Fishing in Pagosa Springs, Colorado has become an annual trip for us because of the excellent fishing in Echo Canyon Reservoir. We have only fished from the shore, but boats and kayaks are allowed as long as you do not create a wake. It is kid, pet, and family friendly, with plenty of areas to fish in small or large groups. The parking is free and there is no fee to enter. You will need a CO fishing license to fish here.
The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown trout, and sunfish. The limits are posted. It has a reputation for its largemouth bass. The state record 11lb. 6oz. largemouth bass was caught here in 1997. We caught some beautiful fish, but nothing close to that big.
The secret to shore fishing is to walk over the dam along the trail to the other side. We highly recommend wearing water shoes for the crossing and fishing. There are several openings between the cattails where you can fish 2-3 anglers comfortably. Don’t be afraid to walk past the first few openings to get to better fishing.
Note: Shore fishing is possible until end of May to early June before the plant life gets too thick around the edges of the lake.
There are some incredibly smart and big largemouth bass that hang out in the shallows. You’ll see them on your way around the lake. You can try for them, but we have never had that great of luck catching them. Let me know if you get one to bite.
Lets talk about rods and bait. We used fly rods with poppers for the bass, which had low success. We also used our fly rods with floating line and a size 6 bait holder hook with night crawlers. We slammed ’em with nightcrawlers! A bite just about every cast. In fact this is what I used to catch a ~5lb catfish. Maybe that was just luck.
We also used light-weight spinning rods with 6lb line and size 6 bait holder hooks with a small bobber to keep the worm suspended. This set-up was good for the Rainbow Trout. They are a little further out than the largemouth bass. The bass hang out in the coves and closer to shore.
We have also had success with Zeke’s or Berkley’s PowerBait corn scent. Check out this video by Fish Hawk for a good set-up, Best Powerbait Rig/Set-up – Trout Fishing Ponds/Lakes.
You can always try other types of lures or bait. That’s part of the fun when fishing. We have always been able to catch fish and have a great time.
Note: We recommend taking nightcrawlers for back-up if using other types of plastics or other lures and flies. Especially, if fishing with kids.
The lake is located about 4 miles from Pagosa Springs on Hwy 84. We had a great stay in a reasonably priced 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment, just down the road from the lake that we found on Airbnb.com, New Spacious Loft Apt.
We fish for the fun and sport of it and catch and release is our preference. There is a mercury warning for these fish, but you can keep some to eat. Please take time to read the information. I have provided this LINK. Have a fun time and send us some pictures of your catch.
Feel free to email us through our CONTACT US page or through the form below if you have any questions or want to share your experience at Echo Canyon Reservoir with us.
LIVE, LAUGH, FISH