Tuesday June 24, 2014 comments

Flat Tops Fishing Report (6/25/14)

Flows on all of the Flat Tops streams have receded from runoff levels and the water is running crystal clear.  Reports from all of the lakes and streams are that the fishing is outstanding.  Book your stay at Ripple Creek Lodge today and take advantage of many wonderful fishing opportunities available in Colorado’s Flat Tops Mountain Range.

The North Fork of the White River produces some very nice cutthroats, rainbows and whitefish; many in the 16-20 inch range. Downstream, toward Meeker, 24 inchers are not uncommon. Closer to Trappers Lake, the fishing for brookies is generally excellent. 

The North Fork has been fishing extremely well for the last several days and we expect that trend to continue along with the afternoon caddis and mayfly hatches.  Dry-dropper rigs are your best bet.  BH hare’s ears (#18-#20), prince nymphs (#18-#20), red copper johns (#18-#20) and zug bugs (#16-#20) have all been effective trailing behind stimulators (#16-#18), elk hair caddis (#18-#20), yellow sallies (#16-#20) and BWOs (#18-#22).  If the winds pick up in the afternoon, an ant or beetle (#12-#16) would be worth a try as well.

Access on the North Fork is somewhat limited, but the public water within the forest boundaries is not heavily fished. Be sure to respect private property boundaries. Most are well-marked.  

The South Fork of the White River offers more public access than the North Fork, especially for those willing to do a little walking. The South Fork Trail #1827 follows the river for about 24 miles. The trail is an easy to moderate walk and is well-traveled by hikers and horseback riders, but most fisherman don’t venture more than a few hundred yards from the campground, so don’t be deterred if the trailhead parking lot is busy. 

The South Fork is also fishing very well through all parts of the day.  We’re getting reports of success with both dry-dropper and dry-dry rigs.  BWOs (#18-#20), parachute Adams (#16-#20), red quills (#16-#20) and royal coachmen (#16-#20) have all proven effective dry flies.  For droppers, we suggest a WD40 (#20-#22), BH pheasant tail (#18-#20) or a tungsten BH birds nest (#16-#20).

Flat Tops Lakes:

Over 100 fishable lakes are just a hike or trail ride away from Ripple Creek Lodge.  Here’s what we’re hearing about some of the gems…

Trappers Lake offers a great opportunity to land a large native cutthroat.  We expect big cuts to continue cruising the shallows for the next two or three weeks, especially early and late in the day, offering excellent opportunities for anglers fishing from the shore as well as those in watercraft.  Anglers are reporting success with green wooly buggers (#14-#16) with a small split shot, copper johns (#16-#18) and big hoppers (#8-#12).  Late in the day if the wind dies down you’re likely to see caddis and mayfly hatches.  You can’t go wrong with elk hair caddis (#16-#20), stimulators (#16-#18) and BWOs (#18-#22).

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the special regulations for Trappers.  Only artificial flies and lures are permitted and the number and size of cutthroats in possession is restricted, but keep all of the brookies you’d like!  The lake sits within the boundaries of the Flat Tops Wilderness, so motorized vehicles and watercraft are prohibited. 

Access Lake of the Woods via the Trappers Lake Road and Lake Of The Woods Trail #2263.  Reports are that the fishing is good.  Fish are still feeding aggressively both on and below the surface especially early and late in the day.  You’re likely to have some success with nearly any small dry flies as well as scuds and streamers.  Some surprisingly large brook trout are pulled from Lake of the Woods. 

The reports from Skinny Fish Lake are excellent.  Skinny Fish Lake is accessed via the Skinny Fish Trail #1813.  Anglers are reporting success with elk hair caddis (#14-#18), PMDs (#16-#20) and irresistibles (#14-#18).  Trailing a copper john (#16-#20) or a scud (#16-#20) would be a good approach.

Shamrock Lake and Mirror Lake offer beautiful settings to pull in brookies all day long.  Both lakes are accessed via the Mirror Lake Trail #1821.  Virtually any caddis or mayfly patterns (#18-#24) are bound to bring fish to the surface.