Boulder Creek – 04/16/2019

Time: 11:30AM – 3:30PM

Location: Boulder Canyon

Boulder Creek 04/16/2019 Photo Album

My outing a week ago on Boulder Creek merely served to whet my appetite for closure on unfinished business. I was only getting warmed up, when I quit at 5:30PM with seven trout registered in my fishing log.

Until I checked the DWR flow information on Monday, the gauge on Boulder Creek at Orodell displayed an I for ice. I mentioned this in my last blog report, and perhaps a DWR employee read my post and corrected the reporting bug. More likely the timing was coincidental, but regardless of the reason, the graph now showed 33 cfs for Boulder Creek. I knew from historical experience that this level was very acceptable for fly fishing. The air temperature in Denver was projected to peak in the upper sixties, so this placed another variable in the favorable column, and I chose to make the drive to Boulder Canyon.

Jane and I drove through Boulder on Sunday on our return from a hike with grand puppy, Zuni, and I recalled seeing a road sign warning of a closure to Boulder Canyon. In addition to checking flows and weather, I now resolved to access the COtrip.org web site for road conditions. After a bit of wheel spinning I found the Colorado road conditions page, and the Boulder Canyon entry informed me that CO 119 in Boulder Canyon was closed for blasting April 17 through April 19. I was planning a trip on April 16, so all systems were go.

The Path Forward

By 11AM I arrived at the same pullout that my car visited a week ago next to Boulder Creek. I quickly climbed into my recently patched waders and then geared up with my Orvis Access four weight and added a light fleece layer. The air temperature was in the low sixties, and it felt chilly, when the sun disappeared behind some large heavy gray clouds. I ambled upstream along the shoulder of the highway for .1 mile and then carefully scrambled down an angled path to the creek. I began my day with a Chernobyl ant, hares ear, and soft hackle emerger before lunch; and this combination enabled me to land two fish. One of the brown trout nipped a soft hackle emerger, and the other latched on to the Chernobyl ant.

Deep Colors

Several minutes after noon I encountered a gorgeous wide pool, but my quest for trout was plagued by refusals to the Chernboyl ant. I decided to pause for lunch and then modify my lineup, before I resumed in the afternoon. I followed through on this commitment, when I switched to an olive-brown size 16 caddis. The refusals suggested that the fish were looking to the surface for their meal, and I gambled that the small caddis dry fly was the answer. The ploy was worth a brief trial, but the visible fish in the pool ignored the small hackled offering.

Hippy Stomper Stands Out

After a fifteen minute test I gave up on the caddis, and I revisited the dry/dropper approach with a hippy stomper, ultra zug bug, and a classic beadhead RS2. This lineup was not productive, so I once again made a change and converted to an emerald caddis pupa instead of the ultra zug bug. During the last hour of fishing in the afternoon I used a massive tangle as an excuse to swap the emerald caddis pupa for a beadhead pheasant tail nymph.

Trout Lair For Sure

Between 12:30 and 3:30 I progressed upstream for .5 mile at a fairly rapid pace, and I popped casts with the dry/dropper to likely fish holding locations, while I built the fish count from two to thirteen. Two fish snatched the pheasant tail nymph, two inhaled the RS2, and the remainder slurped the hippy stomper. During my entire time on Boulder Creek the hippy stomper was the top producer and accounted for eight trout. Tuesday yielded a reasonable catch rate; however, the fish were small, and I experienced a generous number of refusals to the hippy stomper and many momentary connections.

I Love Orange Spots

In spite of these frustrations, Tuesday was an enjoyable day on Boulder Creek. The air temperature reached the mid-sixties, although quite a few clouds moved in during the latter phase of the afternoon, and this shift in weather was accompanied by an uptick in wind. I prospected at a moderate pace with three to five casts to attractive runs, pools, and pockets. The nymphs produced, whenever I cast across and allowed the flies to drift along the rocky shoreline. The trout pounced, as the flies accelerated and swept by the tails of these areas. Brown trout were more prone to grab the hippy stomper on upstream casts to long runs, pools and pockets.

Fish Landed: 13

Slow Along the Bank

 

 

Boulder Creek – 04/09/2019

Time: 3:30PM : 5:30PM

Location: Canyon west of Boulder, CO

Boulder Creek 04/09/2019 Photo Album

I made the trip to the Arkanasa River on Monday with the intention of staying overnight in Salida, if the fishing merited a second day. I packed additional food and clothing in case that eventuality played out. Although Monday was a nearly perfect spring day, the fly fishing was average to slow, and I could not foresee myself spending another day casting nymphs and climbing over large treacherous boulders. I returned to Denver and planned to make a shorter drive to a smaller front range waterway on Tuesday.

When I checked my email on Tuesday morning, I was surprised to learn that April 9 was the day that I committed to meet a college friend and his wife for lunch. The gorgeous weather momentarily enticed me to cancel the appointment, but after some serious thought I made the right decision and honored my commitment to a friend. Lunch took place at noon in Old Arvada, and this consumed a huge chunk of the day, but upon my return home, I decided to make a quick late afternoon fishing trip to partially satisfy my strong desire to wet a line.

Pretty Near Ideal

The water gauge that I rely on for Boulder Creek in the canyon west of the city is labeled, Boulder Creek – Orodell. Throughout March and April I repeatedly checked this reading, and it never budged from I. The legend indicated that I stood for ice, so I assumed that the canyon west of town was covered in ice. Visits to other front range streams at similar elevations such as the North Fork of St. Vrain Creek revealed minimal residual ice, so I decided to made the drive to personally inspect the conditions.

Most of my gear remained in the car from Monday’s trip, and I ate lunch with Jane and my friends, so I departed my house quickly. Volume on the Boulder Turnpike was reasonable, and I arrived at a wide pullout across from Boulder Creek near the intersection with Magnolia Road by 3:15PM. I slid into my waders, and with temperatures hovering in the 75 degree range I elected to wear my fishing shirt with no additional layers. The creek was a bit lower than ideal, but quite clear with only a few small vestiges of ice along the edges. I suspect the DWR needs to inspect and maintain the Orodell water gauge.

I assembled my Orvis Access four weight and walked along the south shoulder for .2 miles, until I was next to some concrete barriers across from Magnolia Road. Here I dropped down to the stream, and I decided to probe the currents and pockets with a size 14 gray stimulator. The trout on other front range streams seemed to be on the lookout for occasional large surface food items, and I always prefer dry fly fishing over deploying nymphs. Unfortunately after ten minutes of prospecting the high floating dry fly through some very attractive pools and pockets, I remained without a fish, so I modified my approach to the dry/dropper method.

