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Discussion Starter #1
Going up there for a horse show and while I'm not helping my girlfriend I would like to do some fishing. I've never been up there before and was wondering where to go.
I saw the post about Lake Estes and muskies, but what else is there to know?
Is Lake Estes right there in town or is there other spots to go close by?
What and how do you fish for and with?
Sorry for all the questions, but I just moved up from Texas and all the fishing I have done is salt water on the coast.

Thanks for the help.
Brad
 

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Lake Estes is basically right in town. I like it, although it could be my inexperience talking. Most fish caught there are stocker rainbow trout, but there is a good population of brown trout too. While there are other fishes there, it's probably good to not count on catching any of them. The west end of the lake (near the inlet) is fairly shallow. Last time I was there (last weekend) there was someone fishing quite far into the lake but with waders. The other end of the lake is deeper, mostly 10-20 feet but 40-ish near the dam itself. There is a marina where you can rent boats and buy basic fishing supplies.

Just south of town there is Mary's Lake. It's a nice lake with lots of rainbows in it. No boats allowed, and I assume no wading too. I see lots of people there getting lucky on power bait and salmon eggs.

Both Lake Estes and Mary's Lake are heavily fished, and just as heavily stocked. You'll probably see lots of folks there for the 4th weekend.

Next to Estes Park is Rocky Mountain National Park. There are lots of lakes and streams there with various types of trout. Some of them are surely still snow-packed, but I don't know more and can't recommend a place in there.

There are several rivers around the area, including the Big Thompson. While the spring runoff is letting up, many of the rivers are running too high to fish and possibly too high to be safe.

As for warm water fishing you can go east to the Loveland area. I'm not saying that it's close, just that it's close for things like Bass, Walleye, etc. There are several lakes in that area worth checking out.

There are those who would disagree (and rightfully so!), but I'd recommend that you fish Lake Estes, even with the crowds, and perhaps take a sight-seeing trip into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Bring your rod into RMNP, but don't count on catching anything (mostly from inexperience than from lack of fish). And if I remember right, RMNP is flys and lures only. No worms, live bait, power bait, or anything small and stinky. Since you're new to the area you'll appriciate the sceanery of RMNP and you might even forget about the fish if just for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the great info!
What is the best way to fish Lake Estes? Bait or Lures and what?

Thanks
Brad
 

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Id go with a 2 pole setup. Throw your bait on the bottom on one and throw some spoons or spinners on the other. Be sure to stay close to your bait pole. Im not 100% sure but I think there is some limit to how far away you can be from a 'live' pole.Can anyone verify?


-Jay
 

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The book says "reasonable distance"

If you're going to be at the fairgrounds, you basicaly just have to cross the street to get to Lake Estes. That side of the lake is filled w/ moss making lures difficult. Walk to the marina or the inlet, and it's alot clearer.

my top lures would be --- Thomas Boyant (gold),  Super-Duper (gold w/ red),  or a Tasmanian Devil (gold or yellow/orange).

for your bait rod. Try power-bait, salmon eggs, or small worms.

I would highly recommend using a fly and bobble. Spinning rod - bobble - tippet - fly. There are 3 fly shops in Estes. Have them recommend a few flys. Try this early or late in the day (or any time the water is somewhat calm). It's a blast, and a pretty productive way to catch fish up here.

I'm stuck going to a family (in-laws) BBQ on the 4th. I'll probably fish before hand. If you see someone in a tan/blue pontoon/float tube at Estes or someone w/ a Shepard, and a Black Lab at Mary's say hi.

Good Luck !   ;D   
 
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