Time: 11:30AM – 3:00PM
Location: Mile Marker 260.5 area
Jane and I returned from New Mexico on Tuesday, and I once again directed my attention toward the Denver weather. Could the string of beautiful fall days continue? In short the answer was yes, so I planned a November fishing outing to nearby Clear Creek. It was in the low fifties when I arrived at the pullout just beyond the third pedestrian bridge along the Peaks to Plains Trail, and when I departed at 3:30PM the air temperature registered in the low sixties
I began my fishing day with a Jake’s gulp beetle with the hope that it would be on fire as was the case in several earlier visits, but all I could muster was infrequent refusals. I switched to a small size 10 Chernobyl ant with a beadhead hares ear, and this yielded two small rainbow trout by 12:30, when I broke for lunch. After lunch I experienced mostly empty casts along with a couple refusals to the Chernobyl, so I reverted to a size 12 Jake’s gulp beetle with a peacock body. Perhaps the warmer air temperatures in the afternoon would make the trout more receptive to juicy terrestrials on the surface.
By 1:30 I added two more small rainbows that consumed the beetle to the fish count, and then I switched to a yellow floss body fat Albert trailing a beadhead hares ear and an ultra zug bug. Amazingly shortly after the conversion a rainbow rose and slurped the fat Albert, and then another rainbow grabbed the hares ear. I was now at six fish; all rainbows on a predominantly brown trout stream. Given the seasonal timing I concluded that the brown trout were busy procreating and not interested in eating. Normally the ratio of brown trout to rainbow trout is roughly five to one if not greater.
As the fish counter reached six, the shadows covered most of the stream, and I began fishing the dry/dropper across and down in order to cover the slack water areas along the far bank. This approach proved to be a winner, and I landed seven more fish between 2:00 and 3:00, when I quit with icy hands and cold feet. The late run on netted fish included four brown trout, and these fish were mostly larger than any of the rainbows. The browns seemed to come from very shallow slow areas close to the bank; whereas, the rainbows were distributed throughout the stream.
The rainbows were more aggressive, and several grabbed the ultra zug bug, as it began to swing away from the bank at the tail of the pool. I probably wasted too much time trying to entice fish to the surface during early November, and it seemed that the refusals to the beetle and Chernobyl were brown trout; whereas, most of the fish that grabbed the nymphs in the first 2.5 hours were rainbows. I did not spot any spawning beds, and four afternoon brown trout responded to my subsurface offerings, so my earlier explanation about the abnormal ratio of rainbow trout may not be accurate.
It was a decent day as measured by fish count for early November; however, the fish were on the small side with the largest being an eleven inch brown. I will continue to prioritize fly fishing over fly tying as long as the weather provides comfortable temperatures.
Fish Landed: 13