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Lake: Horsetooth Reservoir
Fish: Splake

Horsetooth Splake

Post By: Matt      Posted: 11/17/2006 11:52:11 AM     Points: 88193    
Fished HTooth yesterday in the blistering wind. We were facing a skunk until about mid afternoon when one of two things happened: We began fishing smartly or the fish began to react to the wind. I think it was the latter, because we always fish good spots with good technique, right? Ha!

Anyway, the next 45 minutes were pretty good and we experienced pretty much the same thing EricCO did on his recent trip. We ended up catching two walleye and one smallmouth, none of which had impressive size.

But the Splake I hooked, landed, and released was impressive. What a great fish! It was somewhat of a surprise. We had intentions of looking for bigger fish such as walleye and lakers or splake, but we didn't fully expect to find them given our recent trips' lack of success. Persistence paid off and man, was this an exciting fish for me.

We were fly-fishing clousers on sink-tip lines, which was no easy task in this wind. We were most often fishing effectively 10-12 feet deep, but a little higher if we were drifting fast. The fish turned out to be 32 inches, 11 pounds 3 ounces.

What a day to forget my camera, this was taken with Phil's camera phone, so the resolution isn't that great.

 Reply by: EricCO      Posted: 11/17/2006 1:12:07 PM     Points: 277
Wow. Nice fish! Now if only I didn't have an internal conflict with bird hunting and fall fishing.

Hopefully I can make it out Thanksgiving weekend.

Does the tooth ever freeze over?
 Reply by: mfast      Posted: 11/17/2006 4:13:00 PM     Points: 21
A couple more pounds and some feathers that could have been Thanksgiving dinner. I hope to get up that way some more next summer. Hope I can develope some of your luck.
 Reply by: Matt      Posted: 11/17/2006 4:51:29 PM     Points: 88193
The lake will likely get some ice on it, but not much. You can see some ice on our boat ramp pics on the details page.

MFast - I got heckled by my folks and some friends that they would have eaten it, but we just don't go with the intent of keeping fish, so we have no way to store them... I dont eat fish so am almost exclusively catch and release. If I know a friend will eat it the night I catch it I'll keep a fish for them. But I've had a few crappie and perch turn into freezer burn, so it is tough to get me to follow through with that any more.

And the best thing is, this fish is still swimming around in there for someone else to catch!
 Reply by: Matt      Posted: 11/20/2006 4:37:19 PM     Points: 88193
The more I discuss this with Chad LaChance, the Fishful Thinker, and guide at Larimer County lakes, the more I believe this is a Splake. Splaker or Laker, I like it.
 Reply by: M Dee      Posted: 11/20/2006 6:56:45 PM     Points: 75
Whatever it is it's a hell of a fish. Have you ever got any near that size at Bigcreek?
 Reply by: Matt      Posted: 11/20/2006 7:07:49 PM     Points: 88193
Brian caught a lake trout up there that was 28" I think...hit boat side on muskie gear. Pic is on the big creek lake (lower) page. Good fish, but man I'd love to hook into one of those big dogs like in Blue Mesa, Taylor, W Fork, Granby, etc.
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