Our annual RMNP fishing trip was changed a bit this year. Instead of hitting the Roaring River, Steffan and I decided to try Lily Lake, then head over to the Big T. Since I was camping in Estes Park already with the family, this made it very easy for me. It was not easy passing up the Roaring River, but Steffan had been there the week before and it was way blown out - and all the rivers (non-tailwaters) were pretty high and blowing as well. The RR is a beautiful river, not the size of a river, more like a brook from back East. It is ice cold and holds some very majestic fish. We would decide to try Lily Lake and the Big T today instead.
Steffan found our campsite at 6am as planned. We were on Lily Lake in the kayak at 6:30. This lake is 14 acres, so more the size of a puddle. And although I was told it was 25 feet deep in it's deepest places, the 3 places we dropped anchor were less than 5 feet deep. The weeds here are outrageous - they look like islands, and take up most of the lake. The weeds that aren't over grown to the very top are within a foot or so from the top. This made fishing very difficult.
We tried a couple of spots and got lucky with one. We had just seen a fish jump and Steffan cast directly at it - within 2 seconds he had one on. Not much of a fight, but the fiesty rainbow of 11 inches was netted and flopped out before we could get a picture. We did however see some youngin's float real close to the kayak - I'm sure they weren't afraid of us because they had never seen humans in a big orange kayak.
We didn't stick around long - in fact, we were out of there by 8:30 or so and headed to the Big T. We fished between EP and Drake. Steffan had a great little spot and we hit it hard. It was right by a bridge enbankment and the fish were everywhere in there - including some good sized fish, some as large as about 17 inches.
I was lucky enough to get a fish right off - the rainbow wasn't huge, maybe 13 inches, but he sure was colorful.
At around noontime, after a couple of quick storms blew threw, Steffan started to catch a ton of fish - including this beautiful rainbow - a nice 17 incher on a dry fly caddis. That was quite a treat because Steffan had fished this hole many times before and this w
Steffan kept slaying them all day, after we switched to another hole further down, he caught 5 out of this one hole - all were decent size.
I had a decent day, catching a few (not a bunch), but mostly just enjoying being on a river with a friend and seeing beautiful fish chasing dry flies. It was a very good day. I did find these guys clung to a stick - they were almost an inch long - caddis larva - not as green as the ones down on the Ark, but huge in size!
Just another day in paradise!