CAVEAT: The North Fork Road has reopened, but is still very rough. Call ArkAnglers in Salida, CO for latest information.
For my articles about fishing nearby Arthur and Hunky Dory Lakes see:
August 11, 2016
Monsoon rains blowing up from the Gulf of Mexico have been soaking us here in the Colorado mountains most afternoons. It’s no fun and dangerous to be up near the Continental Divide hiking and fishing when a storm blows in. Temperatures can drop from 75 degrees to 45 in a few minutes replete with mountain pea-sized hail that resembles snow. So when the weatherman predicted a sunny day this week, I fetched the day pack from the basement along with my mountain lake fishing gear and plotted a trek to a high-country lake I have been hankering to try–Island Lake far up the North Fork Valley about 20 miles west of my cabin near Salida. It’s perched at 12,000 feet just below Sewanee Peak that pokes up into the sky at a mere 13,132 feet. A thirty-year old guidebook I have tells tales of huge, but finicky cutthroat trout in the lake, a story confirmed in hushed tones by some local fishing guides. So I hit the road at 7 a.m. the next morning, figuring it will take an hour to drive up the rough 4WD road to the trailhead and another hour to hike in. Visions of behemoth trout are dancing in my head.
CAVEAT: The North Fork Road has reopened, but is still very rough. Call ArkAnglers in Salida, CO, for latest information.
For my article about fishing nearby Island and Arthur Lakes see:
August 8, 2015
More rain this week kept me off the local waters, and with the weekend looming along with the attendant crowds from the Front Range, I decided to head to a high country lake for some tranquility and, hopefully, some hungry trout. I dug out an old 1980s guidebook to lakes in the area, and the name Hunky Dory caught my eye. With a moniker like that, it had to be good. (More about that name later.).
Hunky Dory sits at 12,000 feet, perched high across the rugged North Fork Valley from Mt. Shavano, a 14er. The turnoff of US 50 up County Road 240 is at Maysville, about 10 miles west of Salida. What made it especially intriguing is that the guidebook said there was no trail to the lake. The hike was described as fairly short—just over a mile—but very steep, gaining 1,200 feet in that short distance. A check on the internet revealed a couple of entries describing the fishing for cutthroat trout as good. Who could resist.