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Hello all.  Tennesse boy here coming for a visit July 10-15.  Need some help here.  While my wife visits with her family I intend to sneak out and enjoy some of Colorado's natural beauty.  I'll be in Colorado Springs July 10-15 and looking to do some trout fishing.  Now, I don't flyfish.  Folks do flyfish in TN, but the choice action is on in-line spinners (such as Rooster Tails) on light spinning rod and reel.  I've already checked into licenses and such, so that's taken care of.  I have some questions though and I'm hoping some of ya'll local fella's can help me out.  Here goes:

1)  Can you recommend some decent trout streams close to Colorado Springs?  Keep in mind, I'm already coming 1200 miles, so I don't want to go far.
2)  With in-line lures in mind, is there a local favorite that I should pick up when I get there?
3)  What are Gold Medal areas and do special regulations apply?

By the way, I'm a catch and release guy.  I just want to catch, snap a pic or two, and release.  Have no intention at all of keeping.  The typical 'bows here in TN aren't near what ya'll have in Colorado.  I mean...I'm seeing pics posted here of 20-23" 'bows.  That's almost unheard of in TN.  The average 'bow I catch here is only about 10-12".  I'm just looking forward to getting the rod bent by a big 'ol bow or brown.  Oh, one more question:

How about some line recommendations, I use 6lb mono in TN.  Will that be sufficient in Colorado?

Look forward to hearing your responses.

Thanks all...Venom
 

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It's going to be tough at that time of year for a spin fisherman.... There are some GREAT streams if you want to pick up a flyrod and try it..

I would start with 11-mile canyon. Good polarized glasses will help you see the massive piles of fish in that river. I fished quite a bit last year in July at 11-mile as I had a 2month sabattical from work over the summer. I pounded the fish in the catch & release section all the way up at the top of the canyyon and down the first mile or so. I would start fishing at 6:00am and maybe fish till noon or so and never take off the size 20 adams I was using, except for being snapped off, or my fly becoming mutilated by so many fish!!! ;D I have a picture of the 23" brown I caught last July on my desk right now! Maybe he's up to 25" now!!

If you HAVE to use spinning tackle I would probably pay the $4 and go to North Catamount and put your hiking shoes on. It's off of the Pike's Peak Highway off Highway 24 toward Woodland Park - 15 miles out of town.

Hike up to the head of the lake and fish your way back to the Parking area. Small silver and orange spoons like a little cleo can really rake the fish in... Little spinners do well too if you let them sink a ways.On the other rod put a 3/8 or 1/2 oz. tube jig and pitch it out as far as you possible can. Let it sink ALL the way to the bottom and SLOWLY jig it back in.... Lots of lake trout in the 18-20" range.

Or go to 11-mile reservoir. That time of year should be good with power bait at Rocking Chair, Lazy Boy or Sucker Cove. Or you can rent a boat from 11 mile sports and troll 1/4 oz. silver spoons on a VERY long line. My Brother and I did that last year and got into some super nice fish. We just had to make sure we had lots of line out and trolled at the right speed.

Have Fun and enjoy the scenery!!! Tim
 

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Venomous, If you like spin fishing I would recommend the South Platte River in Elevenmile Canyon or the Arkansas River. While growing up in the Springs I would often spin fish both. I have always favored Panther Martin Spinners and IMO they are the best spinner for Colorado rivers and streams. I always did well with 1/4  to 1/8 oz. There is a wide variety of them. My favorite is the gold bladed one with a black body with yellow dots. I use to murder the browns on both rivers with that particular lure. Gold medal waters are trophy fish waters and do have special regulations. Go online for a copy of the latest Colorado fishing regulations booklet. Good luck and enjoy your stay.  :)
 

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I resoundingly second the advice offered by Ouray for the Arkansas River. That spinning tackle combo will absolutely slay the browns that hug the banks. The only downside is that the Arkansas is along US50 and you have to deal with traffic noise but that's a small price to pay for taking those hard hitting browns!

Have a good time.
 

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I'll be there for 4-5 days and will probably try a few different spots.  The Arkansas River along US50 does sound good.  The noise I can deal with.  I'm assuming that there are several good places to park to enter the water?  Or should this be fished from the bank?  Also, what about line choice?  Is my 6lb mono good enough?  I'm thinking maybe I should put on 6lb florocarbon instead.  The streams here in TN are probably considered stained compared to those cold mountain streams ya'll have.

I do like the looks of 11-mile too.  I've looked up a couple of websites on that area.  Really like it, but what about access?  Fairly easy or is this an area I need to hike into?

Also, and this may sound stupid, but I better ask anyway.  Should I be concerned with 'other' wildlife?  In TN we have our fair share of nasty reptiles, as I'm sure you do, but what about bears, etc.  Anything I need to be aware of?

