Fly Fishing in the Rocky Mountains

The crystal clear mountain water of the quiet lakes and rushing streams of Vista Verde make for some of the most serene fishing in America.

Since we are small in terms of guest capacity we’re afforded the ability to cater to the specific needs and desires of our anglers.  Our guides are very knowledgeable about the local waters and strive to create a unique angling experience that you’re sure to remember!  And, due to the many other activities offered, others are having fun riding, climbing, rafting, hiking or biking while you’re out after that perfect catch!  Of course, there’s nothing quite like getting the whole family on the water together; so whether you’re a novice or experienced angler, Vista Verde is a wonderful place to partake in the quintessential western fly fishing experience while still enjoying a luxury guest ranch vacation.

Local Fish Species

Whether your cup of tea is casting to big cruising Rainbows, high mountain Cutthroats, or stalking small stream Brook Trout, Vista Verde has your perfect trip in store.  Add a Brown Trout from the nearby Elk River and you’ve got a grand slam all in the same day!  In addition to our wild trout species it’s not uncommon to hook into a Mountain Whitefish or find yourself targeting Grayling in neighboring Pearl Lake.

Our Water

From our home waters on The Elk River and our on-ranch Hinman Creek, to our numerous still water fisheries; Vista Verde fly fishing has something to suit any angler’s taste.  The Elk is a classic freestone river that begins just minutes from the ranch and is home to Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Brook Trout, and Brown Trout.  The Elk River finds its form out of three main tributaries: The North Fork, The Middle Fork, and The South Fork of the Elk River; all of which offer unique high-mountain fishing opportunities.  Hinman Creek runs through the heart of Vista Verde’s property, and while the Brook Trout that call this water home are hungry and plentiful, this creek will challenge both your stealth and casting skill.  The Little Snake River is a tributary of The Yampa and runs along the Colorado and Wyoming border.  The Rainbows and Cutthroats – and their willingness to sip dry flies – make this a popular off-ranch destination.  Nearby lakes offer the chance to cast to hungry cruisers while soaking up the beautiful scenery reflected on the water’s surface.  At 1,101 acres, Steamboat Lake is not only the largest in the area but is also officially designated one of Colorado’s Gold Medal Lakes with a healthy population of trophy Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout.  Hahns Peak Lake and Pearl Lake are also attractive options with views rivaled in beauty only by the fish that populate their water.  If you prefer a hardy hike rather than easy access then a day trip to some alpine lakes in the Zirkel Mountain Range may be just what you’re looking for.  So whatever your preference, allow Vista Verde’s guides to give you the day on the water that you deserve!


Aquatic insects and their life cycle stages play a very important role, not only in what flies we choose, but also where we fish and the techniques we use.  Not to worry though, if aquatic insect identification isn’t your thing, your guide has everything happily under control.  Caddis, Blue Winged Olive, Stoneflies, Midges and Tricos are some of the more common orders of insects on the menu while terrestrials such as grasshoppers, ants and beetles make for some serious fun during the summer months.  If you’d like, join Brandon for an impromptu entomology clinic on the water and discover a whole new world of subsurface life.  Whether casting dry flies to eager risers or tempting low-lying trout with nymphs or streamers you can be rest assured that you’ll be set for success on your outing!


Allow our guides to share their passion for angling and knowledge of the local waters with you on a trip that is customized to meet your idea of a perfect day of fishing.  Whether you’re an experienced angler or trying it out for the first time you’ll feel challenged and rewarded by our half or full day trips, casting clinics, fly tying sessions, and on-stream instruction.  Please note that we typically don’t take children 13 and under on the river, but if you want to fish with your kids we will take you together to a lake.


Vista Verde is proud to offer the highest quality gear to our guests. From Sage rods and Lamson reels to Simms waders and boots, you’ll step into the water with confidence in the gear provided to you. All necessary equipment is provided for your day on the water but feel free to browse our retail offerings in the Fly Hut for your angling needs or to find the perfect gift for that angler on your list!