Fish are biting, and fun awaits ... all for free!

This has been a tough spring for many of us, and as we emerge from stay-at-home orders, what better way to start getting back to normal than enjoying Colorado's beautiful state parks and lakes!

This weekend, June 6-7, Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites you to get out and enjoy its free fishing weekend. 

"The fish are starting to bite at waters all around the state. To give everyone an opportunity to get out and get some hits, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting resident and nonresident anglers of all ages to participate in its annual Free Fishing Weekend on June 6 to 7. The free fishing weekend is a great w​ay to get outside with family and friends and take adva​​ntag​e of Colorado's extensive opportunities to fish for a myriad of cold and warm water fish species​​," said CPW.

This weekend, residents and non-residents alike are allowed to fish for free without a license. It's a perfect way to get out and enjoy nature, as well as introduce friends and family to one of Colorado's great recreation activities. However, park entry fees and other regulations will apply, so be prepared before you go. In addition, this free weekend only covers fishing on the state's public lands, not private lands or National Parks.

"Although a license is not required on Free Fishing Weekend, all other rules and regulations will apply. Anglers should consult the ​Colorado Fishing Brochure​​​​​ for specific regulations and restrictions," recommends CPW. 

If you get "hooked" on fishing over the free weekend, you can get a license at an​​y CPW office or from one of the more than 600 license agents across the state. Licenses can also be purchased online or over the phone by calling 1-800-244-5613. Head over to the CPW website for more information. By purchasing a license, you won't only be enjoying a great day on the water but you help the state's fish population, as well.

Resources to find your perfect fishing hole, courtesy of CPW: 

  • ​Fishing Report: This report offers a weekly fishing report from lakes all around Colorado.

  • Fishing Atlas: An interactive map that shows the many waters people can fish in Colorado.

  • 101 Places to Take a Kid Fishing​: This webpage has an interactive map showing all of the possible places to take a kid fishing. 

  • Stocking Report: Shows lakes, ponds, and rivers that have been stocked with catchable (9 to 12 inch) trout in Colorado.​

  • CPW Fishing App: Journaling, learning, and scouting capabilities, even with no connection.

  • Match a Hatch App: Helps fly anglers identify the flies that are hatching in Colorado each month and find an appropriate artificial fly to use to fish. 

Attention Colorado Springs-area residents! In addition to free fishing, you could score a free rod and reel for your kids! CPW's Area 14 office in Colorado Springs is continuing its tradition of giving away 300 poles to area youth, from 3-5 p.m., Friday, June 5. The child MUST BE in the vehicle to get a free pole.  

Have you participated in a free fishing weekend in the past? Do you have any tips to make it a relaxing and successful event, whether fishing alone or with family members? Let us know in the comments!