-- guest report from Kenny Romero
Spinney Mountain Reservoir is consistently one of the best trout fisheries in Colorado and the entire western states region. On any given day throughout the year you can catch beautiful, healthy, hard fighting Hofer Rainbows, Browns, Cutt-Bows and Pike and -- more often than not, a lot of them! I usually fish from my pontoon for best results.
The Fall produces consistently big fish in great numbers!
Many fishermen pass up this incredible fishingopportunity because, well, it’s not a river. Fly fisherman love fishing rivers because it’s not just about catching fish; it’s about the entire experience of being in a beautiful setting, reading the water and the conditions, tricking a trout into your net and immersing yourself in the moment.
But a lake is an ecosystem just like a river. Fish respond to the ever-changing conditions of the lake just like they do in a river. Fish will key on the available food source and the way that food source is presented, just like in a river. Weather conditions, water conditions and time of the year will dictate your approach and strategy to catching fish.
2013 has been a great year at Spinney.
From opening day until this past weekend, Spinney has been as productive as ever, with some interesting challenges, however. For example, in 2012 I didn’t fish a sub surface fly during the months of June through September. The Sedge Caddis and Callibaetis hatches were off the charts and hoppers and stimulators were the fly of the year…but not this year. This year the Callibaetis hatch was normal, but the Caddis hatch was dismal.
I believe that when the reservoir was 47% full on opening day and North bay was dry, it decimated the Caddis that prefer that shallow area of the lake that normally has good current flow. The Chironomid hatch, however, was as big as ever.
Throughout the year, flies and techniques necessary to catch fish change like the blowing South Park wind. Knowing what to use and when are the key to a successful day on Spinney.
During the early part of the season egg patterns, scuds, attractor nymphs, general river-type midges and chironomids are the go-to flies. Wooly buggers, sculpins and slump busters work well, too, and throughout the entire year. During May, hopper/dropper systems work well in the shallows.
The standard Spinney rig of a strike indicator with a series of big attractors like #8 AP Muskrats, Trout Traumas and Birds Nest followed by chrionomid and callibaetis variations produce a lot of fish during the core summer months. But the fish can be picky about the variations of chironomids and callebaetis. I caught many fish around the islands on a bubba callibaetis in June but that fly couldn’t hunt in July! Green poxy back callibaetis were the color of the month.
But from October to ice on, wooly buggers fished with full sinking line are king!
So, whether you are fishing North Bay, the parking lots, the dam, the islands, South Bay, Buffalo Bay or the inlet, the possibilities are endless regarding how and what you use to catch big trout. But just like a river, you must pay attention to what’s happening on the water and adjust accordingly.
They say all good things must come to an end. The end of a dynamite 2013 fishing season at Spinney Mountain Reservoir was November 26 when Spinney closed for the season. Spinney will reopen in 2014 after ice off probably around early May.
The fish will remain untouched for 5 months. But when the ice comes off the Spinney trout, and I will resume our relationship just like we have for the last 20 years.
I can't wait!
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside