Exploring the Rockies

ivory arrow

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Coming from Louisiana I know all about mosquitos. I just haven't had to deal with them since moving here.

People told me how bad they can get but I never came across them. Only at Spinney Reservoir and now in Big Horn Canyon.


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corn fed fins

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If I remember right, mosquitos where never bad in the canyons until high water started to recede. Then they erupt with force.

I bet I know a few locations here that could give Louisiana a run for its money. I ran for my life; two pints short and feeling dizzy.:D
 

ivory arrow

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I explored the Cache La Poudre river outside of Fort Collins today with an old friend.

It is a beautiful river and everything looked good. The weather and flows were great. The water was cold and clear.

Unfortunately the fish weren't cooperative. I guess it just happens sometimes. I caught two 4 inch trout and had a 12 inch fish shake off. That was it. I'm not sure why the fishing wasn't better.

Regardless I will definitely be back. My best friend from New Orleans moved to Fort Collins and is also an avid fisherman. I don't think I impressed him with my skills today though.

Fort Collins is only about two hours away and I plan to go back fairly often. This river hasn't seen the last of me.







 
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del gue

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The Cache La Poudre has a lot of history from the Rocky Mountain fur trade.
 

corn fed fins

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Most people overlook the french influence in northern Colorado. I can fish that entire river by thought after attending CSU and living in Rist Canyon for 18 years. I bet one always has company up at the S turns by Rustic these days. Best little black stonefly hatch in the state.....the green drake hatch is fun as well.

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ivory arrow

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The Cache la Poudre is absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to go back.

Unfortunately it's been raining across the Front Range almost every day. Most of the rivers are running high and dirty even if you get a few hours of clear weather to fish.

For now I am just tying flies and daydreaming of dry weather. Thinking about trying to improve my freestone skills. The freestone rivers have given me the most trouble so far.

I think I have been fishing too small of patterns. Size 18 nymphs are about as big as I go on my local tail waters. 16 for Caddis. I don't usually fish stonefly patterns and I am taking advantage of the weather to tie some.


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Lsuhunter

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It was nice catching up on this thread. I haven't been on the forum much at all since I moved back to Louisiana but am coming back up to Colorado finally this October. Get one day to fish, leaning towards 11 mile at the moment but then again the dream stream in october is always appealing. I haven't cast a fly at trout in almost 2 years so I am pretty pumped.
 

flyguyco

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Ivory

Great post, I really enjoyed your adventure!
I personally would not give up on exploring the local small streams we have in the Pikes Peak region. Yes, fish are small, but it not always about the fish. You seem to be such a great explorer that small streams gives you the ability to check out what is around the next corner.

I will say that one of the streams that you visited delivered a nice surprise more me one afternoon three years ago. Threw a hopper under a rock ledge to discover a 19" Brown Trout in waiting. Took me a while but I ended up landing him on my 1wt fly rod! what a treat and a memory.

Keep Exploring!
 

ivory arrow

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Thanks guys.

I have been thinking about doing some small stream fishing. I would like to catch some brook trout in their spawning colors.

I admit to being spoiled though. It's hard to leave water that holds big fish to go after the little guys.

I have also been looking at the Blue River. I am not sure where I will end up. It will probably depend on the weather.


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cab

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One place I haven't seen in this thread is Cheesman Canyon. Up near Deckers. South Platte river, so the fish are S.Platte FAT! Went there Tuesday, only caught 2 fish, but oh, what FISH!!

HTH,
CAB
 

ivory arrow

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Cab, I did go out to Cheesman Canyon twice so far. There a some pics a few pages back.

It's been raining so much I haven't wanted to get stuck back there during a storm. Now the weather finally seems to be clearing up I will definitely visit it again.

You are correct. My first time I was there I immediately noticed the fish were larger on average than in 11 Mile canyon. I've only caught a couple from there, but I saw some very nice fish.


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harg311

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Thank you for this awesome thread. Oh and thank you for allowing me to use the first 3 hours of my work day this Monday morning reading it. LOL. :D

I came across your thread and this forum when researching Wild Cat Canyon. A coworker of mine was exploring a little north of there in the Longwater Gulch area and we were talking about that area. I came across Wildcat canyon in my research. Looks intriguing and I will venture in there someday with my small 2 wt.

I am a transplant to this great state of Colorado almost 5 years ago from Arizona. Never fly fished and quickly got "hooked" the first time i saw one of those crystal clear streams. Long story short, i took a streamside class and immediately wanted to fish every river in this state.

My thoughts if you care:
I have a Love/hate relationship with the Ark Freestone. It can be mind numbingly frustrating at times. I have had epic days and "skunked" days on that river. I tend to stick to the Hayden Meadows area in the summer, now that is some great fishing. Its completely different than Browns or the Big Horn area.

Cheesman is amazing but tough. Favorite place to fish to get away. Hike a couple miles up the river and you will quickly lose the crowds. Deckers is a "rubber" hatch zoo in the summer. I fish that in the early spring before runoff and winter/Fall mainly. You can also hike down to Cheesman from above the dam at the reservoir. A little longer hike but it takes you to areas less visited by anglers.

