Post By: Flyrodn Posted: 8/16/2010 11:53:04 AM Points: 47320
For those looking for a master angler bluegill this is as close to a sure bet as you're going to get in Colorado. Now for looking for a meal, forget it. Jerry Creek Reservoirs are fly and lure, catch and release only. Also its a stiff mile walk into them, and right now they fish best from a tube, which is a bit of a grunt getting that up the hill. Lastly, the reservoirs are about 30 minutes out of Grand Junction, so unless you live in the area it's a bit of a haul.
See the lake page for the conditions report and directions on how to get there.
John, mentioned in my blog, and I decided to make the effort Sunday to pack tubes in and fly fish the smaller reservoir. They have just recently brought the water levels up, so the weedbeds/lines were submerged and difficult to locate without electronics (which I had). We started out fishing for largemouth, and did fair on them with large foxee clousers, but ultimately decided to chase the bluegill. Rather glad we did as we caught large numbers of fish, most in the 8-9 inch class, sprinkled with a good number of master angler sized fish, 10 inches or better.
John wanted his MA gill and he got it. I had hopes of upgrading mine, but only managed to match it, three times with 10.5 fish. But if wall papering my office with MA awards was the goal, I could have had a couple dozen. I even had afirst for me, three gills at the same time, two were 10 inches and one 9.5. That's right two MA fish at the same time.
So if adding a MA bluegill to your collection is part of your bucket list, then I highly recommend Jerry Creek Reservoirs.
I love Jerry Creeks. They are so unknown you rarely see anybody there with excellent fishing. Congrats on all the MA awards. I was torn on saturday as I drove past them to hit Vega, but I did well there so it wasn't bad. I'll be hitting the Jerry Creeks or Vega on Wednsday.
Thanks for the report and great job on the gills. I've been thinking of making the drive out there in search of my MA bluegill. I fish from my kayak and don't have a float tube so I'll be stuck on shore since no boats are allowed. Do you think shore fishin is a viable option? Do you know if res 1 or 2 would be better from shore? My other MA hunt spot I was thinking of was Sweitzer for green sunfish. I could take my kayak on that. Any opinions on Sweitzer vs. Jerry Creek? I'll be driving from Longmont. Again, thanks for all the reports.
In terms of MA 'gills, there are no bluegill in Swietzer, only Green Sunfish, and it is probably one of the best options for a MA and even new state record for a green sunfish. Be aware Swietzer is very popular for skiing, jet skis, boating. While I tube it, I'm also facing heavy boat traffic so caution in a 'yak is merited.
Can a MA 'gill be taken from the shore at Jerry Creeks. Yes. This was the first time I've tubed it and I've caught numerous big gill from the shore. Here's the kicker. We had to fish deep this trip as the reservoir levels were maxed out. Making getting to the drop-offs/weed edges difficult, if not impossible to reach from shore. Drop the reservoir 5-10 ft much better odds.
The smaller reservoir would be your best shot for a MA gill, the upper/larger for a MA largemouth, in my opinion.
hey flyrod , i submitted a post on this very same subject on friday night , except down here in pueblo at the res , any info on what you were using , im trying this feat on an ultra light and 2 lb line , i made an attempt sat morning but that place was a "madhouse" i packed up and home i went , i am fishing from shore and have had alot of success but was fishing for the smallies , and since i currently have no MA i thought it would be only challenging to start at one of the smaller fish lol
Reply by: Flyrodn Posted: 8/17/2010 9:54:28 AM Points: 47320
The flies we used for the bluegills were halfbacks, both bead head and unweighted, and small clousers, 1 inch and 1.5 inch (size 12 and size 10 respectively). Note these are not generally commercially available patterns but are very easy to tie. Colors were brown/white, olive/white, and pink/white. In the center photo you can see the brown/white clouser.
We also caught numerous bass on these same patterns. As I noted the bass were mostly up in shallower water, under 10 ft and the gills deeper, along edges/drop offs in 10-20 ft of water. We'd find the edge, on the deep side it was gills, shallow side bass. Ocassionally, we'd pick up a double with both bass/gill.
We were fishing sinking lines, type three (3 inch per second sink rate). And I was giving it a 10-20 second count before starting my retrieve. I used a quick strip/long pause most of the day. Worked well in deeper water, but when I went shallow I needed a much faster retrieve and shorter count down to stay out of the weedy bottom. John was fishing faster retrieves, and didn't wait as long on the count down. He caught as many fish, but not near as large for the most part.