Time: 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Location: Eagle Ranch from Sylvan Lake Road upstream to first bridge
Fish Landed: 1
It was now late in October and I managed to come within nine fish of last year’s cumulative count. I have to admit this was on my mind as Jane and I prepared to drive to Eagle on Saturday morning to visit the Gaboury’s at their home in Eagle Ranch. My expectations weren’t high, but it would be nice to close the gap on last year’s numbers late in the season. Knowing Dave G’s love of my beadhead hares ear nymphs, I tied five new ones on Thursday night while watching the seesaw game six of the World Series.
Jane and I got off to a late start on Saturday morning and arrived at Eagle Ranch at 11AM. Dave and I decided to try Brush Creek directly behind his house for a couple hours and then re-evaluate when we returned for lunch. Beth and Jane planned to drive to Glenwood Springs for the afternoon. We put on our waders and strung our rods and hiked down the bike path until it intersected with Sylvan Lake Road at the western edge of Eagle Ranch. The stream level was ideal and higher than when I’d visited in mid-August. I told Dave I was going to try some streamer fishing, so he led me to a nice deep hole where the main current angled against the bank and then made a sharp bend.
I searched through my fleece fly pouch and decided to start with a muddler minnow. I pinched a split shot on the line a foot above the streamer and cast across the current and let the fly sweep through the heart of the pool. I worked the muddler across different distances and stripped in various ways, but nothing was moving for the fly. I wasn’t satisfied with the sink rate, so I clipped it off and tied on a different streamer that didn’t contain buoyant deer hair. This fly sank better but didn’t produce either, so I went to a third streamer, an orange body woolly bugger with a black tail. This fly looked good as the marabou tale undulated in the water, but once again no action resulted.
I moved on up the stream casting the woolly bugger to some additional deeper runs and pools, but I wasn’t seeing any fish and finally decided to give up on streamers and try a parachute hopper with a beadhead hares ear. By this time Dave G. and I became separated, and I wouldn’t catch up to him until I was nearly at the bridge that crosses the creek to the visitor center for Eagle Ranch. I covered a lot of water and finally in a riffle near the bridge, I hooked and landed a 10 inch brown trout. Dave G was just above me and I asked him how he’d done, and he replied that he’d landed one 10 inch brown near where I had just landed my first fish.