Summertime for me is all about Alpine lakes and small stream fishing with an occasional trip to a big river like 11 Mile Canyon, Taylor, Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, or Eagle Rivers. If you haven't yet, hike to an alpine lake and go for those beautiful cutthroats up there eagerly taking hoppers, beetles and ants. Not all alpine lakes are hard to get to. Mohawk lakes is about 2 hours away and if you have a 4WD its only about 1.5 mile hike to the 2nd lake. Or go to RMNP and hike to Dream Lake or better yet to Loch Vale for some amazing Greenback Cutts. Then fish glacier creek. You can get all 4 species (Brown, Brook, Rainbow and Cutts) in the same water for a Grand Slam. Its damn fun. Just my two cents though.

I love your post. Seriously, i got goosebumps while reading and seeing the pictures, and yep, now I am taking a sick day this week to go fish 11 Mile Canyon. When you have a 19 month old at home you gotta get creative in your days on the water. ;-) Keep up the great posts, i look forward to reading more.
 

el jefe

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I have a Love/hate relationship with the Ark Freestone. It can be mind numbingly frustrating at times. I have had epic days and "skunked" days on that river. I tend to stick to the Hayden Meadows area in the summer, now that is some great fishing. Its completely different than Browns or the Big Horn area.
I fished Hayden Meadows a week ago, had a blast. I always do better up there than in Brown's Canyon and further downstream, despite all the structure and fish in some of those areas. The fish are smaller up higher, but more willing to play, it seems. From Brown's Canyon down, I have wanted to break my rod over my knee more than once.
 

ivory arrow

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Thank you for the kind words. This summer was pretty frustrating. I didn't get to do pretty much any of the exploring that I wanted to. The weather was the main culprit. I really can't wait until I have more stuff to post. The weather has been beautiful lately, and the rains have more or less stopped. Hopefully more adventures are in my near future.

Today was a nice day. Great weather and I had the day off. I decided to fish Canon City which is probably the most fickle spot in all of the Freestone section. With that in mind I kept my expectations in check. You really never know what the conditions will be there. So rather than make a hardcore day of fishing I decided to pack up my Beagle and my Mom for a day out. We went to explore Skyline Drive.

Skyline Drive is cool as hell. It is right behind the fly shop in Canon City. It's a narrow one lane road that runs a couple of miles along the ridge line by the highway. There are great views of the surrounding countryside, and then it pops you right back into downtown where you can fish the river walk. If you want to visit the fly shop and fish the Riverwalk I highly recommend taking Skyline Drive back into town.



Once we got back in town we went and bought some burritos from a local joint, then we ate dinner by the river.

The river was in great shape, but I only had time to make a few casts. It was the right time of day though, and I got a decent brown trout on a streamer. Today was a good day.








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Man o' man this post makes me miss Colorado.. the mountains and the amazing fly fishing to be had there.. but especially the mountains. I went to Canon City but to go to the Royal Gorge. If I had know there's fishing there it would had been a different trip lol. I also wish I had know about the Skyline road, my wife would have been scared to be on it but I am sure she would have loved it. Great Post Ivory.
 

ivory arrow

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I have been out fishing on the Arkansas a few times in the past few weeks. The river is running at roughly double its historic values for this time of year, both on the tailwater, and the freestone. The tailwater has been fluctuating a lot lately, and the water is still pretty dirty. High flows don't bother me much, but inconsistent flows are frustrating to deal with.

I also went and fished the freestone in Canon City today. The water is high, but clear. Beautiful conditions. Normally it's getting pretty late in the season to fish the freestone, but there was so much rain this summer that the reservoirs along the river are still releasing water. So with higher water and warmer weather the fish are supposedly still biting. I couldn't prove it to you though. I never had a bite all day, though I only fished for about three hours. I will try to come back again before it gets too cold to bother.





Not much to report I am afraid. I am still tying my own flies. These have become a mainstay in my box. My own creation: The Invincible Nymph




Other than that I am still planning on going to Silverthorne eventually, and I will be fishing in Pueblo for the winter. I will keep you guys posted. Hopefully next time I will have some fish pictures.
 
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corn fed fins

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Just drove through the canyon on my way to fish the Dream Stream for a staggering 3 hours lol. Was going to fish the Ark on the way home but got side tracked with visiting family in Springs, changed my plans, and trekked home in the dark. Ark looked great though. Usually very productive this time of year so I'm surprised at your report. Water did look a bit high but I like high water. Next time I'm going through I will fish the canyon. Might just be the last time I fish the D.S. Growing up fishing that river it has now become the Nightmare Stream. The Ark is a wonderful fishery that has come a long way in the last 30 years. Some really good bows and the average brown seems to have increased as well; at least in the canyon. Curious, do you fish more above salida or below? I have family in Pueblo so I find myself on the tail water most often. In the canyon I throw a green rock worm and just hammer fish. The tailwater can be anything but the bwo dries in winter are wonderful.

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ivory arrow

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The Pueblo Tailwater is basically my home water. I fish it more than anywhere else. When I fish the freestone portions of the Ark then it is usually Bighorn Sheep Canyon, or right in Canon City.


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corn fed fins

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The Pueblo Tailwater is basically my home water. I fish it more than anywhere else. When I fish the freestone portions of the Ark then it is usually Bighorn Sheep Canyon, or right in Canon City.


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Well, you'll recognize me. I'm the one with the Glock attached to my waist pack for Pueblo fishing; tail water down to Runyon Lake. Lol.

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