There are so many outdoor activities in Breckenridge and the surrounding Rocky Mountains, it is easy to overlook the huge lake right in the middle of Summit County. Summertime is prime for catching big hungry fish in Lake Dillon.
Lake Dillon was built in 1963 by Denver Water to store water for Denver and the Front Range. It is the largest body of water in Summit County and one of the largest in the state. Lake Dillon has 27 miles of fishable shoreline and 2 lively marinas. It is known as a challenging spot to go sailing each summer, hosting numerous Colorado races and regattas.
Lake Dillon, although popular, is often overlooked as a prime Colorado fishing destination in the summer. The lake is overshadowed by the many rivers and streams that dot Summit County’s landscape, including the Blue River—a Colorado Gold Medal fishing river.
What makes Lake Dillon such a great family fishing spot? The ease of shoreline access, lack of special fishing regulations like those found in most mountain rivers and high-alpine lakes, friendly boating regulations with rentals and tours available and— most importantly—the diversity of species found in the lake. Throughout the year, you can fish for Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee and Koho Salmon, Walleye Pike, Char, catfish, Crappie, Smallmouth Bass and other Colorado species.
Shore fishing offers easy access from many points in Summit County. There is free parking at various marked points around the lake. It is said the fishing is best in the early summer between mid-May and early July. For shore fishing, the best fare for the fishies is good old-fashioned worms. Use a bobber and test your length from the hook until you find success. There are tons of smaller fish close to the shore but the big ones are a little further out. Use a weight and hook for bottom fishing and keep your line tight so you can feel bites. Later in the season, troll a Rapala lure near the feeder creaks of the Blue, Snake or Ten Mile dump into the lake for large trout.
If you are so inclined, rent a boat and get out onto Lake Dillon. This is a great spot for trolling. This is most effective in the later season and will produce big brown trout, Kokanee and Walleye Pike. Even if you don’t catch fish, it’s a peaceful and beautiful experience just to be out on the lake.
Fishing is a time-honored family activity that everyone should try at least once. If you are looking for a fresh high-country experience, try fishing in Lake Dillon.
Don’t forget that you do need a fishing license in Colorado if you are 16 or older. You can pick one up at many locations throughout Breckenridge and Summit County.
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