Time: 12:00PM – 3:30PM
Location: Below Gross Reservoir
What does a forecast of high temperatures in the low seventies in Denver, a rescheduled doctor’s appointment, and nice steady flows of 20 cfs on South Boulder Creek yield? A fishing adventure for Dave of course. Originally I aspired to make a longer trip to the Eagle River or Arkansas River; however, projected high winds across Colorado discouraged me from those options. Weather prognosticators anticipated high wind velocities of 27 MPH at both locales. Pinecliffe just west of my desired destination on South Boulder Creek was marginally better, but I concluded that I was reducing my drive time investment in the event that the gusts were not tolerable.
I arrived at the kayak parking lot by 11AM, and after assembling my Sage four weight I completed my normal fishing preparation routine and hiked to the creek. Since it was approaching noon, when I arrived streamside, I paused and munched my snack and consequently began fishing at noon. I kicked off my day with a yellow fat Albert, a beadhead hares ear nymph, and a salvation nymph.
The air temperature was in the low fifties as I began to cast, and the wind was in fact a significant hurdle throughout much of the afternoon, although it seemed to relent a bit toward the end of my venture. The creek was extremely clear and flowed at 20 CFS. Past experience at these low levels or even less taught me to approach each target spot cautiously and with a low profile.
During the first twenty minutes even these measured precautions failed to yield a fish, although admittedly the quality of the water was lacking compared to that which I would encounter over the remainder of my day. I was beginning to consider a change in flies, when I approached a long smooth pool with a very deep trough near the far bank. I restrained myself from getting too close and lobbed a long cast to the top of the faster run that entered the deep section, and after a five foot drift the fat Albert suddenly plunged toward the depths. I raised my arm and connected instantly with a decent brown trout that seemed to materialize from the brown stream bottom. The fight was on, but I quickly gained the upper hand and guided the wild beauty into my net. What a start to my day! A thirteen inch brown rested in my net with a beadhead hares ear nymph firmly embedded in its lip, and I was quite pleased to extract such a noble fighter from the challenging clear pool.
This episode symbolized the remainder of the afternoon, although the size of the remaining catches failed to measure up to number one. I continued my upstream migration at a steady pace and added eighteen trout to my count. All except two were brown trout, and the two exceptions were rainbows in the ten inch range, but they compensated for their lack of size with sheer beauty.
After the first hour the fish count perched on four, and I endured a dry spell of fifteen minutes. During this time several small trout elevated and inspected the fat Albert, but they shunned the large offering and returned to their holding positions. I was having some success with the nymphs, but now the residents of South Boulder Creek seemed to be distracted by the large surface offering. I opted to downsize and removed the three fly dry/dropper lineup and replaced it with a peacock body hippy stomper. I fished the smaller foam attractor solo for a bit with no results, so I added a beadhead hares ear and beadhead sparkle wing RS2.
The shift in approach paid huge dividends, and these flies remained in place during the remainder of the afternoon. The trout overwhelmingly favored the hares ear, although two eager eaters chomped the hippy stomper. The sparkle wing RS2 failed to attract interest, and I removed it after a thirty minute trial period.
The wind was a constant nuisance, but it abated enough to make casting a reasonable endeavor. The warmth of the strong spring sun counterbalanced the wind, and I thoroughly enjoyed my continuous progression along South Boulder Creek. My initial foray into the South Boulder Creek canyon was a solid success, and I hope to return before the water managers initiate their inevitable fluctuation in flows.
Fish Landed: 19