Monday, June 24, 2013

The Grand Mesa

As many of you know, I have been dying to get up on the Grand Mesa.  I can die a happy man now.  This was exactly the trip I needed.  Reader's long.

I wanted to check on one of the first species I ever caught in Colorado....the Arctic Grayling.

This is really the pristine time of year to hunt grayling.  I did a little homework, received a few tips, and was off.  I started at a stream with the fly rod.

Ah, success.  It was a fun little stream to throw flies on, but my 9' 5wt proved a little too cumbersome for the small overgrown stream.  I actually ended up using the spinning rod like a fly rod.  Not the prettiest sight, but it worked.

I love the turquoise and purple tones of these fish.  It was a fun little creek to play on.  Plus not all fish caught were grayling.

Not a monster, but my first brookie of the year.

I moved on to a lake that I heard held good fish in the past. I actually planned on going to another lake that was farther along the trail, but my curiosity and eagerness got the better of me.  I gambled on stopping here.

I started to toss the good ol' marabou jig and was surprised by what hit it first.

Hmmm what a pleasant surprise.  Didn't think they were in here...

I started to see the cutts cruising the shore line and was immediately satisfied with my decision to stop at this lake.  Although catching them would prove more difficult.

A couple small things like this came first.

More cutts would come later.  However, I was pleased to find my main target for this lake.

The brook trout were chubby.  

Still not the tank I was looking for, but healthy.  It was such great looking brookie water though.

As I worked my way around near the inlet and found more and more cutts willing to play.

The inlet creek was jammed packed full of cutthroat doing their fling in the spring.  They paid absolutely no attention to me whatsoever.  I took a video of them and was amazed to see them biting each other.  Must be fighting for dominance or something. Beautiful fish.

The inlet was dammed up a few yards above the lake and made a BIG shallow pool.

Surprisingly, it was crawling with fish.  They were a little more willing to play.


These guys were in here too!

Poor guy had a deformed gill plate.

I hung around here quite a while.  The fish weren't too shy and let me sneak up on them for a shot or two.

As daylight was dwindling I made my way back to the lake.  I wanted to get back to the car before dark and that required a stroll through the woods.

I was straight up giddy about the trip thus far, but really wanted a bigger brook trout to finish the day.

I began throwing my jig near fallen trees and big boulders as I trekked around the lake.  

The good Lord smiled on me...

What a fight, and what a way to finish the day.  Not the biggest brook of my life, but it had some shoulders.  One of the best fights I've had with a fish in a long while.

The Grand grand

Life is short, live it well.


  1. Some GREAT looking fish, man! To be honest, I had never hear of or seen an arctic grayling in my entire life! for a second i thought somebody had photoshoppped a large fin on a trout! haha cool looking fish. nice blog you have here!

    1. Thanks man! Grayling are a pretty rare treat. Gorgeous fish

  2. OMG! You discovered the next best thing to gold! Those fish are amazing, the country is stunning and your trip are what dreams are made of! Thanks for including the video as well. I'm probably a voyeur, but I love to watch fish doing their thing. Splendid job with this post.

    1. Thanks Howard! It was the best trip I've had this far. It was one of those trips that make concentrating on anything else near impossible. Good memories.

  3. Jeremy, I posted a link to your site on my Facebook page so all the fishermen from other places could drool over your trip.

    1. Thank you! I've been following you on Facebook long before I found the blogging world. I need to break down and make a page for Troutings one of these days.

  4. Well, I think Howard pretty well covered my response in the first statement on his "OMG".
    Are you kiddin' me! What a terrific opportunity you have and thanks for sharing the "Jewel" with us all. I love Grayling and yearn to fish another day for them on light gear. Maybe someday............................
    Beautiful picture work my blogging friend.

    1. Mel, thanks so much. If you find yourself on the west slope let me know!

  5. I am in Delta for a few days and am dying to get some Grayling, Cutties, and browns. I may go to the Mesa this week and am looking for a stream, not a lake or reservoir. I cant find ANYTHING on the net, could you give me a tip? I practice c&r and fly fish btw. Thank you so much, your blog is amazing. Really appreciate any info. It would be nice if it was relatively easy access too.

  6. I am in Delta for a few days and may go to the Mesa this week. I am dying to catch some browns, cutties, and grayling, in a stream. Is there any tips you could give me? I will be fly fishing and will release all fish. I will only have a few hours so I wont be able to walk far. Thank you so much, and your blog is incredible, beautiful pictures.

    1. I can give you a starting point. Send me your email. I don't wanna blab for all to see.

  7. Great article Jeremy! I would love to get your starting point for this trip, I was up on the Mesa yesterday and did pretty good on some of the smaller streams and beaver ponds. I am a fly fisherman and practice catch and release only.

    1. Thanks Marcus. If you can comment me your address and what you're looking for on the Mesa I'd be glad to help. I can't promise much as I don't generally give out my secrets, but I may be able to help. Thanks for reading.

  8. I know this lake well. I have pulled some unbelievable cuts out. No grayling though. Great blog and glad you enjoyed your trip. I'm lucky to call this my backyard