Not Bad

I knotted a peacock-body hippy stomper to my line and then added a beadhead hares ear and an ultra zug bug. These flies occupied their positions on my line for the remainder of the afternoon, as I worked my way upstream for .3 miles at a nice moderate pace. The hippy stomper served primarily as an indicator, although it did produce three refusals. For the most part, however, it served its purpose; and I landed seven trout before I climbed the bank and returned to the Santa Fe at 5:30. All the landed trout were small browns in the 6 – 8 inch range, and their preferred source of nourishment was the ultra zug bug. Two wild trout chomped the hares ear, and the rest opted for the simple peacock-body zug bug.

Productive Slick

I also experienced four temporary hook ups, and several of these were simply small fish that more than likely did not meet my minimal standard of six inches to be counted. The most productive water types were slower shelf pools along the opposite bank and deep spots where two currents merged after splitting around a midstream current break. Two hours of carefree fly fishing were what the doctor ordered. The keys to success were mainly stealthy approaches, accurate casting and reading the water. With a snowstorm rapidly descending on Colorado it may be quite a few days, before I visit another stream or river in the Rocky Mountains.

Fish Landed: 7

Arkansas River – 04/08/2019

Time: 11:30AM – 4:00PM

Location: Below Salida.

Arkansas River 04/08/2019 Photo Album

Mild temperatures, favorable fly shop reports and nearly ideal flows had me anxious for a longer trip to a bigger river with the hope of hooking some larger trout in 2019. The small front range tributaries to the South Platte River offer decent fish density and provide close proximity, but size is generally a missing ingredient. The Arkansas River was running at 560 CFS below Salida, so I selected the large freestone river as my destination.

I packed clothing and food for an overnight stay in case the fishing merited a return engagement on Tuesday. After a three hour drive across a snow drift laden South Park, I arrived next to the river below Salida by 11AM. The river was nearly clear, and the flows, as expected, were in the 560 CFS range. The temperature was already 59 degrees, as I pulled on my waders, so I added only a single fleece layer over my fishing shirt. After I strung my Sage four weight, I carefully descended the steep bank near the Fremont – Chafee county line, and then I paused to assess the possibility of crossing at the tail of the long pool. I love fishing the Arkansas River from the bank opposite US 50, and I desired that experience on Monday.

560 CFS was a bit higher than the flows that I normally attempt to cross at, but a brief visual inspection yielded a line of attack that suggested success. I carefully negotiated my way halfway across, and at this point I reached the deepest channel with the highest velocity. In a concession to age and good sense, I exercised my better judgment and returned to the shoreline that borders the highway.

Happy With This Brown Trout

With fording the river now eliminated from my plan, I walked down the highway for .5 mile and then descended a gradual path to the edge of the river. Here I began my day, and I fished from 11:30 until 12:15, and I landed a twelve inch brown trout and experienced a temporary hookup with another fish. Since it remained early in the season, and Colorado was experiencing a late spring; I began fishing with an indicator, split shot, iron sally and Craven soft hackle emerger. The single fish landed before lunch inhaled the soft hackle emerger.

Attractive Shelf Pool

After I completed lunch on a nice sandy beach, I progressed along the left bank, until I reached a point where a large rock bordered the river. This impediment to my progress forced me to retreat to a place, where I could scale the bank, and then I walked along the highway, until I dropped back to the river above the vertical rock wall.

A More Distant View of the Arkansas River

During the remainder of the afternoon I landed five additional trout. I continued to present the iron sally and the Craven soft hackle emerger in the afternoon. I used a soft hackle emerger without a bead for much of this time, and a hares ear nymph occupied the position of the iron sally for a brief interval. My landing percentage finished at 60%, as four trout escaped after temporary connections. One of the escapees was a very fine brown trout that probably measured in the fifteen inch range. I cast to the very top of a nice long riffle of moderate depth, and the indicator paused almost immediately.

Prime Deep Runs

In addition to landing six out of ten hook ups, I lost three iron sally flies and four soft hackle emergers. Most of the lost flies snagged on rocks, but one was lost in the mouth of a fish, and I suspect a couple were victimized by a bad knot. A blue winged olive hatch commenced at 1:30, and for a thirty minute period I spotted quite a few naturals lifting off the surface of the river. Unfortunately the emergence never seemed to initiate surface feeding, and this explained my devotion to the deep nymphing game.

Lovely Curl

Two of the landed fish snatched the iron sally, and the other four nabbed the soft hackle emerger. The most productive type of water was moderate depth and medium velocity near the bank. Casting to the deeper holes and faster seams was an unproductive activity. My best fish was a fourteen inch rainbow, and a nice thirteen inch brown was the last fish of the day. Both rested in my net during the final hour of fishing.

Best Brown Trout on the Day

At 3:50 I snagged a stick, that was wedged in a large boulder, and it was too far out and in a fast deep chute, so I chose to apply direct pressure. This resulted in a break off of both flies, so I used this as an excuse to quit for the day. Monday was an average day on the Arkansas River. Nymphing with an indicator is not a favorite method, but it was likely the most productive technique, while the water temperature remained cold and the flows were a bit elevated. I gained first hand knowledge of the status of the blue winged olive hatch, and I managed to land a couple larger trout to satisfy that objective for the day. Hopefully I will schedule another trip within the next two weeks, when the insect activity intensifies.

Fish Landed: 6

South Platte River – 04/05/2019

Time: 9:30AM – 3:00PM

Location: Eleven Mile Canyon

South Platte River 04/05/2019 Photo Album

On April 5, 2018 I enjoyed a fantastic day on the South Platte River in Eleven Mile Canyon. A dense blue winged olive hatch commenced at 12:30PM, and it endured until I left the river at 4:30PM. I took advantage of this good fortune and landed nineteen trout, and many were in the fourteen to sixteen inch size range.

The weather forecast for April 5, 2019 was very favorable, and @rockymtnangler and I exchanged messages to determine whether we had mutual interest in making the trip to the South Platte. Trevor (@rockymtnangler) accompanied me on a venture on 04/11/2017, and we experienced a fantastic outing in the vicinity of my successful visit on 04/05/2018. Common interest was quickly determined, and we scheduled a day in Eleven Mile Canyon.

