Just moved to Denver from Gunnison and I am looking for
a spot or two to take some elementary young people fishing for a day. I have a boat. These would be inner city young people that have never been fishing and neede to have some success.
My standby lake (I've never EVER gotten skunked there) is Georgetown (after ice out). You can drive right up to the lake (for the most part). I fish the western shore with relatively light line, pink, green, or orange Powerbait on a #18 or #16 treble hook and 1 split shot. This would be a great spot to take kids if you get there early enough, or if you go during the week, you can spread out if needed. Lot's of stocked trout in the 10" to 18" range. Typically, I'll get there about 6:00 am and fish until the sun hits the entire lake (most of the time, it slows down after the sun fills the valley). I would be surprised if some of the kids didn't catch anything. Last year, I took my Dad there (he's from AZ) for a confidence builder the week before Memorial Day (presumably right after the stocking truck left) - between the two of us, we landed 11 rainbows in about an hour before we decided to go up to Williams Fork to look for bigger fish.
I've also fished it at night just west of the bridge. Had great success there but you have to watch out for deer mice (I don't like rodents - hentavirus phobia) and there used to be a muskrat living under the bridge that will steal your kept fish if your not careful.
Kids might also like to stop in Idaho Springs on the way home for some pizza at Beujo's (not my thing but the kids may like it).
Going after brook trout is also a safe bet. I would suggest Lost Creek in the Lost Creek Wilderness. It’s an easy drive off of 285, and full of hungry trout. As an added bonus the brook trout limit is 10+ fish per person, if you want to eat the fish.
There is another place I would recommend but I'm having trouble finding the name. I think it is Snyder State Wildlife Area but I'm probably wrong. To get there, Take I-76 to Brush. At the intersection of Hwy 71 (there is a Wendy's on the north side of the highway and a Conoco and McDonald's on the south as well as a prison there) exit and go north over I-76. The road will make a turn east and another turn north. Before you get to the Platte, you'll see two ponds on the right hand side and one on the left (the one on the left is private). Make a right before the bridge.
There are two ponds there - both are stocked by the local High School (I think by a chapter of the Future Farmers of America). One pond is restricted to those under the age of 14 and the other is open to all adults. You can drive right up to the adult pond. Usually there are planted trout there in the spring and fall. In the summer, I've caught Blue Gill and seen big shadows lurking. Never seen anyone fish the kid's pond. I've had the best luck at the south west corner of the adult pond.
Not that it makes a difference but I've been living and fishing in Colorado for 14 years - the only places I've been checked for a license are at these ponds and at Prewitt (which is up the road).