Post By: Fishinbud Posted: 1/13/2021 11:03:43 AMPoints: 0
We went out and gave Wolford a try on Sunday. It was cold in the am, but with no wind and sun, well, you really couldn't ask for a better day for ice fishing weather wise.
But, as is often the case when venturing out in the Colorado Outdoors, one is often met with complete JACKASSERY, by the SENSELESS actions of the state.
We drove towards the landing, only to find that the little booth that is to collect the admittance fee of $10 was unmanned, so, we'd have to fill out an envelope, drop the payment into the collection box, and put the receipt on the dash of our vehicle. The only problem was, we didn't have a $10 spot, so, back into Kremling we went. And NO, I'm NOT going to put a $20 in the box instead, just to save 20 minutes or so. At least Granby has an automated system where you can at least charge the admittance fee. The lakes in the state SHOULD be covered by the State Parks Pass, but no, this one is not. I swear, they probably hope that folks don't have exact change, and make a little extra from those folks that just say screw it and put in whatever they have on them. NOT me, nope, on the principle alone, they will not get any more out of me than absolutely necessary, especially with boat registrations getting jacked up by $25 the last few years, just so we can have the "privilege" of being harassed on both the way in and out of any given lake when launching a boat, during the open water season. Over the last year, I've fished in TN, LA, and FL, in addition to CO, and they do not such thing.
In the past when I've fished Wolford, I've driven out onto the ice, once it's safe to do so. But NOT this time, because the (IGNORANT) powers that be, as is the case with most lakes in this over zealously controlled state, had the boat ramp access barred and locked up tight. So, we parked in the main lot near the landing, loaded up our sled, and made our way towards the lake.
Around the perimeter of the parking lot, there is a rustic wood fence, with an opening just wide enough for an ice fishing sled to pass through, with a few inches to spare. One would think that that is a good thing, but NO, the state manages to FOOK that up as well, by having each and EVERY opening chained and locked, to the point where you cannot slide an ice fishing sled under it. So, we had to unload at least half of the sled, pull up on the chain, slide the sled through, reload it, and then make our way down the relatively steep hill.
Reply by: Fishinbud Posted: Jan. 13, 11:07:46 AM Points: 0
We went past several others that had set up, near where you can walk on the lake. We made our way further, set up, and had a decent Kokanee right away.
The fishing wasn't fast and furious, but it was consistent, with us catching 5 decent Kokes and 4 Bows. We caught smaller fish that we released, so, over the course of 5 hours, we'd get a fish about every 20 minutes or so.
On our way off of the lake around 3 pm, we spoke to several other parties, that had anywhere between 1 to 3 fish on the day. I have to think that the state NOT stocking the lakes this year due to Covid, had to at least be part of the reason for the marginal action. The fish that we did get, were on tube jigs tipped with a meal or waxworm, or, a gulp minnow that was jigged on a 1/16th once jig head. No surprise, pink was the color of choice overall, that seemed to be working.
As we exited the lake, we unloaded a portion of our sled before attempting the climb up that hill. That helped, but it still left one almost breathless. When driving on the lake in the past, you could go to your spot, fish, pack up, and leave, almost effortlessly. Now, well, for us OG's, the state has created a possible heart attack maker imo, needlessly!
On the way home, between Wolford and Green Mountain, we came across a serious accident. More than a dozen vehicles had already stopped to help, so we continued on our way home.
It appeared at least, that someone may have attempted to pass another vehicle on HWY 9, and had to take the ditch. Either that, or perhaps a medical emergency occurred, I don't know. But the vehicle that took the ditch, went through the large fence meant to keep Elk off of the road, hit a power line pole, and one of the fences poles also went right through the middle of the windshield.
I hope that noone was seriously hurt, but from the looks of it, it would be a miracle, if that were the case. People really do need to chill out, and take it easy on that stretch of roadway, because there really aren't many areas where passing another vehicle, with the many hills, twists and turns, is even remotely safe. Some of the "passing zones" literally are death traps.
We eventually made it to I-70, and it took an hour and a half, to make our way from Dillon/Silverthorn to the Eisenhower Tunnel. So, what's normally about an hour and a half ride home, took 3 1/2 hours.
All in all, it was a decent day on the ice, but the needless IDIOCY in this state, really has reached epidemic levels. Hopefully, that changes soon, but with the way things are going lately, that sadly does NOT appear to be the case. Be smart, stay safe, and best of luck!
