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For the front range fishermen, I just wanted to put out some observations I have made over the last couple of weeks about the trout fishing in Lon Hagler Reservoir.

Species
This lake has primarily rainbows. Until a few days ago, I thought rainbows were all it had. Then I went out there one morning and found a nice big brown -- 5 pounds or so -- lying on the bank at the edge of the water, gasping. Apparently it had jumped out of the water and landed on the bank! When I bent over it, it gave a big flop and landed back in the water and swam away. So it has at least some browns, as well. How many, I don't know.

Lures
I have had the most success with two kinds of lures on the ultralight rod. One is a lure made by "Joe's Flies" and consists of a fly with a small treble trailer hook, and a gold spinner at the front of it. They make several patterns, I like the muddler and the coachman patterns the best. Here are some photos I took so you can see what they look like.





Using the ultralight and 2 lb. line I can cast these a pretty good distance even though they weigh almost nothing. With more reasonable line weights I think a bubble would be required to get it out any distance at all. Retrieving these lures just fast enough to keep the spinner going catches rainbows.

The most effective lure I have found so far is a simple little Vibrax brass spinner in the 1/8 oz. size:



This seems to be a good substitute for the shad who roam the lake in big schools, driving the 'bows nuts. Wherever I see big swirls and shad jumping out of the water in panic, I throw one of these farther out and drag it back through the free-for-all and wham! there's a trout on. The 1/4 oz. size does not produce nearly as well as the 1/8 oz.

Other spinners -- Mepps, Rooster Tails, etc. will pick up the occasional 'bow, but this absurdly simple little spinner outperforms them all. And causes less line twist, too.

Bait
Unlike Boyd Lake trout, who love night crawlers, Lon Hagler trout do not want them. I can't explain it. There are a few exceptions. My grandson caught an 18" 'bow on a night crawler after I had been skunked on crawlers three times in a row. But let's not talk about that. If you want to try crawlers go ahead, but the other people are catching limits on Powerbait. Specifically, chartreuse colored Powerbait. The locals swear that's the only color to use. I am not a Powerbait fan and haven't used it, but I have stood next to fishermen who took limits of 16-18 in. rainbows fishing powerbait on the bottom. And yes, it was chartreuse.

Where to Fish
The most trout are being taken on the north side of the lake, from the boat ramps on west to the corner of the lake. This includes the inlet spillway, a favorite spot of mine, but the Powerbait fishermen fish both east and west of there, and they do get their trout. The lures pictured above work well in the spillway current, just outside the roughest water. Cloudy and overcast days are by far the best if you are going to do that. Clear sunny days drive them away, into deeper water.

Incidentally, most of the tiger muskie are being taken from the northwest corner of the lake. That's pretty shallow water there. But that seems to be where they are cruising. There was a guy paddling around in a float tube who hooked a tiger. It was very entertaining. The fish towed the guy in the float tube all over the lake, the guy was helpless, all he could do was hang on. He eventually lost the fish, but I would give him an Emmy for the entertainment. LOL!

Regards,
Walking Eagle
 

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Great break down on the lake W.E. Have you thought about putting a little bit of hackle on the vibrax spinner? If it doesnt need it and does good without it it might do better with some as well. Sometimes simple is better, who knows.
I love the float tube guy being pulled by a tiger image, I seen this happen to a guy when he hooked into a sturgeon it pulled him of an hour then got off. Good times!
 

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i bought one of those Joe Fly muddlers this morning! never tried one before today, no luck where i was. (although, i dont think its because of the lure)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
szangomango said:
i bought one of those Joe Fly muddlers this morning! never tried one before today, no luck where i was. (although, i dont think its because of the lure)
I have tried those at Boyd Lake but I don't know if they will take trout there or not, because the little bass and perch rush to attack it so quickly.

W. E.
 

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That is one awesome complete report!
 
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