Saturday was the last day of skiing for me this season as I forced myself to get as many bump runs in at A-Basin as I could. Thanks to encouragement from my skiing partner, Chris Rain, we fought through the hot spring day and partiers at the beach to squeeze in a few laps on Pallavicini as well as some steeps in the Montezuma Bowl.
For the first time in my life I am looking forward to the end of the winter season. I had no idea how long and cold the winters are in Grand County, though I did have some epic days at the Jane this season.
Now it is time to hang up the skis and bust out the fishing and golfing gear, which I did this weekend by hitting the Colorado River below Byers Canyon and getting two rounds in at Granby Ranch.
On the fishing front, I have been having a lot of luck fishing flashy nymph patterns and pulled a 20 inch Rainbow and a 18 inch Brown out on a black flashback nymph pattern.
I am waiting for the elusive caddis and stone fly hatches to hit the river, which should be starting up any day now, according to Jon Ewert, an aquatic biologist for the Colorado Department of Wildlife who oversees Grand and Summit Counties.
Ewert reports that the river flows are doing well for this time of year due to a good amount of low elevation snowpack, and the flows should continue to look good as more snow continues to melt in the high country.
The Rainbow spawn is currently going on, according to Ewert, so there should be concentrations of fish in certain areas on the rivers. I attempted to get the aquatic biologist to reveal where a few of these honey holes are but he declined to comment.
Another fact that Ewert shared with me was that Rainbow populations are increasing on the Colorado below Byers Canyon thanks to the introduction of trout that are resistant to whirling disease, so fishing for Rainbows on the Raddy should be improving this season.
Ewert also conveyed his high hopes for these fish as he has seen them growing rapidly at about 6 to 7 inches a year, which a very good growth rate, he said.
I haven’t had any luck on dry flies yet this year and I haven’t seen many fish rising yet. I am sure that will pick up as the season continues.
Ewert has an online discussion board where you can ask him questions or comment on how your luck has been on local waters. Check it out by searching Ewert at coloradofisherman.com.
Lake fishing has been hot in the Three Lake system due to recent melting of the ice, according to Bernie Keefe, owner of Fishing with Bernie, a fishing guide service based out of Lake Granby.
Keefe reports having good luck with jigs and buggers as well as crayfish patterns.
He reports the temperature of the lake is staying the same at all depths, making finding a good spot to fish a little easier. He reports that if you find where the wind is blowing into rocks to drop your lure there and test the depth until you find the fish.
The golfing was good and I played well for the first rounds of the year, something I had no trouble rubbing in my golfing buddy’s faces as they struggled to match my drives.
The greens at Granby Ranch were a little slow after the maintenance crews sanded them, though they weren’t completely destroyed by wildlife, which allowed me to work on my short game. The rest of the course was in excellent condition for this time of year and for only having to pay $35 for a round.
My favorite course in Grand County, Pole Creek, is set to open this weekend with $35 rounds as well. You will probably see me out there on the links shanking balls into the woods. I never really minded looking for my ball at Pole Creek though due to the awesome setting of the course.
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334