How to have fun during mud season in Grand County |

How to have fun during mud season in Grand County

Kristen Lodge / Outdoor Adventures
Grand County, CO Colorado
Photo By Steve Brenner

If you’ve lived in the mountains long enough, you know the weeks of mud season can drive a person crazy; impatiently waiting for summer.

Maybe you will be as surprised as I was that the best fishing on Lake Granby is in mud season. I begin running through my mind all the possibilities of a mud season fishing adventure as I wait for the hiking and biking trails to dry out; and the added benefit of eating the fish I catch.

The days are getting longer and temperatures are getting warmer. Soon the ice on Lake Granby will be melting. According to Dale and Tami Casteel, owners of Beacon Landing, as the ice recedes there is some great fishing from the shore. There will be mud, lots of it, but good fishing, too.

Dale has been a fishing guide on Lake Granby for 15 years. As they told fishing stories about Lake Granby I kept wondering how I could squeeze in another sport; more gear. The Casteels practically guaranteed that I would catch a fish in April or May thanks to the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) who regularly stock rainbow trout in the lake.

In Beacon Landing’s marina office is a ginormous trophy. Ask Dale about the trophy and you will see the biggest smile. Ask Steve Brenner any fishing question and you will never see a happier man with an ever bigger smile.

They love to fish and to tell stories about the fish they have caught. However, they will not talk about the location where they caught the fish that earned them the ginormous trophy at the 22nd Annual Fishing Tournament for Team Category, Brown Trout.

Summer is a busier time on the lake but there are still a lot of fish out there. Dale and Tami said it’s fun to watch first-timers arrive without knowing how to fish. Young girls and women arrive with high heels and skirts, go out in the boats with husbands and boyfriends not knowing anything, and come back loving it.

The Casteels recommend first-timers to buy a the tear proof-water proof Fish N Map. It has GPS coordinates and labeled areas with hints where to find fish such as: “excellent for Lake Trout” or “good for trout in spring.”

Tami told stories of the families who rent cabins every year and will fish in the same spots with their children. It’s a family affair with many of their guests.

The newbies start with a few awkward casts and wait. Then the young son catches a rainbow. The smile on his face makes everyone happy. The fishing trip becomes a family tradition.

“First-timers catch a fish and get excited and come back; they’re hooked,” says Tami.

I thought of my family’s traditions growing up in upstate New York. We didn’t fish or camp; we spent a week at the Jersey shore every summer. I’ve never even held a fishing rod. Neither has my sister. My brother fished in Lake Champlain with his friends and will take his son and daughter when they get a bit older.

Since I come from a long line of beach vacation people with a few forays into the fishing world, I need to buck family tradition and learn how to fish. I may just get a fishing license this year and fish during mud season.

Dale warned about the mud involved with spring fishing but it’s worth it when you catch something.

As I left Beacon Landing, Dale and Steve decided to go fishing. I heard Steve say, “Remember when…..”

The best stories often start that way.

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