Trevor drove his new pickup truck outfitted with a double rod vault, and he picked me up at 6:30 on Friday morning. My rod was in an assembled state, so he slid it in to one of the rod vault tubes, and after we transferred the remainder of my gear, we were on our way. The early departure enabled us to reach our desired destination along the South Platte River by 9AM, and we quickly donned our waders and descended a steep slick path to the river. The air temperature was in the low thirties, and the footing was very precarious, as the surface consisted of frozen mud and ice. We somehow managed to survive the ordeal and arrived next to the river intact but mentally unnerved by the incident.

A Fair Amount of Snow Remains

Trevor spotted some huge pike from the road high above the river, so he migrated to that area first. I meanwhile waded across one of the channels that split around a small island, and I positioned myself to fish in the west braid. The flows were in the 55 CFS range, and this allowed relatively easy wading but necessitated fairly stealthy approaches. I began my quest for South Platte River trout with a size 8 Chernobyl ant, beadhead hares ear nymph and a classic RS2. I thoroughly covered the deep runs and a couple pools in the west branch and then followed a footpath on the opposite shoreline, until I reached the spectacular pool below the island.

Rockymtnangler Inspects a Pool

My body and head were in a tolerable state of warmth, but the wind and low temperature caused my hands to sting for the first 1.5 hours. I fanned some nice casts across the wide riffle at the head of the pool with no response, and I imparted movement at the end of the drifts frequently to imitate the rapid movement of baetis nymphs. After I made casts that spanned the riffle section, I walked downstream to the next smaller pool. While these actions transpired, Trevor arrived and occupied a nice long boulder on the road side of the pool.

Interesting Loop

I grew frustrated with the unresponsive trout, so I decided to assess the effectiveness of other flies. The South Platte River was where I first observed spawning suckers, and this motivated me to tie sucker spawn flies over the winter. I plucked one from my fleece wallet and replaced the RS2. I spent ten minutes prospecting the pool that bordered a huge rock with a vertical wall, that deflected the current, and then I migrated downstream to the next section that contained some nice short deep runs that bounced off of some large midstream exposed boulders. In spite of some very focused fly fishing and expert drifts, none of these efforts yielded a fish to my waiting net.

I returned to the large attractive pool that was the center of our attention and rested a bit to warm my stinging hands. After they returned to a reasonable state of feeling, I perched on a large rock next to the bank and began to lob casts to the riffle section once again. I presented a hares ear and sucker spawn, and finally on the tenth drift along a gentle current seam fifteen feet across from me, the Chernobyl dove, and I quickly connected with a spirited fish. Not wishing to lose my first hooked trout of the day, I quickly gained the upper hand and slid my net beneath a shimmering fourteen inch rainbow trout. Initially I sensed that the trout gulped the sucker spawn, but upon final close inspection it was clear that the hares ear was the food that duped fish number one on Friday.

I Love the Evergreens and Large Boulders

This small bit of success elevated the optimism of Trevor and myself, and we resumed casting to the large pool next to us. The next hour was maddening, as we could see a fairly abundant array of fish, many of above average size, but they were not the least bit interested in our offerings. Adding to our feelings of futility were infrequent sporadic surface rises, but neither of us could spot the food source that provoked these periodic trips to the upper layer of water. Some very tiny tan midges buzzed about, so perhaps they explained the activity.

Trevor and I were trapped in an uncomfortable quandary. We wanted to guard our positions in the prime pool, but this desire was predicated on the belief, that it would come alive with a blue winged olive hatch that would induce steady feeding. But what if it never materialized? If that eventuality played out, we preferred the alternative of walking downstream and then prospecting promising lies with a dry/dropper configuration. The frequency of rising fish elevated a bit in the one o’clock time frame, but the action was a fraction of the heavy feeding that greeted us in 2017. We both switched to single dry flies, and I managed some looks; and although trout could be seen feeding in the upper third of the water column, they were not interested in our flies.

Trevor decided to climb back to the truck to prepare lunch. He packed a small gas grill along with some hot dogs and rolls, and he was anxious to rest the fish and divert his attention to another matter. We decided that I would hold the pool and then join him after twenty minutes, if the hatch did not intensify. If the bugs cooperated and began to pop in greater numbers, I would remain, and Trevor would bring lunch streamside.

As you may expect, the scene at the pool remained unchanged, and I carefully ascended the torturous path and joined Trevor for lunch. The lunch spot was rather spectacular with franks grilling on the tailgate and a splendid view of the river and canyon below us. We both inhaled two frankfurters and drained Odell craft beers, and then our thoughts returned to fly fishing. From our post next to the dirt road, Trevor identified a steadily sipping trout in the long smooth pool directly below us. This was the same section that contained six huge pike that resembled logs with pointy snouts.

Normally Productive Pool Was Tough on April 5

We decided to return to the main pool that dominated our strategy for the day, and if the hatch was not improved from earlier, we planned to advance to the next large pool to stalk the steady riser. When we arrived at the money pool, the feeding had indeed escalated, and I began dropping downstream casts near the midpoint. I cycled through a size 22 CDC olive, a size 22 Klinkhammer BWO, and a soft hackle emerger fished in the surface film; and although these flies provoked several looks and refusals, they never clinched a hookup. I desperately wished to feel the throb of a fighting trout, so I reverted to a size 24 CDC BWO. This finally turned the tide, and a rainbow that could have been a twin of the first fish landed, sipped the tiny CDC tuft. I raised the rod and set the hook, and then I quickly battled the finned thrasher into my net and snapped a few photos.

One of Two on Friday

A Fine Rainbow

After I released the hard earned prize, I resumed casting, while Trevor adjourned to the pike pool upstream. After another ten minutes of futile casting to fish that continued to feed infrequently, I decided to vacate to explore the west braid and the pool beyond.

I ambled along the path on the west side of the river, but rising fish were absent, so I arrived at the long pool. Trevor was fifteen yards farther upstream, and he was positioned to stalk the steady feeder, that we observed above a wide exposed midstream boulder. On the third cast his rod arced, and he felt a throb, but then he surmised that the fish wrapped him around a submerged obstacle. He continued to feel the steady throb of a live attachment, but pressure from the rod failed to elicit any substantial movement to open water. He took a few steps upstream, and then the adversary made a sudden move and escaped additional harassment. Needless to say Trevor was disappointed with this turn of events, since he spotted the fish from our lunch spot and then cautiously approached and carefully developed his plan of attack. His cast was accurate, and he expertly set the hook, but the trout had the last move and capitalized on it.

Several fish continued to rise farther upstream in the pool, and Trevor approached the pod next the high vertical rock wall on the left, while I carefully moved into position for a shot at two sippers in slower water twenty yards above. Fortunately Trevor managed to land a nice rainbow and brown from the area along the left bank, but my attempts were less productive. Both of the steady risers ceased their feeding, so I climbed the bank and circled around to the faster entry run near the head of the pool. I waited next to a large rock and observed, until finally a few sporadic dimples materialized along the rock wall on the far side of the fast run. I made some downstream drifts with the Klinkhammer emerger and managed one refusal. I then swapped the Klinkhammer for the size 24 CDC BWO, but repeated drifts over the scene of a few rises failed to elicit a response.

By now my watch displayed 3PM, and Trevor was anxious to embark on our return trip, so I retreated down river and then scaled the bank once again. By now the warmer temperatures converted the frozen path to a mud slick, and I scraped my finger attempting to arrest a slide within eight feet of the road. I adjusted my path to zig and zag using small exposed rocks as foot holds and crested the shoulder. Whew! What an unwanted adrenaline boost to end my day on the South Platte River.

In conclusion Trevor and I each landed two trout on Friday, April 5. Obviously this outcome was not what we expected, but we enjoyed the beauty of our location, good conversation and the relative lack of competition from other anglers. We theorized that the spring of 2019 was colder than the previous two years; and, therefore, the baetis hatch was lagging. We agreed that the fairly decent emergence between two and three o’clock was a harbinger of better things to come. We were on the leading edge of the peak emergence, and the fish were not totally tuned in yet. Perhaps another trip will be forthcoming in the next week or two when the main hatch peaks on the South Platte River.

Fish Landed: 2

South Boulder Creek – 04/04/2019

Time: 11:00AM – 3:00PM

Location: Below Gross Reservoir

South Boulder Creek 04/04/2019 Photo Album

After a fair outing on Monday I was itching for another day of spring fishing. I had my eye on South Boulder Creek, and Thursday was the designated day for my first trip there in 2019. Flows were 99 CFS, and I generally consider 80 CFS to be ideal, so the current volume out of Gross Dam was well within the desirable range. With another longer trip on the calendar for Friday, I decided to limit my fishing to sections closer than normal to the parking lot.

I departed from my home in Denver by 8:45 and arrived at the kayak parking lot by 10AM. By the time I collected my gear and hiked down the path for twenty minutes, it was approaching 11AM; and after rigging my line with a yellow fat Albert, beadhead hares ear nymph and RS2; it  was eleven o’clock. The temperature was in the mid-forties when I began my hike, so I wore a heavy fleece and ear flaps with an Adidas pullover tied around my waste under my waders. The sky remained overcast for the entire time in the canyon, and after lunch I slid the Adidas layer over my fleece for added warmth. By the end of the day my feet felt like stumps with very little feeling in my toes.

Colorful

In the first hour before lunch I landed two trout; a small brown and rainbow. The brown trout latched on to an emerald caddis pupa, as it swept along the far bank in a narrow band of slower moving water. The next section of the stream contained a nice gentle pool, and I spotted several rising fish. This observation prompted me to remove the dry/dropper configuration, and I shifted to a single CDC blue winged olive. The small surface morsel fooled a colorful rainbow, and then it became an object of scorn, as the feeding stream residents repeatedly turned away at the last instant.

CDC BWO Eater

Likely Spot

With the fish count paused at two and a small amount of frustration building from the rejections, I found a nice rock and consumed my small lunch snack. After the fifteen minute pause, I added my Adidas layer and approached another nice slow moving pool along the right bank. I decided to temporarily rest the CDC BWO, and in its place I knotted a size 22 Klinkhammer BWO emerger. At first this fly was totally ignored, but then I flicked a backhand cast under some overhanging branches, and an eager brown trout appeared out of nowhere and slurped the emerger.

I was encouraged by this turn of events and stuck with the Klinkhammer through a couple more small pools, but once again the fish were either ignoring or refusing my offering. The next section of water contained faster runs and pockets, so I reverted to the dry/dropper, but the ploy proved fruitless once again. The cycle of shifting from single dry to dry/dropper repeated several times, but I never found a rhythm with the dry/dropper approach. I experimented with a Go2 caddis pupa and sparkle RS2 as components of the dry/dropper rig in addition to the flies previously cited, but only the emerald caddis pupa produced positive results.

Bright Yellow Belly

The blue winged olive hatch between 11:30 and 12:30, although sparse, represented the most intense insect activity of the day. Several brief flurries reoccurred in the early afternoon, but other than a few random rises, the hatch did not seem to attract much attention from the fish. In addition to the CDC blue winged olive and Klinkhammer emerger, I drifted a RS2, sparkle wing RS2 and soft hackle emerger as a component of the dry/dropper system, but the subsurface offerings never connected with the local fish.

During one brief period after I removed the dry/dropper flies, I tied a size 14 gray stimulator to my line, and then dropped a sparkle wing RS2 off the bend. The stimulator generated several refusals, and the RS2 was ignored. After this failed tactic, I revisited the dry/dropper once again with no success. By two o’clock I concluded that Thursday was not a day for nymph fishing. The current seams along fast runs and the pockets behind midstream boulders seemed devoid of fish, or the fish were simply not interested in eating. All my positive action seemed to result from slow moving pools along the bank.

The Brown Emerged from This Area

I decided to use this trend to my advantage, and I attached a size 16 olive-brown deer hair caddis to my line. I focused my casting to the slow water with some depth along the bank, and this approach netted me two additional brown trout. These results were not great, but at least they gave me some positive feedback for my efforts.

By three o’clock I was chilled, and my feet were numb, so I reeled up the fly, attached it to the rod guide, and climbed the bank to the path. A twenty minute hike deposited me back at the parking lot. Much to my amazement it was sunny and sixty degrees in the parking area, and I could not figure out why I was so cold in the canyon.

Thursday was a disappointing and frustrating day on South Boulder Creek. The small tailwater is usually one of my favorite destinations within a close drive from home, but that was not the case on April 4. I never found a consistent rhythm, and this resulted in considerable unproductive time spent changing flies. I managed a couple trout during the blue winged olive hatch, but my flies were an imperfect representation of the food source favored by the fish, so this added to the frustration. The caddis dry fly in the last hour produced a couple takers, but I covered a significant amount of stream real estate during this phase. Hopefully I will solve the riddle during my next visit to South Boulder Creek.

