The temps are dropping quickly here in western Colorado. I absolutely love this time of year. Watching the seasons change is a wonderful experience, and a good reminder that change is often necessary in life. Though hard, change is usually good.
I really wanted to hit up a few lakes on the Grand Mesa before winter took its grasp. However, I was a weekend too short. A few storms have pounded the mesa and snow is present already. I decided to brave it anyways, but the mighty ford focus wasn’t built for the backcountry. Ice and mud quickly made me change my mind. I was limited to the main highway. I decided Island Lake would be my best chance for quality fish. I put my float tube on my back and trudged through the snow.
Ah, I was the only one on the water today. Island is a beautiful place, but gets hit pretty hard due to its location and ease of access. However, there are still some monsters swimming in her depths. It seems a 10lb+ splake is brought in every so often. The old splake record (1976) of 18lb was caught out of island. It has potential to be an amazing fishery.
I rigged up a worm to drift while I kicked out to deeper water. Almost immediately I was met with the ever-annoying planter bow.
Plenty of these runts today.
On the other pole I rigged up a jig and dropped it down deep. Soon I found my first splake of the day.
Moving from shallow to deep produced many fish that looked almost identical to that one. I did run in to a few brook trout though their size was dismal. This one was the most colored up.
I used a variety of techniques looking for the bigger fish. It never really happened. I had one splake at about 18" slip away before I could get a picture, but other than that I could not find any of the older class splake.
However...splake are really neat.
It turned out to be a fun day. The weather was a bit on the cold side, but fast fishing helped keep me warm. If this age class of splake has enough food to grow and thrive Island will be amazing in the coming years.
life is short...live it well