Fishing Big Meadows Lake

WOW, is all I can say. My step mother's grandchildren showed up this week and wanted to go fishing. So, I rounded up enough fishing poles for three kids and Paula and I and we headed to Big Meadows. It was a rainy kind of day but we braved the intermittent showers and walked around the edge of the lake to a spot away from the crowds near the parking lot.

Walking past the people right by the boat ramp, I could see many stringers full of rainbow trout and I stopped and visited with some of them to inquire about what they were using.  

The standard power bait type configuration was working the best for them and so we had several poles baited with that and Paula used the bubble and fly she is famous for. One person tried various lures including a Needlefish from the bank.  Both the fly and bubble and the Needlefish yielded a few fish over about two hours. I believe for maximum impact the lure needs to be trolled to give it the proper action and also to be exposed to the greater number of fish. I saw a man and a woman in a small boat land 4 fish in a distance of not more than 200 yards trolling past us.  

We sat there for quite some time without much action but when it opened up, it was fast and furious especially on the rod with the power bait. Sometimes there were fish on 3 poles at once and getting them off the hook and on the stringer and back in the water was hilarious to watch.  

The kids had a blast as they had not fished ever before and so success was paramount to a good day for them. If you are taking a younger person fishing, find a honey hole where they are assured of catching fish so they have a positive experience the first time out. That helps them to enjoy it and maybe continue to want to go fishing.  

I can name dozens of people who were taken fishing either once or over and over as a child and either didn't get to fish or didn't catch anything and it soured them on the experience. While catching fish is not the only reason we go fishing, it does add to the time afield and makes us ready to go again.  

We cleaned the fish and each of the kids wanted to attempt that. With a lot of squealing and saying "yuk" and "gross" multiple times, they finally did get the heads off but the rest of the process just was too much for them, even in rubber gloves.  

But they are now wanting to go all the time and I think I created 3 more fishermen to support the future of our sport. Remember, license fees, taxes on equipment and user fees in campgrounds all help our Division of Wildlife fund programs that maintain and expand our parks, forests, waterways and wildlife populations.  

Don't delay your fishing trip if you want some tasty trout for the pan. Its great out there in all area lakes.



Kristen and Jarrod with our limits.

Water Conditions Rio Grande Basin

Today we took a drive up the Rio Grande to Antlers Lodge near Creede.  Paula had some work there and I got to see the lodge with the Rio Grande passing by the deck of the restaurant. It was a beautiful day and The sun felt good on my face.

I had discussed previously about the ash problems in the water. There are many problems this can cause including, warmer water, loss of insect life, change in the pH of the water and large amounts of sediment in the stream and others.  

The water in the main river was better than I recall last week and I think this is due to the number of clear streams which flow into the Rio, diluting the ash flows.  

After Paula's meeting, we drove on up the valley to Road Canyon Reservoir to inspect the conditions there. The water, while green with algae and maybe turning over some with the summer heat, looked normal to me. A man fishing on the dock with a rapala said he had been having good luck there after work and both he and the kids had caught plenty of fish over the weekend.  

The fires near there really stayed away from the lake and the shorelines remain clear and clean of any fire damage. There was one fold a boat on the lake fishing at the time but I didn't see them catch anything in the time we were there. We didn't have our poles due to being on a working trip and the water was full of too much algae for me to fish anyway. In all the years I have been fishing here, I can honestly say that Road Canyon didn't look any different that in other years. Having said that, the ash flows may still be coming down and will eventually reach the lake but for now, fishing is still very active there.

The Rio Grande is murky with the runoff from the streams to the south of the river. But the other feeder creeks such as Deep Creek and others feed in clean water to the river from the west and north and this helps dilute the dirty water from the affected areas. So while it is dirty, its not to the point where the fish are going to start suffering or dying.

I look for fishing to get better than its been in a long time as soon as the monsoon rains stop. The fish will not have been fished for in the river for a month or more by then and it should be fantastic as the water clears somewhat.  

I was also at Big Meadows but only for about 30 minutes. People were catching fish and the boaters who were trolling seemed to be catching fish on a regular basis. My dad and I had gone into Million Reservoir and found it so full of algae that it was just no fun. We had no bites there and so went on up the road to Beaver Lake. Its getting lower now and in a week or so will be down where it was last October.  

The access there is too hard for my dad and I so we just had a good look around, enjoyed the sunshine and the lake view and came on home. Its not always about catching fish but about the journey.  

We are all on that journey in life and if you miss out on the sights along the way, you end up without memories to tide you over in later years. Go out and enjoy the mountains while you can as they are all here for our enjoyment.  

Continental Reservoir Trout

From l the reports I am getting, the lakes here seem to be producing lots of trout. Continental is full of water this year and everyone doing well there using needle fish lures in brown trout patterns and others. The guys in the RV park here went up today and got their limits fairly easily. They use boats and troll and so I have no information as to bank fishing although I think that you can do well from the bank also. Beaver Reservoir near South Fork also producing fish now. Big Meadows remains closed due to the fire and Shaw and Hunter were most likely burned too much to let people back in safely.

The red meat is from the fish diet of mainly freshwater shrimp and I have been known to sample fresh caught fish much as you would eat sushi. Honestly its better than salmon. I would not recommend this to anyone else however, due to possible parasites in the meat.

Rainbow Trout caught today.

ATV Riding Colorado

After yesterdays posting I decided that I needed to include some additional information on ATV riding in Colorado for those of you who might be interested in scheduling a trip here.

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