Arkansas River – 08/21/2014

Time:5:30PM – 7:00PM

Location: Downstream from Eddyline and then back to the kayak area at South Main in Buena Vista

Fish Landed: 1

Our niece and nephews from New Jersey arrived on Sunday August 17, and Jane and I made a concerted effort to introduce them to the beauty of the Colorado outdoors. On Wednesday we packed two cars with camping gear and departed for Cascade Campground along Chalk Creek near Buena Vista. We enjoyed a great evening with the highlight being a roaring campfire. The McKays toasted marshmallows after dinner, and we assembled tasty s’mores.

On Thursday morning we took down the camping gear and drove the short distance to Buena Vista where we killed time at the river park, and then we drove back south to the River Runners rafting facility located near Fisherman’s Bridge. We reserved a raft for six and at the scheduled time, we chose our helmets and life jackets and climbed into a van. The white van transported us to our launch point at Ruby Mountain Campground, and one of the guides gave us a safety lecture in the van. The six of us had our own raft, and our guide was Byron from Texas who was a graduate of Texas A&M. The flows in the Arkansas River were just over 500 cfs, and the low flows created numerous opportunities for our raft to become awkwardly lodged on large exposed boulders, so we concentrated extra hard on our paddling to avoid this eventuality..

After we completed our float and returned to River Runners, Jane and the McKays returned to Denver while Dan and I took the Santa Fe and returned to South Main in Buena Vista. We parked across from the Eddyline brewpub and geared up to fish. A short hike along the Buena Vista Arkansas River Trail took us downstream from the kayak area, and we prepared to fish for an hour or two.

Since we were on the same side of the river, we began alternating pockets. It was quite cloudy as we began, and this type of weather generally portends excellent fishing, so I was quite optimistic over our chances of having some good evening action. Dan tied on a size 12 gray stimulator, and I began with a tan Charlie Boy hopper with a beadhead hares ear dropper. It did not take long before Dan landed a small brown trout on the stimulator, but my efforts were thwarted for the first hour. I wasn’t spotting any fish, and my flies weren’t even being refused.

I swapped the Charlie Boy hopper for a yellow Letort hopper, but this move did not change my fortunes. We continued moving quickly and covered a large amount of water with no signs of fish other than the small brown that Dan landed early. Eventually near the end of our fishing time I tied on a Chernobyl ant and managed to land a seven inch brown. We were both getting hungry, the fishing was extremely slow, and we were approaching the kayak area so we decided to call it quits at 7PM.

Since we were parked across from the Eddyline brewpub, we took the opportunity to visit one of our favorite establishments for dinner, and then we drove back over Trout Creek Pass and east on route 24 to Round Mountain Campground where we camped on Thursday night.

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