Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Solstice Trout

The change was probably gradual, but I wasn't there to see it, so it seemed abrupt to me.  This summer solstice, I was lucky enough to spend a few hours of the longest day of the year fly fishing a favorite Colorado front range trout stream.  The last time I fished this creek was a few weeks ago in pre-runoff conditions with midges and blue winged olives featured as the main attractions.

This weekend, with flows on their way down from hopefully peak flows, caddis flies stole the show, steadily hatching mid-day for a few hours thanks to building clouds and an incoming thunderstorm.  Hungry fish appeared to be targeting emerging caddis and floating elk hair caddis and x-caddis variations through fishy looking runs and pools produced healthy wild brown trout on the surface.

The increasing rain and thunder sent me to the car for an unexpected break.  While waiting out the storm, a deer even walked out from behind one of the buildings in the distance and crossed the light traffic on the two lane mountain road.

Once the rain diminished to a drizzle, I returned to the water and switched to a favorite front range caddis pattern, as caddis flies were still in the air over the water.  It looked like they were still hatching although more sporadically than before.  Again, fishing productive looking holding water, I was able to land a few more hungry and aggressive brown trout on this pattern as well.

Soon the storm and the clouds past and the caddis hatch ended rather abruptly as well.  The fishing slowed considerably ending with a handful of splashy refusals and missed strikes.  The caddis hatch was a nice, unexpected challenge that resulted in some periods of aggressive feeding and beautiful, brown trout.

It turned out to be an enjoyable summer solstice spent fly fishing a favorite front range trout stream in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  

It looks like the summer season is starting just in time for the summer solstice this year, for me at least.

I ran out of the green bodied elk hair caddis fly pattern that was working for me out on the stream, so I had to tie up a few replacements when I got home.  Happy summer everyone.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Runoff Trout

While streamflows are coming down, front range rivers are still pretty blown out.  Over the past few years, I have beaten runoff by fishing high country streams.  Even early season brookies can be fairly voracious under the right conditions.  I didn't find those conditions though when I tried this year.

The streams up high were blown out as well and I had to make the best of the swollen main steam of the drainage. Nymphing along the edges of the faster current in the few narrow eddies produced a few fish.

Although I had only limited success, it was nice to bring a few trout to hand and it was enough to justify a celebration beer.  I was surprised I was able to catch anything out of the cloudy, muddy water.  Flies that worked for me were a black copper john and a prince nymph.  Size is probably not all that critical as long as it is big enough for them to see, but I was using size 16's.  I will probably let the water come down a bit more before heading out for another day.  It was nice to make it happen in tough conditions and enjoy a day on the water.