Kremmling " Wolford Mountain ice fishing heats up for spring
March 20, 2008
Spring is here and the ice fishing is excellent on Wolford Mountain Reservoir north of Kremmling.
The 1,550 surface acres of the reservoir are still frozen over with a sheet of ice measuring an average of 20 inches in thickness. The local experts assure everyone that it is safe for ice fishermen to drive their snowmobiles and ATVs to get to their favorite fishing spots.
“I just drilled four holes about a hundred yards off the boat ramp, and the shallowest hole was 23 inches,” said Dan Murphy, owner of the Fishin’ Hole Sporting Goods in Kremmling who was out on the reservoir Thursday. “We got plenty of good, clean, hard ice here on the reservoir. And the fishing is excellent. The number and quality of fish being caught now is a lot better than last winter.”
As if to confirm that statement, 8-year-old Garrett Miller of Kremmling, who was fishing in a nearby hole drilled just 10 minutes before by his dad Jeff Miller, hooked and reeled in a beautiful 10-inch rainbow trout.
“We mostly catch rainbows here, but also some browns and splake,” Murphy said. “The kokanee (fishing) is getting better because of the stocking over the last couple of years.”
The Colorado River Water Conservation District, which operates the reservoir, spends $15,000-$20,000 annually to stock it with fish. The Colorado Division of Wildlife also does some stocking.
“This is a good place for kids to catch fish,” said Clint Rathert of Kremmling, who was also ice fishing on the reservoir Thursday. “We caught a rainbow the other day that was 18 inches long. It’s really good fishing here year round, and it’s easy access and user friendly. And the ice is in really good shape right now.”
Murphy said he believes the reservoir’s ice should be safe for about another month, depending on the weather.
“It varies in the springtime, but things are excellent right now,” he said. “And the fishing is great, and where can you get better views than here.”
Jeff Miller, who manages the Wolford Mountain Reservoir Campground and Marina, agreed.
“Now is the time to ice fish. It’s T-shirt weather,” he said.
Miller said he monitors the ice depth of the reservoir to ensure safety. When the ice becomes too thin in the spring for snowmobiles or ATVs to go on the ice, he puts up “caution” tapes at the boat ramps, which are the main access points to the reservoir.
“Safety is very important, and we don’t want anybody to get into trouble,” Miller said. “But right now, we’ve got beautiful ice.”
As the owner of the Fishin’ Hole, Murphy said he also keeps a close eye on the reservoir’s ice condition in the springtime as well as the fishing conditions.
“Both Jeff and I keep track of the ice this time of year,” he said. “Wolford is the mainstay of the Kremmling fishing area. When people stop by my shop or phone me, I can tell them what’s going on at the reservoir, where I’ve been fishing, what I’ve caught and with what kind of bait.”
The reservoir was the site of the 11th Annual Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest held Saturday, Feb. 16. The next big event scheduled for the reservoir is the Wolford Open Water Contest slated for June 7.
“If the ice melts off by then,” Murphy jokingly said.
For more information about ice fishing at Wolford Mountain Reservoir, call Murphy at the Fishin’ Hole Sporting Goods at 724-9407, or Miller at the Wolford Mountain Reservoir Campground and Marina at 1-866-472-4943 toll free.
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