I've been fishing along the front range of Northern Colorado my entire life. My favorite species to chase has always been trout. In Colorado the trout simply don't seem to grow as large as many of the giants I see on the reports page on TTG.
I grew up fishing the put and take lakes because it was easy to catch numbers of stocked fish and I think my father knew I would be hooked this way. The last few years I've focused most of my fishing time driving far west into the hills chasing larger trout. In Colorado a 10 LB. trout in a public water is a whale! This is why I catch and release all of the big ones.
I took a trip last week to a reservoir in South Park. I was ice fishing on 18" of ice in only five feet of water, so I was actually only over 3.5 feet of water. I was sitting inside my flip over shelter by myself. I tied on a small white tube jig and as soon as I put it down I see this pig come in and slam it. Itís awesome to get to watch the fish come up and hit the jig while your looking down the hole.
I was amazed when I looked at the scale and it said 12.5 LBS. The fat hen rainbow was 28" long and had a girth around 18". In the past five years I've put a lot of time and effort into ice fishing. This may sound crazy but I believe that here in Colorado, the bigger fish bite once the ice has formed. At least it seems that way.
Last fall I had my wives 8 LB. 26" male cut bow replicated and mounted by Rickís Trophy Mounts. At that time, her fish was the largest to date for either of us. I got her beat now!
Her mount is a true piece of art as displayed on our wall and it makes my previous mounts from other taxidermists look a little sad. My fish is truly special as its from Colorado and caught through the ice. It is four pounds larger than any other I had previously caught and released. I think it would look great right next to my wifeís mount.