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Matt Snider
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11/19/2020 5:00:00 AM
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Still Fishing Around Wildfires in Colorado

Blog by: Matt Snider , Colorado 10/21/2020
Here it is late October and we're still planning our fishing around wildfires.  Up in northern Colorado I've been cornered.  I was planning on taking some trips up to the North Park since my Poudre Canyon trips were out of the question beginning mid-August.  Well, the Mullen fire took care of that by closing the route through Laramie - I don't need to go so bad that I'd reroute through Denver.  Now it looks like that WY route is back open.  Then the Big Thompson Canyon and the Lyons started taking the heat. So I've focused on places closer-to-home and been on Horsetooth a few times.  Now all the Larimer County Parks are closed.  Time for another update.

This info is current as of 10/21/20 10/22/20.  Let's hope the cold front moving in takes care of a lot of this mess!  My heart goes out to all those effected by these fires, all those fighting them, and all those assisting.

Cameron Peak Wildfirehttps://bit.ly/3cl4goC  This is a good story map and updates that show fire perimeter, area closures, road closues, etc. See also the Cameron Peak Fire Inciweb page and the Cameron Peak Fire Facebook page.

Calwood Firehttps://bit.ly/35mJMsA Another good map showing perimeter and closures. Route 7 west of Lyons is closed. 36 north of Boulder to Lyons is closed. See also the Calwood Fire Facebook page.  The closures include the closely associated Lefthand Fire.

Mullen Firehttps://bit.ly/3dM6mhQ Again, another good story map with lots of info.  Also see the Mullen Fire Inciweb website and their Facebook page

East Troublesome Fire: Closures are in place for Forest and BLM land north and west of Granby and Grand Lake.  See Closure Map here: https://bit.ly/3ohk554.  See also the East Troublesome Fire Facebook page.


Notable fisheries, routes, and areas that are closed or impacted by the current wildfires...

Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forest Closure map: https://bit.ly/37GIVpx  The area is expansive.  If you plan to go fishing up west of the northern front range, you better check this map and the USFS information.  Also see this press release for more.  Their Facebook page has a lot of updates.

Medicine Bow NF Closure: South of 130 in WY to the Colorado state border and a bit south towards Cowdrey is closed: See map here: https://bit.ly/3m7AFmg

A lot of Rocky Mountain National Park is also closed.  More info here.  

State Forest State Park is partially open. Per notice at https://bit.ly/35iPc80, "Access on 14 is open through Walden - local traffic (around barricade - [State Forest State Park] is considered local traffic)."  "[These are] closed until further notice - no access: Crags Campground, Lake Agnes,  American Lakes ,  Michigan Ditch,  [and more]."

Grand Lake and Granby Area: As of late evening 10/21/20, Road 34 north of 40 from Granby is closed from mile marker 2 up north to the RMNP, allowing southbound traffic only for evacuation.  That means Lake Granby, Shadow Mtn Reservoir and Grand Lake (as well as sections of the Colorado River) are not accessible. Also, Hwy 40 is closed to aid firefighters west of Granby to Hot Sulphur Springs, so don't expect to be able to travel through that area.  See note about Willow Crk Res below.

Estes Park Area: As of 10/22/20 around 1:00pm all roads into Estes park are closed to allow evacuation out of that area.  That means the Big Thompson River in the canyon and in Estes Park and Estes Lake, Mary's Lake, and Lily Lake - among all the other fisheries up that way - are currently closed.

Cache La Poudre River: the canyon (Hwy 14) is still closed from Stove Prairie all the way to Walden.

Horsetooth, Pinewood, and Flatiron Reservoirs:  As of 10/23/2020 Horsetooth Res is open to boating, and Pinewood Res is open.  Flatiron Res remains closed for a road project til the 30th. As of 10/17/20 these are closed to all activity because of the Cameron Peak Wildfire which has been working its way south.

Walden Area:  Colorado Hwy 14 is open as of 10/24/20 just before 9am, but CDOT is urging travelers not to use the route unless necessary, adding "All forest areas accessible from CO 14 are closed now due to the fire danger."  See https://bit.ly/34no7RI for more.  Colorado Hwy 14 (Poudre Canyon) is closed between Walden and Stove Prairie Road, plus Hwy 125 over Willow Creek Pass from Granby heading north is closed, so that will limit your travel options to this area.  The good news is that it looks like WY Hwy 230 and CO Hwy 127 are open per the Facebook Page posted 10/21/20 for the Mullen Fire: "As a reminder, there are no closures to Wyoming State Hwy 230 or Colorado State Highway 127 due to the Mullen Fire.  Wyoming State Highway 230 is open between Laramie and the Colorado border, and Colorado State Highway 127 is open from the Wyoming border to the Hwy 127/125 intersection (north of Cowdrey and Walden)."  that means North Delaney, South Delaney, East Delaney, Lake John, andall those other lakes and rivers around there are accessible, even if the most direct route for you is not open. 

Dowdy, West Lake, Bellaire, and Parvin  in the Red Feather Lakes area are closeddue to the Cameron Peak Fire.

Willow Creek Res: Looks to be in the USFS closure for the East Troublesome Fire area.

Ralph Price (Button Rock) Reservoir west of Longmont and Lyons is closed due to the Calwood Fire as per this release.

In Wyoming: It looks like Rob Roy Res and Lake Owen are in the middle of it and inaccessible due to the Mullen Fire. 

And of course Chambers Lake (near where the Cameron Peak Fire started), Joe Wright Res, Barnes Meadow, and all those lakes and rivers up near Cameron Pass to all sides are still closed.


There is a lot of fishing effected in these fire areas.  My head is spinning.  Too much to cover here!  If you think we should add something to this information please contact me or add in the comments below.

Hopefully a lot will be changing soon, let's hope these closures change in the next few days.

Blog content © Matt Snider
Blog Comments
bron, CO   10/21/2020 5:23:13 PM
We were going to break out the flyrods and do Boulder Creek next few weekends but not now. 2020 has had a direct bad effect on our fishing since March. Amazingly my son is over 90 fish mainly from local ponds...me not so much. Hope winter is harsh with lots of cold and snow.
 
Trailerman, CO   10/21/2020 7:03:27 PM
I was digging into the closures today as well. So much info and most of it is out of date. This is a good list. Thank you for enduring the online hell of finding it all.
 
Goosehunter82, CO   10/21/2020 7:13:19 PM
That's a great list Matt. Too bad it's so long.
 
Matt Snider (Matt), CO   10/21/2020 10:17:40 PM
I just updated the info to include the Granby and Grand Lake area, Road 34 closed to NB traffic this evening with evacuation orders for Grand Lake, and Hwy 40 west of Granby is also closed.
 
anglerwannabe, CO   10/22/2020 5:37:42 AM
that's a ton of work you put in for this list Matt. Thank you
 
Anteroman, CO   10/24/2020 12:21:12 PM
Great info Matt thank you for the many updates Bill