Fish Landed: 5

 

North Fork of St. Vrain Creek – 04/01/2019

Time: 11:30AM – 4:00PM

Location: Buttonrock Preserve

North Fork of St. Vrain Creek 04/01/2019 Photo Album

A cold front including a minor accumulation of snow moved into Colorado on Friday evening, and I put a hold on my 2019 fishing plans. On Sunday I reviewed the weather forecast for the week beginning on April 1, and I noticed highs in the fifties and sixties in Denver for most of the week. Jane and I made plans to ski on Tuesday, so I was not interested in taking a long trip on Monday, and I evaluated the nearby Front Range options. The most decisive factor was weather, as a high of 58 degrees in Denver translates to relatively cold temperatures at higher altitudes.

I narrowed the choices down to the North Fork of St. Vrain creek, Boulder Creek and the Cache la Poudre in Ft. Collins. Lyons, CO, Boulder, CO, and Ft. Collins all registered forecast highs in the low to mid fifties. The North Fork of St. Vrain Creek is a tailwater, and for this reason it received the nod. I was a bit concerned about flows of 18 CFS, but I reasoned, that I had fairly decent success on South Boulder Creek at that level. The high temperature in Pinecliffe west of South Boulder Creek was 45 degrees, so I postponed a trip to that favorite destination.

I departed Denver by 9:30 and arrived at the parking lot at the gated entrance to Longmont Dam Road a few minutes before 11:00AM. The temperature in the parking area was 44 degrees with occasional wind, so I wore a fleece and light down along with my hat with ear flaps. I rigged my Orvis Access four weight and began hiking up the access road that follows the North Fork of St. Vrain Creek a few minutes after eleven o’clock.

Some Snow on Hillsides

A brisk hike of twenty minutes delivered me to my desired starting point, and I began my day with a size 12 hippy stomper, beadhead hares ear nymph, and RS2. I probed some attractive pockets and runs, as I progressed upstream, but after fifteen minutes there was no sign of trout in the vicinity of my casting. I decided that my second fly needed to be larger and heavier to obtain more depth, so I exchanged the RS2 for an ultra zug bug. The flows were relatively low, but there was enough volume to create some nice deep runs and seams at the head of the pools.

After thirty minutes of unsuccessful fly fishing I found a nice long rock next to a decent pool, and I perched on the edge, while I munched my lunch. Clearly Monday was not evolving in a manner that matched my expectations.

On Display

After lunch I continued upstream, and I finally began connecting with some small fish. A brown trout crushed the ultra zug bug, and this bit of good fortune was followed by a rainbow trout and brown trout that nipped the hares ear nymph. The early fish emerged from slow moving shelf pools next to faster moving deep runs. The catch rate was slow, and I covered quite a bit of decent water, but I was pleased to finally experience some action.

Rising Fish in This Pool

In the time period between lunch and 1PM I approached a long slow moving pool, and I paused to observe before casting. As I surveyed the smooth water ahead of me, I noticed several subtle dimples, and the initiators of the surface disturbance were readily visible in the clear water upstream. I was hesitant to switch to a single dry, so I tossed my three fly dry/dropper system to the scene of the rises. It was a mistake. The trout darted off, and I concluded that the double nymphs and foam dry were too much disturbance for these skittish creatures. I snipped off the three flies and tied a size 24 CDC blue winged olive to my line.

Jewel

Several fish showed their presence toward the middle of the pool, so I fluttered a cast in that direction, and I was shocked when a brown trout darted to the surface and plucked the CDC BWO. I congratulated myself on displaying the patience to make the changeover, before I released the aggressive feeder. I dried the CDC fluff and resumed casting to the top third of the pool, but my good fortune did not repeat.

I continued my upstream migration, but the next section of the stream was not conducive to prospecting with a size 24 dry fly, so I reverted to the dry/dropper arrangement. Since a trout responded to my blue winged olive imitation, I replaced the ultra zug bug with a sparkle wing RS2 without a bead, in case emergers were on the menu. The idea was worth trying, but the trout did not respond.

Once again I encountered a nice long pool with visible sippers, so I endured the time-consuming conversion to the same size 24 CDC BWO; however, this time I was not rewarded for my persistence. Again after I covered the length of the pool, I switched back to the three fly setup; however this time I knotted a yellow fat Albert to my line and chose an emerald sparkle caddis pupa for the end fly with the hares ear in the middle. I decided to dwell at one place less, move quickly and fish the faster runs and riffles at the head of the pools.

Emerald Caddis Pupa Did Its Job

The strategy more or less worked as I elevated the fish count from four to twelve before I quit at 4PM. I covered .5 mile of the small creek in my 4.5 hours on the North Fork, and I enjoyed moderate success. The largest trout landed over the course of my time on the creek was eleven inches, and most of the fish that nestled in my net were in the eight to nine inch range. Five of the last eight crushed the emerald caddis pupa, so that proved to be a fortuitous fly choice. Two more favored the hares ear, the last fish of the day slurped a size 14 olive-brown deer hair caddis.

I was near my end point, and I was about to strip in my flies to hook them to the rod guide before climbing the bank to exit. I glanced downstream and spotted a decent rise ten feet below me and four feet from the opposite bank in front of a large submerged boulder. Since I considered removing the three flies that comprised the dry/dropper, I completed that plan and pulled a size 14 olive-brown caddis from my box. This would be a last ditch attempt to dupe the source of the solitary rise across and below my position.

A Rare Rainbow on the North Fork

I stripped out adequate line and tossed a downstream cast. I checked the line high and allowed coils of slack to pile above the fly, and then it slowly drifted downstream. Unfortunately the line of the drift was off by three feet, but it did not matter, as suddenly a trout slowly emerged from the depths, and then it confidently slurped the deer hair caddis. I instinctively reacted with a hook set, and I quickly guided an eleven inch rainbow trout into my net. Needless to say I was quite thrilled and surprised with this late afternoon action. I persisted with the dry/dropper for most of the afternoon, and now I chastised my stubborn resistance to change. Perhaps prospecting with an adult caddis was the ticket to greater trout numbers? I’ll never know the answer to this quandary, but I do know that I generated two additional temporary connections with the caddis, when I deployed long downstream drifts through the tail of the pool.

