Sunday, January 2, 2011

Look at all those holes. They aren't big but imagine standing in 35 degree water for 6 hours and having water come in from each of those babies.

For holes this big you can get by with using Aquaseal. Just dab it on each spot and then let it dry for about 6 hours. If you're like my pruned friend Scott, don't fret. You can get patches that are big enough to do the job at any reputable fly shop.

On a more serious note...I find that I go back and forth between cycling and fly fishing. I truly love both activities. Sometimes (like now) when I'm sooooo focused on a cycling goal, I neglect the river quite a bit. When I'm out on it, I feel like I shouldn't be. When I'm on my bike and ride by a puddle, I think I should be fishing. A few years ago, before I started riding again, my burning desire was to catch a new Colorado 5 weight fly rod trout record. That was truly in the peak of my snobbery. I would walk along the river covering huge amounts of ground passing on tons of fish that many would have spent hours casting to. There was no time for food other than a quick bar or gel. I would furrow my brow at anything under 18" (which is a damn respectable fish anywhere in the lower 48). Back then my eyes were so tuned into the water, I could spot a trout set up in a riffle 100 yards up stream. Then I'd crouch down, sometimes on on my stomach in the tall grass, and just watch to see if that fish was eating. If your eyes are really in check, you can see the white inside part of the mouth open up when they eat. Sometimes they will flinch a bit when making a quick move left or right to get a bug and their sides will flash. That's a feeding fish. Once you see that, it's just a matter of time and I'd gladly spend 4 hours or more laying on my stomach while casting at that one truly trophy fish until it either stopped feeding or I fooled it. Those were the days when I'd be gone 10 hours easy and sometimes come home having not touched a fish but knowing that was perfectly fine because I had seen some beasts.

One of the biggest reasons I've decided to focus on my cycling goal this year is because my home river, the South Platte is really struggling. The Gill Lice all but wiped out the salmon. I haven't seen a healthy Kokanee population in years. The big resident browns and bows just aren't present in sections where they should be and haven't been in years. The only thing my buddies and I can think of is all of the construction along the river is messing with the fish a lot. Cheesman dam is being worked on and the flows are regulated now to accommodate the workers there and no the trout. The same goes for Waterton Canyon and it's construction and dredging. I really think it's wreaking havoc on the trout and it worries me. Normally the flows even as far away as Hartsel are dependent upon how thirsty the Denver people are but now 2 of the 3 dams are regulating flows pretty sporadically too. It's sad but...necessary.

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