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

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