Driftless Trout Anglers

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dubbs
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:02:14 AM
Rank: Midge



Joined: 6/13/2014
Posts: 25
Location: SE MN
I'll be heading out to Colorado in a couple weeks for an archery elk hunt. I'll be hunting west of Walden in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness area. There appears to be a bunch of alpine lakes and streams in the area we'll be hunting. I don't know what is in the water, but there has to be some trout.

The top priority of this trip is elk hunting, but I'm going to bring my 4 piece fly rod along just in case I get a chance to catch our supper.

I need to keep my pack weight and size to an absolute minimum (not that flies weigh much), so I can't bring all my fly boxes with me.

What are some of the essential flies that I should bring? I'm assuming a lot of the stuff we use in the DA will work out there too.

I can't wait for this trip. Just wish I had more time to fish while I'm out there!

GreatPyrs
#2 Posted : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 1:18:27 PM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 2/12/2014
Posts: 137
Location: Downers Grove, Il
Have fun in Mt.Zirkel,

I spent a lot of time fishing the Encampment, and just hanging out in some great country. All the lakes and streams along the Colorado/Wyoming line are full of fish.Yes, the usual caddis, stimulators, etc. excite the trout - plenty of brookies. I was fond of a Royal Trude as well. An RS2 nymph, some Pheasant tails, streamers and you are on your way Smile

If you had time the North Platte just north of Walden and through Northgate Canyon is an incredible fishery!

Report back , cheers!

I enjoy trout.They are never disappointing company. They like the things I like - clean mountain streams , swift moving water, wildness. - Henry Middleton
Josey Wales
#3 Posted : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 2:59:55 PM
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 6/14/2013
Posts: 229
Location: St. Paul
Good luck on the elk hunt. I went on my first archery elk hunt last year in CO. You are going to have a blast. I dont know what you are taking for food but there are a lot of mountain grouse in CO, you will most likely see them while you are hiking around. Buy a small game license so you can arrow some for dinner. Trout or grouse will be a welcomed break from dehydrated food if that is what you are packing in.

Again, good luck!
NE IA Drifter
#4 Posted : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:28:49 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly


Joined: 7/10/2013
Posts: 142
Location: Decorah
If you have kindle (you can put kindle on a laptop/desktop) you can buy for 9$ "fly fishing the Rocky Mountain backcountry" by rick osthoff. This will give you a good list of flies and I'm pretty sure he even describes mt zirkel. Lots of lakes up there with good fishing brooks should be spawning soon as well.
dubbs
#5 Posted : Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:36:35 AM
Rank: Midge



Joined: 6/13/2014
Posts: 25
Location: SE MN
Thanks for the tips guys. I'm getting more and more pumped for this trip every day.
dubbs
#6 Posted : Sunday, September 14, 2014 5:36:37 AM
Rank: Midge



Joined: 6/13/2014
Posts: 25
Location: SE MN
Well I just got back from my elk hunt today. It was a very tough hunt. The elk were not very vocal and the weather was not the most cooperative. But I did manage to get within 30 yards of a very nice bull. Unfortunately I was not able to get a shot, so I came home empty handed.

I did get to do a little fishing. We took a break from hunting one day and went to check out some area streams. Like the hunting, the fishing was very frustrating that day. The wind made casting a fly nearly impossible. We fished the North Platte River for about an hour before giving up because of the wind. Here is a pic of the stream.





Next we decided to hike from our camp up to Lake Katherine. Lake Katherine is approximately 2.5 mile hike and 900' climb within the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area.

The lake was well worth the hike up there.





We only stayed to fish for about a half hour. I caught 2 small, but very colorful brookies on a streamer.




Here are some other random photos from the trip.










I can't wait to go back any try again!
GreatPyrs
#7 Posted : Sunday, September 14, 2014 11:58:41 AM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 2/12/2014
Posts: 137
Location: Downers Grove, Il
Looks like you had those fall warmer , sunny , windy days. Great country nonetheless, glad you had fun. Where did you access the North Platte from?

Cheers, thanks for the pics!

Philip
I enjoy trout.They are never disappointing company. They like the things I like - clean mountain streams , swift moving water, wildness. - Henry Middleton
dubbs
#8 Posted : Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:39:33 PM
Rank: Midge



Joined: 6/13/2014
Posts: 25
Location: SE MN
Actually it was pretty cool and wet while we were there. It rained 4 of our 7 days there. A couple of days were pretty windy. I was getting a little concerned that one of the beetle killed pine trees would fall over on top of me. But overall the temperatures and weather were fairly comfortable.

We accessed the North Platte from a state leased SWA (State Wildlife Area?). I can't remember the name of it, but it was off of CR 18 a few miles west of Walden. It looked like a great river to fish, I just wish I had my waders and more time to explore it. We ran into a couple who was fishing, and they were from Hayward, WI. They only caught one fish all morning, so it was kind of slow.
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