Cache la Poudre River,
Poudre Lake to Fort Collins

The Cache la Poudre river starts at Poudre Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, flows down through Fort Collins and on into Greeley. The Poudre River Trail follows the river for 11 miles through the national park where it changes to trail 944 finally becoming the Big South Trail.

Click here for current stream flow

The High Park Fire burned over 87,250 acres in the summer of 2012 making it the second largest fire in Colorado history. You need to drive above Stone Prairie to get beyond the fire area. Check out Rocky Mountain Flycasters for restoration projects.

Regulations Poudre River — Larimer County

A. From Rocky Mountain National Park boundary downstream to JoeWright Creek:

 1. Fishing is by artificial flies and lures only.
 2. The bag and possession limit for trout is two fish.

B. From the upper boundary of the Big Bend campground downstream to Black Hollow Creek;

from west boundary of Hombre Ranch (below Rustic) downstream to Pingree Park Road/bridge;

and from the upper boundary of Gateway Park downstream to the North Fork of the Poudre River:

 1. Fishing is by artificial flies and lures only.
 2. All trout must be returned to the water immediately.

The Poudre river first meets Highway 14 at the bridge by the Big South Trail head. This is a good hike with lots of campsites along the way. When I went up there to get these pictures the biting midges were out in force so be sure to take your bug spray. Going up look for Poudre falls on the right and you are only few miles from the trail head.

As you continue through the Poudre canyon there are several signs you need to watch out for. The first is the wild trout sign.

The second is the sign for entering and leaving the wild trout area, some of them are tucked back, so keep your eyes open.

Two more attractions along the river are the state fish hatchery and the Mishawaka Amphitheater on the Cache la Poudre river. I had many a good night at the Mishawaka with music and the river in the background. What would be better then a good day of fishing, live music and a few beers? What to try some of the local brew? Head to one of the local Fort Collins breweries.

The river has easy parking and lots of goods stops but gets a lot of kayaking, tubing and other recreational traffic. The picnic rock area has a large pool but most of the time there is swimmers, this would be a good place to take the family for lunch.

Fort Collins has several fly shops, with some good local fly patterns and lots of other activities are available like rating and kayaking. Before fishing the Cache la Poudre river check with local fly shops to see what what hot patterns they have this year.

Other Northern Colorado Rivers

Big Thompson River Colorado

St Vrain River

Rocky Mountain National Park

Fishing the North Platte River