Tomahawk Wildlife Area – CANCELLED due to Covid-19

Date/Time
Date(s) - Saturday, Sep 26
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Location
Tomahawk SWA

Region


Address
88 Mariposa Street
Hartsel
CO

Categories


LOCATION TO BE ADDED

Trip Captain:  Neal Corvino  >> Contact:

MeetUp:

TRIP CAPTAIN TO DO

What to Bring:

TRIP CAPTAIN TO DO

Site Information:

Editor Note: Originally the Tomahawk State Wildlife Area was the Buffalo Peaks Ranch.  Around 1991 or 1992, the City of Aurora Utility Department purchased the Buffalo Peaks Ranch and the water rights thereon so the City had some older water rights for it’s water system.  The middle fork of the South Platte river runs from the headwaters northwest of the ranch thru the ranch and down the east side of CO 9 to the confluence of the south fork of the South Platte river coming from Antero Reservoir. The confluence is near the junction of US 24 and CO 9, where the south fork of the South Platte continues south eastward toward Spinney Mtn Reservoir.  I was working for the Aurora utility department at the time and got access to the area before the Tomahawk Wildlife Area was established.  Some huge brown trout in the 24 to 30 inch range could be seen in September in those days. If you are interested in history, here is a timeline of the area  http://www.southparkheritage.org/interactive-timeline .  I don’t remember exactly when Aurora leased the area to the State of Colorado which made it into the Tomahawk State WLA.  And Google is being particularly stupid about producing the date.

The Tomahawk Wildlife area can be reached by taking US 285 to Fairplay, going west about 1 to 2 miles to the Junction with CO 9, turn south for about 10.5 miles just past the old town of Garo and over the bridge on the Middle Fork of the South Platte there is a sign and a parking lot on the left of CO 9.  This is the beginning of the Tomahawk Wildlife area.  The old Buffalo Peaks Ranch house in on the north side of the stream.  The Tomahawk WLA begins on the west side of CO 9 and can be accessed by parking in the first lot, crossing CO 9 and finding a wooden up and down steps over the fence.  You can fish west for quite a little ways. There are other fences in the area and cattle in the meadows.  About 5o yards west of the up and over is a pool with some good fishing when fishing from the north back to work the bend from the inside.  Barr’s caddis emerger in brown can be very productive in the month of July when caddis are hatching. Use it in size 16 and 18 as a dropper fly.  I like the gold BH fb Hares ear in size 14 and 16 with Barrs Caddis on 18 inches of 6x fluorocarbon as the dropper. The rising swing at the end will often produce some good strikes.

From the 1st parking lot, you can fish east of the bridge area. Start right at the bridge and work the area under the bridge from the south bank with the rig just mentioned. I often fish the stream down to the 1st large bend then drive down the road to the gate and thru to the last parking lot in the Tomahawk WLA.  Be sure to close the gate behind you.  From this parking lot, you can walk north and fish the stream for a long ways.

Trout Creek joins up to the Middle Fork about a mile or so north of the bridge crossing.  My favorite spot has been from the south side of the Bridge fishing East to the undercut west bank. In the spring when the water is up, a size 10 or even an 8 bounced along the bottom following the bend will produce some good fish in the 14 to 20 inch range.  In the fall a hopper dropper works along the same drift lines.  Amys ant in size 10 or a brownish gray hopper on top with a plain hares ear dropper size 18 or Barrs Caddis emerger brown in size 18 or 20 for the dropper.

Working south and crossing over to the west bank to access the inside of the big bend.  The south bank of the bend has in the past been undercut and offers holding area right along the bank.  Working south west along the stream to the fence across the stream then crossing over to the south bank and working south along the Middle Fork. A nice stretch of riffle, run, undercut bank and pool water.

If you walk south from the parking lot along the road you will come to a gate and the road coming up from Hartsel.  There should be a fence crossing in the area.  Cross over west to the stream and work south for a ways or back north.  Nice water and fishing along this area.

Directions

The Tomahawk Wildlife area can be reached by taking US 285 to Fairplay, going west about 1 to 2 miles to the Junction with CO 9, turn south for about 10.5 miles just past the old town of Garo and over the bridge on the Middle Fork of the South Platte there is a sign and a parking lot on the left of CO 9.

From Colorado Springs take US 24 west to Hartsel and thru to the junction of 24 and CO 9. North about 5 miles to the turn off to the 1st parking lot in Tomahawk.


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