Thursday, July 31, 2014

Change in Scenery

I had been hitting the same stream fairly regularly, but when the summer rainstorms started to blow out the little creek I was frequenting, I needed to branch out.  My next fishing day started with a hot cup of coffee from the thermos on the banks of a creek I hadn't fished as much this season.  There is a bit more flow here, so the rains had less effect, or so I thought.

Flows were manageable on this day and hungry trout were found along the edges, in eddies and around rocks in the clear water.  The majority of fish took dry flies (caddis, x-caddis and humpies) with a few strikes subsurface on midge patterns.  The higher flows in this creek made the moderately sized brown trout seem to fight with an extra effort as they used the river to their advantage.

Celebration beers were had.

Attempting a repeat performance, conditions were not quite as favorable and I was forced to make another change.  Rainstorms on this day had turned the creek an opaque, chocolaty brown.  The only option was to head stubbornly higher into the upper portions of the drainage.

The cloudy skies and rain did not bode well, but I was the only one in the parking lot, so that had to count for something, right.  It was one of those moments when you think, either I know something everyone else doesn't, or everyone else just knows better.  I think it was a bit of both.

Stream flow was most certainly high, but the water was clear, unlike downstream.  It seemed that  the thunderstorms hadn't had the same impact here as they had elsewhere.  And I got into the first cutty's of the year.

The first was a younger, smaller fish, as I was still figuring out the right fly, but  I was able to bring a few nicer cutthroats / cutbows to hand on a variety of dries.   They again put up some great fights in the fast water as their downstream brown trout neighbors had.

On this evening, I had a celebratory homemade pork, mole and bean burrito instead of a beer that was just about the tastiest stream snack I have ever had.  I may have just been hungry, but it was definitely better than a doughnut.

The summer season is in full swing.  Enjoy your days on the water, watch out for those thunderstorms and for chances to branch out.  You never know what you might find.  Maybe your first cutty's of the year.  I can't wait for my next trip to get out and chase some trout.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Front Range Trout Video - Colorado

Summer is in full swing on the Colorado Front Range and, as you know, I have been getting out to fly fish for brown and rainbow trout on the local creeks.  Fish have recently been hitting subsurface on prince nymphs and midge patterns and on the surface on caddis imitations.  

Below is an edit of my footage from so far this summer season.  I hope you enjoy.

The fishing has been great, so if the summer heat is getting to you, consider hitting a mountain creek and escaping for a few hours to chase some trout.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Holiday Summer Evening

My escape from suburbia was delayed by the typical holiday exodus, although, the path to my destination diverged from the crowds headed further into the hills.  This front range creek is barely on the edge of suburbia, but can feel so far away and refreshing.

Soon, I was sharing a run with this friendly fellow-river user.

Clouds of midges hung close over the water, swirling in the low angle of the orange evening light.

Tying on a home-tied midge pattern and casting upstream, letting the pattern sink in the still swollen flow.  On the third or fourth cast, I felt weight and came tight on this pretty, healthy rainbow.

Nymphing in the summertime, however, is a last resort, and I prefer to take trout on the top.  So I tied on an elk-hair caddis and targeted the edges of the flow, casting and watching my fly float along the seams.

I mostly only caught brown trout after the switch to dries.  But they were all extremely fun to fool as there were not many natural rises.  There is nothing better than catching fish on dries when, otherwise, the fish are not hitting the surface regularly.

I am sure the weekend got busy and the stream and fish got pounded.  This evening, there wasn't another person on this stretch of water and I couldn't help but think that I had somehow, finally, done something right.  It is not often that you can go fishing on a holiday weekend and not step into a crowd of other fisherman and get at least a few stink eyes.

I congratulated myself and had another celebration beer on the water (like I needed an excuse).

Although cut short by nightfall, the evening was relaxing and a great way to start the holiday weekend.  The fish are hungry, the bugs are active and as long as the river is not crowded, the fishing can be very enjoyable and rewarding.  I hope everyone had a chance to get out and enjoy some time on the water.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Back to the Rainbows

Even the best laid plans have their faults.  It didn't hit me until I was pulling on the waders that I had left my newly tied xcaddis patterns on my tying desk.

Luckily, there was still a good enough collection of other caddis variations left in the fly box to at least fool a few trout.  Flows are down a little, but still high and tinted.  Trout feed fairly consistently through the morning before the sun really got on the water. 

When the trout stopped coming to the surface, a prince nymph worked well. 

Up to this point in the year, I have only caught brown trout in this small Colorado stream.  On this day, the first rainbows were caught which were a welcome surprise.

Midges were actively hatching all day and Caddis bounced along the surface of the water sporadically.  Once the sun got high in the sky mid-day and even the nymphing slowed, I headed home.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July Weekend!!

I'll try to get out there with my flies and see how they do for the evening caddis hatch.