Monday, July 8, 2013

Tiger trout in Colorado!

This weekend was spent finding little treasures that remind me of home.  As most of you know I’m a Utah original that has been transplanted to western Colorado.  While there are many similarities, the differences (in fishing) are noticeable.  Each state seems runs their wildlife programs very differently…and we’ll leave it at that.

One thing I really miss about Utah is the vast opportunity to pursue Tiger Trout.  This hybrid (brook/brown) is a fun fish.  They fight well and are very aggressive.  I put multiple questions in to the Division of Wildlife here in Colorado to see if there were any available in the state.  Surprisingly the responses were varied…I received answers from there were “no tigers”, to “we have just as many tigers as Utah”.  Thus I was left to try to put the puzzle together myself.  After a lot of research, chatting with anglers, and questions to the DOW: I settled on a lake that had a history of trash fish and stunted brook trout.  A local forum member confirmed my suspicions.  Tigers were put here to fix the problems.

I decided to lug the tube along to better my chances.  As I neared the lake I spooked something that looked very familiar.  I just had to throw a line before getting the tube prepped. 


Tiny thing, but at least I know they are here.  I moved the tube around to a better looking launching point and found proof a furry friend had recently been in the area.

Finally on the water, it took me a while to find any fish.  It seemed like a fish desert.  Nothing was rising and I was getting no love.  I moved on to a log jam on the far shore.  On my way my jig was hit by something fierce.  I set the hook…whiff.  In my reaction to the hit, I pulled the jig to within feet of the surface.  I could see it begin to fall again when out of the depths a fish came and slammed the marabou.

That’s the tiger trout I know and love.  They are aggressive things for sure!  This guy was starting to get the hunchback of the brookie parent.  It was a fat healthy fish.  I was pleased with my day so far.  Felt a little like home.

I kicked on.  I was letting my jig dangle beneath the tube about 10’ while I prepared my second rod.  The strike was unexpected and HARD.  The fight was awesome.  I was pleasantly surprised to pull up a decent rainbow for this lake.

I trudged on, eventually switching to a Gulp minnow to weed out the many runts on the marabou.  I was pretty surprised this little brook took the 3” minnow.

Love the blue halos

The gulp did fairly well with the tigers.  The marabou did too, but the bigger jig kept the 10inchers off.  They all had pretty colors though.

I had to be back in town by late afternoon so my float trip was cut short.  However on my way back to the launch area I found a pleasant surprise.  Splake!  They’re always a welcome treat.   I ended up catching 5 species (4 trout, 1 sucker)  That doesn’t happen everyday. 

The tiger trout don’t have much size to them…yet.  They seemed to be doing really well in this lake.  I’ll be anxious to see them grow in the next few years.  Hopefully tigers will be given more opportunities here in Colorado.  If you know where this lake is, I ask that you keep it under your hat.

Life is short y’all, live it well…


  1. Well, now you've got me curious. Nice report and mums the word.

  2. Nice find! Hopefully the tigers can tilt the balance in their favor. Those first 14 inches or so are the hardest. After that, it's tiger beef.

  3. Darn! I thought I had caught every species of trout in Colorado. I don't suppose you could give me a hint where you caught them?

  4. Jeremy, I have never fished for or been on water that held Tigers. Nonetheless, I have read and seen many posts from our friend Justin on his blog. I am convinced I would love to fish for Tigers. Just moved last year from Idaho (no Tigers, there). Hopefully, Colorado can get on board with some Tiger Trout. Keep me posted.