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Where to Go North Slope Lakes

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Updated 7/21/2021

Both North and South Catamount are fishing very good. Having a rod rigged with a dry fly and another set up as a streamer or static nymph rod are really good ideas. You can cast to the sporadically cruising fish eating on the surface or fish the other method.

Be aware of afternoon thunderstorms!!

Remember to get your parking pass prior to heading up. You can also purchase your day pass online for $5.00 (both are required to go up there). Click here to purchase a parking pass and day pass. Passes are limited and sell out very fast.

Effective Patterns


Chironomids and leeches. White wooly buggers are really good right now.

Dry flies

Hoppers, ladybugs, and parachute adams


All colors. We like to use smaller streamers here, unless you are targeting Mackinaw. The summer season is almost impossible to fish for them though, as they will be in the deepest water in the lake.

If you want to target Mackinaw, there are a few tips: Go giant. White, tan, light brown in color on your flies. At this time, you'll need a full sinking line and around a 20 foot leader. GO DEEP.


About North Catamount Reservoir

North Catamount Reservoir on Pikes Peak is flies and lures only. It has mostly rainbows and cutthroat trout and is known for having large Mackinaw. There is no fishing access from the dam. There is a charge of $5 to drive up Pikes Peak Highway to gain access to the three main reservoirs (North and South Catamount and Crystal Reservoir). Be sure to tell them at the gate that you are fishing and not going to the top of the Peak so you don't get charged the full amount to drive the full distance.

About South Catamount Reservoir

South Catamount Reservoir is located just a 5 minute drive up Pikes Peak highway below North Catamount Reservoir. It is basically the same still water fishery as "North Cat" only with slightly less strict regulations because bait fishing is allowed. These reservoirs are the Colorado Springs city water supply with relatively little access to commodities such as restrooms, camp sites and boat ramps. Flies to come armed with are streamers, such as a brown and black wooly bugger, egg patterns, copper johns, hares ears, and prince nymphs. Tell the people working the gate that you are going fishing so you don't pay the higher fee to go to the top of Pikes Peak.

Hours of Operation

May 1 – Thursday before Memorial Day:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Friday before Memorial Day - Labor Day: 7:30am – 7:00pm

Tuesday after Labor Day - Sept 30: 7:30am – 6:00pm

Oct 1 – Third Sunday of October: 9:00am – 4:00pm

In addition, the Recreation Area is closed to fishing during the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Race

Another Stillwater option, when these lakes open there is abundant opportunity on the fly. North catamount in particular, holds some very nice lake trout that can be taken cruising the shoreline. Slow stripping streamers is my favorite method to fish here. Don’t overlook the dry fly opportunity throughout the summer as well

Jon Easdon, Guide and Director of Services

This is an area we specialize in and are permitted to guide, so give us a shout if you have any questions or if you are interested in allowing one of our Orvis-Endorsed guides showing you how to conquer North Slope Lakes.

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Distance to North Catamount Reservoir - 24.5 miles - 43 Mins

Distance to South Catamount Reservoir - 24.4 miles - 43 Mins