Got up at 3:30am this morning and headed to Darren's house to do some more fishing. Man, am I not a morning person and seeing Darren wide awake and ready to go pissed me off in a big way. I mean, at 4am I should be sleeping (for another 3 hours). He's all chipper and wants to chat, I want to veer off the road and hit a bridge embuttment (inside joke - some of you are laughing).
It wasn't really that bad, actually, but it was dark - all the way to Kenosha Pass. We landed at Antero at 6am and were 600 yards offshore in the yak by 6:30. It was slow - for both of us. We were getting a hit here and there, but we'd hit spells where we couldn't buy a bite. Darren hooked at least 12 fish, but none of them came to the net. He did have the fish of the day, a nice 18 inch rainbow that he got within inches of the boat, but broke him off. I managed 3 dinks.
We were blown off the water by 10:30, and the wind stayed up so we decided to deflate the yak and head to Jefferson. Jefferson is an hour ride from Antero, but we were headed in the right direction (towards home!).
Jefferson is a beautiful place, the dirt road up there is tough to drive because you want to stop and fish/search the beaver ponds for little brookies. The streams did look enticing, but we were after a chance at bigger fish.
The lake was like glass (or close to it for South Park), and there wasn't a lot of fishermen out. We re-inflated the raft, and I blew up my float tube. It took no time at all and we were on the water around noon. We decided to head to the inlet - which is a good 2/3 of a mile down the other end of the lake. The lake is beautiful, and I enjoyed the float with the wind.
My view from the float tube
Darren rigging up
I figured I'd troll some streamers off the bottom, since I know the lakers eat big meals and like the bottom. About half way down the lake I got a huge hit (which could have been bottom I guess), and the a little later finally felt the pull of a fish. I reeled him in and had my first laker - he was about 16 inches, but super skinny. He was foul hooked in the fin, but according to Darren, about half of his lakers are hooked in the side of the head/mouth because lakers attack their prey first by charging them, stunning them, and then they eat them.
My first laker!
I made my way down to the inlet, and tried my hand a nymphing - to no avail. I worked my way back towards the boat ramp - this time into the wind. It kicked my ass, and I had to stop an anchor down a could of times to get my wind. It did give me a chance to nymph fish for rainbows. I actually hooked another laker on a midge, this one was about the same size and was really skinny. A little further up the lake I landed a stocker rainbow of about 11 inches. He was pretty hacked up, with missing scales and a beat up snout.
That was about it for the fish - I headed back to the inlet and it was getting late. We called it a day and spent the next 30 mins breaking down the gear and boats and packing the truck. It certainly wasn't a banner day by any means, I caught some fish and hung out in some beautiful scenery. Jefferson will be difficult to fish, as it is a puzzle that needs solving with a fly rod. I like the challenge, and I certainly know that there are some beast lakers in there to be caught.
This is my third time to Antero, and it has gotten progressively worse each time. The wind is just horrible and I realized you just need to get lucky with the wind more than lucky with your fish catching. If the wind is down, you will catch fish! I like reservoir fishing - and will keep doing it. I have a couple lakes/res close to home that I need to figure out, so that will keep me busy.