Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Big Laramie River Colorado

Over the first week of September I, along with NIFT members Darwin and Ev Adams, and Daily Herald Outdoor Editor Mike Jackson, fished at Rawah Ranch. It’s located about 60 miles west of Ft Collins, Colorado, a quick and very scenic 3 hour drive from Denver. Luckily our trip ended before the massive floods hit. The lodge sits on close to 400 acres of undeveloped land, bordered by over 800,000 acres of Federal and State forestland. Almost three miles of the Big Laramie River flow through the property, plus there’s access to many more miles above the ranch and on another, close at hand ranch as well. The stream is remarkable. It’s very much a western spring creek in character, easily waded and with a substantial food base that grows very large rainbow and brown trout, with the occasional brookie. Some other western ranches with similar productivity are heavily stocked. This river is self sustaining, churning out impressive numbers of 18” and larger trout with great regularity. I caught 20” plus fish every day. We utilized a variety of approaches, from hoppers to small dries to swinging streamers through deep holes. While fishing was often exceptional, you couldn’t just show up and succeed. Stealthy wading and careful presentations, coupled with light tippets, were required. But when you got it right, the rewards were memorable. The lodge is very inviting and comfortable, with individual, well appointed cabins, spacious main lodge, and a hard working, very accommodating staff. Rawah has a very talented chef who made every breakfast, lunch and dinner a special treat we all looked forward to. I’ve been around and been lucky enough to have had great trout fishing from Argentina to Alaska. Yes, there’s a certain irony to finding a special spot that’s so easy to reach but I can live with that. When Rawah beckons again, I’ll be there. By NIFT member Paul Melchior.
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