6 Reasons You Should Fish Private Water

When you look at a map, or go to your local fly shop to inquire about new fishing spots, it can be overwhelming.  I’ve been there.  I still go there sometimes.

There are tons of publicly accessible lakes, rivers, streams and creeks all over the state of Colorado which are full of fish. And there’s a lot of water to fish too, be it right around the corner from your house or office, or a short drive.  You might even hike a bit to get away from the crowds.

For years I only fished public water. 

I dealt with crowds, inconsiderate people, beat up fish, and trash in and around the river…  It was all I knew.

Private water?  Who needs private water?  There’s a ton of public water all around me!

I then took a trip to Wyoming and fished some private water.  It was spectacular.

For every mile of public water, I estimate that there’s at least 2x as much private water.  In some watersheds, there could be 10x that much private water, it’s hard to know really.

Think about how much all that private water almost never gets fished!

The private land in the Rocky Mountains is sacred.  And ranchers and other land owners who have rivers running through their properties usually understand how precious their resources are.  They depend on the water to irrigate their crops and feed their livestock.  And oftentimes the river is full of hungry fish, which are my favorite kind.


Here are the top 6 reasons why it’s worth your while to scout out private water:

1.  Solitude.  I love serenity, and having water all to myself for an entire day is glorious.

2.  Private water is pristine.  I never have to bushwhack and I seldom see trash littered about.

3.  Stream improvements.  This creates better lies for fish, which means fishy water, and lots of it.

4.  Zero pressure.  When water isn’t fished by people often, the fish are typically dumb and not shy of a fly.

5.  Learn something new.  Almost every time I fish private water, I get to meet the rancher, or a ranch hand, and get a tour of the property.  And I usually hear a story or two about the history of the ranch.

6.  Reconnaissance is fun!!  Fish someplace new and different!  Adventure out into nature and recharge!


I could go on…  The 6 reasons above are more than enough reason to look into fishing private water near you.

But is one day of private water fishing enough?  I think not.  And that’s why I host Epic Fly Fishing Trips.  Gourmet food, several days of guided private water fly fishing, and deluxe accommodations…

Does it get any better?

We’re now booking trips through October in Colorado and Wyoming.  Check out the trip schedule HERE.

See you on the next trip,

-Justin Hancock
CEO and Chief Angler