Reply by: Fishinbud Posted: Jan. 13, 11:09:12 AM Points: 0
Sorry for the above typos, I really should proof read before posting. It appears that I can only edit this latest entry. Also, if anyone knows how to post pics UPright, I'd appreciate knowing how. This pics were taken UPright, but this site seems to flip them. I tried searching this site for help, but didn't see anything. Again, any assistance would be appreciated, thanks, take care, and tight lines!
I always assume there is an unmanned pay station that will require exact change every time I go fishing anywhere in the State. Honestly I also plan for lakes that used to be free to charge and for an increase year after year. It really is on you to know the rules and regs before you go, even if that includes just knowing how much the day pass is and whether you can pay in person or need exact change. That's what we all use this site for, to gather all the info we need to have a successful trip. If the lake you're looking to fish has not been updated in a while, check the forums and don't be scared to ask if anyone has a recent update.
Lastly, I think we are all very lucky to have use and access to the lakes and rivers we do in CO. Treat it like a privilege, because it is.
Dakota Dude, I thought I'd make my concerns known here, because lots of eyes will see them, and maybe if enough people said that enough's ENOUGH!, things might actually change for the better.
Sure, I didn't have exact change when arriving to the lake, that's on me, but having the landing closed, and chaining up each and EVERY access point from the parking lot is a complete JOKE!
Sadly, there are too many here with the, "Thank you Sir, may I have another" mentality, and don't realize just how ridiculously out of line, some of the needless inconveniences/expenses in this state actually are. MOST other states, are NOT doing what I accurately described in my post.
Colorado is the state of mandatory inspections (that do NOT work because inboard/outboards inject the water from the last body of water into the next, that the boat happened to be at). The state would cost us less, and provide more, if they would make taking an online boat operations 101 course mandatory in order to complete one's annual boat registration, and put the $25 into something that isn't merely going through the motions, in a symbolism over substance sort of manner.
Those whom only fish Colorado, and not multiple locations in REASONABLE states (of the NON-Liberal variety), do not realize the sheer IDIOCY of many of the things that Coloradan's take as "normal", paying more, but getting less. At least going to Wolford, did not entail weaving across lanes to avoid MASSIAVE POTHOLES, as was the case when going to 11 Mile recently. Wake up people!
If you really have faith in all the boat owners to carry out their own inspections, and be responsible regarding water moving from one body to another... You have had too much thin mountain air lately...
I'm sure most of us could do so responsibly... but these things are geared towards the lowest common denominator.. i.e. stupid people.
I'd recommend taking a deep breath, and finding things to be happy about rather than 4 page rants... You're alive, healthy enough to get out fishing, lucky enough to own a boat, and live in a beautiful place to use it. And, ya caught some fish.. Cheers
Just to clarify Wolford is not managed by "the State". Wolford is under the management of the Colorado River Water Conservation District. [log in for link] As far as the gates being closed, that is usually the case. Can you imagine how many vehicles would be at the bottom of this lake if they didn't keep the gates closed (LOL)?
If the DOW had a basic informative online class that was necessary to responsibly equip/operate/clean/launch your boat as a condition for renewing one’s registration, AND setting a fine of say $500 for any violations, that would be an effective deterrent. The current procedures do almost nothing. When was the last time any of you were cited for a violation? (Crickets ...) Me neither! I think many ASSUME that the other guys do things wrong, but when there’s random enforcement, with HEFTY fines, people will comply, and at a LOT less expense and hassle, for the rest of us.
As far as driving on the lake is concerned, it use to be allowed. People knew to steer clear of unsafe areas. There was a clear 12-14” of ice, and you could safely drive a tank on it. As far as making it needlessly irritating to get onto the lake (with EVERY access point at the boat ramp parking lot chained up), who has a REASONABLE explanation for that? The $ for such ridiculous measures, could surely be better spent elsewhere (as would also be the case at Granby, with their spike strips).
I’m not ranting for the sake of doing so, I’m pointing out the OBVIOUS, where our $ is being wasted, and where OBSTRUCTIONS are needlessly being placed in our paths. Too many here, when the powers that be crap in your hat, have a “Thank you Sir, it now fits much better” attitude. When that’s the case, things stay the same, and often get worse.
