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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Troutin' in Colorado #14047230 06/30/21 12:13 AM
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Flags Online Content OP
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I just got back from spending a few days in CO. Had to go take care of a piece of property I own there and managed to get up to the mountains for a day. Normally I spend close to a week in the mountains but this is kind of a screwy summer work wise. As is normal I went into the high country via CO HWY 14 at Ft Collins and went over Cameron Pass. On the western side of the pass I got into the area that has the bad forest fire last year. What I saw nearly made me ill.
[Linked Image]
For nearly 20 miles I saw that same scene. Huge swaths of what had been great stands of Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir were now just blackened trunks. I usually see large numbers of deer, elk and moose in the area. They are no longer there. And I also found that my favorite campsite also did not survive the inferno.
[Linked Image]
As a long time resident of CO I understand that forest fires are a part of nature but this really pulled at my heart strings. It will take many decades before this forest heals. Since I am 58 years old I won't live to see it return to its former glory. Right in the middle of the burned off area is my all time favorite brook trout stream, Pass Creek. It is a funny little creek since it runs right next to CO HWY 125 and I have never seen anybody else fish it. The creek is tiny, less than 4 feet across and less than 3 inches deep in most places. But for those that take the time to look there are a number of deep pools and undercut banks and this is where the fish are. Mostly brook trout but there are a few rainbow/cutthroat cross (known as Cuttbows) in the creek as well.
[Linked Image]
In a normal year the creek is lined with thick willows but they also fell victim to the fire. I was apprehensive as I decided to fish the creek and I sort of expected it to be a dead creek. But happily whereas the trees and willows got wiped out, the trout were still there and as always were willing to smack the heck out of a 00 Silver MEPPs. In my opinion brook trout out of a free flowing cold stream are the prettiest fish in the country.
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[Linked Image]
But then the cuttbows aren't really an ugly fish either. In the 2nd photo below you can see my truck in the background. Like I said this creek is right next to the road!
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My 82 year old Mother really likes fresh brook trout so I kept enough for 2 meals for her. The smallest is about 6 inches long (got hooked in the gill) and the biggest is about 10 inches. A 10 inch trout out of a 4 ft steam is a monster fish especially when it lives above 9000 ft.
[Linked Image]
All in all I took well over 30 trout out of that little creek and except for the ones I kept for Mom, they all were released to fight again.

After I finished up at the creek I went to another of my reliable spots. Behind Granby Res is a small lake called Monarch which site just inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. It is a really pretty lake and lots of people fish it.
[Linked Image]
I never fish the lake itself. There is a big creek that flows out of the lake and a couple hundred yards downstream, through a jungle of blown down timber the beavers built a dam and made a really big pond. I'm certain the pond covers at least 15 acres and has a real good current flowing through it. This is where I fish and I have never seen another person fishing it since it is kind of hard to get to. Only one lure works here consistently, a 1/8th oz gold Kastmaster. That's what I tied on. The fish bit like caged rattlesnakes.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
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I took at least a half a dozen brown trout with the biggest running about 17 inches and roughly the same number of rainbows that topped out about 14 inches as well as some more brook trout.
[Linked Image]
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I have an agreement with the trout in this big pond. They always bite and I never keep them. They always get turned loose to fight again and to spawn. However there are some ospreys that nest there and a family of river otters that also live there and they don't have such an agreement with the trout but I always keep my part of the bargain. On my way back to town I finally found a few of these looking sleek and healthy.
[Linked Image]

It was a good day in the high country. Now I'm getting ready to go to Athens and play with some slabs out of the float tube.

Cheers Y'All and peace to all who read this.


Retired Navy Chief Signalman
NJROTC Instructor Tascosa High School
Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14047330 06/30/21 01:28 AM
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coolphotos Totally, totally one AWESOME POST! "Living the Dream" Flags. cheers


Thanks for sharing your trip! Again awesome post. thumb


[Linked Image][Linked Image]

IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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Sinner's Prayer. God forgive me a sinner. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior !
Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14047347 06/30/21 01:39 AM
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Beautiful country - thanks for sharing. cool


Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14047353 06/30/21 01:43 AM
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Very cool Chief...........I love trout fishing but haven't been in years.My favorite spot was on Hwy 24 between Buena Vista and Leadville on the Arkansas and like your spot only yards off the highway.Lots of good times there

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14047760 06/30/21 02:04 PM
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Awesome post Flags! Thank you for sharing thumb

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14047909 06/30/21 04:15 PM
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In just a few years all that burned out area will be lush with vegetation and the wildlife will return. The lodge pole pine etc will definitely take years to grow back to maturity. Fire is mother natures way of revitalizing itself even though its not really pretty to look at as a a mature forrest. Logging it would have been a much better and beneficial use of all that lumber that burned up. With that said very nice fish. Im going to be heading to Montana in a little more than a month and am going to bring my pack rod. I sure hope I experience some of your fishing success.

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14048727 07/01/21 12:04 PM
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Awesome post! Beautiful fish! Thanks for posting. cheers

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14048827 07/01/21 01:51 PM
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awesome
i will be in Cooke City, Montana next week
do you think this technique would work there?

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14049332 07/01/21 08:18 PM
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FANTASTIC! Awesome post Flags.


Side Note: Only 6 months until trout stocking season!

Re: Troutin' in Colorado [Re: Flags] #14050993 07/03/21 12:18 PM
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One fantastic post. coolphotos and some beautiful fish! Hopefully to be fishing Colorado next spring. coolio

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