Time: 11:15AM – 2:30PM
Location: Whale Rock
Fish Landed: 3
With temperatures finally forecast to reach 60 degrees, I decided to visit the South Platte River downstream from Deckers on Sunday. Jane agreed to accompany so we packed a lunch and left the house around 10AM. As we drove from Sedalia there was a lot more snow on the hills, and we were concerned about the condition of the steep Nighthawk Hill. When we turned on to the dirt road at Sprucewood, we could see it was packed dirt and mud, so we made the descent and turned right and parked at the Whale Rock parking lot.
It was still chilly when I began, so I had on a fleece top over my fishing shirt. I walked down the road beyond the parking lot then cut some footprints through the snow on the relatively steep bank and approached the river. The river was running at a nice flow, probably 200, and mostly clear with a tinge of color from the nearby snowmelt.
I rigged up with a strike indicator, split shot, San Juan worm and beadhead hares ear to start. I covered a fair amount of water with no action. I was constantly clearing moss from both the flies. But after 45 minutes of fishing, I caught two small browns in some 3 foot deep riffle sections. The first brown grabbed the San Juan worm and the second took the BHHE.
I continued working my way up along the roadside bank, but to no avail. I quit fishing at around 12:30 and climbed the bank and walked back to the car where I found Jane reading in her chair with her hood pulled up due to the wind. I ate my lunch and then decided to hike up the road beyond the next parking lot, and fish the rocky stretch that borders the road where I’ve had much success over the last several years. I knew there were fish in this area from past experience. Jane decided to drive the van to the next parking lot and read there.
I cut down the short steep bank to the river above a large boulder and fished the first deep run with the nymphs with no success. I moved up to the next pool/run and switched my flies to a Chernobyl ant trailing a BHHE. The next series of pools were shallower so I felt the dry/dropper could fish deep enough. I didn’t have any success in the next pool, but in the third pool, I caught a 9 inch brown on the BHHE. I continued working the remaining attractive water in this manner along the road and then around the bend and through a riffle stretch until the river came up close to the road again. I had no success in this area, although another fishermen and his young son came down this stretch with spinning rods, and this may have spooked the fish.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so the likelihood of a hatch was remote. I spotted only occasional midges in the air. I was growing weary of the lack of action, so we called it quits at around 2:30 and returned to Denver.