Time: 11:30AM – 4:00PM
Location: Ypsilon Trail Fork Upstream
Fish Landed: 19
I stopped at Estes Anglers to buy a tippet spool and the Aussie behind the counter told me Roaring River was fishable, although high due to heavy rain the previous day. He suggested Glacier Run as another alternative in RMNP. The Big T was swollen from the rainstorm.
I drove to the Lawn Lake Trailhead and after a 40 minute hike uphill with my gear in a backpack, stopped at my normal sandy area to stash my backpack and put on my waders. It was a beautiful day weather wise with temperatures probably in the upper 70’s and partial clouds most of the day. Some small storms rolled north and south, but never affected me. The stream remained quite high, almost as high as when my friend Allen and I hiked along the trail on Memorial Day.
As it was nearly lunch, I hiked down from the Ypsilon Trail crossing and fished my way back to my base area for lunch. I began with a lime green trude attractor and caught a small greenback in short order. I caught a second before I reached the log bridge crossing, but it was now noon and I was quite hungry, so I returned to my base camp and ate lunch. While eating I spotted three trout holding in some slack water in front of a large boulder near where I was eating. After lunch I tried for these from the right side behind the boulder, but had no success.
I hiked back down to the Ypsilon Lake Trail and crossed to the other side. The volume of water was still high and the current very swift. The only places where fish held were in the pockets and soft water along the bank where there were current breaks such as boulders and logs. I worked my way upstream along the left bank casting to these types of areas. There were long stretches between fishing spots where the gradient was steep and few refuges from the current existed. I could see some fish and they weren’t reacting to the lime green trude, so I added a BHPT. When I arrived across from my lunch spot I cast across to the three fish and landed two on the trailing BHPT.
At one point as I moved up the left side I spotted a decent cutthroat in a shallow lie behind a stick covered with moss hanging in the stream. I knew I couldn’t cast the dry/dropper as I would catch the stick on the trailing fly, so I removed the combination and tied on a black fur ant with an orange poly wing post for visibility. On the third cast the greenback made a quick move and I hooked and landed it. I was very proud of this catch. I moved on using the fur ant a bit, but it was very difficult to follow in the fast water, so I tied on a Chernobyl ant trailing a beadhead hares ear.
I used these flies for the remainder of the afternoon and caught most of my remaining fish on the Chernobyl. Even the large Chernobyl was difficult to follow in the foaming water and glare at times, and I received numerous refusals. I lost two beadhead hares ears to rocks and trees, so I replaced with a bright green caddis pupa at some point. But I probably could have made life easier by fishing the Chernobyl solo. I’d guess I received one refusal for every catch.
At around 4PM, the skies darkened a bit more than usual and I was extremely tired so I found the trail and returned to my base. I was probably further upstream than I’d ever been on the Roaring River before. I changed back into my shorts and stashed everything in my backpack and hiked back to the trailhead and the minivan.