I'm sorry Wrechstar, but use of the lakes and rivers in the State is by no means a "privilege", these are lands owned by the people of the State.
Additionally, our CPW receives all the money from the lottery sales in this state, considering this is (was) the state to travel to for NR hunting that they make significant money from, price increases for parks passes and access is ridiculous.
I have to agree with the OP, the CPW in this state is out of their minds and do whatever they can to make it harder for the fishing and hunting residents.
I was at St. Vrain SP, and watched the Warden drive around, then park so he could just watch everyone with bino's from the comfort of his heated truck. The next day he was back, and wrote a $101.50 parking ticket to a gentleman in his mid-late 60's for parking with his buddies in a spot that was not a true parking space, but not labeled No Parking.
He never checked a single person on the ice for a fishing license or correct bag limit. Pure laziness.....
Yeah... Just like the fines and penalties for DUI stop people from drinking and driving... wait....
The requirement for inspection in many cases comes from the owner of the water as a condition of recreational surface use. Not because CPW thinks its fun...
Best of luck to you in your quest.. But many things are changing because of stupid people. I have zero faith in them to know when its safe to drive on ice, or how to clean their boat. Most don't even know how to safely drive their boat.
You see tons of inboard and I/O boats go through the decon process at ANS stations. That is not something most people have the equipment to perform, nor the self discipline to do.
JTurner: The state does not own the land or the water. They lease the surface rights for recreation. When it comes to priority, the water owners win. If things are poorly managed, the lakes is closed to recreation. Check your facts.
Fishinbud, Wolford's been that way for years and yes, soon you will be able to get vehicles on the ice. CO folks aren't too wound up that our environment is mechanized to the extent of TX, CA or FL or that we are primitivists to the extent that you have to have correct change. Still, it is a great fishery that doesn't have to be visited, if that is the choice.
Great report and be careful of that stretch of HI-9... many knuckleheads that try to pass where they shouldn't.
I knew Jeff and his family well from years elk and deer hunting out of Kremmling and staying at the RV park. We had a regular group of campers for many years there.
Whatever his issue I do not know but it is another local family that took over the Marina and Campground management. Their HS age son mainly worked the entrance gate over the summer. Very nice people from my experience staying there this year.
There is not enough money coming from recreation to matter to the company that does own it. Closing it off would not hurt their feelings badly.
Unmanned entrance stations are pretty normal especially in the middle of no where. The $25 per day boat slip included the $10 day fee. Pretty good deal.
My point is you are talking about a family run business either way. And it is all private otherwise.
The state did normal amounts of stocking this year, I know cause I helped harvest eggs for the hatcheries...the walleye egg collection was a bit short but they traded with one of the dakotas for the shortages.. pictures are walleye truck at aurora this year and kokanee harvest...you are misinformed. The egg collection in 2019 from wolford produced a record 4,637,625 eggs from 7,809 ripe females....the 2020 egg collection was just wraped up in late october....
I share some of your sentiment, but you have many of your facts completely wrong. Wolford is not State property, neither is the water. The campground and its facilities are privately owned. That's why there is an additional usage fee there. However, the fish in the lake arguably belong to the State and its taxpayers. Best learn who owns the land, the water, and the wildlife. It's rarely the same entity. That way you know who you should file your complaints with.
Vehicles will be allowed onto Wolford when the ice is ready for them. Wolf is one of the ONLY lakes (maybe THE only) in this state that allows that, BTW. Most you're lucky to even be able to take ATV's or snowmobiles onto. My friends and I know to always be prepared to have to walk down to the ice at Wolford, as sometimes it's not open to any vehicles even when we think it should be. I would suggest that in the future, you employ that same tactic there. Will save you further heartache, and the "easy" outings will be all the more sweeter.
As a CO native (and with family history on both parent's sides that goes back to the 1880's and 1890's, with most of my great grandparents born here before 1910), I hate the way things have changed for the worse in this state. Sadly, it's apparently not getting any better.
That is a whole lot of complaining for what looks to have been a pretty good day on the ice.
Don't worry your anti-liberal sentiments are always welcomed on fishexplorer... just don't say anything anti-conservative or the post will be locked up real quick... because political arguments are not welcome here when they don't fit the mold. I should know, I am a Liberal-- one of the reasons I stopped paying for the subscription. Anyway, you sound like a delightful person to spend a day fishing with.