Hello there again! The summer keeps grinding on and the fishing is still pretty good!
We have been having quite a bit of rain which has kept the water levels steady and the temperatures cool. But hot afternoons have been turning the fish off around noon. There hasn’t been the consistent hatches that we were seeing earlier in the summer. But you can still count on Pale Morning Duns with sporadic caddis and stoneflies throughout the morning. I’ve been getting most fish to eat a big stonefly nymph. The fish have really been liking a dark colored variation of the classic Bitch Creek nymph. While I love fishing and guiding in the rivers of Grand County, there are other waters that are calling my name this time of year…
As the temperatures keep rising during the dog days of summer, the high country is the place to be! The crystal clear lakes that the mountains keep hidden high in the hills are truly special places. These lakes are usually slap-full of hungry cutthroat trout. Getting to these lakes takes some effort, but the juice is worth the squeeze! I’m not going to give away any names or locations of my favorite lakes because figuring out where to explore is half the fun. Get a map of an area in the mountains you are interested in. Find the lakes that are above tree line, and start hiking! There are plenty of lakes that are right under your nose!
These cutthroat typically aren’t difficult to catch, and most times all you need are a few dry flies. Watching a cutthroat coming up to your fly from twenty feet is an incredible experience. This will test your patience, as it is extremely difficult not to pull your fly right out of the fishes mouth! I’ve had great success in the high country with stimulators and Adams dry flies. Smaller is typically better. If you are fishing a lake that gets more pressure than others, you may have to work a little harder to get fish to bite. When the fish are being difficult, just revert back to the good old “match the hatch.” I’ve found that if you can see these fish, you can catch them. Be patient, look for cruising fish. When you have spotted one, make a cast in front the fish, and most times they will at very least come give your fly a sniff. Being refused by a cutthroat is something special, too!
Regardless of where you choose to fish, just get out there and do it! Put forth the effort, energy, and time to explore some high alpine lakes. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!