Any tips for CO?

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jdb in slo
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Any tips for CO?

Postby jdb in slo » Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:03 am

I will be fishing in CO in mid to late June. I will be in the southwest portion of the state first. I was thinking headwaters of the Dolores River, or something like that near by. Then I will be off to fishing the Crystal and Frying Pan. Any tips for what streams to hit in the southwest, or any advice at all for those regions in the state would be greatly apprectiated.

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Postby LARiver » Thu Apr 22, 2004 6:14 pm


I know too little about Colorado trout fishing however the Dolores supposedly has Snake River Cutthroats and it's always interesting to catch a fish in its native waters (like a Golden in the Kern etc.). A little web search that I just did shows that the tailwater stretch of the Dolores has been legendary but then hit hard by drought. Recent recovery efforts are such that maybe now is a good time to check it out(?).

I am sure that you can get more good info. online and, like all other waters near or far, go hit 'em and work 'em hard!

Best of luck!

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out of state

Postby chris » Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:28 pm

Just returned from Durango. I would stop in at Duranglers Fly Shop for the latest info. The Animas fishes well right in town and the San Juan is only about 45 minutes away. I would highly suggest the San Juan with a guide. You can fish it without one but you would have much better luck and more fun with one. We caught fish one the S.J. all day averaging around 16"-18". Rainbows mostly but also a couple of Browns. I can recommend a great guide if you want to E-mail me. Good Luck.

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Postby fishhead » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:01 pm

I spent 2 weeks in and on the Dolores river last June/July. Duranglers is definitely the place to check the condition of the tailwater fishing there, as with others it all depends on the water flow but that is not where I found my pleasure in the area.
Try above McFee Resivoir, head North/East on 145 out of Dolores. I didn't fish the West Fork nor did I fish below Stoner, as we were staying at Priest Gulch just North of Stoner. You should have good flows but much of the river is inaccessable due to private landowners until you get to about 8 miles South of Rico and North of Rico it is all public. The stretches around the campgrounds are stocked and HEAVILY fished and not much worth the trouble.
There is one creek Bear Creek, just North of Stoner that is excellent and very seldom fished. You must hike in about 3/4 mile from the Bear Creek Trailhead just off Hwy 145. This creek is definitely worth the walk although you will ascend and descend about 800 feet before getting past the private stretch you can see down below after you turn up Bear Creek Gulch and head due East. These fish see so few flies you could probably catch them on any pattern but the presentation needs to be at least moderately good with minimal drag. Cutts to 12", Browns to 15", Brookies to 9" and Rainbows to 14" make this a pleasant adventure.
The reports of the cutthroat in the headwaters of the Dolores are not overexagerated. I spent one evening last June just below Lizardhead Pass and caught AT LEAST 50 cutthroat with a few Browns and Brookies mixed in, 6"-11". All during the last 4 hours of daylight. #16 P.T. while the sun was high and #18 Adams & light Cahills after they started rising in the evening.
If you want to fish just above Rico there is a good area at the second major bend 1/2 mile out of town. You will see a large pool against the mountain created by a Beaver dam. I fished from there upstream about 1 mile. There is one deep cut under a boulder that holds a very large Rainbow sporting a nice #20 BWO parachute, it wouldn't fit into my net (22" ?). There are lots of fish but I could only get action in the evenings when they were rising to Caddis and BWO (I'm not much of a nympher). If you happen to hit a rise in late morning you should also do good then with PMD. There is a chance you could also encounter some Yellow Stoneflies (#10 ?).
One last location worth checking if you have the time. There is a gorge just below Lizardhead Pass on the East side of the road. If you are willing to make the hike down in there you will be rewarded with some excellent fishing and slightly larger fish. The pools are spread between the swift runs and hold cutts up to 16", a whopper in my book for a Cutthroat in the area. The banks are brushy but not so much that you can't cast.
If you go into the gorge BE CAREFUL and tell someone where you are going, it's extremely rugged but worth the trek.
You will also find on the San Juan National Forest map countless small creeks. Everyone I hit held small fish, mostly Cutts with some Browns and Brookies. Some of them can be difficult to fish but if you enjoy solitude as much as I do they are great. Almost all of them will have trailheads where you can park and hike in from there.
A short rod, say 6'-7.5' will work best just below Lizardhead and is necessary for the small unnamed creeks, but you will need something in the 8'-9' range for the Dolores from the gorge downstream as well as Bear Creek.
The entire Dolores drainage is littered with flyfishing opportunities and these I've listed are only a scratch on the surface. Get a map from the Forest Service information station (about halfway between Rico and Stoner) and do a little SPAM table research once you're there. An hour of map-gazing can yield some great rewards in an area like this.
If you hit any of these waters please practice catch and release because these are wild fish, except where mentioned, and deserve our conservation efforts.
Good luck,
If you believe "I fish, therefore I am", then practice catch and release. We'll all live a lot longer.