Adult Caddis in Lip

Upon reaching the tail I stripped in the caddis and hooked it to my rod guide with the intention of testing several additional smooth pools along the road on the return hike. It never happened. I was weary, and it was after 4PM, and accessing the pools required scrambling over some large boulders on a steep bank. I adopted a comfortable pace and returned to the car for the drive back to Denver.

Twelve small trout in 4.5 hours of fishing is a decent record of success. The weather was chilly but tolerable, and the wind was present but never insurmountable. Two of the landed trout sipped dry flies, and that was a plus for early in the season. The hatch, if there was one, was very sparse. In fact I never actually saw an insect larger than a very small midge. Two of the twelve trout were rainbows, and the caddis eater at the end of the day was an eleven inch rainbow.

Fish Landed: 12

Big Thompson River – 03/28/2019

Time: 11:00AM – 3:00PM

Location: Above RV park at large bend in special regulation water

Big Thompson River 03/28/2019 Photo Album

After three challenging days of fishing on the North Platte River, I was anxious for a day of rest on Wednesday. Unfortunately this day developed into the nicest day of the spring of 2019. It would have been an ideal day to fly fish, but I took advantage to plant the remainder of my raised beds. A glance at the five day forecast revealed that Thursday was the last mild day, before cold weather and a storm arrived. One day of relaxation was enough, and I pondered options for a day of fishing on Thursday.

South Boulder Creek, the North Fork of St. Vrain Creek, the Big Thompson River and the Cache la Poudre were on my radar, but after reviewing streamflows and fly shop fishing reports I settled on the Big Thompson. Current flows in the canyon below Lake Estes were a moderate 37 CFS, and I was drawn to low clear water after the dirty conditions on the North Platte.

I departed from my house in Denver by 8:45, and this enabled me to arrive at a pullout five miles below the dam at 10:30AM. The low clear flows were indeed in place, and the air temperature was in the mid-fifties, as I jumped into my waders and pulled on a fleece layer. The weather remained comfortable throughout my day on the river. The wind gusted off and on, but it did not represent a significant hindrance until the final thirty minutes.

Lots of Visible Fish in This Starting Area

The starting location was a thirty yard long relatively slow moving pool, and five or six small trout darted from the bank, where I entered to begin my morning quest for trout. I began the morning with a yellow fat Albert, beadhead hares ear nymph, and red annelid worm. I prospected with this combination for ten minutes, and managed two refusals to the fat Albert. I was skeptical of the annelid, so I exchanged it for a beadhead RS2. These three flies finally attracted interest, and I landed four trout before I took my lunch break at noon. A brown trout and rainbow nabbed the RS2, and then a small brown grabbed the hares ear. The last of the four trout netted in the morning slurped the yellow fat Albert, and this represented my first trout caught on a dry fly in 2019.

Grabbed a RS2

During the one hour before lunch I continued to notice sporadic refusals to the fat Albert, and I was late to set the hook on quite a few fish. I speculated that these were small fish that nipped the tiny RS2. I observed several groups of rainbows that appeared to be in spawning mode, so I exchanged the hares ear for an apricot soft egg, and I bounced this along the bottom for the last thirty minutes to no avail.

A Rainbow Joins the Count

The Trout Snack

After lunch I continued with the egg and RS2 for a bit without success, so I once again made a change and replaced the egg fly with a salvation nymph. A fifteen minute trial failed to change my fortunes, so I reverted to the hares ear and retained the RS2. From 12:30 until 2:30 I migrated upstream with the yellow fat Albert, hares ear, and RS2; and I tallied three small brown trout. All these fish slashed the RS2, as I drifted the dry/dropper configuration along the rocks that bordered the left and right bank. The third brown actually consumed a sparkle wing RS2, as I broke off the initial RS2 in the process of landing fish number six.

By 2:30 I encountered another angler, so I climbed the bank and hiked back along the shoulder of highway 34, until I returned to my starting point. This section of the river was the thirty yard slow moving pool that entertained me during the early stages of my outing. I decided to experiment with a dry fly in the area, where I could see the reaction of visible trout. I selected a size 14 gray stimulator from my fly box, and I began to shoot long casts to visible fish. The wind accelerated significantly compared to earlier, and I was forced to compensate by directing casts ten feet to the right of the location I targeted.

Needless to say accuracy was not an effective part of my arsenal; however, I did manage to generate a look and several splashy refusals to the stimulator. I paused to consider downsizing to a size 16 deer hair caddis, but the wind once again lashed out with several extended gusts. These outbursts rippled the surface of the water, but once the blast of air subsided, three or four rises materialized throughout the pool. I knew from similar experiences in the past, that the sudden surface feeding probably resulted from terrestrials being blown into the water. I immediately stripped up my line and added a size 18 black parachute ant on a twelve inch dropper behind the stimulator.

Lunch View

I began to cast the double dry to the areas, where I spotted rises, and during the last twenty minutes I succeeded in hooking and landing a brown trout to elevate the fish count to eight. In addition I generated three temporary connections. I feel certain that I cracked the code, and ants were the food of choice for the opportunistic Big Thompson trout. Unfortunately it was very difficult to detect the subtle slurp of the trout given the low riding ant and the rippled surface.

Thursday was a pleasant spring day in the Rocky Mountains. I landed eight small trout over four hours including two on dry flies. The catch rate of two per hour was average based on my fly fishing history. In retrospect I should have factored in the high ratio of rainbow trout in the Big Thompson River and the seasonal spawning ritual, when I chose my destination. I plan to rest the Big T for several weeks, before I return, when the rainbow reproduction cycle ebbs.

Fish Landed: 8

 

 

North Platte River – 03/26/2019

Time: 10:00AM – 11:30AM

Location: Fremont Canyon below Pathfinder Dam

North Platte River 03/26/2019 Photo Album

Fremon Canyon. Steve and I visited this short section of the North Platte River between Pathfinder and Alcova on 03/27/2013, and we experienced no success; but various sources suggested that water clarity was excellent and large fish were present in 2019. Fremont Canyon was our original destination on Sunday upon our arrival in central Wyoming, but when we cruised along the upper and most accessible half mile, the parking lot was overflowing, and fishermen dominated all the available water.

Our original plan included a trip to the Miracle Mile above Pathfinder on Tuesday, March 26, but this option necessitated a two hour drive over a muddy dirt road, and the weather reports highlighted wind velocities in excess of twenty miles per hour. This combination of adverse factors caused us to visit the much closer Fremont Canyon stretch, and we banked on Tuesday being less crowded than Sunday.

