North Park Fishing Report 6/17/2012
Lake John Resort
Before I give an update on the fishing, there’s a few announcements that I need to relay. First off, as of 5 pm this past Friday (6/15/12), a full fire ban went into effect in Jackson County. No wood or charcoal fires are allowed, even if contained within steel rings or approved containers. Only gas or propane stoves or grills are currently acceptable. Next, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) did their annual netting and shocking on Lake John last week, and confirmed not only the absence of suckers, but the health and sustained growth of the trout mass that has been stocked since the reclamation. Food sources for the fish were validated, showing good numbers with shrimp, scuds, crawfish, snails, damsels, and mayflies among the smorgasbord.
On a third note, CPW has recruited a new camp host for Lake John to replace ten-year veteran Richard March, who now resides in Buena Vista during the summer. Some of you may have already met Gene Labriola, who resides at the Resort RV Park, and can be contacted through the Resort, or seen making his rounds of the Lake. Gene has been a long-time visitor and angler at Lake John, and looks forward to meeting and helping out other campers and visitors.
Let’s talk fishing. I actually had the chance to troll Lake John last week and it was excellent. With no exaggeration, two of us boated 40 to 50 fish in less than 3 hours — up to 15 inches, and down to 9 — every one had an attitude only a Lake John trout possesses. The warmer weather, along with 60 degree plus water temps, now has the fish moving downward, where lead-core is desirable. With that kind of action, we crimped the barbs down on our single-hook Needlefish, so release was made as easy as possible. I also personally either shut down or put the motor in neutral whenever anyone in the boat hooks a fish. This makes it less stressful on the trout, and lets the angler feel the fish without pulling against the motion of the boat. However, this also means whoever else is in the boat needs to reel in, or their rig goes directly to the bottom, especially with lead-core. I know that’s a lot of work, but it helps to ensure a healthy population of trout with a low mortality rate, particularly when having to release so many.
Fly guys and gals are also doing very well, although once again it will help to be out on the water where there’s access to deeper water. A variety of flies are working, including midges, nymphs, and buggers, retrieved slowly just above the weed level or hung at the correct depth below an indicator. Not much dry action currently on John. For obvious reasons, Father’s Day weekend can be one of the busiest times of the season, and with the fishing this good, this year was no exception. I wish I had more info on the other lakes, however all my attention was at LJ during the past week. The bits and pieces I did hear were that the Delaneys, especially South, is doing quite well, as is Big Creek Lake.
Shore fishermen and bait-dunkers on John are also having extreme amounts of fun floating PowerBait up off the bottom from a slip-rig. However, once again, the need to take care when releasing fish is imperative, and this is much harder to do when a small treble hook cannot even be seen down the fish’s throat. When this is the case and the fish is being released, cutting the line as close to the hook as possible is much better than trying to dig it out of the fish’s throat. Also, single hooks work just as well as trebles when the fish are this aggressive. Remember, if the fish is bleeding, albeit a tiny bit, it will soon die, even if it acts healthy and swims away. Take care of these trout, and you will be rewarded again and again in the future.
Lake John Resort