Firefighters have been taking the heat for a while now and they were rewarded Sunday by achieving full-containment of the High Park fire. We say a big “CONGRATULATIONS!” and express deep gratitude to all fire workers involved. And we know there’s still work to be done.

Sylvan Dale Loves Firefighters!

Sylvan Dale Loves Firefighters! ⇱

The High Park Fire is 100% contained at 87,284 acres. A Type 3 management team, led by Ken Paul, assumed responsibility for the fire yesterday. That team is based at CSU’s Pingree Park campus.

It should be noted that “containment” means that a containment line exists around the fire, which fire managers believe will hold the fire within the perimeter. “Control” means that the fire is actually out which, on a fire of this magnitude, typically requires an act of nature such as prolonged rain or snowfall.

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Fly Fishing Report 6-30-12 by Wallace Westfeldt 

Okay I’ll admit it:  I was concerned about the heat at Mother Lake. So, I talked my guest into going very early … well, we were fishing by 7:15. Early morning action was all on midges.

Dry Dropper rig with a Chernobyl on top and #20 UV midge did the trick. When the midges died down, switched to a lime green Damsel nymph. Definitely the fly of the day … all day. We were fortunate to get afternoon cloud cover so fish continued to take into the mid afternoon. Highest water temp one foot down was 68 degrees. Not bad for this weather. Springs are running well. Also caught fish on Orange Blossom Special and Callibaetis nymph.

Wallace client bent rod Mother Lake

Bent rods on Mother Lake = Big Fish!

Did see some Callibaetis spinners, but not too many takes on those. Trick of the day was Loch Style Rig from a Belly Boat. Don’t know what that is? Send me a note and I’ll tell you … or better yet let’s set a date and I’ll show you!  ~ Wallace, MudBugCo, Fish Acquisitions ~ More Pictures Here

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A couple days after JB’s previous report on this blog (scroll down), he had another great day:  “The fishing continued to be outstanding for my guests Joe and Michael on Mother Lake while sight fishing from the bank in the morning.

JB client Michael's first trout

Michael’s First Trout! ⇱

The choppy surface and slightly overcast day were perfect conditions that produced double digit numbers of rainbows taking a Chernobyl Ant trailed with a damsel nymph. The damsel bite is on!

This was Michael’s first fly fishing experience and he may be “spoiled” now by Sylvan Dale’s wonderful fishery!   The afternoon was spent up on the Main Ranch River and the fishing was good using a Pat’s Rubber Legs trailed by either a PMD or caddis larva nymph…not too many rising fish, as the sun seemed to keep them down, but a great day for Joe and Michael!”

Submitted by:  John “JB” Bruning – Guide & Sculptor – www.confluenceartsllc.com

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JB client Felicia June

Felicia’s Biggest Rainbow

“The Peterson family enjoyed another magical day of fly fishing on the lower valley lakes and ponds with Kirk Bien (Kirk’s Fly Shop, Estes Park) and John “JB” Bruning. Catching was fast and furious in the morning as several 18-24” fish were caught and released in Mother and Island Lakes.  The main medicine was trolling weighted black leeches trailed with damsel nymphs behind float tubes or suspending nymphs (red & black chironomids and damsels) four to six feet deep.  A bit of sight fishing around the bank of Mother Lake also produced a big handful of beautiful rainbows on a Chernobyl ant trailed by a damsel nymph.  The day finished down at the bass ponds where the Peterson boys found some eager largemouth bass using woolly buggers…it was a wonderful day at Sylvan Dale Ranch!”

Check out JB’s website for contact info to have him guide your next trip!

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Tuesday June 19, 2012
by Forrest, Elkhorn Fly Rod & Reel

trophy-rainbow

Another Trophy Rainbow on Mother Lake

The fishing on Mother and Island lakes was incredible today.

I had one client who had a decent amount of fly fishing experience, but zero lake fishing experience.

