Kirbydog and I have talked about floating the Yampa this year in my canoe.
He won't eat fish. I'm guilty of eating some. I would likely take home two or three Smallmouth. Catch and release is fine, but we (my family) like fish and I believe in teaching respect for the outdoors by limited consumption. They think before they flush.
My family won't eat Pike. There safe.
Last year I found that outdoor connection will shuttle me back to Craig.
We would probably take out near Juiniper?
Were thinking about doing the float in two days, camping along the way.
Any idea's on best time ( May, June) and decent places of to camp?
Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes. You must be able to handle these or you should not fish the yampa. No matter how much bug spray you put on, you are still a hamburger when you get back home usually.
Best time of year is july.
All pike should be immediately released, as should all smallies greater than 15". I don't care if a few smaller smallmouths are kept.
There are also occaisonal trout, even down by maybell. The catfishing is excellent.
Here is a good thread on the yampa, to see what it offers. Some pictures...
wait a sec...be back in a min
also, does anyone know where those pike pictures I had from the yampa are? I know they are somewhere on this forum, I just can't find em.
I used to live in Craig and went Pike fishing a few times with a good friend. He would fish for pike all the time. The DOW has been shocking the river for the last few summers to reduce the number of pike to protect the so-called endangered fish. The are releasing the pike in some ponds just south of Craig- witnessed it myself.
If you are interested in the Pike fishing, email me at [email protected] and I can give you the contact info of my good friend who will be able to steer you in the right direction.
No the ponds are at Loudy-Simpson Park by the ball fields. South on Ranney Street over the Yampa River Bridge. It is a nice little rec area. They hold Huck Finn fishing day where they stock trout for the little kiddies each year. However with the dumping of all of the pike, I am not too sure how successful these Huck Finn days will be.
Whoops...sorry...I read your message too quickly...yes, yes, yes...the ponds by the ice arena. My bad- what a goof. I saw Isles Grove and hit reply...my bad. Wish I had an excuse for my idiocy, but I don't!!!! Ha.
many of the pike they capture in the yampa are relocated to the pike ponds and to rio blanco reservoir. The pike ponds are fairly desolate ecosystems where the pike quickly lose body condition due to lack of food and extreme competition. Everyone fishes for them here also, and I'm told they are tough to catch, despite being starved. In little yampa canyon, the pike are shocked and killed. In lower reaches of the river, pike are shocked and killed. around hayden, craig, and the duffy mountain area pike are relocated to the ponds and rio blanco. I only wish they wouldn't relocate em...but as we know that's another story.
I believe if you are serious about pike, you will fish the river and leave the ponds alone. I also believe if you are any kind of a sportsman or conservationist, you would release all pike you catch in this magnificent river.
If you were a conservationist, you would see that pike and smallmouth while providing a sportfishery do not belong in that system, and are a detriment to threatened and endangered native fish. Further we as humans have a responsibility to do not disappear due to man's own foolish actions.
Yo Earplug! I would be interested to know how the Smallmouth fishing is in the Yampa. A couple of years ago the DOW had a program to Electro fish and relocate the bass to lakes in the area to save endangered species. Are the smallies back?
jibber, click on the above thread and I don't think you'll be disappointed.
The CDOW and USFWS efforts to remove smallmouth from the yampa have failed abysmally. They have never put the slightest dent in their numbers (although pat martinez, funnily enough, says the smallmouth removals, "certainly are working" even though anglers know better). So, the smallmouth really haven't come back; they never left. Fishing is superb for smallmouth ranging from 4"-20" and even larger. You have to catch quite a few 8" or so fish until you get one of those big fat 18" usually, but I'd say in a hard day of fishing you can get between 5 and 20 of them over 15".
The pike are fairly stupid on this river- very aggressive for colorado. Big loud, noisy lures are effective. Buzzbaits and #12-15 panther martins in holographic colors are the best. The bigger smallmouths love these lures too. Also, 4-6" swimbaits if they are in a deep hole if it is hot work great too. I also caught a 15# pike on a rattletrap before, a 1/8 oz banana colored one. The average pike is 30" and around 8-9 pounds- very, very fat fish. I have caught pike of over 40" in this river (the biggest, low 40" range, was fairly skinny for this place though, probably only 20-21#), and seen a few fish that must've been 50". USFWS removed a 52" also.
Around hayden it is quite common to catch a 3# smallie, a 10# pike, and a 4# brown in the same day. Pretty cool. Catfishing is also excellent in the lower reaches of the river. There are also large carp.