Denver park rangers team up with local recreation centers to introduce fishing skills to families, while discussing topics in safety, water ecosystems, and environmental stewardship. Free drop-in events take place all summer, Thursday through Sunday, for up to four hours at several sites, including Overland, Sloan’s Lake, and Berkeley Lake parks. Equipment is provided through a Colorado Parks & Wildlife grant, while supplies last, but families with poles are encouraged to bring them. Multiple locations around Denver, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Also known as Mt. Evans Trout Fishing, this adorable little lake is stocked so generously with rainbow trout that kids are practically guaranteed to hook something—just keep in mind that fishers pay for every catch they keep. The pond is on private property, so no license is needed. Poles and tackle are available to rent in the main office, where staff members will answer questions and clean your fish for a nominal fee. Bonus: Kids will enjoy the resident reindeer. 4125 Chicago Creek Rd., Idaho Springs. 303-567-4017.
Before hitting the lake, develop skills at Bass Pro Shops’ Family Summer Camp—a free, drop-in program held in-store, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 23 through July 22. Themes vary by day, but during fishing seminars, experts teach participants how to cast off-water, with an interactive game created for children ages five to 12. Catch-and-release fishing is also available throughout the year at the on-site demonstration pond. 7970 Northfield Blvd., Denver. 720-385-3600.
Clear Creek runs through the city of Golden, and tubers know firsthand its rapids can get wild. For youth fishing, park at Lions Park, and follow the Clear Creek Trail upriver, until the cement turns into gravel. Here, shallow banks make it easy for families to get to and from the water. Rent fly fishing equipment at Golden River Sports, and be sure to check the runoff report to ensure the water level isn’t too high to fish. 1300 10th St., Golden. 303-279-2282.
Don’t miss Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 2 and 3, when anglers of all ages can fish without a license anywhere in the state.