Mother Lake:
Fishing at Mother Lake continues to be hot with 40 fish days (total group) very reachable. As the weather has warmed trout are somewhat more selective with regards to streamers and very much more selective with regards to insects. Water temp mid-day, middle of the lake was 54 degrees on March 25th.

For streamers, darker leggy crawfish pattern about 2 inches or less are producing best. Slowly twitched along bottom in shallower areas are doing the trick. Fish are usually hitting on the pause or the fall. Also light to white small woolly buggers with a #16 red snow cone producing fish (try the NE corner on that one). Slow strip along bottom.

There are a variety of midges hatch morning and afternoon. And some Callibaetis in the morning. Unfortunately, the fish are focusing on the smaller midges and predominantly emergers, so 5-6x tippet is needed for consistent takes. The larger Mother lake midge has a highly segmented body so using a Callibaetis emerger, cripple, or spinner with the tail cut off will get some strikes. Small zebra midge or Chironomid suspended under an indicator fly is a more consistent rig when they’re rising.

Main Ranch River:
Very low but fish are feeding. If you know the spots try a dry/dropper with a #18-#20 Poison Blue Tung.

Submitted by: Wallace Westfeldt

Wow! It has been TOO LONG since we shared what’s happening at the Ranch with you — so sorry. But, we’ve been very busy with other things and we hope you’ll pardon our absence. Here’s a taste of what’s been stealing all of our time:

It’s been nearly a full month… February 1st marked the exciting date of the launch of our completely redesigned website at What a major project it turned out to be, and it’s really just the beginning! Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to look around, explore, and check it out.

We’ve made quite a few changes and enhancements to the new website since its launch and there’s still a lot of work to do as we button and polish things up, but we’re pretty pleased with how it’s going so far.

We’d love to hear from you; What do you think about it? What do you like? What don’t you like? How we can make it better? Send us an email and we promise to take your suggestions to Heart(-J)! :)

Also, 2012 brought us a priceless present — truly a gift to leap at — a "bonus" day! Yep, 2012 is a leap year, so we get 366 days of Dude Ranch goodness to enjoy.

Read more on New Website, New Facebook…

Dec 28, 2011  Headed to the valley to check-up on the horses…they look happy (as usual).  Glad to see they are finding their way to the drinking pond.  Standing in the valley with horses on a brilliant winter morning is a great way to start the day.

Thank you to all who joined us for our Candlelight & Carols celebration on December 23rd. It was another sold out experience filled with good friends, tasty food, and melodious music.

If you didn’t make it this year be sure to mark your calendar for 2012. We always sell this event out well in advance so please call soon after Thanksgiving.

And, if you haven’t been to our Thanksgiving celebration, or even better, our “More than Pumpkin Pie” getaway, you should come discover what you’ve been missing! Have a wonderfully blessed new year!

If you didn’t receive our Winter Meanwhile you can view it here. To receive our ranch specials and updates newsletter go here.

Guzzler project gives sixth-graders hands-on wildlife lesson

Written by
Sarah Jane Kyle

Students in Amy Schmer’s sixth-grade science class at Preston Middle School are taking a hands-on approach to science this semester to improve not only their education, but the lives of local wildlife.

In August, the students partnered with Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch by installing a guzzler on the ranch’s property to provide a safe, readily accessible water source for bears, deer, elk, mountain lions and other animals.


Three black bears are caught on film at a guzzler Preston Middle School students installed at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Courtesy of Preston Middle School

read full article

Hi, my name is Connie Kogler and I have the privilege of leading bird walks at the ranch.

This coming Saturday, Nov 19th, we will be meeting at 8:30 at the Hilltop Parking lot, that is across the bridge and and up the hill at the ranch. We may split into 2 or more groups depending on numbers with a couple friends helping me lead. We will be birding different areas of the ranch. After birding we will meet back at the Hilltop for a campfire and hot drinks. Cost is $12 and includes drinks. If you are writing a check, make it out to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Please email me at to reserve your spot!

  • What: Helping Hunter Fundraiser to help provide driver training and car.
  • When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
  • Where: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, 2939 N. County Road 31D, Loveland.
  • Cost: $25 donation at the door includes silent auction, live auction 7:30-8 p.m. and dance with deejay 8-10 p.m.

Clint Clymer, left, poses with Hunter Aleman

Like every 16-year-old, getting a license to drive is an important marker in Hunter Aleman’s life. Although muscular dystrophy has confined him to a wheelchair, the Mountain View High School sophomore hopes to someday have the freedom to travel from place to place on his own… (Joyce Davis For the Reporter-Herald) Read the full article from the Reporter Herald

Learn How You Can Help Hunter

Jammers’ Paradise… and Discount Special for Banjo Camp!

published by BMNN on Wed, 2011-10-19 23:59

Dr. Banjo: “After many years hosting camps at the lovely Boulder Inn, I was a little slow to try the Sylvan Dale Ranch as a camp venue. But when I saw the Wagon Wheel Lodge, it almost spoke to me, saying, ‘There can’t be a better venue than this for a jam camp!’”

