Ice fishing Utah and Colorado…..1/2-17/2019….. part three:
Thursday January 10th, 2019
On the way to Colorado to fish with Bill Varney, I went through many towns and saw many farms, developments and just plain fields.
1-Sun trying to peak out of the clouds and mountain tops.
2-Just a scenery. Reminds me of a painting.
3-The bridge like this one is for the wildlife to safely cross the Highway.
4-The netting is one way to keep the rocks from the roads.
5-The air was so cold that the rising plum looks frozen in place.
6-While doing research about my route, I came across a recommendation to eat at this place in a town called Steam Boat!
Sort of hole-in-a-wall place. Did not know about the signed bills as decorations though.
7-The food did not disappoint.
8-Leaving the town of Steam Boat in Colorado! The ski runs in the distance.
Side note: The name comes (according to a local), from the noise that used be made by a spring water bobbling in the local river.
It sounded like the noise of a steam engine on a boat.
9-This is a vast country boys and girls.
I arrived in a town called Silverthorne on the west side of a Reservoir called Dillon. Suddenly the traffic became heavy. It took a while until I got to a highway which took me on an interesting and sort of dangerous road. After being the only vehicle on the road for long periods and thus, driving fast (speed limit is 70 and 80 in Utah and Colorado at times), it was stop and go.
10-After 11 hours of driving, I finally made it to my Motel in Fairplay, Colorado.
It snowed overnight.
After a stressful segment of driving, I needed a good night’s rest.
Friday January 11th
In the morning, I decided to do some exploring and sightseeing. Bill could not join me for fishing due to road conditions.
I initially was looking for a lake called Antero (pronounced Ann-tero). However, even with the GPS I made wrong turn and ended up in a place called 11 Mile Reservoir.
A good thing, since I saw a park ranger and remembered that I did not have my Colorado fishing license yet. He directed me to his office. After some back and forth on the road, I found the office. A very helpful ranger, provided me with the license and also mentioned that when in the park, I needed a daily parking pass. Cost of daily parking pass $8.00.
Then I checked the Marina for the next day.
11-On the way to a reservoir called 11 Mile, I saw these guys.
12-My first time attempt to find a reservoir.
13-Followed a snowplow truck for a while. Saw many snowplow trucks during the visit. They try to keep the roads clear as much as possible.
14-Saw many domesticated American Bison during my travels in Colorado.
By the time I did my exploring, it was too late to setup for ice fishing. I made a decision to go to the closest Sportsman’s Warehouse which was in Colorado Springs.
After a few hours and thanks to GPS, I found the store and bought an Eskimo brand three-man shelter.
The scenery was wonderful, but the roads were somewhat dangerous. I even saw a car hanging off the safety railing in a winding section.
15-The combination of night and snow while driving makes for some interesting driving.
16-On the way to my motel, I pulled in to this gas station for coffee and restroom.
An off-duty elder sheriff officer nicely criticized my driving in from the Exit side! There were no sign poles and the ground was completely covered with snow. Being my first time to this gas station did not help the situation either.
My guess is he saw the California license plate and wanted to check it out. This was his excuse.
17-Once more I was back to my motel in Fairplay, Colorado and had a good night’s sleep.
Saturday January 12th
Next day I was back at 11 Mile Reservoir. After setting my sled I tried to move from the parking lot to the lake level.
However, I fell twice while wearing snow shoes. I hit my hip on large rocks, but nothing broke.
18-I bought a shelter, in case we needed to use when Bill was visiting. Later returned it, since we did not need it and it added weight to my already heavy sled.
19-Inside of the shelter can be useful to keep the gear out of element. Also with a heater, the fishing can be more comfortable.
My Shappell FX 100, one-man shelter is part of my sled.
I have a habit of always trying to improve things!
20-The ice hole outside of the shelter keeps refreezing and needs to be cleared with a skimmer.
So I used a bucket with bottom cut to reduce the transfer of cold and thus less freezing.
It worked somewhat, but the next step is to use a round cooler in the hole. Report to come next trip.
21-It had been a year since I used the ice fishing flasher. This little arrow at the very bottom of the chart cost me two days of missing the fish at the Strawberry Reservoir in Utah.
22-Once I clicked on the arrow, the “ice fishing mode” icon showed-up.
You would think that such an important icon would be on the top of the list and much more visible.
23-Soon after setting the flasher right, I caught this trout, and three more not much longer after that.
Once I packed my gear to go to my car, I had a hell of time pulling my sled. The newly purchased Eskimo shelter added weight to already heavy sled. About 7” or so of powder snow on the ground made pulling the heavy even harder. Being tired and high altitude did not help the situation either.
I was all alone in at the reservoir, but I did not felt unsafe. In fact, I have never felt unsafe during these trips.
Sunday January 13th
24-Once more I was at 11 Mile Reservoir. I set up at a different spot before Bill arrived.
Jigging Jawjaker in the forefront. I used a big sucker fish hoping for some Northern pike action. No one showed up. Not all lakes or reservoirs have pike as resident. I fished some that had had pike, but non were caught.
25-Bill arrived with hot coffee and a big smile. We had a very nice visit and discussed many topics.
26-A small trout fell for the lure and the bait. Released.
The action was slow for us and a few other anglers that were there.
To be continued …………….