6 Places for Lake Trout Fishing in Colorado

When it comes to Mackinaw or lake trout fishing in Colorado, there are several top picks that anglers rave about. After speaking with our guides and officials from Colorado Parks & Wildlife, here are our top 6 lakes for pursuing lake trout in colorado.

  1. Blue Mesa Reservoir: As the state’s largest body of water, Blue Mesa offers excellent lake trout fishing in Colorado. It’s known for producing trophy-sized fish and consistently ranks as one of the best destinations for lake trout fishing in Colorado.
  2. Grand Lake: On the west end of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake provides ample opportunities at Lake Trout, and being our sister shop’s homewater, we know it better than anyone!
  3. Lake Granby: Another standout destination, Lake Granby is renowned for its healthy population of lake trout. With deep waters and ample oxygenated areas, this lake provides fantastic opportunities to catch large lake trout in Colorado.
  4. Taylor Park Reservoir: Located in the Gunnison Valley, Taylor Park Reservoir is a hidden gem for lake trout fishing. It offers miles of shoreline and deep, clear waters, making it a favorite among locals and experienced anglers.
  5. Green Mountain Reservoir: This picturesque reservoir in Summit County is known for its diverse fishery, including lake trout. Anglers can explore the deep waters, troll leech patterns, or try their luck with jigging for a successful day of fishing.
  6. Twin Lakes: Located near Leadville, Twin Lakes is a favorite spot for Colorado lake trout anglers. With its deep and cold waters, this reservoir provides great opportunities for catching these trophy fish.

6 Places for Lake Trout Fishing in Colorado

Whether you choose Blue Mesa Reservoir, Grand Lake, Lake Granby, Taylor Park Reservoir, Green Mountain Reservoir, or Twin Lakes, you can expect unforgettable lake trout fishing in Colorado. So grab your gear, hit the water, and enjoy the excitement of reeling in these coveted fish.


the face of a lake trout being held by an angler


Nestled in the heart of Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is a fishing paradise that offers endless opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. As the largest lake in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir has earned a reputation as a premier destination for lake trout fishing in Colorado.

One of the standout features of Blue Mesa Reservoir is its extensive boat launch ramps, which provide convenient access for anglers seeking to explore the deeper waters. Whether you’re bringing your own vessel or renting one, launching your boat is a breeze at Blue Mesa. Additionally, the reservoir offers well-maintained campgrounds for those who wish to stay overnight and make the most of their fishing trip. And to ensure you have everything you need, there’s a well-stocked store where you can find fishing supplies, snacks, and other essentials.

When it comes to the fish species available, Blue Mesa Reservoir boasts a diverse population. Anglers can expect to reel in a variety of fish, including lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and kokanee salmon. The Lake trout in Blue Mesa are known for their large size and their fighting spirit, making them a favorite target for experienced anglers. Some of the state’s largest lakers have been caught in Blue Mesa. If you’re after some delicious table fare, the kokanee salmon in Blue Mesa Reservoir are plentiful and offer a thrilling catch.


Grand Lake, nestled in the heart of Colorado, is a revered sanctuary for fishing enthusiasts. Spanning an impressive 500 surface acres, with 7 miles of pristine shoreline, and a maximum depth of 265 feet, Grand Lake beckons anglers seeking an unforgettable fishing adventure. The depth of Grand Lake produces great Mackinaw habitat. On this list Grand Lake is one of the couple natural lakes. It’s great depth makes it unique as a natural lake in Colorado.

Beyond its exceptional angling opportunities, Grand Lake offers a cornucopia of recreational pursuits. Grand Lake is the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, where sight seeing for elk and moose is a great way to spend an evening. When winter blankets the landscape, Grand Lake transforms into a sought-after hub for snowmobiling, drawing thrill-seekers and adventure aficionados alike. Winter is also a great time for ice fishing on Grand Lake for lakers. Multiple access points cater to boaters, providing the perfect launchpad for leisurely days on the water.

What sets Grand Lake apart is its rich diversity of fish species inhabiting its waters. Anglers can test their skills against an array of prized catches, including lake trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and the coveted kokanee salmon. Whether employing traditional fishing methods or fly fishing, Grand Lake promises a fulfilling experience for every angler.

With its awe-inspiring backdrop, flourishing aquatic ecosystem, and a multitude of outdoor activities, Grand Lake stands as an essential pilgrimage for Colorado lake trout fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers, creating enduring memories with each visit.


Lake Granby is another destination for fishing enthusiasts in Colorado. Its impressive size of 7,256 surface acres, 40 miles of shoreline, and a depth of 221 feet make it a paradise for anglers seeking a memorable fishing experience. Much like its close by neighbor, the depth of Lake Granby produces great habitat for Mackinaw. Jigging deep in this lake in the summer produces great numbers and at times very good size. The fall finds them in the shallower water where they are happy to chase a streamer.

Apart from its excellent fishing opportunities, Lake Granby offers a plethora of recreational activities. It boasts a campground where visitors can enjoy camping and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. During the winter months, the lake becomes a popular spot for snowmobiling, as well as the local ski area Granby Ranch. Hiking trails around the lake provide breathtaking views and opportunities to explore the surrounding wilderness. 


