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Hey guys, new here and first post. Long story short, my family is a bunch of avid trout fishermen from Pennsylvania. My dad is pushing 70 and about to retire next month. One thing he has always wanted to do is trout fish out west in Colorado with his family. I’m going to put a trip together as his retirement gift.

Can you guys point me in the direction of some nice trout streams within a 2 hour drive of Denver where bait is allowed? My Dad and I both fly fish some, but my son and brother in law don’t.

Looking for something scenic in the mountains where we have a good shot at some big fish. Looking online I see a bunch of nice Gold Medal streams, but they are all fly fish only.

Greatly appreciate any advice you can give.
 

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Don't be afraid to use flies, just a different type of bait. Fish will eat them. As you know bait fishing can be hard on the fish. The Gold Medal waters are catch and release so the idea is those big fish you are after can survive to get caught another day. If you want to use spinning gear check out "Fly and a bubble" technique. Local shops near where you want to fish will be happy to tell you (and sell you) what is working.
 

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Don't be afraid to use flies, just a different type of bait. Fish will eat them. As you know bait fishing can be hard on the fish. The Gold Medal waters are catch and release so the idea is those big fish you are after can survive to get caught another day. If you want to use spinning gear check out "Fly and a bubble" technique. Local shops near where you want to fish will be happy to tell you (and sell you) what is working.
As a total newbie, why is bait fishing hard on fish vs using a lure?
 

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As a total newbie, why is bait fishing hard on fish vs using a lure?
With bait the fish usually swallow it and get gut hooked. Impossible to get the hook out doing major damage to the fish. Even if the line is cut and the hook left in, mortality rates are really high on released fish.
 

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I was at the South Platte last trip out to Colorado. Thought that was all fly only. Is there a town or road intersection you can recommend as a starting point? Pretty scenic out that way?
It's all in the regs.
 
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