Last summer my friends & I had a blast up in the Flat Tops Wilderness so I returned with a buddy last week to explore new lakes and streams in another part of this amazing expanse. The Flat Tops is an enormous place; one could spend many summers exploring the region. During our three day trip there was very little activity on the surface, we were bummed to see no prolific hatches during our three day visit. So we spent the majority of time fishing nymphs at inlet stations. My friend found one big (size 10 or 12) mayfly prince nymph that was the hot ticket and I had a little success with a black soft-hackle wooly worm and a green emerging caddis nymph. During the evenings there was a little surface activity. My buddy caught some small rainbows on an Adams and I skated a red humpy on the glassy surface and nailed a couple of nice cuttys.
The fishing in general was a little slow, but my friend managed twenty total fish and I got seven. We are both still learning and we misconverted on dozens of nibbles. The good news is that the fish we did catch were much larger than expected. I had actually fished this area years before and caught many smaller rainbows up to 12" but on this trip the average fish was larger. At one inlet, my buddy caught three species of trout from the exact same standing position. He nailed a brookie, rainbow, and Colorado cutthroat in an hour's time from the exact same station. We kept yelling, "Triple Play!!!!" From my research with the Colorado DOW, I know that the rainbows are stockers, but I have no idea how the brookies and cutthroats got there. We did take two rainbows and one brook trout and cooked them over the campfire.
My best fish of the trip, a beauty 15" rainbow
This rainbow went over the coals of the campfire
My friend caught the next three fish from the exact same standing position: a nice brookie, impressive rainbow, and an incredible 15-16" Colorado cutthroat
This chunky cutthroat cut the tape at 13"
This rainbow fell victim to the campfire
Kind of a poor picture, but it's a "Double!!!"