The weather was in the mid 90s with a little breeze and blue skies, other than the plumes of smoke from the fire to the North. Before today, the client’s biggest fish was 18″. At the end of the day, with 28 hookups and 17 fish landed, only one fish had failed to break that record.

Three 24" rainbows topped the day with a tie for the longest fish, but the second one weighed in at nearly ten pounds, and had him in his backing in 6 seconds!!!

We had most of our success in Mother Lake, fishing a sink tip line with a pine squirrel leach and a damsel fly nymph, dragging it behind the belly boats.

Both big browns and rainbows were landed on both flies. After a while, we moved down to island lake fishing the newly dug channel at the inlet, and caught a few more nice rainbows, including the third 24 incher on top with a beetle. Red chronomids also had great success there.

In all it was a day for the books, and one that I look forward to witnessing again soon! They really do a spectacular job managing these lakes, and it pays off with unforgettable memories like these!

Join us this Saturday for a true cowboy adventure…an overnight pack trip!

Cow_Camp_horses

We’ll mount-up at the Sylvan Dale stables and head west into the back country for a 3 hour ride of awesome scenery and views of the valley and beyond.

Cow Camp is a 1930’s homestead…very rustic.

We’ll enjoy a hearty steak fry followed by a friendly campfire and s’mores.  Sleep out under the stars and awake to the smell of cowboy coffee, sizzling bacon and eggs.   

Then enjoy a morning ride back to the main Ranch.

Everything is provided:

Horse, gear, guide and grub included… $210 per person

-Departs Saturday at 2… returns Sunday at 11

Don’t forget your camera!

Just a few saddles still empty! We’d love to have you join us. 

Call  970-667-3915 to reserve your space.

high-park-fire-update.gifLarimer Country GIS Landscape & Imagery Explorer


July 2, 2012 @ 11:10a

The High Park Fire is 100% contained at 87,284 acres. … Hot spots will continue to exist within the perimeter during the containment phase and residents should expect to see smoke for days and weeks as the fire moves from containment to control.


June 29, 2012 @ 11:38a

The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres, meaning the fire has not grown since June 27th. Containment is now estimated at 85 percent. The estimated containment date has been moved up from July 15th to July 1st. (source: Larimer County Emergency Information)


June 26, 2012 @ 8:22p

The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres with 65 percent containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at 33.1 million dollars. There are 1,805 fire personnel assigned to the firefighting effort. Equipment resources include: 10 Type 1 hand crews, 18 Type 2 hand crews, 156 engines, 11 dozers and 24 water tenders. Air Resources include; 7 Type I (heavy) helicopters, 3 Type II (medium) helicopters, 6 Type III (light) helicopters, 1 Type II helicopter with a radiometric imaging system attached, fixed wing support aircraft, and available heavy air tankers. … The total of homes destroyed to date remains at 257. (source: Larimer County Emergency Information)


June 21, 2012 @ 10:00a

The High Park Fire is estimated at 68,200 acres with 55% containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $19.6 million dollars. There are 1,978 fire personnel, 18 helicopters and 135 engines fighting the fire at this time with a 24-hour work schedule in place. Larimer County Emergency Information


June 20, 2012 @ 10:30a

The High Park Fire is estimated at 65,738 acres with 55% containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $17.2 million dollars.


June 18, 2012 @ 9:00p

The High Park Fire is estimated at 58,770 acres with 50% containment.

http://www.larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=85


June 17, 2012 @ 7:30a

The High Park Fire is located approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins and has burned 55,050 acres to date and is estimated 45 percent contained.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/


June 16, 2012 @ 10:59a

Statistics about High Park Fire

  • 54,232 acres (84.7 square miles)
  • 20 % contained
  • 1,553 staff
  • 103 engines working in the fire area & 112 assigned to High Park Fire
  • 16 helicopters
  • $9.1 million is current cost of fighting the fire
  • Citizen briefing scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Ranch

http://www.coemergency.com/2012/06/high-park-fire-map-june-16-highparkfire.html


June 14, 2012 @ 5:05p
High Park Fire Perimeter Map. (The map will take a moment to load.)

