Rainbows, Browns and…Perch? A Lake Estes Surprise!

Lake Estes has been through a lot recently. The flood filled many of the old channels near the inlet with sediment. The excavations this winter removed these sediments and re-channeled the flow from the Big Thompson River as it enters the lake. The power plant flows have been disrupted to keep the water in the canyon at a low level for the recovery effort there. Lake Estes, like many of the canyon rivers has evolved into an unfamiliar place worthy of exploring. So, we have been stalking trout around the inlet since our return to the Estes Park area.

Clear water is getting easier to find, particularly around the power plant and the inlet. The muddy flow coming in from the Fish Creek arm continues to discolor the rest of the lake. Though the evenings have been abnormally cool, there are a few rising fish along the shore feeding primarily on ants and midges. An olive wooly bugger will take larger rainbows and perch in the area where the flow slows after entering the lake. Wading out on the west peninsula will put you on a sand bar next to this deeper flow. Our friend Chris says the larger browns are feeding along the rocky shoreline east of Fisherman’s Nook though he was vague about his choice of flies there.

We all look forward to the melting snow and receding ice in the high lakes we love in Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out our detailed waterproof guide: “Angler’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park”. It is your guide to the best fishing in Colorado. If you order from the website we will make sure you get a signed copy from our second printing available now. Visit https://www.anglerpocketguides.com/ and take a look at our other new book “Angler’s Guide to Shore Fishing Southwest Florida-Longboat Key to Boca Grande”. Both books are now available from Amazon and as e-books for Kindle or Nook readers.

Here’s an image of a perch from Lake Estes on an olive wooly bugger. PerchLakeEstesCroplowres

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