Thursday August 7, 2014 comments

Flat Tops Fishing Report (08/06/14)

It’s time to take advantage of the few remaining days before school starts and fall activities dominate your weekends.  Book your stay at Ripple Creek Lodge today and take advantage of the bounty of great fishing opportunities. 

Flat Tops Rivers and Streams:

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 fishing on the North Fork has slowed somewhat, but we’re still getting reports that anglers are faring well early and late in the day.  Stimulators (#14-#18), Goddard caddis (#14-#18) and BWOs (#16-#18) are the dry flies that seem to be producing the best results.  You’ll improve your chances by tailing any one of those dries with a BH golden ribbed hare’s ear or a red BH serendipity (#16-#20).

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. 

Success rates have dropped a bit on the South Fork, but it’s still fishing very good.  The afternoon caddis and mayfly hatches have diminished some over the last several weeks.  We are getting reports of anglers having some success, primarily with dry-droppers.  BWOs (#18-#20), red quills (#16-#20) and elk hair caddis (#16-#20) have been the best dry flies.  For droppers, we’re hearing that copper johns (#16-#20) and BH pheasant tails (#16-20) are yielding the best results.

Marvine Creek is accessed via the Marvine Trail (#1823).  The parking lot at the trail head is often full of vehicles and horse trailers, but the creek receives minimal fishing pressure. 

If you’re look to fill a pan full of brookies for dinner, Marvine Creek is a wise choice.  You really can’t go wrong with most of your standard dry patterns.  The fish are really attacking the surface.

Big Fish Creek runs along the Big Fish Trail (#1819).  The Big Fish Trailhead is on the left as you enter the Himes Peak Campground.  The campground is on the Trappers Lake Road 6 miles from the intersection with County Rd 8.  The trail sees some heavy use in the summer months, primarily by horseback riders.  The creek is narrow and brushy in many places, but negotiating the brush is worth the effort as the creek holds some surprisingly large rainbows and cutthroats as well as plenty of brook trout.

Big Fish continues to fish well.  We’re getting reports of success with terrestrials (#12-#16), PMDs (#18-#22) and BWOs (#18-#22).


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…

The Flat Tops Lakes seem to be slowing down a bit.  We’re getting mixed reports depending on the lake and the weather conditions.  We’ve seen frequent late afternoon thunderstorms, so be sure to make appropriate preparations for changing weather conditions.

Trappers Lake offers a great opportunity to land a large native cutthroat.  The reports from Trappers Lake this week are generally that the fishing has slowed considerably.  Those that are having success are doing so from watercraft later in the day.  This time of year, the cuts head for deeper water, which makes fishing from the shore especially challenging. 

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. 

This week’s reports from Pagoda Lake are not great either.  The water is full of plenty of natural feed, so tempting a fish to take anything artificial has proven to be a challenge. 

Skinny Fish Lake is accessed via the Skinny Fish Trail (#1813).  Skinny Fish is hit and miss.  Anglers are reporting some 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) is generally the best approach.

Shamrock Lake and Mirror Lake are beautiful lakes that provide great opportunities for brook trout on dry flies all day long.  Both lakes are accessed via the Mirror Lake Trail (#1821).  Virtually any caddis or mayfly pattern (#18-#24) is bound to bring fish to the surface. 

Wall Lake offers an excellent opportunity to do some fishing while enjoying a spectacular view.  Wall Lake can be accessed via the Wall Lake Trail (#1818).  The reports from the lake this week are that the fishing has slowed.  You’re most likely to have success with caddis patterns (#16-#20) early and late in the day.  A guided pack trip from Ripple Creek Lodge is the perfect way to enjoy Wall Lake.

We received reports this week that anglers with conventional gear are doing very well in the evenings at Island Lakes using Rooster Tails. 

Get in touch and let us know how you’re doing on the lakes!