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

Mother’s Day Weekend

Start a New Family Tradition

Mothers can prepare to be whisked away by their band of admirers for a weekend dedicated to her honor. This is one of nature’s perfect ways to show moms how much they are appreciated. Sit back and let us do the planning while you and your family come along for the ride and the magic happens.


  • 7 Chefs to Watch

    Bill of Fare Magazine names our Executive Chef, Matthew Chasseur as one of their 7 Chefs to Watch. Come visit us and see why. “There’s something magical about the way food brings people together. The same way that art and music pull together like-minded individuals into a space of harmony. Enter Stephen Torres, whose work is…

    Read More
  • High Time for Horses

    Story from Covey Rise magazine, May 2014 A Dude Ranch Experience at The High Lonesome Ranch in Colorado, as the Ranch says, will bring out your whole family’s inner cowboy. Imagine learning to ride horses and beginning to master equestrian techniques while learning to fly fish and enjoying shooting five stand and sporting clays and…

    Read More
  • Lab Rapport

    Story from Covey Rise magazine July 2014 Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. Here are reasons why they excel in upland hunting situations. Brett Arnold’s High Country Sporting Dogs in DeBeque, Colorado, breeds a few select litters each year, many based from the Grand River Retriever lines known for their…

    Read More