Time: 10:30AM – 4:30PM
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park
Jane and I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and arrived around 10:30AM. We parked near the Cub Lake Trailhead, and Jane decided she to go horseback riding, since we were across from the riding stables. She hiked up the road with me and then to the bridge, where Cub Lake Trail crosses the Big Thompson River. I prospected above and below the bridge, while Jane snapped some photos. During this photo opportunity I hooked up with one trout, but it escaped and avoided my net. I was not having much luck, and it was 11:30AM, so Jane and I returned to the car in order to eat our lunch.
After lunch I hiked across the meadow from where we parked to intersect with the stream. I planned to fish back upstream to where the trail crossed the bridge. I started fishing a narrow channel with the royal stimulator and landed a few small brookies. I added a beadhead pheasant tail, but that never produced, and I looked up and noticed a husband and wife with a daughter 30 yards upstream. They appeared to be disturbing the water, so I climbed out and headed farther south. I was skeptical that the small stream next to me was the full volume of the Big Thompson River, and sure enough I discovered another larger channel after a short stroll through the meadow grass.
Once I intersected with the main stem, I walked downstream farther, before I started fishing upstream. I caught mostly brook trout, some extremely small, and I omitted them from my landed count. I spotted a decent fish at one point, but it was not interested in the fly I presented, so I switched to a light yellow Letort hopper, since hopper habitat in the form of tall grass bordered the stream. I never tempted the fish that caused me to switch, but the hopper did produce a rainbow of around 11 inches. I prospected the hopper and beadhead hares ear dropper for awhile and landed some brook trout but eventually lost the flies.
After losing the two flies I tied on a lime green trude size 14, and this produced a fair number of trout. I caught my nicest brook trout of the day on the lime green trude and photographed it before I released it to live another day. At some point I spotted another decent trout, and I was unable to tempt it with the lime green trude, so I knotted on a size 12 gray parahopper with a beadhead hares ear trailer. The parahopper produced a nice brown, and I photographed the third leg of the grand slam. I ended up catching 3 browns on the day. I tested the parahopper for awhile, and then I switched back to the royal stimulator.
The royal stimulator was probably the most productive fly of the day, and I landed the last eight countable size fish on it. I also caught my one and only cutthroat trout on this fly towards the end of the day. I was quite surprised to achieve a trout grand slam.
I ended my day at the Cub Lake Trail bridge and hiked back down the road, where Jane was waiting in the shade and reading.
Fish Landed: 18