Time: 11:00AM – 4:30PM
Location: Between Wolcott and Eagle (11AM – 2PM); Edwards Rest Area (2:30PM – 4:30PM)
Monday, August 5, 2019 was one of the more frustrating days of my many years of fly fishing. I suffered through nearly every imaginable negative during my 5.5 hours of fishing, and it is a miracle that I moved the fish counter to double digits.
The first sign of bad karma was the feeling of cold water penetrating my left boot foot of my third pair of replacement waders. The sensation of a wet sock and sloshing water plagued me throughout my entire time on the river. I could not stop thinking about the impending hassle of obtaining a refund, that I could apply to the purchase of a different brand.
The second impediment to an enjoyable day on the Eagle River was the preponderance of long distance releases. I counted twenty-two trout hooked throughout the day, and I landed ten. My basic math suggests a success rate less than 50%. Of course the escapees in most cases were large and muscular trout, and this fact added to my frustration. I must admit that quite a few curse words were uttered during the heat of the battle.
A related hindrance to a satisfying day on the river was the loss of a significant number of workhorse flies. I recall severing three salvation nymphs, two iron sallies, and one bright green go2 caddis pupa.
Tangles were another negative feature of my day. The typical catapult release from a lost fish occurred several times, but several novel entanglements added to my variety of frustrations. I lost two flies while attempting to photograph a prize sixteen inch rainbow, and a subsequent tangle added insult to injury. In another episode of fly fishing slapstick I wrapped my line around my wading staff, legs and fly rod.
Although I managed to not fall in the river (I suffered a wet leg and foot due to the leak), I struggled through numerous near misses on the slimy round boulders that were positioned to trip an unsuspecting fisherman. On a positive note I did not incur injuries or break any equipment, so I suppose that is something to be thankful for.
The weather was reasonable, although bright sun lifted the air temperature to eighty degrees in the early afternoon. Flows in the area between Wolcott and Eagle, CO remained in the 700 – 800 CFS range, and this allowed for more comfortable wading, but my casts were largely confined to the slack water areas along the bank.
Between 11AM and 2:30PM I covered nearly the same stretch of water as my previous two visits to the Eagle River in 2019. I used a yellow fat Albert and added primarily an iron sally and salvation nymph. After I lost a second salvation, I substituted an ultra zug bug, and it delivered a small brown trout, but eventually I returned to the salvation. My best fish from the Wolcott – Eagle stint was a chunky sixteen inch rainbow, and I was quite pleased with the sag in my net, that it created. The other four landed trout were sub-twelve inchers. During the first phase of my day on the Eagle River I connected with twelve trout and only landed five. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed with this ratio, and several of the escapees were bruisers.
When I moved to the Edwards Rest Area for the late afternoon session, the sky darkened and some raindrops prompted me to engage the windshield wipers, but the shower was brief. Flows at Edwards were in the 600 CFS range, and this necessitated strenuous wading and edge fishing.
Between 3:00PM and 4:30PM I prospected the water next to and upstream from the Edwards Rest Area. Again the fat Albert served as the indicator fly, and I trailed a hair nation and bright green go2 sparkle caddis. In the starting section downstream from the parking lot I netted two trout on the hair nation. One was a feisty eleven inch rainbow, and the other was a respectable brown trout. Another angler blocked my upstream path, so I circled around him to the long pool next to a high bank on the south side of the river. The pool failed to produce, but an hour of dry/dropper dapping in the pocket water above the long pool yielded three nice trout including two fine browns and one bronze cutbow. During this time the bright green go2 sparkle caddis developed into a hot fly, and I was pleased with the aggressive slashing takes. Of course I would be remiss, if I did not mention that I hooked ten during this period, but I landed only five. This was a pathetic ratio, but an improvement over the earlier session farther down river.
Ten fish, including four of above average length, represents a worthwhile day, but I cannot overlook all the frustrations listed in the first part of this post. Hopefully Monday filled my quota of bad luck for 2019, and future days will provide good fortune.
Fish Landed: 10