Time: 1:30PM – 4:00PM
Location: Edwards Rest Area
Fish Landed: 11
After lunch we hopped in Dave G’s rental car and drove to the rest area in Edwards, CO. We hiked along the fisherman path upstream from the parking lot to a point where a long pool is fed by an attractive deep run. Here Dave hooked and landed a decent brown to start his afternoon. I moved beyond Dave and fished the attractive pockets between the long pool and the pedestrian bridge. In one of the lower pockets a decent brown smashed and inhaled my yellow hopper. The area around the rest area represents my favorite stretch of the Eagle River, and I was very optimistic at this point.
Dave G. moved past me and fished the pockets along the left bank. He finished covering the pocket water and moved beyond the pedestrian bridge and out of sight, while I continued prospecting the pockets, but trying to cover water a bit beyond what he had just covered. I didn’t have any luck, and perhaps the fish became wary due to Dave G’s presence along the bank.
After finishing the pockets, I moved quickly up to the pedestrian bridge and crossed to the south side of the river. A fisherman (wearing shorts but a fishing vest) stopped and asked me why I went around the nice deep pool at the bend just below the bridge. I showed him how I was set up for dry/dropper fishing which requires fishing shallower water and not very effective in the deep pools. He nodded and I moved on. I dropped down just below the bridge, waded under it, and then began fishing the pockets along the right bank. I knew from previous trips that this stretch contains many nice fish, and I feel it doesn’t get the degree of pressure as the left bank because it is difficult to get to, tough to wade, and requires backhand casts.
Sure enough, I started hooking fish. The sky clouded up some, but I didn’t see much hatching or surface feeding, so I stuck with a yellow Letort hopper trailing a beadhead hares ear. I landed eleven additional trout in the 100 yards or so of water along the west/south side of the river. Many were fat spunky browns in the 13-15 inch range. I was catching half on the hopper and the other half on the beadhead hares ear. I used the same hopper throughout the afternoon, and it held up quite well until losing a bunch of deer hair near the end. There was one sweet area where the river curled against the bank then flowed back out between some rocks and fanned into a wider pool/pocket. I landed at least four beauties from this spot and had some additional hookups that I didn’t land. In fact, in addition to the eleven landed fish, I probably had another 5-6 refusals and momentary hookups.
At around 4PM I reached the top of the pocket water area where the river makes a 90 degree turn and parallels route 6. Dave G appeared on the opposite bank and I could see he was fishing half heartedly, so knew it was time to go.