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 the group.

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 struggled.

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.


October 10,2009

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