Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cutthroats and Caddis

Last Saturday morning started with a quick trip to one of the local fly shops.  Yes, I'm lucky enough to have a few fly shops near the house to choose from.  As I pulled up to the stop light to turn onto Highway 285 to get out of suburbia, I ran into this guy also heading out of town for the day.  


On the way up to the creek, I made a quick stop at one of my favorite breakfast spots for some caffeine, a breakfast sandwich and to talk about some fishing and the recent flooding.  The rain that had devastated so much of northeastern Colorado had not really affected this area too much.

 
By mid-morning, I was on a very small, high country creek.  Flow was probably on the order of a half cfs or less.  Which was perfect.  Crystal clear water forced the resident cutthroats into the slightly deeper runs and choppy water to find refuge.
 

  
An elk hair caddis was chosen to start the day without putting too much thought into it.  That's when I started to find a few small, tan to grey caddis on my shirt and waders.  And even saw a few caddis hopping along the surface of the stream.
 
 
A few fish were rising to something smaller near or on the surface.  I couldn't see what they were taking, but it could have been a midge or an emerger.  The elk hair caddis worked well though and I went through several.  Switching them out as they lost enough hair that they would not stay floating on top any longer.  Sight fishing was the order for the day.  I spooked a few fish, but mostly, it was a slow walk up steam scanning the water for shadows holding in the flow in the likely spots.  Easy casts laid down with the 2 weight fiberglass with the right drift typically brought a rise and a take, if not on the first cast, within the first few casts.  Although not the biggest fish, they were bigger than I remember from past trips (it's usually the other way around) and they were all beautiful.
 
 
 

My river snack was the breakfast sandwich I picked up at Powderbuzz in the morning.  Hey, there's spinach and red peppers on there, so it has to be healthier than a donut......right?
 

 
It turned out to be a gorgeous day in the high country on a small, front range creek that was not affected by the recent rains, on the day before the fall equinox.  The leaves on the aspens were starting to change higher in the drainage and the bushes were started to turn gold as well.  The hike out reminded my how lucky I am to experience quiet solitude someplace so perfect.  It is definitely fall.  Football is in full swing and temperatures are on their way down.  I am going to try to make the most of my fall fishing opportunities before the snow starts to fly.  I hope everyone else does as well.