2019 Dude Ranch Unplugged. Book now. Reboot your family this summer with a mountain getaway. Call 970.283.9420

Epic Early Season Fishing on the White River

Mother Nature can be a fickle girl at times, but this time she was kind to the folks along the West Slope of the Rockies – especially in Colorado. Spring settled in early this year throughout the West and the fisheries along the West Slope benefitted tremendously from an unusually light snowpack. This in turn all but eliminated the traditional spring blowouts. The waters are running clear and the fishing is on fire.

I recently spent several days fly-fishing along a pristine section of the White River that winds through K-T Ranch just outside Meeker Colorado. The fishing was simply incredible. Early season hatches were coming off in all directions and the fish didn’t miss the opportunity take advantage of the smorgasbord. I was fishing with Russ Schnitzer who works for Trout Unlimited. He is both a truly gifted professional photographer and a hardcore fly-fishing junkie. We were both fully in our milieu and in ecstasy. Depending on what section of the river we fished, we were either throwing streamers to fat and sassy browns or dries to the big bows sipping their way through the eddies. Most of the fish pushed eighteen to twenty inches and a better than average number topped that magical twenty-inch mark, especially the browns. We caught several browns in the twenty-two to twenty-five inch range and lost a few that must have been holdovers from the Jurassic Period.

Part of the time, we also fished with Buzz Cox the Ranch Manager of the K-T, an all around great guy to spend a day on the water with. Buzz recently received the first Orvis Endorsed Fly-fishing Guide – Lifetime Achievement Award. He had told us that the fishing would be lights out.  Of course that’s what you would expect the ranch manger to say; but, looking back, he may have understated the facts. The White fished extremely well, but it was the spring creeks that dump into the White that rattled our nerves. Like all spring creeks the fishing is stealthy, but unlike other spring creeks throughout the West, they are not necessarily technically difficult. There are miles of spring creeks that run through the K-T Ranches property and for the most part they are full of big browns and of course the occasional leviathan. Finally, it was the Big Browns that live in the crevasses and the undercut banks along the spring creeks that taught us the definition of humility. If you would like to taste the fishing for yourself you can make all the arrangements needed by calling (970) 283-9420 or visit http://www.thehighlonesomeranch.com/k-t/ 

Authored by: Jim Stenson, Editor & Publisher -The Contemporary Sportsman & The Contemporary Wingshooter

Full Newsletter

We are much more than a Guest Ranch

We are a Guest Ranch because we believe in stewarding this large western landscape and sharing it with others. We have a working model of sustainability that maintains biodiversity and ecological connectivity, enhances the lives of wildlife and fish, and preserves and restores degraded habitat while promoting a mix of uses...

Read More

Dude Ranch Unplugged: Book Summer 2019 Now

Summer calls for it. Different outdoor activities each day keep it lively and lots of variety keeps everyone happy. Pack up the family for a summer reboot.


  • The best dinner in Colorado

    The best dinner in Colorado just might be on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. By Allyson Reedy, Food Writer, Denver Post -- I’m not one for ultra-fancy, fussy food, and when you see the photographs from the High Lonesome meal or read these descriptions, that’s what you might think this was. Yes, this…

    Read More
  • Conservation's new frontier

    Private Land: Conservation's new frontier in America. The High Lonesome Ranch represents a new model for private land conservation in North America. Since more than half the land in the U.S. is privately owned, it can't be left to governments and nonprofits. We are working hard to do our part. Our owner along with the…

    Read More
  • "Best vacation of my life"

    Trip Advisor has been seeing such great guest reviews lately we thought we'd share:   "Best vacation of my life" - 5 Stars This was more than just a vacation it was a wonderful experience. It took us totally out of our everyday lives. The food, accommodations, activities are awesome! The staff becomes family immediately.…

    Read More