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Trouts Journal

Trouts Exclusive Property Report: Willow Creek Ranch

Ivan Orsic / May 19, 2015

Every now and then my job gets pretty tough and I have to do things such as go "research" a river to see how well it may or may not be fishing. This past Saturday fell into that category and the destination for the day was Trouts Exclusive Property, Willow Creek Ranch. With orders for the day in hand, my truck came to stop in front of co-worker/co-guide Lee Molvie's house at 5:45am. After quickly loading up the necessities for the day- i.e. waders/boots/rods/reels/way too many flies- we were West bound on I-70. Neither of us had laid eyes on this property before and the enthusiasm was quite high to say the least. I've said it before and I'll say it again now, there's something pretty special about heading to the river and having no clue how the day will unfold. Moreover, I think this feeling is only amplified when the day calls for fishing new water. We'd seen pictures of the property and knew it looked like an incredible place to spend the day, however there was one additional detail quickly realized....they were all taken during summer. Willow Creek lies just North of Granby, CO, is a tributary of the Colorado and sits at about 9000 feet. Given this geography, we had a feeling the lush green vegetation and crystal clear currents of said previously viewed images were not going to be a companion of ours. Truth be told, we half expected the creek to be totally blown out. As we wound up HWY 125 towards the property, the temperature gauge on my truck showed 28 degrees and a light mix of snow/ice dusted the windshield from time to time.

Upon arrival at the property our spirits were quickly lifted. The creek was definitley a little high and off color but no where near what we were anticipating finding. It seemed like a big "Game On" in every way possible. We quickly rigged up and I decided to start the day with a size 12 Stone Bomb and a red San Juan worm. Lee opted for a brown San Juan and a size 16 Mercury Bead Pheasant Tail. Upon initial decent of the river and taking a look around, the frost on the bankside shrubbery made us quickly realized these fish are most likely still in Winter mode. The water was damn cold as well. Better go find some soft water. For the most part we hopscotched eachother, working upriver. To our delight, every soft, deep bend-pool proved to be holding multiple 12-18" healthy Rainbow trout.

While the day was a success in every way possible, we couldn't help but get excited thinking about returning here once the waters recede and spending the day catching (or better yet, helping YOU ALL catch) these beautiful trout on dry flies. I can say with certainty, this place will be dry/dropper heaven in just a few short months.

Summary: Willow Creek is fishing GREAT right now and if you're looking for a little elbow room in one of the most scenic places I've fished in this state, consider booking a day with Trouts Guide Service to this property. Rod fees are $100 per person (on top of standard guide fee) and the nymph fishing should remain consistent for the time being. If you'd like to discuss the property more, feel free to give us a call or email me directly at kyle@troutsflyfishing.com

Lastly, while we certainly spent time taking photos around property, we spent WAY more time taking video. Stay tuned in the weeks to come for that footage to be up on the blog!

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