A fishing guide I enjoy time with on the upper South Platte River waters gave me a “wake up call” this week. He reported he was not taking any reservations between the last week in May and July 1 due to an above-average runoff anticipated during June. The high mountain ranges that feed the South Platte River tributaries are holding a significant snow pack and that means a longer than normal snow melt and run off timeline.
That got me to thinking that can be an excellent period of time to keep the fly rod in the case and to plan some relaxed family fishing trips to some of the lakes, reservoirs and ponds along the Front Range. Maybe even add some new spice and flare for the kids to minimize those inescapable boring moments, by focusing on where and how to give the kids an exciting and fun day fishing.
Take Me Fishing (Takemefishing.org), a great family fishing organization that shows us how to have exceptional days fishing and how to encourage and incorporate family into the fishing experience has some ideas to enhance a day with rod and reel.
Take Me Fishing suggest we look beyond the easy to get to, close-in fishing ponds you may normally frequent, for a variety and to find better fishing and fish populations.
They also offer that allowing the kids to go beyond just the rod, reel and bobber fishing will excite them, keep them focused and offer a new angling challenge. Introduce them to spin-cast gear and applying small manageable lures and spinners.
Provide or rent a canoe or kayak to get them off the heavily used pond banks and out into the more secluded fishing water. Moving about on the lake or pond in itself adds a good change of pace for kids will generate an enthusiasm for their fishing day and very likely invite more catches. You can look beyond the smaller canoes and kayaks and consider renting a boat with small trolling out board motor. This will take their fishing experience to yet another level by introducing them to trolling.
For the diehard angling family, the higher altitude headwater streams such as South Park area streams will offer some good clear water fishing. US Highway 285 off C-470 will lead to South Park via Bailey, over Kenosha Pass into a number of high elevation tributary streams. The series of small waters all lead to and create the South Fork of the South Platte River. Jefferson, Michigan, Tarryall, Ten Mile, middle fork and the south fork of south Platte offer small streams, with small but eager trout and for the most part clear, fishable water.
Another suggestion by Take Me Fishing is to extend the fishing day to an overnight camping event. The family will enjoy the relaxation and close family time that overnight camping offers by not having to pick up and head home early evening the same day.
If the family is into mountain biking, take the bikes to add yet another twist to the fishing trip. Taking a break from fishing the easy access areas by biking to more remote waters can be fun for the kids. It definitely satisfies the typical fisherman’s concern, that being; the fishing will be better away from camp.
Colorado offers over 200 State Wildlife Areas and an additional number of State Parks, most of which offer fishing. This unusual Colorado wet spring and run off season can be an exciting and a new angling learning experience for the whole family. We are sure to enhance the young angler’s interest and drive to go fishing when we add a variety and new approach. And that makes for some great family days outdoors.
Outdoorsman and Westminster resident Ron Hellbusch can be reached at Ron-Hellbusch Comcast.net
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