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Hey Cowboy,

This is my first reply (or posting for that mater).  I just found you guys about a week ago and have not had much time to post anything.

Anyway, I went out to Chatfield on Sunday night (July 17).  I trolled the middle buoy line across the old roadbed from just before sundown, say 20:30, to about 01:00.  I use a wire-type bottom bouncer rig with a hand-tied worm harness.  The floats on the harness were fluorescent orange.  The harness was tied with 20-pound test fluorpolymer and was equipped with a small hammered nickel spinner.  I was trolling with a 1/2 crawler and got absolutely no bites ? except one.  It was about 23:00 (11:00 P.M.) and I was trolling up the south side of the road bed when my line gently and gradually got tighter and tighter (the line did not twitch even once).  I use PowerPro fishing line which is a no-stretch braided line.  The line is so sensitive that the rod tip twitches when you drag a weight across a sand bed.  A slow steady increase in line tension usually indicates either a fish on or a wad of moss.

I picked up the rod and gave it a quick twitch and the lure/line stopped dead in its tracks.  The thing felt like a snag but I knew better.  I loosened my drag some and turned the boat around and headed back towards the lure while maintaining line tension.  The funny thing is that the line seemed to be coming toward me while I was going towards it.

I got right above the line and tightened up the drag a bit and started realing up.  It started to rise, I got it up at least 4 feet, and then "BINK!" something broke off.  The 20-pound fluoropolymer had been cut clean right at the harness end.  I'm thinking a large walleye ? but without a picture it's just another fish story.

I tied on another harness of slightly different design and continued trolling over the old roadbed till about 01:00.  Didn't get any more hits there.

Took the rig up by the dam face and trolled it in about 15 feet of water.  Caught a 15.5 inch small mouth (a keeper!) but decided to put it back.

The upshot is that it has been quite slow.  About 6 weeks ago, I caught some very healthy walleye (22+ inches) on the same spot and my father caught an 18 inch brown trout.  He was using a chartreuse worm harness right at sundown.

I know you like trout and I have not been trying for them recently.  I lost 6 Rapalas (my choice for Chatfield rainbows) to speed boaters in the spring of last year going for trout.  This has inspired me not to use them in open water anymore.  I am so out of practice I need some help.  What would you recommend and where would you go at Chatfield for trout.  The inlet, along the swim beach, kast masters, pop-gear???

Your input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Thanks for the tips, I'll try the inlet ... and it is so much less life-threatening down there.

Have any of you heard the rumor that the Game and Fish department dumped a bunch of shad in Chatfield? Someone told me they did this to feed the walleye. I have seen more schools on my fish finder but I just thought this was normal post-shad spawn population growth.

If true, this might explain part of the slowdown in the walleye bite. I personally think that one reason for the slowdown is that all the speedboat activity has spooked the fish.

If it was a Saturday afternoon and I was a fish, I would be in shock and hiding for my life under one of the sunken trees in the deepest part of the lake.
 

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Thanks Zman,

I actually caught about a 14 inch shad in late April. These fish have a strong odor and seem oily too. I turned it loose to make more food for the lake.

I wonder if they stocked them in Chatfield before the June 15th article date .. is that why I caught one?
 

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I went out to Chatfield last night and fished with bottom bouncers from about 18:30 to 03:00.  Got 3 small walleye on the old roadbed at the centerline buoy again.

Tried trolling on the outside of the no-wake buoy line over by the handicap pier and had no luck.

Decided to switch over to Rapala and troll the dam.  Got two small mouth bass.

Saw lots of bait fish on the finder.

Trying to attach a picture of some fish I caught at Lonetree some years ago
 
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