Backcountry fishing

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by Hunt4lyf, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    There is something ruinous waiting for me in those Mountains: wild water, wild Trout.

    Harry Middleton

    The high country here in Colorado had a tremendous snow pack this year, runoff is still going strong and normally it's over by mid to late June, snow is still piled deep at timberline and the lakes still have ice floating on them. I went there recently to see if I could find Lake Trout, a non-native species here that the CPW stocked in the past in a few remote high country Tarns. My research had led me to a lake not far from the trailhead at 11,600 feet that was reputed to have a healthy population of them and a lake close by was supposed to have some nice Cutt's in it.

    100 miles and 2 1/2 hours after I left my house I was stopped 2 miles short of the TH due to a seasonal gate closure, it was supposed to be opened the next day, of course. Oh well, an extra 4 miles of walking isn't a big deal really, just more time in the woods.

    The first real view I got on my drive, this is looking back towards Denver

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    Not far past the closed gate I came to the first of three snowfields that would have kept me from making it any farther, all 3 were about 50 yards long and 5 feet deep
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    Beautiful country to behold, the wind was bad though and I had to keep my head tucked down to catch my breath

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    The extra hike in was worth it for this view but the wind was ripping, I was barely able to keep my feet under me so I didn't stay here long

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    First view of the Laker spot

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    It was hard fishing with the wind, most of the lake had white caps on it except for that spot by the drift, tucked in up against it with deep water in front of me it was perfect

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    It was hard to get a hookset, the water still had ice floating in it, the water just above freezing and the fish were lethargic, their hits almost imperceptible. Once the sun poked out from behind the clouds though the bites got better and I was able to land 4 total.

    My first Lake Trout on Tenkara

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    Best of the trip

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    Those teeth though, you don't think about teeth fishing for trout

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    After a few hours it was time to drift over to the other lake, amazing what you see off trail

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    More...
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  2. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Put yourself in the way of beauty...

    Unknown

    Along the way there were several beautiful little tarns and waterfalls, apparently fishless but beautiful nonetheless

    11.jpg

    10.jpg
    The Cutt lake, when I walked up on it at the outlet there were a couple dozen spawning trout stacked up under my feet, several were 16"+

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    I left the spawners alone and found some others that wanted to play, nothing big though 14.jpg
    An old cabin from when the city of Boulder used to take water from up here to meet it's needs

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    I wasn't able to stay long as the thunderstorms were starting to roll over me and the thought of lightning and nearly 3 miles of above timberline hiking had me beating feet as quick as I could go. I had several snowfields to get across and then it was a stiff climb back up to the trailhead. You can see the trail I'm on in the upper left corner of the picture below, lightning in a place like that is a bad thing

    19.jpg

    Along the way I came across this old sled used to haul pipes and whatever else they needed up here

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    A part of the old sled road, now the trail

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    The trail, getting back up it was a scramble

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    And one last shot from the upper lake looking out towards Boulder

    20.jpg

    Thanks for coming along!
     
  4. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Supporter Bushclass I

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    Bro, it's like you ripped those images out from my dreams...
     
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  5. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I wish I still had the back and hips to walk trails like those. Thanks for haulin' my big ol' butt with you. That was beautiful.
     
  6. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Very awesome! Your trout fishing is so different than mine.

    Were those first couple of fish lake trout? Those spawning cuts would have been cool to see.

    Thanks for sharing your trip. I always enjoy your high country fishing exploits.
     
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  7. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

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    man that is awesome... back country, high country lakes are my favorite places to fish. Few people, and hungry fish, even if they arent that big.
     
  8. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    HA! Hopefully I can get out more and rip some more out of your dreams this summer

    They're not all hike in, I have a few places that are right next to the road and you're always invited if you're out this way Jim.

    Thanks! Yes the first couple were Lake Trout. Spawning Cutt's are cool to see, they chase each other all over the place until they do their thing, spawn time makes for some tough fishing though.

    They're my preferred places to fish and like you said they're not often crowded but some lakes down here can get very busy, I guess that's what happens with 5 million people in the state. I know a couple lakes that have 24"+ Cutt's in them but man are they picky!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  9. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I appreciate that. Thank you.
     
