rafting, zip-lining through the trees, snow tubing, snowmobiling, boat rentals on Lake Dillon, ATV or jeep rentals and tours, snow-biking, mountain biking, golfing … and the list goes on. There’s no excuse for being bored in this neck of the woods.

In addition to the Blue and Williams Fork Rivers, there are also other places to fly fish. Gore Creek, a bit west of town, is a Gold Medal trout stream, while a little east of town you can fish the Fraser River, a designated Wild Trout fishery. There are also myriad creeks to try, including the Ten Mile, Muddy, Troublesome, Boulder, Indiana and Willow. You can cast off at Dillon Reservoir from shore, and if you’re lucky, you might just snag a rare artic char.

There are many ways to get to Silverthorne, including:
  • Fly to Denver International Airport and drive for approximately 1 hour
  • Fly to Grand Junction Regional Airport and drive for approximately 2 ½ hours
  • Fly to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport and drive for approximately 2 hours
  • Fly to Wyoming’s Cheyenne Regional Airport and drive for approximately 1 ½ hours
 
Fishing Waters
Starting in the Tenmile Range near Quandry Peak, not far from Breckenridge, the Blue River can be thought of as a tale of two tailwaters. All 65 miles of the Blue have been classified ... moreby the state as a Blue Ribbon trout fishery. It follows the same basic route as the Williams Fork River; both run basically parallel to Route 9, which provides ample access to fishing in these waters.

Starting at an altitude well over 8,000 feet, the river courses north through the scenic, mountainous, Breckenridge area before it is impounded by the Dillon Dam, just shy of Silverthorne. The tailwater below the Dillon is flush with well fed, super-sized trout that obtain their girth from the consistent, ample supply of Mysis shrimp released from the dam. From here the river passes through town where access points are numerous, easy to find and easy to fish.

North of Silverthorne the river is impounded once again at the Green Mountain Reservoir; the water below this reservoir receives another distinction from the state, that of Wild Trout fishery. While the trout in this tailwater tend to be smaller than those pulled from the upper tailwater, they are still ample and sizeable. Below Dillon Dam, the river is managed as a year-round, catch and release fishery. Rainbows and browns dominate although cutthroat and brooks are also present. Kokanee salmon can be found during fall spawning season.

In addition to abundant trout, the river also flows through a variety of different terrain, providing a continuing feast for the eyes. Passing through the Blue River Valley, the Gore Wilderness Area and it’s looming peaks paint the horizon. There are other sections where the river runs through old cattle ranches, some dating back to the mid 1800’s. Wherever you are on this river, nothing disappoints.
Many consider the Williams Fork River to be among the most beautiful of those that wind through the Colorado River Valley. Lined by majestic stands of Cottonwoods, Elk, Mule Deer and ... moreother wildlife are also frequently seen. The river flows through Grand County between the valleys of the Fraser River and the Blue River. The course of the Williams Fork runs nearly parallel to that of the Blue River.

Its headwaters are at the confluence of McQueary Creek and Bobtail Creek, near the Berthoud Pass, just west of the Continental Divide. A rather small river in length and width, the Williams Fork can be easily casted across at just about any point along the way. As a walk-in only river, (snow shoes may be needed in winter months) this river tends to remain uncongested throughout most of the year.

Despite its small size, the river has an extremely high gradient, meaning the water runs fast and hard. For most of its 35 mile journey the river flows uninterrupted until reaching the Williams Fork Reservoir - but it is here that the river becomes most desirable to fishermen. The two mile stretch between the reservoir and its confluence with the Colorado River is some of the finest tailwater found anywhere in the entire state.

First and foremost, the Williams Fork is a nymph fishery where subsurface fishing with strike indicators, straight lines and dry dropper techniques will all get the job done. It is primarily dominated by 12-16 inch brown trout and most of these are wild. Large rainbows may also be found, especially in the spring months when they move in from the Colorado.
Game Fish Opportunities:
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