Post By: ndscott Posted: 7/2/2012 9:31:14 PM Points: 77
Had a good day in the float boat on Chambers from 10am to 3pm today. Used the fly rod and caught many fish (I stopped counting at 20 around 12:30) Most were 12" with a few up to 16". No other boats on the lake though the boat ramp is still usable. Very few people fishing from shore though they also apeared to be catching fish.
The lower Poudre has a good deal of fire damage but the drive was fine. In some ways it was not as bas as I feared with most of the trees by the water surviving. The hills and ridges above are mush worse and will lead to searious problems if we get a big rain. Worst area was near the canyon mouth and at upper narrows campground (picture attached) Once you get past Mountain Park fire damage ends.
Spent most of the day today fishing Chambers with my wife on float tubes. Did fair, caught a few off the tip and some deep. The canyon was actually better than I had thought it might be. We drove up last night but got to see the fire damage on the drive down this afternoon. The Narrows and Stevens Gulch were really bad.
Not sure what people were expecting, but I thought it was pretty bad. Are there still some living trees? Sure. But overall when you enter the canyon the damage is pretty bad. A lot of people probably didn't even notice it, but there used to be a house across the street from Picnic Rock day use area....well, it ain't there anymore and that was right next to the road. If you fish the river in that area you can see the damage to the river as well. The water is clear, but the substrate is black and it covers the rocks. I also saw quite a few fish that had lesions on them. Not sure if it's from the fire (water temp raising) or stress related. It's kind of sad. But with the fire comes renewal and it'll be greener than ever soon(you can already see green grasses coming back in). The trees will take longer to come back.
Reply by: skb2706 Posted: 7/5/2012 8:26:56 AM Points: 20
Yes it is bad and it will never be the same in my lifetime that I remember it for the last 50 years. But having toured the Hayman, Buffalo Creek and Duckett fire areas which within their containment were burnt to virtual wasteland, the Poudre Canyon fared much better.
Reply by: Lost Man Fishing Posted: 7/5/2012 8:07:11 PM Points: 20
...most likely the lesions on the fish are due to the fire retardant... that stuff causes extreme spikes in ammonia levels "charcoal" or the black stuff in the river from the fire will cause a decrease in oxygen levels in the river too... All in all not looking good for the Poudre for a while...
Reply by: Wolftever Posted: 7/15/2012 10:01:03 AM Points: 1
I was at Chambers Lake just after the road opened after the fire was contained and just before the road was closed AGAIN due to the heavy rains and flash flooding. The initial drive from Ted's into the canyon was heartbreaking, as the Poudre watershed is one of my favorite places in the world. The fire left its mark, and we'll be feeling the impact for years to come.
I spent two days in the area, fishing the inlet and outlet areas at Chambers and spending a little time at Lost Lake (mostly to see the moose family). This was a last-minute trip just to check out the fire damage and scout for an upcoming camping trip in the Rawah. A friend of mine from Texas was along for the ride, and he had never tried fly fishing before so it was a great time.
We had lots of luck at both the inlet and outlet at Chambers. I was using an Elk Hair Caddis and he was using a white wooly bugger. We both caught tons of fish - mostly 12- to 14-inchers, lots of fun on the rigs we had. He was especially excited as he had never caught a fish on a fly rod before. (The accompanying picture is my friend with his very first fish on a fly rod.)
I'm heading back up next weekend for a couple of days, and will be taking a small flat bottom boat with a trolling motor. I love that Chambers is wakeless ... makes for a much more relaxing experience.