Winter Camping and Fishing in the Northern Colorado Rockies

Ansel Watrous Campground

Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest / Canyon Lakes Ranger District

One loop of Ansel Watrous stays open year-round for camping on the beautiful Cache la Poudre River; world famous for miles of accessibility to fly-fishing. This developed campground has tables, fire rings and stocked and cleaned restrooms.  There is a fee for camping year-round.  Water is turned off during the winter months and the fee is discounted.

 Pay station in Ansel Watrous Campground

Pay station in Ansel Watrous Campground

Campsites are first-come-first-served from after Labor Day through approximately mid-May.  The lower loop has 7 campsites.  Motorhomes and trailers are not allowed in the lower loop due to a tight, hairpin, turn.  Ansel Watrous Campground is about a 30 minute drive from Fort Collins, CO.  Access it via Highway 14, the Poudre Canyon Highway.

 campsites on the Cache la Poudre River

campsites on the Cache la Poudre River

Campers enjoy fly-fishing for brown, cutthroat, rainbow and wild brook trout in the Cache la Poudre River.  This Wild and Scenic River has miles of public water to fish; unusual in Colorado.  According to PerfectFlyStore (which also has a current fishing report),

"Matching the hatch isn't usually near as important as
matching what is about to hatch. Trout can see the
nymphs and larvae in the stream much better than a fly
on the surface of the water. Matching the most plentiful
and avialable nymphs and larvae that the trout have to
eat with more realistic imitations will greatly improve you
odds of success."

Here are a couple more helpful links:

Northern Colorado Fly-fishing

Cache la Poudre Fishing Reports & Conditions (Orvis)