The Lowdown on the Blue River in Summit County, Colorado
May 30th, 2018
Fish, raft, hike, or whatever your heart desires right in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The Blue River illustrates the beauty of Colorado in all sorts of activities. The Blue River is the only commercially rafted river in Summit County, and you’ll see plenty of fisherman set up in the waders along the water in Silverthorne.
Fishing the Blue River
Starting at Dillon Reservoir and going all the way to Kremmling, you will find some of the best fish in the area. This stretch of water has an incredible abundance of fish and is considered Gold Medal Water. To be recognized as Gold Medal Water, rivers must meet the requirement of 60 pounds of trout per acre, and at least twelve 14” or larger trout per acre.
Types of Fish You Will Catch in the Blue River
- Lake Trout
- Wiper Fish
- Brook Trout
- Brown Trout
- Northern Pike
- Rainbow Trout
- Cutthroat Trout
- Kokanee Salmon
- Large Mouth Bass
- Mountain Whitefish
Rafting the Blue River
If you’re spending some time in Colorado this summer, you can’t miss out on the popular past time of whitewater rafting. The Blue River yields family friendly rapids that are mild enough for all generations of adventurers to enjoy, but will keep you on your toes and have everyone paddling together and gawking at the breathtaking surrounding mountain vistas.
Facts About the Blue River
The Blue River is 65 miles of length and beauty. The headwaters being at the southern end of the Tenmile Range in Summit County and flow through the center of the popular mountain towns as it makes it’s way down the west side of the Continental Divide toward Kremmling, Colorado. It’s pretty remarkable how much the river builds if you look at the comparison of size and flow between the towns of Breckenridge and Silverthorne, and the river is fed from snowmelt in the surrounding areas. Due to the lower snowpack over the 2017-2018 winter season, the Blue River may have a shorter rafting season due to the size of the river in the first place. Not to worry, there are plenty of incredible stretches of whitewater within an hour of Summit County that you can raft, so you have to miss out if you miss this rafting window.
- An acre foot is an acre of water one foot deep, or 325,851 gallons.
- Groundwater return flows to streams to contribute about a quarter of the total surface flow.
- Most of the annual stream flow results from snow melt during the springtime.
- Major snowfall typically occurs January through April in Summit County.
- The Blue River Stream is a gravel-filled class 2 fly fishing stream.
- If the Blue River is over 1,800 CFS, it will be closed because of the proximity rafters would have to the bridges.