Salmon on the South Platte

When I first moved to Colorado twelve years ago, I used to hear about kokanee salmon on the South Platte fairly frequently. However, over the years, I've heard them mentioned less often. As a result, I have been making a trip for the last few years to the Gunnison and East Rivers below Crested Butte to fish for them. So, I was a little surprised this week when a guide friend told me that he had been getting into them on this side of the mountains. Since I had Veteran's Day off, I decided to check things out today. I found plenty of kokanee in the river, although it was apparently about two weeks past the height of the run and the word was out. Lots of competition in the best holes. Still, I caught them until my shoulder ached. The surprise was not the kokanee, but the big trout that had followed them into the river. I saw a digital screen of a 22" rainbow that was caught earlier in the day and it was a magnificient fish. Not quite as magnificient, however, as this hen brown that I took on a red copper john at about 10:00 am. I'm going to hang up my four weight for a while. This one will be hard to beat.
Mike and Bill,

Well, the cat is out of the bag so to speak. There was a full page article in the Gazette Telegraph today about DOW's work to capture migrating kokanee in South Park. I wouldn't be surprised if Rocky Mountain News ran a similar article, although I haven't checked. DOW fenced off a 100 yard stretch of the South Platte above Elevenmile for their operations. If you look closely at the picture of me with the fish, you'll see the orange fencing and one of the vehicles they are using for their operations. The article said that the run was about over, but from my experience, I'd say fishing would be good for another week. As in Washington, mornings and periods of low light are best. I suspect that there will be a ton of fisherman up there now, though. It's all catch and release, so don't get the smoker out, but it's still a lot of fun and it's as close as you'll get to salmon short of Idaho.