Steve at the Top of the Pool and Run

We were not surprised by the harsh assault on our senses, when we stepped out of the car at the large parking area high above the river and below the bridge that spans the North Platte on the road that leads to the Miracle Mile. The wind blasted our bodies, and the temperature hovered in the low forties. The weather forecast suggested high temperatures of sixty degrees, but this seemed like wishful thinking upon our arrival. Two other vehicles were in the parking lot, so Steve and I hustled to pull on our waders and an endless array of additional layers to combat the Wyoming spring chill. The wind would be a constant nuisance during our time on the water, but the presence of the sun did elevate the temperature to the upper forties before we left.

Our rods remained rigged with eggs and worms from our float on Monday; so once our layers, sunscreen and hats were in place, we descended a relatively steep angled path to the river. The flows seemed low as a result of the extremely wide streambed populated by an abundant quantity of exposed rocks. but once we approached the bank of the river, we noticed that the velocity and depth were greater than anticipated from a distance.

Looks Great

One of the fishermen in the parking lot occupied the large wide pool below the bridge, so Steve and I migrated toward a relatively long narrow run and pool below him. Another group of fishermen were visible fifty yards downstream from the section that we claimed. Our area was approximately thirty yards long, and the main current tumbled from the top of the section and then raced within five to ten feet of the north bank. The opposite side appeared to be more attractive with a wider shelf pool, so I requested Steve’s permission to cross at the tail. He approved of my plan, since he left his wading staff in the car.

Heavy Metal Worm Gets Tested

I ambled downstream to the tail and began a crossing, but three-fourths of the way I encountered fast water above my knees, so I retreated and modified my plan. Steve remained at the top of the run, so I began an upstream approach from the right bank. My line was configured with an apricot bead egg imitation, a D-ribbed red annelid worm and a second smaller red worm. The wind was a constant, and I began to chuck the rig  up and across, and then allowed the three fly arrangement to drift downstream with numerous mends. I covered ten yards with no success, at which point I arrived at the widest part of the pool. This spot was just above where the streambed narrowed and the current accelerated, so I once again attempted a crossing. I hoped that the slower current would enable me to manage the deeper channel close to the south bank, but alas when I reached that impediment to crossing, I was thigh deep, so I once again backed away. I was now committed to fishing the remainder of the pool from the north side.

Sucker Spawn Takes a Turn

I accepted my position and once again focused on fishing the North Platte River in Fremont Canyon. After thirty minutes with no sign of a fish, I began to consider a fly change. I decided to retain the egg and larger annelid, while I rotated other flies through the bottom position on my line. I was anxious to experiment with the heavy metal worm, that I tied in my Andrew Grillos class, so that was the next fly to occupy my line. I also was not sure whether my flies were getting deep enough, so the relatively large tungsten bead in the center of the worm was also a welcome addition.

Sumpbuster Did Not Bust

Unfortunately the heavy metal worm did not reverse my fortunes, so I cycled through a series of fly changes over the next hour, as I slowly progressed upstream toward Steve. Next I plucked a sucker spawn cluster from my fleece, and I allotted a fair amount of time to this new winter creation. No dice. The sucker spawn was not weighted, so I crimped another split shot to my leader to achieve more depth. I employed a dead drift as well as a swing at the end of the drift, but none of these tactics brought an ounce of success.

20 Incher Not Liked by Trout

Next I knotted a conehead slumpbuster to my line, and I fished this passively on a dead drift and then imparted various strips and twitches. The fish were not impressed. During the remainder of my time I cycled through a 20 incher, orange scud, and flashback zebra midge; but I was disappointed when 11:30 arrived without a sign of fish in Fremont Canyon. I sensed that I was pushing my rehabilitated elbow to the limit with constant casting across and into the wind, and the frequent mends were straining the joint excessively. Steve and I conferred and wisely decided to cut our losses and call it a day.

Mercury Midge Given a Chance

Steve and I remain fishless in Fremont Canyon. The combination of high wind and lockjawed fish made our one and a half hours of fly fishing a less than pleasurable experience. It will probably be another five years before we return, if we ever return.

Fish Landed: 0

North Platte River – 03/25/2019

Time: 8:30AM – 4:00PM

Location: Grey Reef and downstream for seven miles.

North Platte River 03/25/2019 Photo Album

My friend, Steve, and I floated the North Platte River below Grey Reef in six of the last seven years, and Monday, March 25 was our selected date for 2019. Once again we arranged to use Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service, and we requested the repeat services of our guide, Greg. As we drove to Fremont Canyon on Sunday, we were very concerned with the dark olive to brown color of the river, as heavy snow from the Bomb Cyclone snowstorm continued to melt and discolor the river.

We anxiously monitored the weather forecasts, and we were relieved to notice a sudden change for Monday. Originally the weather experts expected a high of 48 degrees with a 40% chance of snow and rain, but Sunday’s version suggested more favorable conditions of 52 degrees with a 10% chance of precipitation. Imagine our surprise and disappointment, when we checked on Monday morning and discovered a reversal to highs in the upper forties with wind, snow and rain likely up until noon. The turbid condition of the river and the bleak weather certainly elevated my level of concern.

Greg’s New Clackacraft

As expected, weather was the most significant factor on Monday, March 25. The temperature hovered in the thirties throughout the morning, and the frigid conditions were accompanied by wind, snow flurries, and heavy cloud cover. It was rather miserable. I placed my mittens containing hand warmers next to my seat in the rear of the boat, and every time we stopped fishing, I jammed my frozen hands into these comfort zones.

Quite a Circus at the Boat Ramp

The river was a fairly dense olive color even at the boat ramp below the dam, but our guide assured us that the visibility was adequate for the resident trout. The sun broke through the dense clouds in the late morning for a brief pleasant period, but then another large cloud rushed in, and the afternoon approximated the morning minus the snow with temperatures in the balmy low forties. For the last hour the clouds lifted a bit, and I refrained from placing my hands in the sanctuary of my mittens.

Because of the dirty water conditions our guide, Greg, worked extra hard to remain in the first three miles for an extended period of time. He knew the location of the tributaries dumping sediments, so he repeatedly rowed upstream along the bank to enable multiple drifts through productive fish holding runs in the upper river.