There are 13 guest rooms in the Lodge, and a short walk away, along the Big Thompson River, is another lovely building where they serve a very nice breakfast that comes with your room. Then back to the Lodge, where we’ll be playing music all weekend!

Jam On!

The hot days have given way to cooler nights and 3-½ inches of rain! What a blessing to the hills and the pastures and all the critters that rely on their forage. Soon the cottonwood will bathe the valley in bright yellow. Fall is here! And the geese are gone!

It’s time to reflect on the 65th anniversary summer season that brought so many good friends back “home” and so many new friends through the Ranch entry gates. We continue to relive the memories of your visit as we go about our daily routines—jingling horses, serving pancakes, making beds, and greeting guests. We hope you will turn to those memories when you need a bit of encouragement or a hug in your day.

View the Fall Meanwhile Newsletter here

Visitors attuned to the natural world (as most Sylvan Dale guests are) often comment on the diversity of the Ranch—wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and mammals. Sylvan Dale lies at a sort of “crossroads,” between the mountains and the plains and also between north and south. And in recent decades there have been subtle changes.

Fifty years ago, there was one jay here, Stellar’s jay, a bird typical of ponderosa pine woodlands. Then folks increasingly noticed blue jays—birds of the eastern deciduous forests—in the riparian corridor of the Big Thompson and in ornamental plantings. Soon thereafter, hybrids between Steller’s and blue jays began to appear along the foothills of the Front Range, first in Boulder and now more widely, including Sylvan Dale.

pinyon_jay.jpg Then this week, Susan saw a pinyon jay in the yard. Native to the pinyon-juniper woodland of southwestern US and México, these birds occur mostly from the southwestern half of Colorado, in pinyon-juniper woodlands. Sylvan Dale has the junipers, but not the pinyon. Nonetheless, this season at least the Ranch apparently is attractive to these birds. Perhaps it’s because the junipers (“cedars”) are particularly beautiful this year, with a huge “cone” crop. Whatever the jays’ inspiration, bienvenida, amigos!

- David Armstrong
Sylvan Dale Resident Naturalist

Mammals of Colorado, 2nd edition is now available:
Check your hometown bookstore or use the link above

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is excited to be attending both Bixpo and the Governor’s Tourism Conference this month. Please visit our booth to say hello and introduce yourself if you’ll be attending either of these local events.

Bixpo: Thursday, September 15th 7a – 7p

Bixpo 2011


CGTC: Wednesday, September 21st – Fri, September 23rd

2011 Governor's Tourism Conference Loveland

Filed under Group Events by on #

In September we celebrated Lois Pierson-Houck as she completed 20 years in the saddle at Sylvan Dale. Lois has been a steady and resolute champion providing a sense of security to the entire Sylvan Dale family.


Starting her Sylvan Dale career in the spring of 1991, Lois has seen many changes on the Ranch including the building of the Heritage not to mention several shifts in personnel and ranch structure. Lois’ current position is in group sales. Her welcoming voice on the end of the line exudes a sense of confidence that only a well-seasoned professional can provide.

We have every reason to think that Lois could launch a new career as a consultant in “How to Adapt to Change and Come Out On Top.” Thank goodness she chooses to ride the range with us!

Congratulations, Lois, with our sincere “Thanks!”

By Madeline Novey Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 08/06/2011 03:23:59 PM MDT
reposted from the Reporter-Herald article


Susan Jessup, co-owner of Sylvan Dale Ranch west of Loveland, rests upon a fence and watches as her steers lunch on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon. Unlike many, Jessup has not felt the burden of increased feed costs because the ranch grows its own hay to doll out to the grass-fed, grass-finished cattle.
( Madeline Novey )

The air was cool and gray clouds moved above a herd of black and brown steers as they munched on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon at Sylvan Dale Ranch.

Susan Jessup, whose family has owned the ranch west of Loveland since 1946, rested her elbows on the splintered fence and watched the 23 animals as they not only ate but also saved money.

Unlike some ranches, Sylvan Dale grows its own hay for the almost 100 cattle to eat maybe 60 days of the year when they are not out grazing natural grasses across the 3,000-acre ranch.

But not all cattle operations — or those with poultry, pigs or sheep for that matter — are so lucky. Over the past decade at least, the price of feed has gone up significantly.

On the other side, Jessup said her beef prices have not changed.

Read more on Sylvan Dale Ranch’s Grass-fed Cattle Battle Rising Feed Costs…

Tuesday, July 12 2011, 11P Our Facebook Page has been restored! :D

Saving Face-book, broken

A couple days ago our Facebook page disappeared. We have an idea about what happened but are waiting for the results of the investigation.

A search for “deleted facebook page” reveals that Facebook is extremely slow to respond to users, even in cases like this, so all we can do is wait.

Saving Face-book

We’re working diligently to restore our page and hope to get it back online but there is no guarantee at this point. If you have any information that may help us recover our page, please contact us at (970) 667-3915. We regret any inconvenience this may cause to the wonderful friends of Sylvan Dale.

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
(970) 667-3915

Filed under Miscellaneous by on #