Sunday, July 18, 2010

North Fork of the South Platte: Secrets in the Hills

I spent the day this past Wednesday crawling around my favorite river, the North Fork of the South Platte, driving to inspect and periodically fishing its headwaters and all points along the way down to the confluence where it meets the South Platte River. This stretch of water isn't my favorite because it's loaded with fish, although I did manage to locate this nice 20" rainbow. It's my favorite river because it's in trouble, yet has the potential to become a world class trout fishery.

In the scope of life, I may not spend much time on this earth, but before I leave, I'm determined to make a contribution toward this watershed that so desperately needs help. The North Fork of the South Platte is deserving of that attention.

With headwaters only one hour from Denver, and beauty that is beyond comparison, I'm puzzled as to why this river has been so overlooked. Everyday I talk to anglers that are frustrated with the amount of public pressure that shows its influenced on the South Platte River. Within identical driving distance and feeding that same drainage, those people could enjoy a river that is significantly more diverse in it's aesthetic beauty and abundant with public access.

The river has likely lost it's favor due to the toxic water that spills from mines at its headwaters making it difficult for fish to survive. Complicate that with a Denver Water Board that fluctuates and even turns the water off from time to time via the Roberts Tunnel, and you can understand why the North Fork is facing such huge challenges.

It won't be an easy journey to save this river. Still, it has to be done. To all those that are willing, I hope you'll join me. You can learn more about the North Fork of the South Platte and how you can get involved to help save this pristine natural resource by contacting the The North Fork Foundation.


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