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The western side of IPWA is characterized by long streams, longer trails and some very remote lakes.  If you are a backcountry junkie, you’ll want to spend an extra day or two in order to fish all the high altitude water that’s available to you.  Most destinations are best planned as a multi-day adventure.

Fishing the Western Side of IPWA

Popular Destinations - West of the Continental Divide









Fishing Water

Comments

Elev (ft)

BKT

BRN

RBT

CRC

GBC

SPL

LKT

CUT

Arapaho Creek

Walk up stream from the lake for awhile to get into better fishing.

10,593






Buchanan Creek

Small streams fishing; the creek drains land, not from a lake.

11,579








Caribou Lake

A long hike from either side of the Divide, make it an overnight trip to get in plenty of fishing time.

11,147








Cascade Creek

Pockets, pools, runs and riffles - this creek has it all and then some.

10,941





Columbine Lake

The lake benefits from annual stocking of fish.

11,060








Crater Lake, (aka Hyslop Lake)

Never stocked with splake but they are there.

10,320





Crawford Lake

Not always a productive lake.

10,100








Gourd Lake

A steep hike for larger than average cutthroat.

10,820








Island Lake

If you go to Gourd Lake, build in time to fish this lake too.

11,425








Long Lake, Hell Canyon

No easy way in, but worth the fishing.  Overnight is a must.

9,956








Meadow Creek Reservoir

Outside of IPWA; benefits from rainbow trout stocking each year.

9,958







Mirror Lake

Crater Lake fishes better- easier to see the cruising fish in Mirror.

10,308








Stone Lake

Plenty of stockers to go around, but a long difficult hike to get there.

10,649








Twin Creek

Feeds NE point of Grand Bay, benefits from migratory ‘bows in the spring and browns in the fall.

11,592






Upper Lake

Good vantage points around lake help spot the cruisers.

10,730








Watanga Lake

A shallow and marsh-lined lake holds plenty of cutts, but a serious hike to get there.

10,790








BKT = Brook trout   BRN = Brown trout   RBT = Rainbow trout   CRC = Colorado River cutthroat   GBC = Greenback cutthroat   SPL = Splake   LKT = Lake trout   CUT = native cutthroat

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(These links will take you the sister site, Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The information  is directly applicable to IPWA.)

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