Red Dirt Reservoir – Colorado – Rainbow Trout

Thanks to the Colorado Fishing Atlas, we found this off-the-beaten path fishing hole, Red Dirt Reservoir, in the Routt National Forest. It is not far from Kremmling, Colorado (2 hrs. from Denver). Take Hwy 40 N out of Kremmling then take Hwy 134 to county Rd 19. It’s also a great destination if you enjoy kayaking and camping. There were several free camping spots and a boat launch area, no boat ramp.  The bank was muddy and the water was low, but the fish were biting and very feisty. The lake holds Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout according to CPW.

We parked at the boat launch area and headed down to the water to try our luck.  We ended up walking and sliding in some mud by the bank due to the low water.

Update June 6, 2021: the water is low but plenty of places to fish and get muddy. 😁 Fishing was great! Caught several nice rainbows.

There were only a few other people there and it looked like everyone was catching fish from the bank no matter where they were located. We fished along the bank starting at the brook in the boat launch area.

 We used our 9′ fly rods with size 6 baitholder hooks and nightcrawlers. We use longer fly rods on large bodies of water to be able to cast farther. We were casting ~30-40′ from shore where the fish were working the surface. We let our bait sit for a couple of minutes  with a slow retrieve and they SLAMMED it! They took off quick and jumped several times. It was EXCITING and FUN fishing/catching!!

Greg caught the  first fish of the trip which was a beautiful 16″ fat Rainbow Trout full of energy. This fish was caught not far from the brook. It was released for another lucky fisherman to catch.

Red Dirt Rainbow Trout

We continued to fish into the late afternoon and caught several more decent sized Rainbows in the 14″-16″ range. It was a blast to see these fish run, jump and pull out line.

red dirt rainbow trout 4

We had so much fun catching the first day we ended up fishing this area twice. Both days were in the afternoon. The fish presented healthy, fat and colorful. We always recommend catch and release, but the bag limit here is 4 fish daily/ 8 in possession.


Due to the muddy condition we highly recommend you wear water shoes. We used the brook next to the parking area to wash off at the end of the day. Please help keep Colorado fish holes clean and pack out your trash. Have a great time!


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