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NoCo Fishing Outing – Joe Wright Reservoir

07/11/2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Member in Charge: Diana Rupp, safari375@yahoo.com

Location: Joe Wright Reservoir

The NoCo CWF chapter is planning a fun day of fishing high in the mountains at beautiful Joe Wright Reservoir on Saturday, July 11. Joe Wright, located right along Hwy 14 at the top of Cameron Pass, is home to Arctic grayling and is the best place in Colorado to catch one of these fish. Float tubes or kayaks are recommended, but there is room to fish from shore or wade along the shoreline. 

The grayling in Joe Wright average about 12 inches, although you may catch one up to 15. They are a lot of fun and take small surface and subsurface flies—fishing dry/dropper rigs in sizes 12-18 is a good tactic. The best fishing tends to be right around the inlet on the upper end of the lake. Note that Joe Wright Creek, which flows into the lake, is closed to fishing through July 31 to allow the grayling to spawn. The fishing in the lake is limited to flies and lures only.

Joe Wright is located at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, and the water in the lake is very cold, so be sure to layer up under your waders even if it’s a warm day. Also, because of the cold water, I strongly recommend wearing a PFD if you’re planning to float tube or kayak. Another important note on float tubes: Don’t fully inflate your tube before leaving town, as the increase in elevation and corresponding air pressure change can cause it to spring a leak. Best bet is to partially inflate the tube and top it off when you get to the lake.

St. Peter’s Fly Shop in Fort Collins is a good source for knowledge and flies for this lake. 

Joe Wright is about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Fort Collins. From Fort Collins, drive north on 287 to the turnoff for Poudre Canyon (Hwy. 14) on the left (Ted’s Place). Go 55 miles up the canyon. The main parking lot for Joe Wright Reservoir is just past Mile Marker 68, on the left. You’ll see the dam first—there are only a few spots to park there—and then right past that there is a large lot with a sign that says “Joe Wright Reservoir Parking.” We’ll meet at this large lot at 9:30 a.m. on July 11. If you can join us for this outing, please sign up via the Trips and Events Calendar on the CWF website (and don’t forget to sign the waiver as well). In the meantime, e-mail me at safari375@yahoo.com with any questions. Hope to see you there!
Latitude: 40.55743 
Longitude: -105.87454 
Altitude: 3068.0 m | 10066 ft
Diana Rupp


8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


CO United States + Google Map


Kathryn Rau
Attendance: 7