Sunday, March 8, 2020

Where to fish while awaiting the Apocalypse...

Lest we get in a rut, it’s time to ponder where and how the heck we’ll be fishing in the rest of 2020.

This time of year, we’re held back in places by the weather. Front Range ice fishing was short this winter, but open water awaits. For fishing through a hole, from now to ice off we’re pretty much limited to the mountains, North Park and the plains of south central Wyoming. 

Open water options along the Front Range will expand steadily as temperatures rise. Someone needs to give us a fishing report from Boyd (boating is open, and the lake is ice free everywhere but the Marina Inlet. We’ve got decent options at St. Vrain, Rivers Edge and the Recycle Pond, and Dixon is typically one of the  first small lakes around here to offer warm water species options. Carter and Flatiron also provide decent open water options for trout. There has been talk, which I strongly endorse, of getting a jump on the Horsetooth smallmouth season by launching float tubes in Marina or South Bay inlets, but right now those probable hotspots are annoyingly frozen over.

Newbies who want to test their mettle should consider joining the club’s traditional ice-out trek to the Delaneys west of Walden, for the chance of a personal best big trout. And now that Norm Engelbrecht and Rick Palmieri have invested in out-of-state annual licenses for Wyoming, we can expect them to push the rest of us to help them with their search for at least one damned Wyoming fish. Where else up there might we go?

Carter and Horsetooth are expected to open to boating around April 1; the limiting factor there is the admission fee and additional fee for your boat. Walleye anglers, pay close attention to talk of trips East to Jumbo and North Sterling. And we may want to give John Martin another try. Our last effort got some of us blown off the lake by high winds.

Still looking East, I’m thinking we should try Stalker Pond outside Wray, and maybe McConaghey or another Nebraska water or two. I’ve studied the maps and Google Earth for a couple years now and thought, “Why haven’t we ever tried Rock Creek Recreation Area in Southwest Nebraska?” I hear there's camping, good clear water, it's remote enough from any town to be remote enough, and the state runs a hatchery right down the road.

So, where else might we plot a road trip? I’ve long lusted at the thought of the Sand Hill lakes near Valentine, Neb., and fell hard last spring for a gin-clear Ute reservation lake near Pagosa Springs, but those both involve a long drive. Any takers? 

Whatever. Remind yourselves that we are retired now, so we've got the time, and can save money by carpooling. Where should we go? 

Send Bill an e-mail by clicking here. Or Rick by clicking here.

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