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Devan S.

Fishing Leadville Area Memorial Day Weekend

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Am planning on being in the Leadville area over memorial day weekend. Highlight of the trip will be hiking Mt. Elbert however......hoping to get some fishing in if possible. Obviously runoff can be and issue and likely will so while I would love to hit some rivers it may be out of the question. I may only have a day or 2 to fish maximum. 

I am admittedly not a trout fishermen in the normal sense. My arsenal includes jerkbaits and jigs...the end. I have a fly rod...all I have is bass poppers, jigs for whites, and some streamers for bass. 

My goal is simple catch fish(I'm not even picky enough to say I'm set of trout but that seems to be the major target). A lot of what I see on the web is fly fishing which have me concerned since I'm not the least bit familiar in the sense of small subtle presentations(mending, caddis, nymping, swinging all seem as foreign to me as speaking mandarin......I kid....kind of)

A.) is it possible to fish with a spinning reel and jigs/jerkbaits? or is this something I need to start looking at the uber small (match the hatch) and really get setup for on a short notice.
B.) Does lake fishing in the area lend its hand more to my style of fishing? I wanna do the picturesque fly fishing the mountain stream but also realize this is short notice so guides are out and I don't want to completely spend a ton of money to get setup on a way to fish that I'm not totally into right now. 

C.) Anything/anywhere else between KC and the Leadville area that may be worth a several hour detour to do(either non fishing or fishing)?

At this point I am super flexible....plan is camp, sleep in car, whatever...only thing really set in stone is to climb Mt. Elbert and even that is flexible depending on the weather.  

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Jigs and jerks (if legal) will work.  Might work better than you think.  I don't have any experience in that area but I think some of those lakes around there have tailwater fisheries..

If you go the 70 west route there is fishing to be had in Silverthorn and Breckinridge.  Not sure about runoff but I was in Denver last week and the weather was nice so I'm sure the snow pack is melting. 

Give us a report when you get back and good luck.

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I was stationed outside of Colorado Springs for a year, but that was 1976 and things have changed since then in that there's a heckuva lot more people out there and a lot more fishermen.  If I recall correctly, the Arkansas river runs right by if not through Leadville, there should still be browns and rainbows in it.  Access was a bit of a problem, I recall hiking down some steep stuff to get to the river.  Colorado is one of those states where landowners can post the banks and access to any river or stream can be a problem.  Wish I could give you better directions, but there is a hwythat runs along the Arkansas and you'll just have to look for pull outs and do some exploring.

I think just about any stream, some really small, hold trout once you get into the mountains, some of them can get over looked and can provide some good fishing.

Check the regs for sure - but I agree with SIO, jigs ought to work for sure and in a bigger river like the Arkansas so should jerks.

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Yeah I've seen the Arkansas, Blue River, Dillon Reservoir, Twin Lake, Turquoise lake, Half Moon Creek all seem really close to our intended path.  Just seems a lot the web searching I've done talks about fly fishing stuff which I really don't have right now or you bait fish in the reservoirs. I'm not against either one but times short and it seems if either of my preferred methods would work I'll let it fly. 

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10 hours ago, Devan S. said:

Yeah I've seen the Arkansas, Blue River, Dillon Reservoir, Twin Lake, Turquoise lake, Half Moon Creek all seem really close to our intended path.  Just seems a lot the web searching I've done talks about fly fishing stuff which I really don't have right now or you bait fish in the reservoirs. I'm not against either one but times short and it seems if either of my preferred methods would work I'll let it fly. 

They’ll work.  

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Well trip went well overall. We fished easily accessible spots between Leadville and Twin Lakes on the Arkansas as well as the outflow of Twin Lakes. I think we managed to scrounge up a rainbow and brown in this area. 

We tried to fish the blue river but were just overwhelmed with the faster shallow water so didn't really put much effort into it. 

Fished Glacier Creek in RMNP and caught a bunch of brooks, browns, and cutthroats. Probably had our best luck here and fished it a lot harder than everything else. Best lure by far was a San Juan worm with a jig head weight to get it down. All the jigs I have I feel were really too large for the speed/depth of the water we were fishing.

The fish out there are small but gorgeous and the scenery just adds too it.

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