June 14, 2012 @ 11:27
The High Park Fire is still at around 10+% containment as of this morning. The skies are clear this morning at the ranch. View thew latest fire update: coemergency.com/2012/06/high-park-fire-update-june-14-at-1027.html

clear-skies-at-sylvan-dale

You can view the most current map of the High Park Fire here.


June 12, 2012 @ 16:07
Thank you to all who have called to check on us regarding the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been touched by this tragedy.

Fortunately for the ranch the fire is not near and there is currently no cause for alarm. There was some haze from the smoke this morning but it has cleared significantly.

high-park-fire

The Heart-J logo above indicates Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch’s approximate location.

A summary of the status of the fire can be found here. For updated fire conditions visit www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.

We’ll let you know via our website and on Facebook about any developments that might affect the ranch.

There is something about the gentle rocking of a pontoon boat on Mother Lake during the warm, mid-afternoon hours. Maybe it’s the doldrums of the feeding action or simply the slow digestion of the noon subway sandwiches, chips and beer, as the body starts to think that a brief nap might be in order.

Trophy Trout in Hand

Trophy Trout in Hand ⇱

Such was the case last Thursday as Tommie Thompson kicked his flippers to propel his craft in the middle of the lake.

Wake-up Call

I remember watching the strike indicator rest motionless on the surface, when suddenly it plunged downward and the drag sounded like a siren. Tommie’s quick reaction brought the hook to a holding position and the fight was on.

I maneuvered my guide boat alongside Tommie’s pontoon and swiftly managed to net Mr. Thompson’s catch. A chunky rainbow had taken the suspended damsel nymph to the delight of yet another Sylvan Dale angler.” ~Ranch Guide Ted Meredith 970-215-2816.

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by Glen, Season Member

I went to Sylvan Dale Ranch yesterday from about 11:30–7:30pm. All the lakes in both Upper & Lower Valley, trout and bass, are fishing great! I caught about a half dozen on damsel fly dry and calibaetis emergers on Mother Lake from my pontoon boat and from shore up until 3pm.

There was some surface activity starting about 12:30, but it was kind of sporadic. I tried down and dirty for a while (meat whistle, wooly bugger, beadhead pheasant tail) with no results. [Ranch note: see previous report a few days ago that did have success “down & dirty”… fish are so finicky!]

I then caught another half dozen or so in Island lake near the inlet and in the area to the east that has been deepened, with a variety of flies – Chernobyl ant, bugger, clouser minnow. There are fish all along in that area. Then I fished Big Lake from shore and caught one nice bass, a big crappie, a bunch of smaller bass. Finally, ended up fishing Pump Lake with a popper from about 6 until 7:30. I caught over a dozen bass including a couple pretty good sized ones and some big bluegill/pumpkin seeds on a bass popper there.

Fly fishing for bass was good when it was windy and riffly, helping make the fish less wary. All in all a good day with a lot of variety of flyfishing and types of fish – but, alas, no 30 inchers.” [Ranch Note: We know you’ll be back to go for those big lunkers, but glad you had fun with “regular” sized trophy trout & any fish big enough to bend the rod! :-) Thanks, Glen!]

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by Wallace Westfeldt

“Sylvan Dale Ranch is one of those rare places where you can take a large group, in this case a family of eight, and enjoy flyfishing on a variety of waters with great fish. Both the lakes and the river fished well all day except or the mid-afternoon lull on Mother Lake. Fly of the day on Mother Lake was the Jumbo Rojo chronomid. 

Other flies that took fish on Mother Lake were:  Damsels, red and black chronomids, Meatwhistle, Blank Saver leech, Grasshopper.  Water temp 1 foot down in the morning was 58 degrees warming to 62 in the afternoon. The Main Ranch River took a variety of nymphs, but fish also vigorously rose to a Chubby Chernobyl.”

