The lakes have opened up from their winter under the ice and that always means hungry trout are searching for food. I usually don’t fish the warm water lakes out in the San Luis Valley but I do fish the higher mountain lakes in our area.
Big Meadows Reservoir on Wolf Creek Pass will once again be a great spring and summer fishery. I quickly caught my limit of fat stocker Rainbow Trout using the BB shaped Power Bait this week. I also caught a number of fish on Prince Nymphs in the area streams so the bite is on.
Beaver Reservoir is currently being drained and, as of the writing of this column, it is closed to fish salvaging as the banks are too dangerous for navigation of anglers on foot. The dam will be repaired this summer and refilled and stocked next year for many years of continued enjoyment ahead.
The water that is exiting the lake now is pulling large amounts of silt with it and so Beaver Creek below the dam and the South Fork are very muddy and high.
The higher lakes such as Road Canyon and Continental are all showing their typical spring patterns and hungry fish are available to those willing to make the drive. Reports of 18 inch fish are coming out of those lakes as the ice leaves the shorelines. Winds have been a challenge, however.
The rivers are running high and are murky but that means that hungry browns are cruising the shorelines looking for an easy meal. They will hang out behind rocks and along the shore where the current is somewhat broken and easier on them.
They are looking for meals sufficient to put on some weight after a cold winter so bigger offerings by the savvy angler are the best bet. Rooster Tail Spinners, inline Colorado Spinners, spoons, and minnow imitations are good bets for hooking a sizable fish in that water. A streamer also is a good bet as they imitate a minnow and are highly sought after by the hungry fish.
We have yet to see what impact last summer's fire will have on the rivers. There is concern that the ash flows will impact not only the water quality but also the amount of runoff that comes down from the mountain slopes.
Also, the river bug life cycle may be compromised resulting in a decline in fish numbers. Remember, this is a cycle of life in a forest area and eventually, the rivers will recover and once again produce a healthy bounty of beautiful trout.
For those of you lucky enough to have a boat, the reservoir fishing looks to be extremely good this year. Trolling favorite lures and drifting baits will produce limits of tasty fish for you all summer long. The key is location and depth. Fish will be shallow at the beginning of the season and move to deeper water as the summer progresses. Sun light also has an impact on them and again, the fish tend to move deeper during the hours when the sun is the highest.
I would encourage you to check with your local sporting goods dealers on tackle and baits that are working. Many of them post daily reports on a bulletin board and you can stop by and be informed on recent activity in your area.
There is going to be an Outdoor Days held at the Aspen Ridge RV Park in South Fork, Colorado July 11th and 12th. There will be keynote speakers who will supply free fishing advice, ATV and other outdoor tips to any who care to attend. This is a free event with drawings, food vendors and outdoor equipment suppliers all having booths. Come and enjoy the day and learn a few new tips on fishing in the area.
So get your rods out and put on some new line so that you will be ready for a season of fun fishing. It’s a glorious time of year no matter where you choose to fish and a fresh plate of clear water trout is great table fare.