Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fishing Colorado: Williams Fork

An old Barn on our morning walk to the fishing holes.
A group of us headed up to the Williams fork near Parshall, Colorado this weekend in celebration of my brother’s birthday. We camped along the banks of the Williams fork Reservoir which is owned and operated by Denver Water. As “car” camping goes this area is great! There are plenty of camp sites that accommodate a wide range of visitors. They have areas for RV’s and trailers as well as sites especially for tents and small groups(us). This area is well maintained without feeling managed. Sometimes I think our park and land managers miss the point when it comes to maintaining the wild feel of an area.
I was at Mud Lake (Boulder County) a few weeks ago and it seemed like over half of the areas trees were downed and processed into a fence that surrounds the lake and new parking lot. The trail system which is easy to follow has huge markers, more fences and even cones in one section. Yeah, like traffic cones! I was like, What the?! Boulder County really missed the mark on this one (they probably think they did a great job). They took a beautiful area and made it in to a McDonald’s playground complete with trash cans, “no parking” , “no camping” and “no fishing” signs a “Wild Center for Nature Discovery”(which should read, Heres what you could have seen), and traffic CONES! Over management is as bad as no management, probably worse! Idiots.

Anyway, the folks that maintain the Williams Fork Res. are more my style. “They were neither seen nor heard.” The wild feeling is maintained at this popular location, a difficult task with the large number of visitors. With Management only visible to the keen eye, properly spaced and allocated camping, and more respect for the people that visit, Denver Water gets two thumbs up. A nice little area to relax at!

Some beta from their site:
“Completed in 1959, Williams Fork Dam & Power Plant sends water and electricity to the Western Slope when Denver diverts water to cities elsewhere. Standing 217 feet above the Williams Fork River streambed, the dam backs up a reservoir of nearly 97,000 acre feet of water. The dam’s power plant contains a 3,158-kilovolt generator. Williams Fork Reservoir's surface area is 1,860 acres with a shoreline of 15.8 miles."

A long the river and passed the medow.

T-Bone nymphs in the head waters of the Colorado River near the Williams Fork confluence. June 09, 2007


  1. Nice write up Alex. Your rant on "land management" especially put a smile on my face. Reminded me of a time I was over at the South Mesa trail. I had ridden to the trail head and was simply examining a the trail map when some guy came up to me and said "You know you can't bike here". I was like "Yeah I know...there's a BIG sign that says no biking. I'm just looking at the trail map." Sheesh. I do like Boulder, but sometimes they are overzealous in making things accessible and maybe they should have a "no idiots" sign at the trailhead too:)

  2. Hey Lisa, thanks for your comment. I feel your pain (annoyance).

    I don’t know what it is with Boulder County, but it seems like they are almost frantic about rules and regulations in all aspects of their community. This attitude is probably a direct result from the crowds of morons that head to the wilderness to party and trash it, sadly.
    But maybe they forget that most people, especially people that are back there often do more than their parts to protect, clean up, and generally respect our open spaces and parks.
    I did not include this in my blog but, one of the nice things about last weekend is that we were not harassed by rangers looking for underage drinking and/or loud music as we camped. I know they are just doing their jobs but there is just something about being shaken down while you’re trying to relax.