Thursday (8/15/19) and Sunday (8/18/19) evenings I've hit Brainard Lake after dark fly-fishing. The action has been GREAT for some nice Brook Trout. I've been throwing flies after dark from shore. Many of the larger fish I've been catching in very shallow water less than 30 feet from shore. BUT keep a eye out! Thursday (8/15/19) while fly-fishing I had a bear come down and join me in the fun! I'm use to moose coming down after dark while I'm fly-fishing, but this was the first for a bear to check me out. The Brookies have been running 8 to 13 inches and Thursday (8/15/19) evening I caught a very nice 15" Emerald Lake Rainbow.
What is a "Emerald Lake Rainbow?"
Emerald Lake is 248 feet deep with 280 surface acres and 12.0 miles of shoreline. The lake is the third largest natural lake in Colorado and only accessible by a 8 mile trail by foot and horseback. This is one of the few self-sustaining rainbow populations found in Colorado. The unique Cutthroat Rainbow Trout hybrid exists ONLY in this lake and a few other areas CPW introduced them.
This unique hybrid was stocked many years ago in Long Lake. But many people including CPW didn't believe this unique Rainbow survived. A few did survive and now we have a small but self-sustaining population that moves between Long and Brainard Lake in the South St Vrain River.
If you catch one of these hybrid Rainbows in this area, PLEASE return it back safely so this fish can continue to survive. I've caught the Emerald Lake Rainbow up to 24" in this area! But they're still VERY rare to catch in Brainard and Long Lakes.