Fly fishermen and women in Colorado
(Denver Front Range and Vail Valley) are blessed with more than 6,000 miles of streams and over 2,000 reservoirs and lakes to choose from for fabulous angling adventures. The venues are endless, and there are some 35 different species of fish just waiting to be presented with the right fly. I am tempted to make a list of the different fish I have caught over the years:
- Rainbow trout are found in most mountain lakes and streams, and many reservoirs; I have used a variety of baits, flies and lures to catch my share
- Cutthroat trout have found their way to my line in high lakes and streams in the area
- Brown trout have been difficult to catch, although I have been successful during their fall spawning runs
- Brook trout have risen to some of my smaller flies in higher elevation streams and lakes
- Spending time on deeper mountain lakes has rewarded me with some fine lake trout; these Mackinaw, as they are also known, are the largest trout in North America
- I have enjoyed the challenge of bringing in a mountain lake grayling, and still treasure the photo of its sail-like large dorsal fin
- Holding on to a wiper is a challenging catch
- Like many other anglers, I consider the yellow perch to be one of the most table worthy of Colorado fish
- Both small and large mouth bass with their aggressive and predatory behavior have provided exciting fishing opportunities for me
This is a good start, and I am thankful for each fish and each fishing experience. Still, I look forward to the years ahead to complete a catch of all 35 species. Splake are tempting, realizing that catches of 18 pounds are possible. Just thinking about catching a kokanee, one of our land-locked Pacific salmon, is exciting. I realize too that I have not yet landed a mountain whitefish, a walleye, a saugeye or even a crappie.
There are other species I could include on this bucket list. If I accept this as a “to do” list, I will have to make a point of having serious discussions with knowledgeable guides at Minturn Anglers. They will be able to direct me to best waters to reach my goal.