Post By: Lead Slinger Posted: 9/3/2012 11:43:53 AM Points: 0
Well, I figured I would share some pics of this summerís solo Colorado fishing and hiking road trip. It was an unplanned trip and my next destination was picked by either talking to fellow fishermen that I met or by looking at my trusty atlas. Most of my fishing spots were small lakes and streams above 8,000í and most of the fish were caught on spinners and rapalas. All of the locations, except Tarryall, were new to me. I did not have a cook stove with me, so most of the fish were released.
I started out from Denver and stopped at Tarryall Reservoir to soak up some sun and catch two small rainbows. From here, I kept driving west of Buena Vista to catch 6 more small rainbows at Cottonwood Lake (pic), primarily on my frog-patterned super duper. When I made it to Taylor Park Reservoir, the wind was blowing so hard, I had to hunker down in the cove by the dam to catch a couple more rainbows (pic). Next, I fished the Taylor River tailwater below the dam and tried my arsenal of spinners on these weary fish. No luck on getting any of the fish angry at my spinners, but I finally landed a beautifully-colored brown and a nice rainbow on rapalas (perch and rainbow patterns). Unfortunately I did not get pictures of these fish. Moving further down Taylor Canyon, I stopped at one of the public fishing access pullouts and caught another rainbow (pic).
Reply by: Lead Slinger Posted: 9/3/2012 11:45:35 AM Points: 0
Passing through Gunnison, I stopped at one of the access points where the Gunnison flows into Blue Mesa. I got the skunk with my lures, but some guys nearby were catching Ďem by floating Powerbait off the bottom. Unfortunately I snagged and lost one of my favorite lures. I had better success in the morning fishing Pine Canyon below the Blue Mesa Dam, when I caught a couple of small lake trout (pics). Next time I fish this canyon, Iím going to go on the Morrow Point boat tour that you have to reserve BEFORE hiking down into the canyon. Driving further downstream, I got skunked at the Morrow Point tailwater. Based on my limited experience fishing below these dams, it seems key to start fishing early before the high water flows are released.
After the Morrow Point skunk, I decided to find some easier fishing by going higher in elevation and caught 13 small rainbows at Silver Jack Reservoir (pic). I fished the point on the NW side of the lake and got lucky by starting with my only hot lure of the day, my blue fox firetiger. After I had caught 4 fish I began rotating through my lure selection, but the fish would only hit this one lure: but they would hit it about every third cast. I had one fish casualty, so I stopped in at the Orvis Hot Springs to cook my fish and get some nice soaking in.
Reply by: Lead Slinger Posted: 9/3/2012 11:48:56 AM Points: 0
Driving south, I caught a couple of rainbows at Andrews Lake and Haviland Lake, got an afternoon skunk at Vallecito, and moved on to the most unique fishing spot of the trip. It is not very often that you can combine a short hike with really good fishing, top it off with a soak in some natural hot springs, and watch a wildfire burning up the canyon. At Piedra River Canyon (2 pics) I caught 6 fish a mix of browns and rainbows. Next, I fished a couple of spots on the Rio Grande River to catch 8 browns about 10 minutes west of South Fork and just downstream of the Rio Grande Reservoir. The Road Canyon Reservoir No. 1 stocker rainbows were hitting the Blue Fox firetiger hard and I moved on after catching a dozen.
Reply by: Lead Slinger Posted: 9/3/2012 11:51:39 AM Points: 0
The Lake Fork of the Gunnison provided a good mix of rainbows and browns and I landed a nice brown just upstream of Blue Mesa (pics). South of Telluride I got a morning skunk at Alta Lakes, so I moved on to catch and keep 3 rainbows at the scenic Trout Lake. I finished the trip off with a soak in the Rico Hot Springs. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling through central Colorado, meeting fellow fishermen and catching a few fish in between.
Cool trip. Honestly some times it's nice to take a trip like that by yourself. You can do whatever you want when you want. Don't have to change your plans around someone else. I've gotten the chance to take one trip like that (this summer) and it was great to fish as long as I wanted.
So how long was the trip (did I miss that?)? Given the number of spots you hit, hopefully at least 3 days.