Visit Wallace’s website for stories & photos of his fishing adventures at the ranch!

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by Wallace, Master of Fish Acquisitions

“Mother Lake: A lot of fish taking smaller midges from the surface and below. Damsel Nymphs working near shore. Mid afternoon, complete shutdown as fish move towards center and down. Best catch of the day, 21 inch rainbow taking on a #20 Mother’s Lake midge on top.

Main Ranch River: Great level for the River, but unusually slow around Dining Hall. Many fish taken at the Devil’s Elbow, down deep on Poison Blue Tung and Girdle Bug. Concurrently, there was a massive PMD hatch, but no risers and no takes on nymph imitations. Go figure.”

Thanks, Wallace!  Check out his website & photos… Fish Acquisitions by Wallace Westfeldt, www.MudBugCo.com

 

 

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fly-fishing-in-big-thompson-river

Fly-fishing in the Big Thompson

We’re holding an Introductory Fly Fishing Clinic this Saturday, May 26th, 2012.

The fishing clinic presents a unique opportunity for local folks who have always wanted to learn how to fly fish..

Instruction will be given by Ted Meredith and Bill Franz, professional fly fishing guides.

Instructions will include the physics of casting with a demonstration on how to “load” the rod and let it do the work for you. Over head casts will be taught and practiced, as well as the “roll cast”.

Instructions on tying knots will be demonstrated plus reading the conditions of the water and the flies to use. Proper handling of the fish will be shown, as all of our catches will be released to fight again.

Read more on Introduction to Fly Fishing…

HOLY COW! Jason V. of Loveland switched to his sink-tip line as the refusals on the dry fly made him wonder what the fish were taking. He ran a two fly rig with an olive bead head fly on top that guide Ted Meredith had given him, and a special damsel nymph that Jason had in his own box.

Jason V with a Really Big Rainbow!

Jason V with a Really Big Rainbow! ⇱

Holy Cow! Look at the size of that fish! I need a bigger net! Wow! It’s a Donaldson! Holy Cow!

While seeing the fish take him into the backing, Jason landed the fish after a short battle.

Although the fish was not officially measured, it was certainly in the 10 pound range and measured at well over 27 inches long.

~Ranch Guide, Ted Meredith

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Hard to believe but Spring is well under way and Summer is anxiously nipping at Spring’s heels

The weather has been absolutely marvelous! Recent temperatures have been mostly in the 70s. We hit the 80s too! Current weather: a perfect 75 degrees in the dale!

We’re looking forward to the upcoming 2012 dude vacation season and the opportunity it will afford to reacquaint with old friends and develop new friends too.

If you haven’t made your vacation plans for summer, there’s still time and several Dude vacation weeks available.

Happy May Day, We hope to see you soon!

Lock-in your 2013 Dude Ranch Vacation at 2012’s Dude Ranch Vacation Rate!

The 2013 Dude Vacation Season is Official…can you believe it will be our 67th year!

Back to the Future

Image Source: www.hulu.com/back-to-the-future

Remember the movie Back to the Future? Well we want to take you “Forward to the Past” by helping you to secure next year’s Dude Ranch Vacation at this year’s vacation investment.

There’s 10 weeks of summer Dude Ranch fun to choose from, from June 16th to August 18th, 2013.

At Sylvan Dale our specialty is taking you “back in time,” so to speak, and this little time trick will save you money!

As always, we’ll be providing the same quality, western fun and adventure that you’ve grown to love, plus something new … for more details on the Dude Ranch Vacation experience, check-out the Dude Ranch Vacations section of our website.

Just $100 will hold your reservation, so lock in your 2013 Dude Ranch vacation before August 15th, 2012 and take advantage of 2012 rates!

Call Karen at (970) 667-3915 or email Karen at karenb@sylvandale.com

30% deposit is due by December 1, 2012. Not combinable with any other offer.