jdb in slo
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CO report

Postby jdb in slo » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:16 pm

Well, made it back from CO. Thanks for the responses, but I was already gone for the last two. Began the trip on the West fork of the Dolores. Fished in and downstream of Mavresso Campground. Water was just clearing, but actually wet-wadable in the afternoons. Fished dry-dropper with moderate success. Fish were rising to attractor such as Royal Wulffs, EHC, Stims, etc. Took a few on the droppers, PT's, and Copper John's mostly. Fish were 10-12" cutts, and a few smaller browns. Drove over Lizzerhead pass and the San Miguel was still high and off color. Tried the Unc. but it was still high and I had no success in the two hours there. Originally was going to fish a feeder to the Crystal River, Avalanche Creek, but it too was also very high and fast, so tried the head waters of the Roaring Fork and a feeder creek called Lincoln Creek. Caught countless small (I mean small) bright and beautiful brook trout. The largest maybe went 6". All were caught on attractor dry patterns. The last two days of fishing were spent on the Frying Pan. The first day was clloudy and rainy. This kept the crowd way down. Fished just upstream of the beggining of the C n R section. Again, started with a dry-dropper of a sparkle dun BWO and a small PMD nymph as the dropper as a searching set up. Caught about 3 14" or so browns in the first 2 hours on the dropper. started, about 1:00 the rain set off and intense BWO hatch, size 20 or so. Caught about 15-20 fish in the next three to four hours all on dry patterns, all very healthy browns and bows, from 12-maybe 18". Best fishing of my short fly-fihisng life (less than a year). After loosing all my flies that resembled anything like the hatch I had to call it a day. The next day was clear as a bell, and made the fishing very tough. Tried the same spot and only caught one before lunch, with a similar dry-droper set up. The fish in this heavily fished section seem to act weird to me. They do not get spooked at all, I mean they actually follow you around in the shallows to eat the nymphs you knock off the bottom. It is very strange to be fishing, while the exact same thing you are trying to hook is less than 4' downstream of you! Started talking with a local after lunch who was fishing upstream of me. He gave me some pointers. He was an older gentleman who has been fishin the pan for many years. He told me that in many of the stretches in the C n R sections you need to work a downstream presentation in the shallows, just keep feeding line downstream to fish you can see (polarized glasses a must on the pan). He said with no major hatch if you try and sight fish to ones that rise sporadically in the holes, you may get one or two all day if your lucky, they just see too many flies. I took his advise, and managed three nice fish in the next hour or two, including the biggest fish of the trip, a bow that went close to 20". In all honesty, I don't know if I can claim I "caught" him. Hooked him on the dry, after a few minutes he got off, but was foul hooked by the dropper, so I still managed to net it. Anyway, the first day on the pan was by far my best day out on a stream, and the second was a mixed bag. For anyone intersted in fishing the pan, do research, because like I read somewhere, "it can make a begginer smile and frustrate veterans". Try and catch it on a rainy day, less crowds and nice BWO hatches. After that we headed to the cities of Denver/Springs/Ft. Collins to visit friends and start looking into moving out there. Cheap housing, lots of jobs, lots to do. Didn't get to fish around those towns. Although I did see the Poudre, and it looked good. Well, that's that. CO is an amazing place, and not just to fish.

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Re: Any tips for CO?

Postby Lewiscordo » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:53 pm

I know too little concerning Co bass doing some fishing even so the Dolores supposedly offers Snake Water Cutthroats and it's really always interesting to capture the bass within their local marine environments (like the Fantastic inside Kern and so on. ). A bit net lookup that we just would signifies that the tailwater grow with the Dolores have been famous but then reach challenging through drought. Latest retrieval initiatives are usually such that probably now is a great time for you to check out the item out(? ).

I am sure that you could have more excellent info. on the internet in addition to, similar to other marine environments close to or perhaps much, get reach them in addition to do the job them challenging!

All the best .!
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