It’s time to plan a local fishing day trip

Get your license and your gear and go catch dinner

Dan Williams
12-year-old Tyler Singleton demonstrates the proper way to launch your line into the lake as shown here Saturday at Evergreen Lake.
Dan Williams
Fly fishing takes a little bit of a different skill set and it also takes different equipment but Colorado has plenty of rivers that are perfect for fly fishing.
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Has it been a long time since you have gone fishing? Us too.

Now that summer is here we have fishing day trips planned and you don’t even need to go camping overnight or drive hours into the mountains to do it.

Colorado has some of the best fishing opportunities that can be found anywhere in the world, and we decided to find several spots for you to go and try to get a bite — and they are all minutes away from town.

And if you’re successful you can take home and cook what you caught with your own bare hands, instead of going to the grocery store and buying it for $7.99 per pound.

But before you pack up your car and head for your favorite fishing hole we have a checklist of items you will need before you go off and do battle with Mother Nature.

First off we don’t want anybody getting fined before their fun even starts so make sure to by Wal-Mart or Sports Authority and pick up your annual fishing license.

Your new license is valid April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015, for not only fishing but also for combination fishing and hunting, small game and Colorado waterfowl stamps.

The license will cost you $26 dollars for the year or you can get a single day fishing pass for $9 if you are only planning on going out one day.

Now that you have your license you can go dig out your old rod, reel and tackle box. If you do not have any fishing gear we suggest finding some at a garage sale or perhaps on Craigslist.

Fishing equipment can be very expensive but it can also easily be found used for much cheaper.

The beauty of fishing in Colorado is that you can drive up the mountain to your favorite lake or you can simply pull off to the side of the road while driving up the mountain and drop your line into the river literally off the side of the road.

Lake fish and river fish might want to be attacked differently, so you might want to round up some worms and grasshoppers to go along with your Powerbait that you may have bought. Different bait options is a smart play because fish seem to like different things on different days.

Lastly, if you are headed up the mountain for a little fishing, make sure to additionally bring sunscreen, cell phone, a pocketknife, at least a couple days worth of food and water and make sure to tell a loved one where you are headed just for emergencies.

Now that we have prepared you for battle we have a few local fishing spots to suggest and none of them will cost you a full tank of gas to get there:

- There is no more perfect place to take the family up for a quick drive up the mountain than Evergreen Lake. Fish the lake from sunrise to sunset and if you are out there for a sun setting in the summer you might want to bring your camera because the scenery is spectacular. You might even catch sight of a pair of bald eagles that are nesting nearby. There are plenty of fish in the lake but on a weekend there are also plenty of people all around the park. So you might want to walk around the lake a bit until you find a quiet spot where you can cast off and take it all in.

- It is actually more of a river than a creek but it is also features several easily accessible fishing spots right off the road that you might want to stop at on your way to your further out fishing destination. You have probably driven by Clear Creek numerous times while headed skiing but now that the ski season is over trade in your skis for poles. (Carefully) pull off the road and test your river and fly fishing skills out.

If you are not interested in a drive into the mountains for a day of fishing that is no problem because you can fish in the heart of metro Denver in the South Platte River at several ideal spots. Just moments from I-25 and Santa Fe Drive, about five minutes from downtown Denver, sits Overland Pond Park, right next to Overland Golf Course. Park at the pond parking lot and walk down the paved path until you find the perfect spot to set up and cast your line.

- This underrated fishing opportunity makes our list because of its convenience and the fact that the state record walleye was caught here in 1997. Aquatic baits are prohibited here but you can use a variety of other baits to help catch walleye, trout, catfish and bass at the lake. And in addition it is stocked regularly throughout the summer by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

- Just outside of Boulder resides this outdoorsman’s hot spot. The Park features incredible sandstone cliffs but also some of the best fishing you could find anywhere in the state. Fish for rainbow trout at one of their many ideal fishing holes and never worry about crowds of people because the park prevents overcrowding by limiting the amount of visitors.