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Ice Fishing Colorado 1962

Post By: Trotline      Posted: 1/11/2019 10:08:52 AM     Points: 851    
Year round fishing in Colorado did not start until Jan. 1st 1962. On Jan. 2nd or 3rd myself and three friends went to Cowdrey Lake in North Park. The ice was over a foot thick and snow was around a foot high on the ice. We did not have a auger so we made holes with a hand ax and a breaker bar. The top of the hole was around 15 inches wide and the bottom hole was around 4 to 5 inches wide. We were all fly fisherman so we fished with our fly rods That did not work as we were to far away from our holes so we took our reels off and dropped the reels in a bucket. What few fish we caught we had to hand hook and bring the fish in hand over hand. We fished with red salmon eggs and worms. Later on we made our own poles . We glued broken pole tips into a foot long piece of wood 1 inch by 1 inch We used two nails in the top of the wood to hold our line. Later on we mounted our fly reels onto the wood handle. The sad part of this story is that my three friends have all passed on but at 79 years old I have been ice fishing 5 times this year and have many trips planed. Just a little history on Colorado ice fishing
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Jan. 11, 10:16:47 AM     Points: 45486    
Wonderful story and memory. Thank you for sharing. Was there a fishing season that didn't allow ice fishing?
 Reply by: Killerfihser      Posted: Jan. 11, 11:55:23 AM     Points: 1114    
At 79 and you are still venturing out to ice fish. I'm in my mid 40's and the cold has gotten to my knees and joints. 2 thumbs up for you sir. Tight lines.
 Reply by: Trotline      Posted: Jan. 11, 11:57:35 AM     Points: 851    
Goose The fishing season before 1962 was from mid May to Mid October. There was no winter fishing. Trotline
 Reply by: Trotline      Posted: Jan. 11, 12:04:42 PM     Points: 851    
Goose It is possible that my group of friends and myself were the first to ice fish in Colorado. Trotline
 Reply by: Trotline      Posted: Jan. 11, 12:10:25 PM     Points: 851    
Goose Opening day was elbow to elbow on most local lakes. My dad used to take me to Estes or Barker Lake.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Jan. 11, 12:23:24 PM     Points: 45486    
That's really cool information. I never realized that Colorado had fishing seasons. I don't know what I would do if there was no year round fishing. I guess take hunting back up. Again thanks for sharing.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Jan. 11, 6:09:15 PM     Points: 26758    
Very cool story! That’s a lot of work with an axe!

Was fishing not allowed in winter, or just no ice auger available, so people didn’t fish?
 Reply by: bron      Posted: Jan. 11, 6:22:06 PM     Points: 28824    
Good stuff Trotline!
 Reply by: A10FLYR      Posted: Jan. 11, 6:48:42 PM     Points: 26    
Trot, don't you live just around the corner from me in west gold meadows?
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Jan. 11, 7:33:11 PM     Points: 2028    
This was a bit after 1969...early 70’s. An “Old Timer” taught me how to fish for lakers. Back then I didn’t have a power auger or electronics, or a clue, but I learned how to set a bobber in a way to detect a subtle take off the bottom using 1/2 ounce deer-hair jigs with a chunk of sucker meat, usually in red and white, or red and yellow.
One time I was invited to his hut where I had one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. He cut a 4’ x 4’ hole in about 4 feet of water close to the shore. The sunlight penetrated and illuminated the ice, and the hut made the gravel bottom seem almost unreal in its clarity and texture. “Doc” told me to watch the hole as he dropped a single salmon egg in the water. It only took a few seconds for a 10” rainbow to target the egg and scarf it down. The fish almost acted like a trained puppy as it sat on the bottom and waited for another egg to come down. This happened 4 or 5 times before the rainbow took off at lightening speed as if something was about to eat it!
It turns out it was, as a shadow appeared followed by a huge fish head, a long space before the dorsal fin came into view, and finally the tail fin as I watched the monster swim slowly away. My mentor figured the laker probably topped 40”, and told me that was what he wanted to catch. I thanked him for the “show”, and walked back to my truck with the image of that fish etched permanently in my mind.
Things were really different back then, simpler yet more difficult. I often think about old Doc, and wonder if he’s still chasing those monsters in the afterlife?
 Reply by: ass bass or cash      Posted: Jan. 11, 7:50:16 PM     Points: 1404    
Absolutely love the history lessons Trot & Ski. Keep 'em coming
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: Jan. 11, 8:27:09 PM     Points: 20841    
When I was a kid growing up in the early sixties in the central part of the state of Washington I can remember there being fishing seasons. Can't recall the exact details but everyone looked forward to opening day.
My first attempts at ice fishing were in the mid seventies at Boyd. Very few people had augers and the few you would see were hand-held swedish spoon type machines. Most people used an axe or a spud bar to open up holes and fished with the same poles and reels you would use in the summertime. Times sure have changed since then.
 Reply by: Trotline      Posted: Jan. 12, 10:15:38 AM     Points: 851    
A10Flyer I live in Broomfield.
 Reply by: A10FLYR      Posted: Jan. 12, 10:30:11 AM     Points: 26    
OK, wrong person....
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: Jan. 12, 11:10:46 AM     Points: 4655    
Some additional information from another older person. The fishing season was for waters over 7,000 ft in elevation, water below 7,000 was open year round. Cherry Creek first opened for ice fishing in 1960 or 61 and was a popular spot to catch some nice sized trout. Boyd, Horseshoe and Lake Loveland were also spots where you could catch some pan fish. Lake Loveland was excellent for 8-9 inch perch and I once caught several 17" crappie out of Horseshoe Lake when they had drained it down to work on one of the dams. Didn't realize I might have had a state record crappie at the time but we ate everything we caught and records were never thought about.
 Reply by: elkskinner      Posted: Jan. 12, 4:46:50 PM     Points: 350 you live up here in the north central area?
 Reply by: Trotline      Posted: Jan. 13, 11:08:57 AM     Points: 851    
elk skinner I live in broomfield.
 Reply by: Lakerman      Posted: Jan. 13, 11:34:08 AM     Points: 0    
Great story! Ice Fishing rules!
 Reply by: tfotrout      Posted: Jan. 13, 8:27:57 PM     Points: 1002    
Great stories! Stupid question does a fishing season mean no fishing at all or you can’t harvest fishing unless they are in season?
 Reply by: BroncFan      Posted: Jan. 14, 8:35:24 AM     Points: 212    
I enjoyed the story, thanks for putting it out there.

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