Fishing in Saguache County

Endless miles of exciting streams and lakes await fishermen in Saguache County. Many are easily accessed from the road while others are in remote secluded areas, the choice is yours.


Numerous scenic small lakes above 10,000 feet in elevation provide excellent fishing for cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout. Trout in these pristine waters can be temperamental when feeding conditions are favorable. Most lakes require uphill hiking from 1-12 miles. Some better high mountain lakes are: Crestone, Cherry, Cotton, and Rito Alto lakes in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness; and Machine and Baldy lakes in the La Garita Range. Flies and small lures fished with light lines in the morning and evening is usually best. Fly-fishing is best June through July when stonefly and mayfly hatches dominate fish diets.

The eastern trout waters flow out of nearly every drainage of the Sangre de Cristo Range from Poncha Pass to the end of the Great Sand Dunes, including Cherry, Willow, Deadman, and Sand Creeks. Brookies, browns, and cutthroats lurk in these waters, hiding beneath undercut banks ready to take the bait or raise to your fly. On the west side of the County the creeks can be followed back far into the La Garita Wilderness. All three forks of Saguache Creek are excellent and Middle, La Garita and Carnero Creeks are good as well. Slaughterhouse Creek comes out of the hills near the old mining town of Bonanza. The northwest corner of Saguache County runs along Hwy 50 to the town of Sargents, which is a jumping off point to access many excellent trout streams.

Colorado’s excellent fishing opportunities are made even better by the efforts of the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s 19 hatcheries. The Division of Wildlife stocks 3.5 million 10-inch fish every year. You can fish in Colorado without a license only on the first full weekend of June each year, though all other rules and regulations apply. Always respect private land and ask first before entering. Check with the Colorado Division of Wildlife for regular fishing seasons and current maps of the area, please visit