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Lake: Mesa Lake
Fish: Brook Trout

Almost too much work to land these fish...

Post By: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 12:34:48 PM     Points: 315    
My team and I hit Grand Mesa this past weekend, all of the 9K-9.5K ice is gone, although still big snow shelves on the sides of the lakes that are shaded. We hiked back and hit a few different lakes we had never hit before...The forage was abundant lots of freshwater shrimp, leeches, aquatic worms, and other bugs! Standing in the shallows, you would pull out huge groups of shrimp stuck to your legs!

After 7 1/2 hours of fishing both the lakes we hiked too, we didn't get a single nibble, or even see a single fish rise!
We hiked out (ROUGH) and hit one of the main Mesa Lakes that was on our To-Do list...luckily we found a bunch of really active Brookies and Bows!

Had a fun adventure out there with the team, got some fun good drone shots and caught some salamanders too LOL! Hope you guys enjoy the video!!

Can't wait to start hitting the 10K Stuff soon!

[log in for link]
 Reply by: 3wayfisha      Posted: 5/19/2020 2:13:26 PM     Points: 409
i was at grand mesa last weekend too and had a similar was weird..first 30 minutes fishing for the weekend we caught a 15in brook n 15 in brown....those were the two best fish we caught all weekend

my gf did hook up with a very nice fish but it got off...overall fishing was intensely slow for us unfortunately

that salamader in the video is wild
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: 5/19/2020 2:26:10 PM     Points: 384
Killer outing!! The higher you go-the more temperamental they are.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 5:57:01 PM     Points: 315

Ya we figured the bite would be better with the ice off but that's fishing I guess. At least the last lake we hit was on fire. Heard the 10K stuff is on fire too right now if you can find some open water. Haha ya in 25+ years of fishing, that is a first, and probably the last unless I get lucky again.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 5:58:19 PM     Points: 315

Thanks Greg! Agreed, the 10.4K+ stuff we have them down to bite times and small windows or it's hard to get them! Exploring these new lakes is tough sometimes, we should've went earlier in the morning to test it out!
 Reply by: Wmdunker      Posted: 5/19/2020 6:30:13 PM     Points: 474
Conventional wisdom is that if a high lake has salamanders in it, it is a pretty sure bet that there are no trout in the lake. The trout generally keep the salamander population in check. I have had some similar experiences on the Mesa prospecting for new fishing spots only to find that the target lake only has water dogs and no trout. It is always nice though to be able to keep prospecting until you find a lake full of ready fish. Way to stick with it. This is really early for lakes up there to be accessible - the snowpack this winter was way below normal, so many lakes will be really low by next fall and there might be even more lakes that will be too shallow to support fish through the winter. Time will tell. tight lines!
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 5/19/2020 6:34:08 PM     Points: 48415
My attention span makes video watching tough, I am glad I watched this one! You hooked me with the timberline fishing. Very much enjoyed this and the salamanders were cool...those were very nice brookies! Look forward to your next high country video. Im twice your age and had the same goal, those back country hike in lakes are not an option anymore.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 7:33:48 PM     Points: 315

One thing I've thoroughly enjoyed about opening my fishing adventures up to people is all the knowledge. I didn't know anything about salamanders and have learned a lot about them and fisheries since posting this video. Great knowledge man really good to know :D We enjoy finding new lakes, sucks finding stinkers but at least the hike is always rewarding, i'm with good people, and it makes finding the good ones that much better! Interesting for you to mention that, we were talking about that on the way down...Hoping we don't get a bunch of winter kill. Remy has fished up there for 10 years and we know a few older buddies that have been since the late 70's, all have those concerns.Time will tell indeed!!
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 7:39:24 PM     Points: 315

Haha No worries Bron, I try to do a report and pictures for people who don't have time or care to watch videos. I'm very happy you chose to watch this one and even more happy to hear you enjoyed it.
25+ years of fishing and that was a first! Probably won't happen again lol...Glad we got into those Brookies, we were pretty exhausted after hiking out but didn't want to make a video with us just hiking to catch amphibians lol. That first brookie wasn't a monster by any means but it really felt good to land haha! Hopefully we can meet that goal, this year we planned on branching out a lot but with everything that happened. We're going to probably start hitting the Mesa stuff hard. Happy to hear you are looking forward to the next High Country adventure, hopefully we can get some big trout too next time!
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 5/19/2020 7:42:25 PM     Points: 48415
If you havnt done Fall River, happy to take you.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/19/2020 8:34:37 PM     Points: 315

