Fishing can be done anywhere there is water and fish living in that water. I guess that goes without saying, but anglers often forget that and travel hundreds of miles to their secret spots. Now, secret spots are great, I have them too and I love to visit them, but you can find good fishing right in your own backyard if you look for it. If you live in the desert I apologize and you can ignore that last comment.
When I was a kid there was a small stream near my house in Wisconsin called Koshkonong Creek. It wasn’t a very pretty stretch of water but it was full of big carp and bullhead. I had some wonderful days with my friends digging up our own worms and ridding our bikes down to the creek to go fishing. Once I got a driver’s license I forgot all about my old fishing grounds and drove all over creation looking for new spots. Now that I’ve settled in Colorado, I decided it was time to start looking for my own backyard spot again and I just found it; Lambertson Farm Ponds.
Leader(s): 9’ 6x trout leader
The Denver area is strewn with open spaces and parks, some are well known and others are kinda hidden like Lambertson Lakes Open Space. This tiny park in the middle of Thornton, Colorado has three small ponds within its borders. These ponds aren’t stocked and do receive a fair amount of fishing pressure but most people release their catches so the fish population is pretty dense. The ponds reportedly hold Largemouth Bass, but I have yet to catch one. I can confirm that the ponds hold Bluegill, Black Crappie, and large Carp. There might be more species present but I have yet to catch them.
Most people that fish the ponds, fish with worms and bobbers. As a fly fisherman I can throw stuff at the fish that looks familiar (nymphs and dry flies) that they don’t associate with sharp hooks. I’ve had tremendous success fishing for Bluegill and Crappie in these ponds using a dry dropper rig with a Royal Wulff and an Olive Hare’s Ear Nymph dropper. The sunfish in the ponds are not giants, but are still fun to catch. The Carp however are quite large. I hooked up with one the first time I fished the ponds, but because I was fishing for Bluegill at the time I was stuck fighting a 6-7lbs Carp hooked on 6X tippet. In the end the Carp got me tangled in some roots and the line gave out. I’ll probably purchase some crayfish patterns this summer and go after the Carp with the proper gear and report back how it went.
The real beauty of these ponds is their convenience, smack-dab in the middle of the suburbs. There are also walking trails around the ponds which are heavily used by joggers and dog walkers but you won’t see many people fishing, so you won’t have to fight for a spot. The ponds are also encircled by apartment complexes and houses which block the wind, so even on blustery days you can still manage to make good casts. There is even a small parking lot if you don’t live within walking distance and you want to try them out.
I’ll be back to these ponds repeatedly this summer because they are full of fish and easy to get to. Even if you don’t live near them I encourage you to look for fishing spots close to your home. You don’t need to go on an epic road trip to have a good day fishing. I was lucky to discover Lambertson Farm Ponds and I hope you’ll be able to find a little slice of heaven close to your home. Until next time, happy fishing!
– A. Egli