North Park Fishing Report 6-19-2017
Soon the rivers will begin coming down and clearing giving anglers a multitude of options here in the park. Currently all of the meadow streams are bank-full and clear. The North Platte is still high but should start dropping and clearing any day. The local lakes are really fishing well. Delaney Buttes, Lake John, Cowdrey, Slack Weiss, Seymour, Big Creek, North Michigan, Ranger, Hidden, Teal, and Tiago lakes will all provide awesome action throughout the month of June. Expect to see thick chironomid hatches accompanied by caddis, and callibaetis. Once the bugs really get going the fish cannot take it and anglers who recognize this can see big rewards. Fishing is on fire here in North Park, we hope to see you soon!
The meadow streams are bank-full and clear providing epic fishing conditions. The water is high but our valley is flood irrigated. During irrigation ranchers pull a lot of water off the meadow streams to flood meadows. This lowers water levels in the streams and provides awesome conditions to fish. Not only is this great for anglers but the fish draw huge benefits as well. The influence of irrigation helps clear and warm the water and at the same time provides the fish with tons of food and nutrients from the water that is being returned to the streams. This can be tricky to figure out but anglers willing to scout around the park can find sweet rewards. With irrigation in full swing you want to make sure to be fishing big and ugly offerings. Worms, leeches, and large stonefly patterns usually get it done as well as big ugly streamers in all colors. The fish during this time period are very happy and out on the prowl. We always say “Go Big or Go Home!
The North Platte is still up and running but should start dropping soon.. Usually after the river peaks and starts coming down it will clear and provide good fishing for floaters through North Gate canyon. For the next 2 weeks the best fishing in the canyon will be for floaters on the river. Streamer rigs tossed to the banks will catch fish but pay attention to the bugs because the fish will start to key in on them. Look out for Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stone’s, and Caddis.
The North Platte in the valley is a totally different river. We treat it like a large meadow stream. There will be good wade fishing access on the North Platte in the valley now that the river has peaked and is coming down. Look to target the back eddies and soft edges where the fish will be resting. This is a streamer fishermen’s dream as it is loaded with brown trout. Look to throw big ugly streamers in bright colors with smaller leeches and buggers as trailers. There are 2 stretches of public water on the Platte in the valley. They are Verner SWA and Brownlee SWA which are located west of town off CR 18. These two stretches are concurrent and cover about 2 miles of water. These are great SWA’s and have some very nice fish in them. Get your bugger box out and give them a shot!
FYI: North Platte Flows in North Gate Canyon (Routt Access to Pickeroon)
0-750 CFS good Wade fishing level
500-4000 Good Float/ Fishing Level
4000 and above best for Whitewater
North Platte River Flows: click here
The Delaney Lakes, Lake John, and Cowdrey are all continuing to fish very well. Warmer weather is on its way and the midge hatches are getting better and better by the day. With the chironomid hatches coming into full swing suspending them under an indicator will be key over the next few weeks. Trout feed on these hatches heavily this time of year with the abundance of food coming off of the weed beds. While fishing the chironomid hatch it is very important you find the depth at which the trout are feeding. We have also been getting good reports from anglers seeing callibaetis at all the local lakes. Try pairing callibaetis nymphs in tandem with chironomids. Once the callibaetis hatch really get going the fish will start to key in on them. Good Luck!
For those willing to fish under an indicator, there are several different patterns you will want to have by your side… Mini leeches #8 and #10 in a variety of colors, black, wine, olive, gray, and brown. Callibaetis #12-16, Scuds #12 – #16 in tan, olive, pink, and orange. Chironomids #12 to #16 in black, olive, and red. Water Boatmen #14 -#16. While these are not the only flies that will produce fish, it will give you a running start in the right direction. For the Streamer fanatics crayfish/crawdad season is here. Try stripping them in the shallow, rocky areas of the lakes and you may be rewarded. Other patterns that have been working well… Rubber Bugger #4 and #6 Olive and Black, Beldar buggers all colors, Thin Mints #8 and #10, and various leech patterns.
(*Side Note*) Fishing on South, and East Delaney, Cowdrey, and Lake John has been very good. If you are having a tough go on North Lake, show some love to the other lakes and you may be rewarded.
High Country Lakes and Streams
Big Creek Lake’s are wide open and fishing good. The campgrounds are open and access is good. Most of the other high mountain lakes are starting to open and access to them will get better every day. If you plan to hit a trail-head to some of the high mountain lakes be sure to call the Forest Service to make sure the trail is open. Fishing in the high country is generally best in July and August.