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Thread: Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

  1. #1

    Default Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

    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!!!"

  2. #2

    Default Re: Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

    Oh yeah! I was the other guy on this trip. Just joined the forum as well.

    What a great trip. Triple Play!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

    Looks like an great trip despite the slow fishing! Remote lakes can be like that, but getting into three different species sure must have been exciting. I've hunted up there but never fished. That river looked like it was a little off color, were you there during spring runoff?

    Johnny: Welcome to the forum and congrats on the fishing trip!
    Larry


  4. #4

    Default Re: Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

    Nice fish guys. Looks like a good time all around.

    While I don't follow football, I love my old school... So, I gotta say it. Go rams!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Car camping and fishing lakes in the Flat Tops

    Quote Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
    Looks like an great trip despite the slow fishing! Remote lakes can be like that, but getting into three different species sure must have been exciting. I've hunted up there but never fished. That river looked like it was a little off color, were you there during spring runoff?

    Johnny: Welcome to the forum and congrats on the fishing trip!
    Larry,

    Yes the moving water was very roiled and was bringing in the red stained water from fresh snowmelt that is typical in the Spring. We did catch some fish out in the main body of the lakes, but we concentrated our time at some of the larger inlets. Big lakes usually have multiple inlets, and we had many inlets to explore.

    spiderninja: Hell yeah.....I'm a huge Rams fan, CSU is my alma mater (Class of 2000 - the seven year plan, baby!!!). The football team has fallen on hard times since Sonny Lubick departed, but they still play the CU Buffaloes hard each year and that's all that really matters to many Ram fans

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