Jefferson Lake

A slip-strike indicator method that will work well on this lake. (Footage taken on Jefferson Lake.) 

Jefferson Lake


Lake Access

Jefferson Lake sits at 10,650 feet in elevation and is about an hour and forty minute drive west of Denver. The lake is located 7.3 miles north of the town of Jefferson, Colorado. To get there take Hwy 285 west to the town of Jefferson which lies halfway between Pine Junction and Fairplay. Take County Rd 35 north out of Jefferson and take a right on Jefferson Lake Rd. Follow Jefferson Lake Rd to the parking lot of the lake.

Jefferson Lake is a great place for beginner anglers and kids. DOW stocks this lake regularly and decent fishing can be found right near the parking area. To avoid the crowds, I recommend hiking on the Jefferson Lake Trail 3/4 mile to the north inlet of the lake where Jefferson Creek feeds the lake. The trail is very easy to hike and follows the couture of the shoreline. I prefer the east trail but the west trail is just as sedate.

Row boats, canoes, pontoons, float tubes, and no-wake (trolling motor) motorized watercraft are allowed on the lake. 

A day pass costs $7.00 per vehicle.


Jefferson Lake can get busy during summer weekends but throughout the weekdays and in the fall there's a good chance you'll have the lake to yourself. 

It's not unusual to deal with gale force winds in the afternoons followed by evening rain showers, so prep accordingly especially if you hike to the inlet.

The lake is located in bear country so make sure you keep food items securely packed away.

Fly Patterns

Nymphs: Olive Scuds, Black and Olive Chironomids, and Red Rock Worms. (Sizes 16-20)

Streamers: Black Leach Patterns

Dry Flies: Quiggly Cripples, Parachute Adams, and Griffith's Gnat. (Sizes 16-20)


Rainbow, Brown, Brook, and Mackinaw (Lake Trout):

Expect to catch trout from the 8-16" range with a few Mackinaw occasionally caught in the 18-25" range.