I have not! Just looked it up, seems like a great place...We'll have to coordinate something sometime in the future when the COVID goes away. I'm REALLY looking forward to hitting stuff closer to the front range area!
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 5/19/2020 9:14:55 PM     Points: 48415
More than happy to get you to Fall River, Loch Lomond, Chinns, and Sherwinn. Yankee Doodle and Jenny too. And Summit. Would be proud to help you hit em all. Urad and Hassell too.
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: 5/19/2020 9:45:09 PM     Points: 44
Bron, those are some fun high alpine lakes! Loch Lomond is my go too. I bought a pistol bit just to try to ice it late this season and then covid ruined that! Didnít feel like running afoul of the clear creek county folks. Been in the summer a few times, but it looks prime for icing early and late season. Grand Mesa is on the list for this summer for sure. Team coff, so glad you guys still post the videos of the slow days. A little reality in a social media driven fantasy world is always nice. Keep up the good work.
 Reply by: whatmylenssees      Posted: 5/20/2020 6:20:27 AM     Points: 23
I know it didn't exactly work out this time, but I've found the more work you put (translation: the longer you hike), the better the fishing gets. So, keep with it, and I'm sure the payoff's will be handsome. Great vid as always guys, dan
 Reply by: nparker      Posted: 5/20/2020 7:52:11 AM     Points: 2272
I have fished many alpine lakes from Montana to Colorado. I had your experience recently at Ralph Price Reservoir west of Lyons. Got the skunk.
I think that most of the fish food is blown in. This includes ants, beetles, etc. These insects may not be too active yet. Try fishing a windy afternoon, near the shore with an ant pattern, sight fishing. Good luck and happy hiking.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/20/2020 8:04:04 AM     Points: 315

Glad I didn't see this post before bed last night, would've never slept lol...Been looking some of these places up, Really hoping to get out with you before it gets cold. *Fingers crossed!
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/20/2020 8:05:13 AM     Points: 315

Glad you appreciated the grind, I tried to make it as entertaining as possible. If you enjoy trout fishing, you'll really enjoy the Grand Mesa! (just don't hike to where I went lol) Appreciate the kind words :D
 Reply by: bharper      Posted: 5/20/2020 11:01:32 AM     Points: 415
Looks like a fun excursion! I live in Cedaredge and I havenít fished up there very much over the last few years! Iíll probably hit a few hike in lakes East and South of there this Summer? A few of them are supposed to have some healthy Cutts,Brooks,Bows,and Browns? 🎣🤙
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/20/2020 11:54:17 AM     Points: 315
I agree for the most part, some of the deep lakes we have down to bite times or it's hard to get them but overall I feel that holds true! We have A LOT of hiking/fishing planned for this summer, hoping next episode we get some big ones to show!!

I guess that's why they call it fishing and not catching haha! Always sucks not landing fish but the hikes are at least rewarding. Good information, one of these days here soon i'm going to get the fly rods out. Tight lines and happy hiking to you as well!!
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/20/2020 11:57:32 AM     Points: 315

It was a lot of fun, until we had to hike out...It was heavy forest, going down hill to the first lake...The bottom 50 yards we slid down on our butts, found out that was stomach deep on the way up LOL. Tough hike out! Some of the deeper lakes have the biggest cutthroat trout I have seen in the state but they're hard to get to. I feel the bows and brookies are the most common up there and you should be able to get some in most of the lakes. Browns aren't as common but in some of the deeper lakes, they get MASSIVE! I don't feel you'll be dissapointed in most areas you go (Just don't go to the lakes I went to in this video, and if you do embarass me and catch a biggin :D ) If you ever need some more specifics, feel free to message me! Tight lines man!
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 5/20/2020 6:15:52 PM     Points: 48415
Check out Silver Dollar too. Im not up for the hike but I went up there back in the day. Truly beuatiful lake.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 5/21/2020 11:46:35 AM     Points: 315

I wrote down all those places and will be doing some extensive research on them! Again, I can't thank you enough for the suggestions and I hope we can fish together at some of them one day!! :D

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