Taylor Park Reservoir, located in the picturesque Gunnison County of Colorado, offers anglers a fantastic fishing experience with its diverse fishing opportunities and stunning natural surroundings. This popular fishing destination encompasses a sprawling body of water that spans approximately 2,000 acres.

Managed specifically for big Mackinaw and stocked with Kokanee as a forage base, Taylor Park Reservoir is a dream come true for avid anglers seeking trophy Makckinaws. Additionally, the reservoir is home to a variety of other fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and yellow perch, ensuring there’s something for every angler to target. The Taylor River below the reservoir is also home to some very large browns and rainbows.

The reservoir offers several boat ramps for easy access to the deep waters, making it ideal for fishing enthusiasts with boats. For those who prefer shore fishing, there are plenty of spots along the 15 miles of shoreline to cast a line and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.


Green Mountain Reservoir is a stunning 2,125-acre reservoir located approximately 13 miles south of Kremmling in Colorado. This hidden gem offers a tranquil and serene setting for anglers seeking a peaceful fishing experience.

A standout feature of Green Mountain Reservoir is the deep and winding Blue River channel that runs through its center. Surrounded by flats of varying depths, this channel provides the perfect habitat for a diverse range of fish species. The deeper waters of the channel are known for housing big Mackinaw fish, making it an ideal spot for those seeking an adventure and the thrill of reeling in a trophy-sized catch. Kokanee salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout are common in the lake and make for great sport as well.

One of the unique aspects of Green Mountain Reservoir is the low fishing pressure compared to other popular fishing spots in Colorado. This allows anglers to enjoy a more secluded and private fishing experience. People focus on the Blue River above and below but the lake itself is largely ignored. The abundance of big Mackinaw fish also adds to the allure of this reservoir, making it a prime destination for those looking to challenge their fishing skills and potentially land a prized catch.


Twin Lakes, located in the heart of Colorado’s “Fourteener Country,” offers exceptional fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. This picturesque destination is renowned for its abundant fish species, including big browns, rainbows, cutthroat, and mackinaws.

The best time to fish at Twin Lakes largely depends on the season. During the early spring and late fall, when the water temperatures are cooler, the big browns and mackinaws become more active, providing anglers with thrilling fishing experiences. In the summer months, rainbows and cutthroat trout are more abundant and can be easily targeted.

When it comes to tactics, casting or trolling with spinners, spoons, or crankbaits near drop-offs, submerged rocks, and weed beds are recommended for catching big browns and mackinaws. For rainbows and cutthroat trout, fly fishing with leech patterns or dry flies can yield great results.

Anglers visiting Twin Lakes will be delighted by the variety of fish species present in the lake. Big browns and mackinaws are known for their exceptional size and strength, offering a true challenge. Rainbows and cutthroat trout, on the other hand, provide an exciting opportunity for fly fishermen seeking a thrilling fight on light tackle.


a fishing rod bent at sunrise

Tips For Lake Trout Fishing In Colorado

If you’re planning a Colorado lake trout fishing trip, there are several tips and techniques you should keep in mind for success:

Firstly, the best times for lake trout fishing in Grand Lake are typically early morning or late evening when the fish are more active. As the water temperature rises, the lake trout tend to move to deeper waters, so fishing in depths between 40 and 70 feet is often the most productive, sometimes even deeper.

When it comes to bait and lures, tube jigs, spoons, sucker meat and jerkbaits are popular choices for lake trout. The key is to mimic their prey, such as kokanee salmon or rainbow trout. Lead core line is a great option to get down to where these monsters dwell. It’s also important to use heavier lines and tackle due to the size and strength of lake trout.

Secondly, knowing the optimal seasons for fishing can greatly enhance your chances of success. Lake trout are typically more active during cooler months, so planning your trip in early spring or late fall is ideal. They tend to be in the shallower water during these seasons.

Next, investing in high-quality equipment is crucial for a productive fishing expedition. Since lake trout inhabit deep waters, make sure you have a sturdy fishing rod and reel capable of handling heavier lines and lures. Additionally, using fluorocarbon line can increase your chances of hooking onto these elusive fish.


two men on a boat talking to each other

Guided Colorado Lake Trout Fishing Trips: Kirks Flyshop Grand Lake

Considering the vastness of the lakes in Colorado, hiring a Colorado fishing guide is a wise decision. A knowledgeable lake trout fishing guide will have insight into the best fishing grounds and can provide guidance on techniques and bait selection. This can save you a lot of time and increase your chances of catching a trophy trout.

Located in Grand Lake, Colorado is our sister shop Kirks Flyshop Grand Lake. Being on the other side of Rocky Mountain National Park has allowed us to offer Grand Lake fishing charters specifically targeting Colorado lake trout and others. 

Overall, booking a guided fishing trip in Grand Lake can provide you with invaluable expertise and increase your chances of landing a trophy lake trout. So pack your gear and get ready for an unforgettable fishing experience in this beautiful Colorado destination.