This past week found me out and about the Upper Rio Grande partaking in some phenomenal trout fishing.
I started the week with some dry fly fishing in the Rio Grande between South Fork and Creede and had one of the best days I can remember on the river ever. The bite was slow but I had some 18 inch fish come to hand before I was done.
No hatch of any significance was seen during my outing but the mosquitoes about carried me off. I had forgotten my bug spray but probably won't do that again as they were so bad I finally had to leave the river. The fish came were hitting hair wing patterns on top and I got a few on emergers which explained why no fish were rising to the surface.
We took an ATV ride this week also and then walked a short distance into a small mountain lake. It took a while to convince the fish to bite but once they started we quickly had our limit of 16 fish. These were Brook Trout and averaged about 14 inches which is really big for that species.
We always keep fish from this lake as the meat is as red as a salmon. I even tried some raw as a sushi dish for my lunch and its always so good. While I am sworn to secrecy on the location of this lake, there are many such lakes scattered around the mountains and all you need is a good map or Google Earth to find them and plan a hike into them. A lot of them are within a half mile of a Forest Service Road so not really out of reach to most fishermen and women.
Big Meadows turned on again this week and the bite was at mid-day just like it was for us on the smaller lake. I expect Road Canyon and Rio Grande Reservoir to continue to turn out some great fish and Rio Hondo is also producing good catches of trout. The moss has taken over some of these lakes and so the savvy angler has to find a way to work around that situation to be successful. This will continue now until the water temperatures once again get cold enough that the moss and grasses cannot grow in the water.
All of the prepared baits are working well in the area lakes and every angler has a favorite color. When I do bait fish, I like the preformed bait balls that resemble a string of pearls. But yesterday, the bite was on the rainbow Power Bait. Worms always work well in the smaller streams and the fish will always take those. I do know that trolling is still hot for those of you who have a boat and can avoid the grasses and accumulating moss. I saw some 3lb fish come to camp last week and they were sure pretty.
The summer bite is developing with fish going deeper with the rising water temperatures. I recommend light lines now and light weights for the bait fishermen and dry flies for those of you that like to pursue fish in that manner. Whether you fish with bait, a fly and a bubble, spinners, troll, fly fish or other methods, the important thing is to enjoy being in the outdoors and having a safe and productive day.
Any day that ends with memories being carried home is a great day afield.