6/24: We've just been back in Colorado for a week now, having spent this year's really dreadful "mud season" at our place down in Arizona. The weather's truly been rotten in Vail all spring, and due to the amazing snow season, runoff is in full bloom and probably will be so into the distant future.
But duty calls - that is "fishing" duty calls. Stream casting is pretty much out due to the raging waters so we drove out of town today looking for some chance to wet a line in one or more of the nearby lakes. It really wasn't great fun, nor very successful. Have to admit the dogs had a good time, while just being outdoors again was a treat for me.
We made what has become a pretty standard early season expedition traveling up U.S. 40 to Granby and the surrounding area. Our first stop at the Shadow Mountain pump canal was a complete bust - only four strikes to show for an hour of throwing a streamer.
The "tailwater" of that reservoir was also more or less a bust given impossibly difficult wading conditions. Landed a couple of small browns and played a handful more.
Then it was on to the shore of Lake Granby where similar success followed off the bank.
We camped last night on Williams Fork and did some more shoreline casting this morning but had only a single kokanee to show for the efforts. That was it for the shakedown cruise of the van. Next week, if it looks feasible we may travel to Utah to try Pelican Lake and the Green below the dam. However, if it's still running at over 8,000 cubes, we'll probably pass that up as well.
After that we'll be in the Middle East for a couple of weeks, when hopefully, the streams may calm down a bit by the time we've returned home in mid July.
Here's a short video of the trip:
Last Logbook Entry é for previous day
6/26-27: No more runoff season overnighters for me - at least not this year. This trip was as big a mistake as last week's.
Pelican Lake was way too high and windy. No local people fishing at all, and I didn't see a sign of a fish. Unbelievable. Have never really seen anything like that before at this wonderful warm water lake.
On to the next disaster - the Green below Flaming Gorge. If you're not floating, this place is basically unfishable from the banks. The trail from the Spillway to Little Hole is completely destroyed by the high water and is closed to traffic. My assumption is that even when the flood releases subside, the trail will not be opened as almost all of the walkways are either completely unusable or have floated away down the river.
It's highly probably that the entire trail is completely eroded.
Trust me - DO NOT GO TO THE GREEN NOW! If you are interested in tracking the outflows from the dam, click this link.
No one in Dutch John will tell you this mess is ongoing. The guide services there are losing business by the thousands of dollars due to the high flows. However, if you are interested in floating, the drift boats are catching plenty of fish. If you want to float, then it's probably OK. If you're a hiker and/or wade fisher person as we are, it's not worth going there right now, and probably won't be through the rest of this summer.
But if you are foolish enough to head down to Little Hole, here's another hitch. I did catch a few fish by swirling nymphs in a couple of eddies. You probably can do the same if you're desperate enough to want to waste your gas money getting to Little Hole.
The trail downstream over the hill into the B section is negotiable so maybe that part of the river could be worth a try.
Enough of that. We camped on the bank of the reservoir itself that night, which lake is also at a very high level now. It's still too cold for the bass to be active along the banks. Didn't have the kayak with us so couldn't try deeper water.
On the way back home we stopped at Rio Blanco and got eaten alive by some small biting flies. Only a few bluegills there. Hooked one good sized carp, but it pulled free.
I may brave a try at Ten Mile Creek before the weekend crowds arrive. After that we'll be out of the country until mid July when it's still unlikely that flows will be down to fishable levels around here. Such is life.
Here's a quick travelogue of these two days:
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