Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: Pa-Co-Chu-Puk area
Uncompahgre River 06/21/2021 Photo Album
In May Jane and I made some camping reservations at various Colorado state parks. Ridgeway State Park was one of these, and we chose the time period from June 20 through June 23. We were surprised to realize that June 20 arrived much sooner than expected.
We loaded the car with our camping, kayaking and fishing gear on Sunday morning and departed for the state park in southwestern Colorado. We visited the area in the 1990’s, when the kids were young, and we had favorable impressions of the experience. Before departing on the 5.5 hour drive, I downloaded an audiobook, Boundary Waters, by William Krueger Kent. This proved to be a solid choice, and we listened to the entire twelve hour novel during our road trip.
When we arrived at the state park on Sunday, we quickly sought our reserved campsite. My heart sank, when I realized that we reserved a walk-in site in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk section. Jane and I parked and crossed the bridge and walked to our chosen site, and we were disappointed to discover it at the uphill tip of the walk-in loop. We estimated that it would take six to eight trips to lug our camping gear to the top of the hill, so we considered our options. We quickly decided to visit the park office to explain our dilemma with the hope that an alternative was available. We traveled south to the main office and visitor center at Dutch Charlie only to find that the office was closed, and the doors were locked. We turned away to walk to the car, when a woman opened the door to ask if she could help. We were overwhelmed by her kindness, and we entered the office and explained our situation. The park office employee quickly went on the reservation system and found us a site in the Dakota Terraces Campground. Since the campground was full, we guessed that the park reserved a spot for our type of situation. We paid an upcharge of $24, since site 23 had an electrical hookup. We were more than willing to pay this small fee to avoid the chore of lugging our car load of camping gear up a long hill. The site was devoid of any shade, but we had a canopy and were not in a position to be choosey.
Slack Water Along the Left Bank
On Monday Jane and I completed a very challenging six mile hike in the Uncompahgre Wilderness. When we returned to the campground, we enjoyed happy hour and dinner, and then I asked if I could fish for a few hours before dark in the tailwater at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk. Jane agreed, and we both made the drive to the northern area of the park along the river. The flows were in the 250 CFS range, and the water was clear, cold and a bit high. I wore my wet wading gear and rigged my Sage four weight for a few hours of fly fishing. The air temperature remained quite warm after a ninety degree day.
Pools Created by Stream Improvements
I fished the entire 1.5 hours with a chubby Chernobyl trailing an assortment of flies including a hares ear nymph, salvation nymph, bright green caddis pupa, pink San Juan worm, and a prince nymph. I never saw a fish or the sign of a fish.
We parked at the end of the G loop, and I cut perpendicular to the river from the parking area. I attempted to get close to the downstream border of the state park and away from the heavily pressured area at the footbridge by H loop. I was a tough 1.5 hours.
Fish Landed: 0