Thanks...Venom
 
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you'll be ok. your biggest worry are other fisherman crowding you when you start pulling in 20+" trout
 

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There is plenty of public access along the Arkansas River and 6lb mono will work just fine. It?s what I have always used. The water will probably still be running very heavy on the Arkansas in early July so you probably will be mostly fishing from the bank and not wading. The farther you go up the river the better the fishing conditions will be for that time of year. There is also plenty of easy access at Elevenmile..
As far as dangerous wildlife, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightening than injured by a black bear, mountain lion or rattlesnake. They are around but like most animals do best they can to avoid humans. Just use common since when trekking through heavy cover especially if you chose to get away from the beaten path.
 

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Those are some great suggestions the above people have mentioned, here are a couple more. Only a couple mins away from 11 mile canyon and 11 mile reservoir are the stretch of the South Platte between 11 mile and Spinney Reservoir this stretch is only a couple miles long I think can almost spit on 11 mile from atop the damn at Spinney (if the wind is blowing right ;) ) THis stretch of the Platte is Gold Medal status which simply means flys and lures only and is Catch and Release and is very good fishing. Also you have Spinney Reservoir there as well which is also a very good reservoir to fish.
THe Arkansas I fish this river alot more then any other stream or river, Usually all the way up by Canon City, I think you'll do good on that river with a spinner I also recommend using a Panther Martian in Colorado. You might want to hit the Ark down in Pueblo they have just finished some odd million dollar trout habitat project down there and it looks great the rainbows are really stocking up in there. Also while your there you can hit Pueblo Reservoir which I personally think is a hard lake to fish but its always an option. If you are planning on hitting the Arkansas along highway 50 in the Canon City and Salida area you might want to swing by Brush Hollow another good lake it has bass, crappie, walleye, and trout in it so with a spinner you should nail something there. Water level at Brush Hollow might be a little lower in July because of irragation demands.
Now inside city limits there are 2 little lakes Quail lake and Pikeview pond, both have just about every species of fish that is in Colorado in it. And the good thing about Colorado Springs depending on where you are staying nothing takes more the 30 mins to get to.
 

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Now, I'll let you in on a secret about the most deadly lure for river trout: the curly tail grub. Don't laugh...I know they are a bass and walleye lure for the most part but they don't call me the troutfishingbear without a reason, so I'm not nuts (well, maybe I am but this works great). I like 3-4" curly tail grubs, in pumpkin color or in white. Rig them with a variety of round jigheads, ranging in weights from 1/16 to 1/4 oz. Fish them erratically and let them swing in the current. The browns love them and I've caught some nice bows on them too. Trust me on those...if you don't want to, the panther martin spinners in size 6 generally are the best bet.
If you are fishing unrestricted waters, meaning you can use bait, there really isn't a thing to match the effectiveness of a drifted nightcrawler. 6 pound test mono is PERFECT for colorado rivers, 4 pound is good for high mountain lakes though. I like tying on a #6 eagle claw baitholder, pinching the correct amount of weight in water gremlin sinkers sizes 3-5 roughly 16" above it, and puting on a good portion of a nightcrawler. Use enough weight so you barely tick bottom.

Here is proof, everything on here was caught on a drifted nightcrawler or curly tail grub. Mostly on drifted crawlers though. http://www.coloradofisherman.com/forum/index.php?topic=334.0

I don't think you'd want to drive 4 hours to fish this fishery though, but its proof that my presentations will work. Enjoy your fishing experience in colorado.
 

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Fella's, I really appreciate all the good advice. You have been a tremendous help. And TroutFishingBear...WOW! Excellent fish in those pics. That's what I'm after, just to catch some nice trout. Bear, I know that the water you were fishing in those pics is 4 hours away, and your right, I wouldn't want to go that far, but that type of waterway is what I'm looking for. I like a little current running. That's my type of fishing. Moving up and down the bank and workin' the lures.

OURAY-Thanks for the info on the Arkansas River flow. I will most likely be heading down there.

ePIC-I see that you mentioned waters below or between reservoirs. In TN, most of our trout waters are below TVA dams. This means that we have to be very carful of generation schedules. Is the situation similar on CO. Is there a number or website to get scheduled releases?

Thanks...Venom
 

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The rainbows just finished their spawn if thats what your asking? There is no trout season in Colorado its year round. The waters between the 2 reservoirs is catch and release only and it recieves alot of fishing pressure but holds some huge fish. These trout are probably some of the smartest trout in the state as they get everything in their mother thrown at them. So presentation is key for this area. As far as the DOW stocking this, they stock the reservoirs and the trout naturally work their way into these riverways. You can fish right next to the stocking truck as it pumps the fish into the water here in Colorado, not that it would do any good you have to give them some time to settle down from the stressful trip. Colorado stocks 10-15" trout alot, and is the DOW's main focus for the state as most people come here to fish for trout so it produces revenue.
A stockign report can be found here: http://wildlife.state.co.us/fishing/fishcond.asp
Along with fishing reports found on this forum the DOW posts fishing reports here: http://wildlife.state.co.us/dowfish/index.asp
 
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