Time: 11:30AM – 4:00PM
I checked the flows, and most rivers were high and muddy with snow melt. The only real option near Denver was the South Platte River in the Deckers area, which was actually running relatively low at 52 CFS. I went for a run and took my time before arriving at the stream at around 11AM. I turned right at the bottom of Nighthawk hill and headed to the parking area near some very large boulders personally named Whale Rock. I knew there was some nice pocket and riffle water near this lot that does not typically receive much pressure. I had no information regarding fish density since the Heyman Fire, but this was an area I enjoyed in the pre-fire era.
I ate lunch first, and then hiked along the dirt road and cut down the steep bank, crossed to the other side and continued until I reached the white water drop off. There was a very nice deep pool just before the major spill over. I put a yellow Letort hopper on top with a beadhead pheasant tail below. The two fly combination generated flashes to the hopper but no take, and eventually I shifted my position, until I was directly downstream, where I could obtain better drifts and cover the water more effectively. With this shift in approach I began to catch fish. I caught 5 trout from the first pool; one or two on the hopper and the rest on the beadhead pheasant tail.
Eventually I moved on and began prospecting with the combination in likely locations. I noticed a bunch of caddis flitting about, and the beadhead pheasant tail was not producing to my liking, so I tied on a beadhead bright green caddis pupa. This was the ticket. I caught nearly all my fish on this fly. Toward the end of the day it began to unravel. I had amazing luck in very shallow shelf lies where the water fanned out toward the bank. The river was very low compared to normal, but the fish did not seem to be exceptionally skittish.
Around 3PM as I worked my way to near the parking area, I began to spy yellowish mayflies floating above the water accompanied by sporadic rises. A pair of fishermen above me departed just as the hatch commenced. They left me two beautiful runs going into pools with rising fish. I was about to call it a day at twenty fish, but when I saw the mayflies, I absorbed a boost of interest. I nipped off the hopper and caddis pupa and tied on a size 16 PMD comparadun. This was a winner, and I experienced great fun over the next hour taking trout on the surface. After I rounded the bend, I caught one or two, but refusals became more prevalent, so at this point I called it a day.
Fish Landed: 26