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Planning a CO fishing trip

1733 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  OURAY
I'm sure this is a common question, but I'm heading to Colorado (Colorado Springs to be exact)around May 25-30 and was wondering if anyone had any advice. Me and my crew are a bunch of southern boys. So for us fishing = spinning reels and plastic worms. I've done a little background research and have decided the best route is to invest some ultralight spinning equipment (since we don't have the time to learn how to use a fly reel) along with some small spinners and possibly using the casting bubble/dry fly combo (which is hard to find around here).

I've been to Rocky Mountain National Park, but never fished there. So I guess that's the most likely destination to both enjoy some great scenery and trout fishing. But if there's some better places to go, by all means let me know. If anyone has recommendations on particulars with the type of spinners or dry flies to use, let me know. Also if anyone has any recommendations on good fishing locations in the park let me know. I'm willing to walk to get away from the crowds. But would prefer trails of around 1.5 miles or less since we've only got one day to get it all in. All in all I'm heading into this pretty clueless. Thanks in advance for any help.
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The closet lakes that are good that I can think of that are somewhat by you are brush hollow, elevenmile, and spinney mountain. These are west of CO Springs. You can drive down south to Pueble Reservoir too for some good warm-water fishing. Brush Hollow is also warm-water fishing. Do a search on this forum for these lakes or just ask Epic. That guy knows everything that has to do with fishing!! Hope this helps a little.
If you want to stay close to the Springs I would try the S. Platte River in Elevenmile Canyon. You can slay the Brown Trout there by using Panther Martin Spinners (1/4 oz)  in the pocket water. If you prefer reservoirs go to Elevenmile Reservoir or Spinney Mnt Reservoir or maybe check and see how the Pikes Peak Reservoirs are fishing. You are somewhat limited in the river and stream fishing because the Spring  runoff will still be under way. If you want to head up by RMNP try the Big Thompson River below Estes Park. If you want to fish within the park you better call before hand and check on conditions. Some areas may be difficult to access due  to snow drifts.
I live in Estes (Gateway to the RMNP). There are 3 pretty nice lakes right in town. You could fish after checking out the park. Lilly (on highway 7), is artificiall flies and lures only (perfect for fly and bobble). Mary's has Lake trout also (a nice plus). Lake Estes has a marina, tackle/bait shop, and rents boats. All 3 of these are very scenic, and good fishing. Hope you have a nice trip.     
I think to make the trip more memorable I would head upto RMNP area instead of trying to fish some lakes around Colorado Springs.
If you fish lakes that aren't fly and lure lakes only I would buy some salmon eggs and powerbait, I like rainbow powerbait but alot of people also use yellow too. Put powerbait on small treble hooks and salmon eggs on small slamon egg hooks. Small spinners are good might want to pick up a couple kast masters they work well here, rapalas work good (I prefer trout looking rapalas) Worms work great in the rivers.

If you want to stay close to colorado springs 11-mile and Spinney are your best bets, Brush Hollow has everything you southern boys would be use to, bass and crappie ect.. But you might be disappointed in colorado bass who knows. But its a good stop if you want to go see the royal gorge, also stop along the way there and fish the Arkansas River. You have alot of options what do you want to catch and what is more important the fishing the scenery or whatnot.
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Thanks for the replies so far. We'll be going fishing for trout. Since you could spend your whole life in the south and might not catch a trout unless you go to a "trout farm". Do all the references to lakes and the spring runoff mean that creek and river fishing in RMNP would be a waste of time? If so, what lakes in the park would be good? I was hoping to fish the streams since that's another thing you don't get to do much in the south, but if it's the difference in the possibility of getting a fish on the hook, we'll go for the lakes.
Streams and rivers which are tailwaters (below reservoirs) will be fishable. So the Big Thompson will be ok. The streams within the park may be flowing high but should be running clear so should be fishable. The lower lakes within the park should be ice free. I am not sure how much snow RMNP received this year but you may encounter a few snow drifts here and there so you should plan on walking through snow. Gators are nice to ware in such conditions. Call the park headquarters before you arrive so you can plan accordingly. Here is a link which may help.
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