Time: 10:00AM – 1:00PM
Location: Large pullout beyond bridge above Cascade
Fish Landed: 25
I returned home to Denver chastened by the July skunking on the Colorado River. The plan was to shower and get a good night’s rest, then add camping gear for Jane to the van, additional food for the weekend, and drive to Angel of Shavano Campground on Friday and secure a camping spot for Jane and me for the weekend.
I got off to a nice early start because most of the fishing and camping gear were already packed. I decided to stop and fish Chalk Creek, a tributary to the Arkansas, as it was along the way to Angel of Shavano. I drove along Chalk Creek and passed Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. The stream was clear and appeared to be ideal for fishing.
I backed into the large pullout beyond the bridge a half mile or less after the paved road converted to dirt. This is where I began my quest to catch a fish. Looking back on the past two days, it was clear that I was doing better in the higher elevation feeder streams than in the major rivers in the valleys. Was this a function of the elevation or the time of day I was fishing? I’m guessing it was some of each. At any rate, I planned to test the theory by fishing Chalk Creek from 10 until early afternoon, then snag a campsite, then hit the Arkansas for the evening.
Initially I tied on the Royal Stimulator that had served me well on Brush Creek and Homestake Creek. I added a beadhead hares ear dropper. This combination produced immediately, and I landed 10 browns in short order. Eight smashed the stimulator and two grabbed the trailing nymph. But the stimulator was beginning to lose its wing material, so I decided to replace with a durable foam Chernobyl Ant. The Chernobyl Ant is a great choice in small headwaters as it is durable and floats without false casting.
It proved to be a great choice. I flipped the Chernobyl in all the likely spots and landed fish after fish as I worked upstream a mile or so. In fact, the fly was too large for the smaller trout to get in their mouths, so I experienced numerous bumps or momentary hookups, and only landed the larger fish. Of course larger in this water translates to 9-10 inches maximum. But it was great fun prospecting and wading upstream and popping the Chernobyl in all the likely spots.
I called it quits at around 1PM in order to hustle along to Angel of Shavano and secure a spot for Jane and me for the weekend.