The Yampa (bear in Native American language) originates high above the northwest Colorado town of Yampa, into which the Bear River flows. Wonderfully varied fly fishing opportunities abound along the 150 miles of river as it flows west to Dinosaur National Monument and Utah's fabled Green River.
The 15 mile stretch from Stillwater Reservoir to Yampa has tailwaters, pretty meadow sections, and tumbling freestone waters. Fly fishing for the "Rocky Mountain Grand Slam" (brook, rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and mountain whitefish) is quite possible in this section. Fish average 8-16 inches here. The next 10-15 miles of river is private until the section 1/2 to 3/4 miles upstream of the inlet into Stagecoach Reservoir. Below the reservoir are two public sections, small tailwaters with some beautiful rainbows and cutthroats. From the Service Creek Wildlife Area downstream to the town of Steamboat Springs (15 miles) the river flows through private lands.
You'll be pleased with the river rock and habitat placed along the river through the town of Steamboat Springs. Though the angling here is "urban fishing," you'll still have fun.
It's best to float the river (and the three beautiful canyons) from Craig to the monument boundary (40-50 miles). A two or three day trip is best. Access to most of this river is on BLM land and from various local roads off U.S. Highway 40. Check local maps first.
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