The spring brings its own kind of fun in Colorado, as any employee at any shop specializing in recreational equipment can testify.

Skis, snowshoes and boots come off the racks to be replaced by kayaks, reels and flip-flops. The warmer temperatures bring blooms and vibrant colors to the Colorado landscape, but they also bring a whole different breed of goods to the aisles and racks.

“Right now, the fly fishing stuff is really starting to pick up,” said Ryan Kazee of Angles Sports Ski Board and Fly Shop in Longmont. “This is before runoff happens and the fish are waking up. We’ve already had some 80 degree days – we’ve already rented some paddle boards out.”

That kind of shift is typical at shops like Angles. As recreators across Colorado make the shift to spring and summer activities, we’ve put together some of the hottest items you’re liable to find at Angles, Brown’s Shoe Fit or your Longmont Play It Again Sports.

These finds will help ensure that you start off the season right, whether your pleasure is rafting, kayaking, fishing or hiking.  

Kayak, paddleboard and tube rentals

Kayak, paddleboard and tube rentals
Angles Sports caters to those who want to ring in the spring/summer seasons by getting into Colorado waters. With a rental program that includes kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and even inner tubes, the shop can match even the most casual water rat with the perfect equipment. With options from the best lines like Aquaglide and rates as low as $30 for two hours for a single kayak, it’s easy to find fun in Colorado’s waters. Varying rates. anglessports.com

Ross, Cimarron Reel

Ross, Cimarron Reel
Dedicated fly fishers have flocked to the Ross brand for decades, and the Cimarron Reel has been a staple in that company’s most popular items. Ross has revived the old favorite that kicked off in the 1980s, and incorporated a sleek new design to make the reel better than ever. $295. anglessports.com

Echo Traverse Kit – Fly Rod

Echo Traverse Kit – Fly Rod
Echo is a trusted brand for fly fishers looking for a solid tool to last them through several seasons, and the four-piece, lightweight traverse kit is perfect for travel. With a cork grip and a ceramic design, this rod is perfect for traipsing around to Colorado’s best fishing spots. $269. anglessports.com

Men’s & women’s sawtooth II LOW Shoe

Men’s & Women’s Sawtooth II LOW Shoe
The MVP of your most trail-worthy quiver, the Sawtooth II brings another level of streamlined functionality to the trail with breathable mesh paneling, a lighter weight but equally sturdy heel counter, and an asymmetrical collar for improved fit around the ankle. Enjoy the unbeatable comfort and performance of a shoe designed to go mile-for-mile with you on your favorite outdoor pursuits. $115. stores.brownsshoefitcompany.com/longmont

Costa Fantail Fly Fishing Sunglasses
Even if you’re not into fly fishing, you’re sure to benefit from a pair of Costa Fantail sunglasses. These specs are designed to withstand the Colorado elements, whether you’re standing knee-high in a river all day, or just taking in some of Colorado’s best trails. $240. anglessports.com

Soccer balls, golf clubs, frisbees and everything else
Play It Again Sports in Longmont boasts a huge selection of options for those wanting to celebrate the warmer months in a more casual way – kicking a soccer ball around the backyard, taking in a quick nine or just tossing a frisbee around in the park. With a massive amount of new and used gear, Play It Again is the perfect place to find the single piece of equipment to kick off a spring and summer of outdoor activities. Varying rates. playitagainsports.com/locations/longmont-co

By Adam Goldstein, Longmont Magazine