Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Given that this is technically my vacation, I decided to load up the fish slime wagon and go stand in really cold water. There was a total of 9 other vehicles in all three parking spots today so that was nice. 

Initially, I was not going to fish today because while drinking my morning coffee and checking the flow rates, I noticed that the good folks at the Denver Water Board had lowered the flows from 160 cfs down to a trickling 41 cfs today. I knew the fish would be super spooky. I started looking for a project to do around the house when a buddy of mine texted saying there were still some pretty big fish hanging out. I skipped breakfast, made some lunch and took off. It's getting really cold at night here and  it won't be long before the ice is here to stay but right now it's warming up enough in the day to melt a lot of it off. The water was gin clear and right away I was seeing a lot of fish but with the low flows and bluebird sky, they were seeing me too.

It's so good to see these fish making a comeback from the gill lice issue that wiped them out in 2006. Back in 2005 you could catch 50 of these in a half day and only quit because your arm was sore. Every cast you made you could hook up and casts were no more than 12 feet. This is pretty late in the spawn and they are looking rough right now. In a few more weeks they will all be belly up and their skin will slough off.

I had to go Ninja stealth today.

I caught about a Bakers Dozen today including this Rainbow. I worked a gorgeous Snake River Cutt that was actively feeding for 30 minutes. She was not interested in the egg but, a lot of times, the egg just gets their attention and I expect them to take the dropper fly. At this time of year I use a Buckskin a lot. I swapped to a Mercury Pheasant Tail and finally she took it but I do not think it was a fly issue but just a placement issue. She did not want to move even a quarter inch and it finally just landed right in her mouth. This is my favorite. I LOVE finding fish that are feeding and then sticking it out for as long as it takes to fool them. Unfortunately, she took a run towards an ice shelf and I knew it was gonna be trouble. She broke the line. I hate knowing there is a trout out there with a new piercing because of me.

You can see how nasty this Salmon is starting to look on the tail where the skin is rotting.

There were all Salmon.

Killer day on the South Platte. I'll probably do it all again tomorrow. If you're in Denver...go drink a few glasses of water will ya?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Colorado Trail

For about 2 weeks after I got back from Durango I did not drive a car at all. I rode my bike everywhere because my head wasn't right. I zoned out all the time. I was an emotional wreck. Eventually I started to drive again and now I haven't touched a bike in about 2 months. Just the other day I started thinking about my bike again and maybe riding it sometime soon. I also started looking at bike related websites. I happened to look at the CTR website and saw that the grand depart for the 2013 race will be run from Durango to Denver. Should be extremely interesting. Going in that direction presents an entirely different ride and entirely new logistics. I might do some light bikepacking/touring with a fly rod but I am seriously looking forward to not having such a strict schedule for riding/training this summer. Not sure if I'll do that again.


It has been sooooo nice here in the mountains. Normally, winter comes quickly but fall (my favorite season) has been incredible. Yesterday was close to 70 and sunny but it was crazy windy. I intended to head to the river and fish into the night but once I got a ways down the road I changed my mind and went home. This morning I got up early and saw that winter was trying to make an appearance. It was snowing and blowing and I could hardly see the field in front of the house. I worked in the garage for a while and then decided to head to the river and see what was going on. Hardly anyone was there and to mix things up I fished further down than I normally do. It was 33 degrees and the winds had to be 30 mph. It was cold and I was wishing I had grabbed another layer for my core and my fleece pants. 

The flows have been super low all fall (averaging about 60 cubic feet per second). Things started getting bumped up on Thursday and Friday and this morning it was up to 150ish. It's amazing how 100 more cfs can change the entire river. The water gets more stained as the increased current tears things up. Bugs get dislodged from the bottom. Fish are less spooky and there are way more places for fish to hang out. Right away I started spotting big fish and right away I spotted a big group of Kokanee Salmon and some of them were really large. This guy was right at 20". 

This guy was in the same ball park in terms of size. It's so cool to have a bit of Alaska right here on my home water. Wish I could have kept one especially since they'll be dead in 2-4 more weeks.