When you google Colorado River Headwaters you are generally refereed to the stretch between Grand Lake and State Bridge, which offers first-class fishing, canoeing, and rafting, along with plenty of quiet spaces where you can sit on the banks and contemplate. The route begins at Grand Lake, an old resort town on the shores of Colorado's largest natural lake, and ends on a gravel road through spectacular Upper Gore Canyon.
The Colorado is often thought of as this giant river, that is very difficult to wade anywhere below Parshall. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Although the river from Pumphouse to state bridge received a high amount of raft and other recreational use, very few wade fish the Colorado. Below are 5 wade access areas where you can expect to have success.
I wanted to get as close to the real headwaters as I could, someplace closer to the source. So I rented a boat at the marina on lake Grandby and went across the lake to where the water comes out of Shadow Mountain lake and flows into lake Grandby,( its labeled the Colorado river on official maps) so that sound legit. Its about as far as one can go to call this the headwaters of the Colorado river.
There I found some 12 to 15 boats anchored close to what was a trickle of water flowing over the rocks and into the lake. Its was a dry season and there was not much water, not what one would consider anything that could hold fish. The water was still, it was close to the end of the day, so not much time to waste. However I decided to sit and watch what was going on. The water was burbling with fish activity or so it seemed in the small cove, but not a fisherman was catching a thing, not one yet the water showed signs of activity. For some 30 minutes I sat on the boat and observed all the other boats, casting lines, trolling, plugging, some with lures, many with bait and yet not a single hook up.
Well I only had but this evening and then I had to be on my way back to California, with the trailer in tow from my last trade show, this was my only opportunity. The elusive Colorado trout was one on yet another bucket list.
As I put on my waders ?, Walkabout Shirt and Hat, I rigged a size 18 Copper John onto the tippet of my fly line, I told Paul, my old Mate from Hong Kong " take me over to the bank and drop me off ".
I walked up a ways from the lake so as not to cast a shadow, nor disturb the water, and made my way around to where the " river " (if you could call it that, a creek well maybe) ran over the rocks and flowed into the lake. There I got on my hands and knee's and crawled to the edge of the lake, being thoughtful to not break my rod.
By then I could see all the fishermen (boats) were either leaving, or watching me like I was some kind of fool. Some kind of crazy person, waders, fly rod and all.
I rose slowly and made one cast some 30 feet out where the water flow eased, and well the rest is history.
Tight lines and Fish hard.