Summer 2023 High Country Report
Posted on 19 June 2022
HIGH COUNTRY REPORT
Hale Bopp Leech sz 10, Damsel Nymphs sz 16, Damsel Adults sz 12, Ultra Damsel 12, Yankee Buzzer Chironomid 12, Stalcup's Ultra Scud 16, Hunchback Scud 16, Pearl and Black Boatman 16, Black Ant 16-18, Bloody Ant 18-20, Stalcup Cricket 12, Deer Hair Damsel Blue or Olive 12, 18in Dragonfly Nymph sz 6
Twin Meadows Lakes: This is a great place to take the family. Turn right at Norrie Colony above Ruedi Reservoir at Mile Marker 28, go up the gravel road 3 miles and turn right at the fork. You can drive right up to either lake. The farther lake fishes best and is deeper, and both lakes are loaded with brook trout.
Chapman Lake and Campground: Stay to the right after you pass the confluence of the north and south fork of the Fryingpan River above the inlet at Ruedi. Chapman is found just past the Norrie Colony. This is a day use fee lake and one of the most popular campgrounds in the Roaring Fork Valley, situated on the banks of the south fork of the upper Fryingpan above Ruedi reservoir.
Nast Lake: This lovely family-friendly lake is a few miles past Chapman Camp ground, simply turn right after you pass Chapman at the sign denoting Granite Lakes Trailhead and Nast Lake. A two minute walk from the parking area will bring you to a nice lake with rainbows and brook trout.
American Lake: You will find American lake nestled in the Elk Mountain range right outside of Aspen. You turn onto Castle Creek Road, and travel 10 miles until you see the Elk Mountain Lodge, parking for the trailhead will be on your right. Your 6.4 mile round trip will start with a steep ascent through aspen groves, dense forest, and gorgeous meadows. You will then be rewarded with a stunning view of American Lake that is full of beautiful native cutthroats. Terrestrial dries and leech patterns should be a recipe for success at American.
Cathedral Lake: Like American lake turn onto Castle Creek Road and travel 12.2 miles and turn right (shortly after passing Ashcroft) onto a gravel road, driving a 1/2 mile to the trailhead.: The trail climbs for 3/4 of a mile through an aspen forest before it enters the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness, then begins a steeper ascent, following Pine Creek cascading through the canyon just off the trail. It levels briefly at the top of the canyon then begins another ascent through spruce forests and rockslides, dead ending at a series of short, very steep switchbacks. Cathedral is a large alpine lake, so stay on the move and look for cruising cutthroats. Hoppers, ants, beetles, caddis, and Adams' should all play well at Cathedral. If rising fish are not to be found, nymphing scuds and damsels could lead you into the cutthroat of a lifetime.
Petroleum Lake: Drive ten miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to Lincoln Creek Road. Turn right and drive 6 1/2 miles on Lincoln Creek Road to Portal Campground. From Portal Campground the road becomes very rough and a high clearance four-wheel drive is required. Either drive or hike the remaining 3 1/3 miles to a fork in the road. Take the right fork, cross the creek and park on the other side. In about 1 mile the trail forks. The left fork reaches Anderson Lake in another 1/4 mile. To access Petroleum Lake retrace your steps and take the right fork. Petroleum is 3/4 of a mile farther. The trail continues its ascent through alpine meadows and tundra before coming to an outlet stream for Petroleum Lake. Cross the stream. The trail then begins a very steep ascent for 200 yards before leveling out. Petroleum Lake is just ahead beyond the rise on the left. You will be surrounded in a beautiful alpine setting with breath taking views of the Collegiate Wilderness and native cutthroats.
Maroon Bells: Located just 10 miles west of Aspen or 16 from Snowmass up Maroon Creek Road off Hwy. 82. Being one of the most photographed areas in Colorado, the Bells do see lots of traffic, but very few have fly rod in hand. Bring some of your favorite dries and streamers to fish one of the most breathtaking areas in Colorado.
Indpendence Pass: Lost Man Reservoir, Lincoln Creek, and the upper Roaring Fork should all be fishing well once we melt off more. Go take one of the most scenic drives in the state, and catch a few fish!
There are dozens of lakes and small streams in the Roaring Fork Valley high country, please give us a jingle or swing in for more information! 970-927-4374