Time: 10:30AM – 2:00PM
Location: Pond in the middle of the field west of the golf course; Brush Creek; and pond by golf course near entrance gate.
On Thursday Dave G. and I attempted to fish in Brush Creek, but we both concluded that the flows remained too high for reasonably successful fly fishing. Dave G. is a non- golf member of Frost Creek Golf and Fishing Club, and this entitled him to fish in the ponds on the premises. Needless to say, I was happy to tag along.
We arrived at 10AM, and Dave G. stopped by the clubhouse to obtain intelligence on the status of the four fishing ponds. The regulations vary by pond, and he required a refresher course on the rules. Once Dave G. obtained this critical information, we found a nice deep pond situated in a large field west of the golf course. I chose to wade wet, and our rods remained strung from the previous day, so we arrived along the shore of the lake in a short amount of time. A small feeder creek entered the pond from the south, and Dave G. positioned himself on the eastern side of the entering flow. I, meanwhile, assumed a position on the south shoreline, but west of the inlet.
The sky was blue, and the temperature was in the high seventies, as we began to fish. Knee high narrow reeds surrounded the pond, and an abundant quantity of blue damsel flies and striped-wing dragon flies darted about the area and occasionally hovered within inches of the surface of the water. Instantly I became aware of sporadic rises in the lake, and many were fierce slashing rushes, that caused the trout to break the surface or even leap above the water in pursuit of food.
My line remained rigged with a chubby Chernobyl with a tan ice dub body, and below the foam top fly were a flashback peacock stonefly and copper john. Rather than switch to different offerings, I began to lob casts with the three fly configuration. For ten minutes the stationary chubby attracted no attention, but then following the observation of an aggressive boil within several feet of the bank, I launched a thirty foot cast to the vicinity of the activity. The top fly rested for a few seconds, but then a large bulge appeared just short of the large foam attractor. My heart beat elevated, but a refusal was my first taste of action.
With fresh optimism I continued to cast to areas with recent rises, but a relatively long lull in action ensued. I decided to remove the dry/dropper components and switched to a different dry fly, but at this point I realized that I left my fly box in my waders, and they remained in my car back at the Gaboury’s. The only dry flies in my possession were in a small plastic canister that contained an assortment of large top flies for the dry/dropper method. Given the surface activity, I concluded that I might be able to make the most of my limited fly selection.
I replaced the chubby with a classic black Chernobyl ant, and I sprayed thirty and forty foot casts toward the middle of the stillwater, but the fish ignored the black impostor. I sifted through the canister and spotted a parachute hopper with a gray body. Perhaps the large grizzly hackle splayed about the center wing post would create the illusion of movement and attract some feeding action? I allotted ten minutes to the hopper, but it was also treated with disdain.
The wind kicked up a bit, and the rising fish seemed to be concentrated on the south side of the inlet, so I moved below Dave G. I was contemplating my next move, when I examined the reeds along the shoreline, and I was astounded by the quantity of slender blue-bodied damsel flies. Surely these delicate odonata had recently emerged, and perhaps the trout were gorging subsurface on migrating nymphs? It was worth a try. I stripped in my dry fly and knotted an olive slumpbuster to my line and followed that with a wiggle damsel on an eight inch dropper. Surely this move would initiate torrid fishing action from these lake dwellers.
The damsel hatch materialized in my mind but never commenced in the pond. I stripped and hand-twisted the streamer and nymph combination for an hour, but I never generated as much as a follow or bump. Needless to say I was very disappointed. The stronger wind caused small wavelets, and the surface feeding fish seemed to be concentrated at the eastern end of the lake. I abandoned the subsurface approach and once again examined my fly canister for options.
I was now fairly certain that the damsel hatch was pretty much completed, and the pond residents were tuned into the hovering adults, and this explained the splashing slashes and leaps above the surface of the water. I spotted a tan pool toy and decided to give it a try. I had nothing that was close to resembling the narrow blue body of the damsels, so my only ploy was testing the remaining flies in the plastic cylinder.
I knotted the pool toy to my line and began targeting the spots, where trout recently revealed their presence. I was now within twenty yards of the end of the pond, and the wind caused my foam dry fly to drift eastward. Ten minutes of boredom followed the fly change, and then I glanced back from looking away to notice that the pool toy disappeared. Was it hidden by a wave? I reacted by lifting my rod and felt the significant weight of a thrashing fish. I carefully played the fighter, until I guided it into my net, and at this point I realized that I landed a scarlet hued rainbow trout. Needless to say I was ecstatic with this recent dose of good fortune, and I snapped a few photos to verify the catch.
Dave G. was impressed with my success, and I gifted him another pool toy, since it was the only fly that resulted in success thus far in our day. I continued floating the pool toy near the end of the lake; but, alas, it was a one shot wonder. I thought back to the early refusal on the chubby Chernobyl, and now that I was fairly convinced, that the trout were feeding on damsels, I concluded that the ice dub body foam fly with the large high white wing was my closest approximation to the naturals.
I swapped the pool toy for the chubby and resumed casting, and within minutes another fish slurped the size eight attractor. Unfortunately the connection only lasted for a two second spurt, and the fish escaped with only a minor lip pricking. Given the lack of success, I was more frustrated than normal with this lost fish. Dave G. managed a refusal to the pool toy, but then the frequency of slashing rises declined, and we decided to test the Brush Creek stream section within Frost Creek.
We hopped back in Dave G.’s car and drove to the entrance gate, where we parked and then followed a designated grassy path along the creek. I added the peacock stonefly back to my line as a dropper and placed a salvation nymph below it, and we stopped at two or three slower water places to try our luck. In one spot where a side channel merged with the main creek, I allowed the three flies to drift downstream to the seam, where the currents merged, and I felt a brief bump, but I was unable to connect.
The high flows and steep gradient created minimal soft water refuges for the fish, so after a ten minute walk we reversed our direction and returned to the car. Near our turnaround point we passed through a blue heron rookery, and I observed five or six massive nests in some very tall trees next to the creek and above us. Our presence caused at least six huge adult herons to leave the nests, and I was in awe, as they flapped their huge wings and tucked their long legs and glided above us.
When we returned to the golf course, I began fishing in a pond next to the entrance road and near the gate. I spotted a pair of decent trout, as they cruised along the shoreline ten feet from where I was standing. Dave G. moved to the north end of the pond, and he also began to lob some casts toward the middle of the tiny body of water. Our confidence was quite low, but miraculously Dave G. landed a rainbow that grabbed a purple San Juan worm. A skunking was avoided minutes before we returned to the car and drove back to Eagle Ranch.
Fish Landed: 1