Effective Flies

Pretty Fish

My line contained an apricot egg throughout the day, and a red annelid worm was a mainstay fifteen inches below the egg. Greg rotated a third fly twelve inches below the worm; and that position varied between smaller annelids of different colors, a gray leech, and a midge emerger. Over the course of the 7.5 hour, seven mile float I landed three rainbows in the morning and three more in the afternoon. Six fish in 7.5 hours of fishing represented disappointing results particularly for the North Platte Grey Reef section compared to history. All six fish were strong silver fighters in the fourteen to sixteen inch range, so size was not an issue. The first landed rainbow gobbled the orange egg, and the fifth fish smacked the midge emerger. The remainder of my catch grabbed one of the red annelid worms.

A Nice North Platte Rainbow

Overall it was one of my worst experiences on the tailwater west of Casper, WY. The common denominator to slow fishing on the North Platte seems to be timing. Our worst float fishing numbers coincided with trips that did not overlap with the spring flush. The snow melt turbidity was another negative in my opinion. The cold wet windy conditions were tolerable, when fishing action dominated; however, slow fishing caused one’s thoughts to dwell on adverse weather.

Fish Landed: 6

A Pretty Stretch

North Platte River – 03/24/2019

Time: 2:00PM – 4:30PM

Location: North Platte River, Alcova Afterbay

North Platte River 03/24/2019 Photo Album

For six out of the last seven years my friend, Steve, and I took advantage of the discount offered by Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service for guided float trips before April 1. During four of those six visits to Grey Reef our float trip coincided with the flush. During the flush large volumes of water are released from the dam overnight to cleanse the river bottom for improved rainbow trout spawning. Flows generally return to 500 cfs during the day, and the flush cycle repeats over a seven to ten day period. The fishing during the flush can generally be characterized as superb, since the temporary release kicks up abundant quantities of annelid worms, leeches and eggs; and the resident population of fish gorge on the high protein diet. Our goal for 2019 was to once again take advantage of the flush phenomenon.

Steve arrived at my house a bit before 7:30AM on Sunday, March 24; and we completed a gear transfer and hit the highway by 7:30. I was the designated driver, since Steve acted as the pilot during our 2018 expedition. We arrived in Casper, WY by 11:30AM, and we stopped for a quick lunch at Wendy’s. Next on our agenda was to check in at the Hampton Inn, and after taking care of that important task we refueled at a gas station on Poplar Avenue. We chose the North Platte River as our destination for Sunday, and we were now on our way. The Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service shop was along our route, so we stopped to say hello, but the door was locked. Failing to find someone with local information at the guide shop caused us to walk across the driveway to the neighboring fly shop. The door was unlocked, so we entered, but after calling for a staff person several times, no one responded.

We finally decided to proceed to Fremont Canyon without local information, and after another twenty-five miles we arrived at the large parking lot below Pathfinder Dam. Our route took us along the North Platte River below Grey Reef, and we were quite disappointed to view the off colored water that represented our fishing destination on Monday. Quite a bit of snow cover from the Bomb Cyclone storm remained, and warmer temperatures generated steady melt in the washes and tributaries that fed the North Platte thus creating the turbid conditions.

The combination of it being a weekend and the dirty water below Grey Reef apparently herded the anglers to Fremont Canyon, as all the parking lots were filled to capacity, and from the road high above the river we could see a large number of fishermen occupying all the accessible prime fishing locales. We drove downstream for a couple of miles, until we realized that Fremont Canyon quickly transforms into a deep gorge with sheer side walls, and we were not interested in a rock climbing exercise. We weighed our options and decided to reverse direction to the Alcova afterbay, a section that we fished on several past trips with some success.

The back road that followed Fremont Canyon downstream eventually led us across a bridge that was undergoing construction, and then we turned on to a moderately muddy dirt lane that delivered us to the crude boat launch in the afterbay. Another SUV was parked nearby, and we could see a pair of anglers in the wide run next to the boat launch. In addition a group of four occupied the nice run in the vicinity of a tall post. This was an area that I favored based on success on previous trips.

One of the Flies of Choice

I suited up with a fleece layer and Adidas pullover and rigged an apricot bead egg, D-rib red worm, and slumpbuster. By the time Steve and I were ready to fish, the group of four vacated the post area, so we migrated upstream to a nice run just below the wooden landmark. As I began probing the run, the heavily weighted conehead slumpbuster caused frequent snags in the relatively low flows, so I swapped it for a flashback zebra midge larva.

The air temperature was around fifty degrees when we began, and the water was mostly clear with a tinge of color. After I switched to the lighter rig, I enjoyed better drifts. I spotted a few sporadic rises during this time frame, and within fifteen minutes I hooked a thrashing rainbow trout. Unfortunately my joy was short lived, as the spirited trout made a quick escape. I sensed that the eater grabbed the midge larva, but I could not be certain about this assumption.

I continued casting and spotted two decent fish in a shallow depression on the opposite side of the run from my position. I made a multitude of drifts to this vicinity, but I concluded that the fish were in spawning mode and not interested in eating. I shifted my attention to the area downstream and across from the deeper run. This change in focus paid off, when the thingamabobber dove, and I connected with a breathtaking slab of a rainbow. The heavy adversary dashed back and forth and then rushed upstream, and finally I pressured it back down the run and into my net. The tail of the beast extended four or five inches beyond my net opening, and this suggested I landed a twenty inch fish. I gently released my prize and turned my attention back to the area below the depression.

Stunner

It was not long before the indicator once again skipped, and this time a fourteen inch rainbow splashed into my net. Both landed fish grabbed either the apricot egg or the red worm. The worm was in the mouth of the fish, but this does not rule out the possibility that the fish attacked the egg.

Smaller But Still Pleased

Steve and I persisted for another 1.5 hours, as we worked up and down the forty yard stretch on our side of the river, but neither of us could generate additional action. Occasional rises punctuated our time on the river, but we could not attract trout to our flies. During the last twenty minutes I converted to a missing link dry fly, and I placed some nice downstream casts over the locations of the rises, but the all purpose dry fly was totally ignored.

The sky clouded up and the wind gusted during the middle of the afternoon, so I returned to the car and retrieved my fingerless gloves and hat with earflaps. The construction crew at the bridge began digging in the river, and this caused significant sedimentation. By 4:30 Steve and I were chilled and bored, so we called it a day and returned to the warmth of the car. Two fish in 2.5 hours was not outstanding, but a twenty inch rainbow was certainly something to be thankful for.

Fish Landed: 2