Colorado Trip Report
By Mike Wilson
The Chapter trip out West took place Saturday
July 11th to Sunday July 19th. Nine Chapter members and one guest made the trip
to Colorado this year. The members were -Bill McNamara, Mike Mulray, Al Kahoun,
Tom Flannery, Dick McKinny, Rich Terry, Den Mora, Jim Case and Mike Wilson, with
Matt Wilson joining his dad on the trip.
The trip started with several groups flying to Denver on Saturday morning. We
all met at the Super 8 Motel in Manitou Springs ( just outside Colorado Springs
) Saturday afternoon. The plan was to fish the South Platte in the Deckers area.
We arrived late afternoon, and fish up and downstream from the small town of
Deckers. The water was high and cold - a problem we'd experience in several
places, but a couple of fish were caught.
Sunday found us hiking into the famous Cheesman Canyon. Den Mora had fished this
area before, so we were prepared for the hike into the canyon. The canyon is
spectacular, with a narrow hiking trail winding it's way along the canyon wall.
We split up to fish different spots. Matt and I walked quite a ways into the
canyon before finding a spot we liked. We each caught a couple of fish, and
enjoyed lunch on the banks of the South Platt. Just after finishing lunch, a
storm started to roll over the canyon wall. It started to the East, but quickly
engulfed the entire canyon. First it rained, then it hailed, then the
temperature dropped 10 - 15 degrees. We started to hike out, but found a small
cave where we took cover. After about 20 minutes the storm passed, and the sun
came out. We decided to fish for a while before hiking out to meet the rest of
Monday was our travel day, with most of the group going to fish the South Platte
in Eleven Mile Canyon. One truck went to Pikes Peak to see the sights. Eleven
Mile Canyon is a multi use area, with fishing and camping. A fee of $5 per
vehicle is charged to enter the area. A great day of fishing - sight fishing to
browns and rainbows. Everyone caught fish.
Later Monday we traveled to Basalt, CO, passing the Arkansas River ( one of the
few streams we saw that we didn't fish ) and driving through Aspen, CO. Basalt
is located at the junction of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers. The
Aspenalt Motel where we stayed was on the bank of the Frying Pan. In the
shopping center with the motel was a restaurant, 2 fly shops, a grocer store and
a liquor store. Everything a fisherman could want all in one place.
Tuesday we spent all day fishing the Frying Pan River including the "toilet
bowl" where the dam outlet swirls round and round. Everyone caught fish, and
Matt lost a large rainbow he estimated at 20". The Frying Pan is a medium sized
stream with a tremendous fish population - there are fish everywhere. If you
ever get a chance you should give it a try.
Wednesday we split up and fished the Roaring Fork River. Den Mora, Mike Mulray,
Rich Terry and Jim Case floated the river, while the rest of us tried several
public access areas. The Roaring Fork was high and cold ( 40 degrees ), so the
fishing was tough. The float guys did pretty well, while the wading guys
Thursday Rich Terry and Den Mora drove East to Rocky Mountain National Park,
while the rest of us went Southeast back to Eleven Mile Canyon - yes it was that
good. Another great day on the South Platte, and in Rocky Mtn. NP.
Friday was another travel day, and again we stopped to fish along the way. This
time we fished the Eagle River, which runs along Interstate 90. Only a couple of
fish were caught, but this is a place I'd like to try again sometime. Friday
afternoon we arrived in Silverthorn, CO - our final stop. We stayed at the Super
8 Motel in Silverthorne. We fished the Blue River in town, but again high cold
water made the fishing tough.
Saturday we traveled North to fish the upper Colorado and the Williams Fork
Rivers. My group walked into the Williams Fork River, and fished down to the
Colorado. The other groups tried the Colorado further upstream. Fish were
caught, but it was spotty. Den Mora hit the mother load in a nice riffle.
Saturday evening we tried another spot on the Blue downstream from Silverthorne.
Again the fishing was spotty.
Sunday morning found us driving East along Route 90 to Denver and the flight
home. Everyone had a great time, and everyone felt that this was one of the best
Chapter trips. We'll see if we can't do better next year when we visit Montana.
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