  10. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I was wondering about you and your fishing adventures yesterday and lookie here!
    Thank for posting friend!
     
  11. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    "An extra 4 miles of walking isn't a big deal". Hogwash.
     
  12. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Having to "Adult" gets in the way of having fun. Thanks!

    :4:
     
  13. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Adulting sucks, fishing doesn't. So let's go FISHING!!

    Great report my friend. I hope to fish with you soon!!
     
  14. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ Supporter Bushclass II

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  15. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  16. Lars

    Lars Angry German

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    Nice. Almost went to the Sangres the other day but plans changed. Soon though. :)
     
  17. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I agree. Age, artificial hip and being a flatlander would make it "a big deal".
     
  18. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman

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    Couldn’t have said it better myself!
     
  19. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks! Let me know when, I've got a "few" spots we can go ;)

    Let me know if you want some company!

    Thankfully I'm not to that point in my life yet, hopefully I've got a few more years left. I will say that I just got back a few days ago from spending 2 months in California at 3,000 ft and I was really short of breath up hiking, it was actually a little worrisome until I realized that I hadn't acclimated back to Colorado yet.

    Thanks!
     
  20. Lars

    Lars Angry German

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    Have a photography workshop for a few days next week including the weekend and also weekend beginning of August. Going on a photo scouting trip this weekend. If you have time during the week, we should go on a hike. Otherwise in a few weeks. :)
     
  21. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Sounds good, I might be able to break away one day during the week.
     
  22. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    Outstanding country! I'm curious why F&G would plant lake trout in an alpine lake? any idea?
     
  23. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    I asked a Bio that one time and from what I remember him saying they were stocked years ago when the F&G was trying to give anglers more variety and before they really understood the ramifications of putting non-native species in Cutthroat waters. I can look up the fish surveys back to 2006 and there is no mention of them being stocked but they were caught in the nettung surveys they did. The fish in there must be naturally reproducing because I caught 2 9", 1 12" and 1 14" plus a couple even smaller ones cruising the shore.

    They still stock non-natives like Grayling and Goldens (when they can get them) in the high country lakes but Lakers can out compete natives so they don't stock them anymore (that I'm aware of).
     
  24. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Awesome trip and lovely scenery! Thanks for sharing!
     
  25. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    All the more reason to make a meal of a wild born trout!
     
  26. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Yep, I rarely eat a Cutthroat as they only live in about 5% of their native range but I'll throw down some brookies, browns & rainbows since they're an invasive species. I've eaten a few Lakers but they're not real common around here and these were the first I've ever caught on Tenkara.
     
  27. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    Ahhh- I know Yellowstone Park is spending a tremendous amount of money (and time and effort) trying to rid themselves of them.
     
  28. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    I dream that I can do my own part... :D
     
  29. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Yeah, that's really sad what's happened up there. I recently read an article where they said there are more native Cutt's spawning than have in a long time so maybe all the resources they've dumped into it are starting to make a difference.

    Colorado stocked all kinds of water with "pure" strain Greenback Cutt's years ago and with the advancements in testing they've realized that all of the fish they've stocked are not pure and are more closely related to the Colorado River Cutt's. They found one small population left of what they are now calling "pure" GB Cutt's and are now trying to introduce them into places where they're not in danger of cross breeding. I was told by a Bio that there is one stream they stocked with the pure strain GB's that is fishable, I just need to get in there.
     
  30. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    GET. SOME...
     
  31. Kenneth

    Kenneth Guide

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    Beautiful, thanks for bringing us along.

    GOD Bless you and your family

    Kenneth
     
  32. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks Kenneth!
     
  33. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    really cool pics- especially that old steel sled....thanks for sharing!
     
  34. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock So long, and thanks for all the fish Supporter

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    Great trip brother thanks for sharing.
     
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  35. Brew-Jitsu

    Brew-Jitsu Mora Tribe #100 Supporter Bushclass I

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    +1

    Great pictures/report there, buddy. Thanks for taking the time to post.
     
  36. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks!
     

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