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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, master fly fisherman. I need some info on the Forgotten North Fork of the Poudre. I would like to know how to find the Public Access to the river and what people think about it. It is running really high right now 71 cfs, this cfs is about at it's Max for that river. Has anyone fished it, I know that the majority of the river is owned by the nature concervency and you can only fish it with permission. Any info would help. Maybe some of you have fished the famous Phantom Canyon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess it is a real mystery, maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and go find out for myself. ::) Somethings are better off not talked about.
 

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I had done some volunteer work at the Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Ranch a couple of years back.  They told me that they allow people who are not members of the Nature Conservancy fish that section of the river only a couple of days each year.  I was not able to get back up there on the open days to fish it but they told me it held some nice fish. 
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ya, a little research might be in order. I think public access is possible or so I've heard. I am just impressed with the flow right now for that section. Someone has to know, anyone?
 

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The book "Fly Fishing Colorado's Front Range" by Todd Hosman has directions to both upper and lower reaches of the NF of the Poudre.  PM me and let me know which section you wish to fish and I will send the directions from the book.
 

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I headed up that way this Saturday, went in at the access point Hosman describes on Cherokee Park Rd. The hike across and down to the river is substantial, a good 30 minutes, but well worth it, not a soul there.

Water was running pretty well, color was that of weak tea. I got a couple hits right off the bat with copper johns, didn't have a whole lot of time to spend after getting a late start, then under-estimating the drive time + hike time + getting lost time. The brush is pretty thick over there and not a ton of room to cast, next time I go up I might try taking a 7' rod, the 9' was a little unwieldy.

I took a look at some topos I have lying around and might try to see if I can find some different public access south-west of Livermore, looks like a couple jeep trails lead in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sounds like an adventure! How long did it take to from Ft. Collins to the Trail head. I think that its great that you attempted the journey. I still have not made it up that way. I have been fishing the Poudre and it has been really good. Sounds like I need to do some exploring in that area. I love looking for these small spots with no one around. Keep up the good work! Did you see any fish of relative size. Over 12 inches
 
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Ok, here's what I know and it ain't all that much.
I don't think 71cfs is peak but I don't know off the top of my head what is.

As far as I know public access is limited and changes from time to time. Below Halligan it's private until you get to the Nature Conservency's property, then it's off-limits unless you have permission. I haven't checked lately (in this century) but did the first few years after the NC bought the land. At that time, you had to request a permit on a certain day in the spring, when all the planets were aligned........ 
anyway, it didn't sound too likely so I never tried and don't know anyone that did or anyone that has fished in there. Rumor was, it was the private domain of the fat cat contributors to the Conservency. Don't know for sure.

Many years ago you used to be able to drive in above Halligan ( Middle Cherokee Park ), but last time I tried, that part of the river had been leased to a private fishing club.
There was another walk-in access in an area called Trails End, further upriver. Was in there a time or two but wasn't all that impressed with the fishing and all I remember about that spot was the large snake that we encountered lying in the middle if the trail. It turned out to be a Bull snake, but it was big enough to get our attention.

Access is more predictable in the Upper Cherokee Park area, but the fishing, in my experience is not great.

Used to be some pretty big fish above Halligan and I'm sure there were below but the canyon below Halligan was subjected to flushing flows some years back by the irrigation company. Word was it wiped out the fishery directly below.

Exploring the North Fork involves a lot of driving on dirt roads (4x4 would be helpful) over 30 miles I think to reach Upper Cherokee.
Word used to be: the fishings great and the reason there's nobody there is rattlesnakes though I never did see one.
Anybody out there that knows any secret spots ain't gonna be talkin'.  :-X

The North Fork of the Poudre is one of those places you'll hear good things about every once in a while, but you won't hear much detail. A great place to explore and keep what you find to yourself. :)

Bill
 

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To get up to the Cherokee Park Rd access, it was about an hour from the middle of Fort Collins (Horsetooth and Taft Hill) to the parking area. Another solid 30 minutes of hiking across to the river. Worth it though, I'll definitely head back up there later this year to check it out again.

According to topo maps, there looked to be another nice stretch just south of Livermore where the NFork runs through Roosevelt National Forest. I went up there yesterday; while you can get to some public access by heading down the long hike through Eagle's Nest Open Space, there really isn't a whole lot of river down there, and what isn't on private land is marked as closed from Jan 1st -> July 15th for golden eagle habitat.

I headed south along the open space section as far as I could go, and was surprised to find that you're pretty much boxed in by private land once you get to a certain point, even though that point is most definitely, on USFS maps, shown as being part of Roosevelt National Forest. They must've sold some parcels.

Long story short, I'd be interested in seeing what's fishable between Seaman Res and Livermore, but so far, doesn't look like any good ways to get at it except a lot of hoofin' it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
have any of you seen what the river looks like when it enters seaman res. I was thinking about hiking up that way. Sounds like one of the more extreme rivers to access.
Wild area.
 
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blackcanyon said:
have any of you seen what the river looks like when it enters seaman res.  I was thinking about hiking up that way. Sounds like one of the more extreme rivers to access.
Wild area. 
I haven't seen it but I have seen a few pictures posted on this site that I believe were taken there. Historically getting to the river above Seaman required a long hike. I think the new city park (Gateway?) at the old water treatment plant on the river has shortened the hike some. There's very little public water back there as blicero pointed out.
The best fishing is probably very time sensitive, ie: tied to certain species spawning times and the river flows. I wouldn't think that there would be a lot of fish in there, but what's there is probably pretty good sized.
Good Luck! :)

Bill
 

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In was at the inlet to Seaman res. on 4-24. Small river,not a lot of flow. Didnt go upriver but there were cows on both sides and walking through the river just above the inlet. Looks private to me-
 

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I have fished the cherokee park area in the middle of summer and done well for browns 14" and under. Long hike, but did not see another soul down there. I to ran across a snake, but it was a rattler. My friend steps over it and then I did also. He started rattling and I turned around and saw a 4 foot rattrlesnake, he was about 3 feet from me. I think I would have been in trouble getting bit that far back in there. He no longer roams the shores of the North Poudre.
 

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The flow is so high b/c they are draining the res above it. You can access it from gateway park. Through streamers.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
not the North Fork below Seaman, the North Fork above Seaman that comes out of Halligan? I think its private past Seaman. The flow is about 45cfs. I have fished the small section below Seamon and don't care to much for it. Don't get me wrong, you can find some fish around those parts. To many people as far as I'm concerned. Does anyone know if there might be a trail around that private land just past Seaman. Can't seem to find one? How far up is Phantom Canyon?
 
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