PDA

View Full Version : Indian Peaks Wilderness Lake


David Knapp
08-21-2013, 04:10 PM
Last Sunday I had some free time and headed up to the high country for a short hike and fish excursion. Of course, the camera came along with the fly rod. The road in was rough. I intended to not take my new car on any tough roads for a while but the lure of big trout in an alpine setting kept me going. The trailhead was definitely full but surprisingly there did not seem to be that many people around.

The first lake was only perhaps a half a mile up the trail. It had a couple of fish rising in the middle but was very low so I continued on to the next lake. This lake was gorgeous. The water was smooth as glass and every few minutes, a big fish would swirl near the far shore. My side was pretty shallow so I quickly worked around the shoreline to where the fish seemed to be working.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_3087-002_zpsb3774850.jpg

Some caddis were around. Every time one landed on the surface, it started skittering its way across until a fish interrupted its journey with an explosive rise. I don't have a great selection of caddis dries right now but an EHC seemed appropriate considering the light hatch and fish action.

My second cast resulted in a cutt slamming the fly but in my excitement I pulled the fly out of its mouth. Then came a long dry spell. By the time the next fish hit, I was looking around enjoying the scenery. Because of my distraction, I heard rather than saw the next take. The delay gave me a perfect hook set and the battle was joined.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2077_zps6eaac65e.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2080-001_zps0d02baa8.jpg

The fish surged hard into the deepest part of the lake with my reel screaming. I would gain a bit of line only to have the fish pull more out. Slowly, the fish became tired and I regained line. I jumped in the lake since I did not carry a net and did not want to drag such a magnificent fish up on the bank.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2086_zps10f938a8.jpg

Later I managed a couple of brook trout from a nearby lake but they were nowhere as large as the big cutthroat. Storms were building up near the Continental Divide so it seemed a good time to hike out. I'll be back again though. I like this new place!!!

ChemEAngler
08-21-2013, 05:18 PM
nice cuttie David. Getting me excited about my upcoming trips out there....

Breck
08-21-2013, 08:14 PM
David, Thank you for posting. How much longer will you be in Co.?

Pictures are excellent as usual. Look forward to more!!!

Breck

David Knapp
08-21-2013, 09:27 PM
David, Thank you for posting. How much longer will you be in Co.?

Pictures are excellent as usual. Look forward to more!!!

Breck

Breck,

I'm here for at least another school year and probably a couple more beyond that. If you ever have a chance to make it out this way give me a holler and we'll fish!!!

David

flyman
08-22-2013, 12:58 AM
Nice David:smile: Enjoy it while you can. Won't be long before the snow starts to fly in the high country.

MadisonBoats
08-22-2013, 06:23 AM
David,
Awesome pictures and report! You are blessing your soul in that area.:smile:

Grannyknot
08-22-2013, 08:24 AM
That's awesome David.
Fishing an Alpine Lake is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Maybe someday.

One question. With the water being so still, does catching one fish spook the entire lake?

David Knapp
08-22-2013, 10:08 AM
That's awesome David.
Fishing an Alpine Lake is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Maybe someday.

One question. With the water being so still, does catching one fish spook the entire lake?

You know, that's a good question. I don't think that it spooks the whole lake, but I do know the action nearby died down after this fish. No more rising trout...

buzzmcmanus
08-22-2013, 01:27 PM
That's awesome David.
Fishing an Alpine Lake is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Maybe someday.

One question. With the water being so still, does catching one fish spook the entire lake?

Last year while in the Holy Cross Wilderness I had a chance to fish Grouse Lake. It is a shallow lake and is full of thousands upon thousands of small brook trout. The instant I would cast and my line would go over the water, they would all disappear. I could still fool a few every now and again, but I could never figure out how not to spook the entire side of the lake. I'm also not the most graceful caster in the world.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u51/buzzmcmanus/Colorado%20Elk%202012/P1000798_zps3d4d97a8.jpg (http://s165.photobucket.com/user/buzzmcmanus/media/Colorado%20Elk%202012/P1000798_zps3d4d97a8.jpg.html)

Grouse Lake is the top of the two meadows in this picture

David Knapp
08-22-2013, 07:14 PM
I had that problem on a brookie lake high up in RMNP. The fish would spook from 40 feet away just from me walking nearby, much less casting. That bright yellow line was probably not helping me... :rolleyes:

flyman
08-22-2013, 09:32 PM
It can be difficult in water so clear you can see 30' deep. We always tried to fish an inlet or outlet if the lake had one. We also used long leaders (14-16') were not uncommon. You also need to watch the fish. Not just to see the fish rise, but to try and determine if the fish is cruising the water. If they are you can cast your fly out ahead of where you think the fish is going and just let it set. Fishing dries in alpine lakes can be a blast right after ice out, and it can be very frustrating once they have wised up and seen a few anglers.

Dawgvet
08-23-2013, 12:26 PM
Great post! I too have always wanted to fish one of those alpine lakes. Keep up the good posts!

Dukejb
08-30-2013, 10:05 AM
Great pics and fish David! I've really been enjoying your posts. I do have a question for you if you don't mind. What are water temps running out there? My wife and I will be in RMNP in 2 weeks and I'm trying to decide if we can get away with leaving the waders at home. We will probably be fishing in the meadow stretch of the colorado and in moraine park on the big t. The last time we were out there was in early October and the high country was already getting snow. In fact we woke up to 4" our second morning. If Kirk would get on the ball like Byron with his fishing report, I wouldn't have to bug you with this;)

David Knapp
08-30-2013, 12:31 PM
Great pics and fish David! I've really been enjoying your posts. I do have a question for you if you don't mind. What are water temps running out there? My wife and I will be in RMNP in 2 weeks and I'm trying to decide if we can get away with leaving the waders at home. We will probably be fishing in the meadow stretch of the colorado and in moraine park on the big t. The last time we were out there was in early October and the high country was already getting snow. In fact we woke up to 4" our second morning. If Kirk would get on the ball like Byron with his fishing report, I wouldn't have to bug you with this;)

Dukejb,

Things are looking pretty good. I was on the Big T in Moraine Park last evening and wore sandals. When I'm fishing these meadow streams I rarely ever get in the water and often just wear hiking boots. If you are wanting to wade, the water temps are definitely cool but not frigid. Wet wading is fine except it will be chilly early and late. The plains are really hot but the high country is seeing lows dipping into the 30s on some nights. I expect to see the first snows on the highest peaks in another 2-3 weeks. Feel free to shoot me an email when your trip gets closer, and I'll see if I can get an actual temp on both of those streams...

David Knapp
08-30-2013, 01:06 PM
Here is Moraine Park last evening after a storm came through. The monsoon is still alive and well...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_3342-005_zpsadcf092a.jpg

flyred06
08-31-2013, 10:16 AM
thanks for sharing

PeteCz
09-03-2013, 02:58 PM
Here is Moraine Park last evening after a storm came through. The monsoon is still alive and well...

Hi David, any idea if they have been getting rain on or near the Flattops Wilderness. I'm heading out to Fort Collins tomorrow for a few days on the Cache La Poudre and then was planning on the trek up to the Flattops, but I can't find any reports of how the White River is holding up.
Have you heard anything?