UPDATES TO "THE FISHING GUIDE TO 800 HIGH LAKES IN COLORADO"
Eventually, every fishing guide becomes dated. If they did not, then we would still be using the 50-to-60-year old data in Tim Kelley's " The Official Colorado-Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Guide" to direct us to the best fishing in Colorado's high lakes. Things change, including stocking frequency, numbers of fish stocked, species stocked, lake conditions such as periodic winterkill, fishing pressure and harvest. As such, I will add additional data to this web page in an effort to keep my guidebook up to date. I encourage you to send me your fishing experiences through my CONTACT page. Please tell me if you caught different species than what I report, lakes that winterkilled (i.e. you saw many dead fish) and lakes that you caught fish in that I thought were barren. I will update this web page with that information. Please don't just tell me that you experienced poor fishing. We all know that fishing success can vary with time of day, time of season, weather, choice of flies, anglers' abilities and a myriad of other factors. Here are some updates.
CHAPTER 1, p. 3: County Road 4N, the 4WD road leading to the trailhead for Little Echo and James Peak lakes, starts at the west end of Tolland and bears no identifying signage. This road becomes Forest Road 353, and has signage indicating this. In my book, I call this Forest Road 176; it is labeled as such on older Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest maps (which I use) and is labeled as Forest Road 353.1 on the 2009, Empire, 7.5 minute, USGS topographic map. This road is rocky, and becomes narrow and very rocky after about 4.8 miles, just after the "seasonal road closure" sign. This is not Subaru territory, but rather the domain of the ATV, Jeep or full-sized SUV or pickup (with 10 inches of clearance). The road deteriorates significantly after the "seasonal road closure" sign, and if you feel uncomfortable with what you have already driven, it is advisable to park here on the wide, flat area to the left and walk the remainging 2 miles to the trailhead. Total distance to the trailhead from Tolland is closer to 6.6 miles.
Chapter 1, p. 9: Please note that in 2021, reservations were required to drive to Summit Lake on the road to Mount Evans. Visit www.recreation.gov to make reservations in 2021 and to determine if this policy will be continued in future years. Note seasonal closures.
Chapter 2, pp. 18-19: Access to the townsite of Hessie and the Fourth of July Trailhead has become challenging due to increased visitation; there simply is not enough parking. These areas service Lost, Woodland, Skyscraper, Diamond, Dorothy and Neva lakes. There is a shuttle that runs from the Nederland High School to Hessie on weekends to alleviate parking. It was so crazy that I aborted my weekday trip there in 2021. Shuttle information is available at https://www.bouldercoloradousa.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation-in-boulder/hiking-in-boulder/hessie-trailhead-shuttle/. Plan months ahead for camping in the Indian Peaks as permits go quickly.
Chapter 3, pp. 21-29. Plan ahead for any trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2021, reservations were needed for day visitation, and overnight camping permits were difficult to obtain. Unlike permits for the Indian Peaks, permits for overnight backcountry camping in RMNP must be picked up in person, not mailed.
Chapter 5, pp. 41 to 42: After my book went to press, I learned that Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocked some golden trout in the fall of 2020 in Jewel and Clear lakes. These one-inch fry should grow to catchable size in 3 to 4 years.
Chapter 6: Check for fire closures before visiting the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
Chapter 18, p. 127: According to Katie Bergert, the Bailey Lakes still contain some water and a few brookies but are surrounded by much marshy terrain.
Chapter 19, p. 138: There is a steep section of trail just before Finney Cut Lake No. 1, which appeared shallow and barren when I visited in 2021. I caught cutthroats in Finney Cut Lake No. 2.
Chapter 19, p. 139: The road leading to Silver Lake and Forty-Acre Lake has been renamed from Forest Road 257.1B to Forest Road 256.