Monday, September 14, 2009

Boulder Creek – Walker Ranch section


Originally my plans were to hit a local pond for some fall bass. However the weather forecast called for a huge drop in temperatures with a high around 68 degrees mixed with rain. This would hurt bass action in my opinion so at the last minute my plans were changed. Instead of a local warmwater run I switched things up for some local coldwater. Looking to fish some water that I have not been to in a while, Walker Ranch section of Boulder Creek was selected. The colder weather would help in regards to hike in and out.

(Above: This is a shot at the top of the trail. It is only bad on the way back out and definitely not a place for those that lack ambition.)

Boulder Creek – Walker Ranch section

Last week I was at Waterton Canyon for a bike and fish. This week I took another physical fishing challenge in the way of Boulder Creek – The Walker Ranch section. The walk in from the parking lot to the picnic section is 1.75 miles. It doesn’t look that bad going down but is more strenuous on the way out. This makes the Walker Ranch Section a great “Hike and Fish” fairly close to home.

(Above: This is a shot of the map sign at the parking area. I believe you can park at Flagstaff Road and walk down the other way…but where is the fun in that?)

The water level has fallen quite a bit recently. I was hoping for higher water flows that favor the spin gear. Alas my timing was off and had to settle for more seasonable conditions. I recommend the fly rod for that method is suited far better than the spin gear on such small water.

(Above: Classic fly guy shot near some larger pools. The best areas are often a bit more crowded.)

This is one of the few sections of water where I bring light spinners in the 1/8oz size as well as fly patterns. Throwing fly patterns on a spin rod is not ideal but can be done. Beaded nymph patterns are preferred as they carry some weight to them. Why don’t I just bring a fly rod too? With all the hiking and bushwacking involved I want to carry only one rod and the light tackle bag. Had I known the water levels were back down to normal…I might have reconsidered.

Similar to Waterton Canyon the fish are not going to be enormous. These trout are going to average on the small side with most of the fish being under 12-inches. However there are many fish in the 10-inch category as well as the shot at a few in the 14 or even 16’er range.

(Above: Stocky brown trout. These fish are a staple in Boulder Creek.)

The population of trout is surprisingly good in this stretch considering the size of the “creek” itself. Water levels fluctuate and this might be the last stream in the Front Range that has not been hit by an asphalt truck this year (knock on wood).

(Above: Gorgeous rainbow trout caught in a rugged rock section. The picture does not do this fish justice in regards to the amazing color.)

Bait and take pressure is “tolerated” here as normal state regulations apply. This could help or hurt the system overall. Without some removal in such a small stretch of water the trout could quickly overpopulate and the fish would suffer greatly. But the bait and take folks usually prey on the largest fish. This takes down the quality of the sport in my opinion and only slightly helps population out overall. Leaving the fewer large fish and removing the most common medium sized slot would be more appropriate.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

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