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Old 08-18-2010, 10:22 PM
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Default Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

I just moved out to boulder and would love to get into some high altitude lakes to get some larger trout (namely cutts). Can anyone suggest any relatively close lakes to boulder to do this? I have a very capable 4wd so a rough trail is not a problem. Or would anyone like to show me some lakes around here? Longshot I know but worth asking.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

If you don't mind hiking a little, you'll be able to fish a lot more lakes compared to roadside waters. Some lakes that have short, easy hikes to them: Long, Isabelle, Mitchell lakes by the Lake Brainard Rec Area. The east side of Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park has a handful of lakes that are close to the road: Dream, Emerald, and Haiyaha. RMNP has greenback cutthroats, but expect lots of company at easily accessible waters in the park. The Rainbow Lakes in the Indian Peaks Wilderness are easy to hike to and the lakes are stocked and very popular.....expect company here. King Lake under Rollins Pass is very nice, but busy and heavily fished. King has cutthroats.

All of those hikes are around a mile in distance. If you can hike 11-12 miles on day trips, then the IPW and RMNP are high lake shrines. There are enough lakes with in a day's reach to keep an angler in relative solitude and scrambling for years.

There are very few roadside high altitude lakes west of Boulder that I can think of. Lake Brainard is very beautiful and stocked I believe. Lake Estes is nice but it's right in town and boats are allowed. I've never fished it but I see tons of anglers on the shore and in boats and float tubes. Fall River, Chinns, and Sherwin Lakes west of Denver are nice little cutthroat and brook trout lake that you can drive right to.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

Thanks for the names. I don't mind hiking a bit, I'm 23 and in shape but most of the time fishing alone so I don't want to be too far out.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukewl View Post
Thanks for the names. I don't mind hiking a bit, I'm 23 and in shape but most of the time fishing alone so I don't want to be too far out.
What are you scared of?? There's nothing in these mountains that's gonna get you if you take care of yourself. Lightning strikes, hypothermia, and injury are the only thing you're in danger of. And a smart hiker has control over all three. Forget about bears and cougars, maulings in the IPW and RMNP back country are an EXTREME rarity. And the trails are so heavily used by both hikers and rangers in the IPW and RMNP that you're almost never in danger of becoming isolated.

It sounds like a 7-8 mile day hike is certainly in your repertoire. This opens up a huge number of high country lakes in the IPW and RMNP. And if you can do 12-13 mile day hikes, there are few lakes in the IPW and RMNP you won't be able to reach. Go buy these three Trails Illustrated Maps (REI stocks them):

#200 - Rocky Mountain NP
#103 - Winter Park, Central City, Rollins Pass
#102 - Indian Peaks Gold Hill

Look at an area, and go exploring. You'll stay busy for a decade. I would guess that over 80-85% of the high country lakes in the IPW and RMNP have trout and most are cutthroat lakes. Bring your camera, you'll be IMO the most beautiful backcountry in the US. And I believe solo hikers have advantages over small parties. You can hike at your own pace, take breaks at your own pace, and when the fishing is good you get it all to yourself.

Last edited by countr21; 08-20-2010 at 10:56 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

lukewl - my girlfriend and I moved to Boulder early in the summer, we're living in greeley now. I'm 27 and she is 25, and we've been hitting the backcountry fly fishing almost every weekend.

We're looking to make some friends out here to do this with us. Our fishing partner just left for home this week This season feels like its ending for us, as last trip we did we found ice , but I'll PM you our phone number.

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Old 10-17-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Cutthroat in lakes: daytrip distance from boulder

I ended up going up to RMNP a few times before it got too cold. Got into some really nice cutthroat! Vanish, Im still fishing streams, and plan to all winter if you want to shoot me your number Im always down to meet people to fish with.
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