Time: 1:30PM – 4:00PM
Location: Between Osprey Campground and Willow Picnic Area
Trout Landed: 0
Chalk this outing up to rod testing. Jane and I drove to Royal Gorge Anglers so I could purchase a new fly rod and reel for my Alaska trip on Saturday, and I was dying to give the new rod a try. The only stream with reasonable flows after the heavy rains during the week was the South Platte River below Cheesman Reservoir, so off I went. I got off to a late start as the reports indicated caddis were beginning to emerge late afternoon into the evening.
I planned to stop at the Jarre Market in Sedalia and purchase a tapered leader, but forgot, so I was banking on having a spare in my front pack for my new fly line. I arrived at the stream at around 1PM and parked at a pullout below Willow Picnic area. I searched through my bag and backpack and then finally found a new leader tucked in my front pack. I made a loop to loop connection with the tip of the new line and attached the Orvis reel to my new rod and prepared to fish.
I wore my raincoat as a windbreaker. It was a cool day with partly cloudy skies and a fair amount of wind. I strung my new rod and walked down the road and cut over to the river approximately where I’d stopped fishing on my last trip to the South Platte. I propped the rod on a large stump and took some photos of the reel, the rod and the model and line size on the rod. I began fishing with a yellow Letort hopper and trailed a beadhead hares ear and began prospecting the likely spots. The flows were up since my last trip, and I noticed a considerable amount of aquatic moss floating in the river. In fact it was so dense that I had to remove moss from my flies nearly every third or fourth cast.
After I’d covered a considerable amount of water, I reached a small island below Willow. Some geese went up the right channel so I retreated back to the bottom of the island to fish up the large and faster left side. Here I spotted a rise and switched to a caddis and experienced a split second hook up with the small fish that had risen. This would prove to be the extent of my action on the new rod.
I switched over to a strike indicator and nymphs and fished the nice deep run below the island to no avail. The larger but light stiff Scott rod handled the heavier nymphing rig easily. I decided to drive further up the river to the catch and release area as I wasn’t seeing much evidence of fish where I was fishing. I drove 5-10 miles to the oxbow area before Trumbull and hiked back the trail to the tip of the oxbow. I continued working the nymphs including a RS2 as the bottom fly. The sky clouded up and a brief shower occurred but much to my chagrin this did not provoke any BWO or caddis activity. I worked my way around the oxbow fishing the likely runs and seams but I wasn’t rewarded for my persistence. After the brief shower passed and the sun came out I decided I’d had enough and returned to Denver. The rod was a success from a casting standpoint, but remains unproven for fish catching ability.