Curtain Ponds – 06/28/2024

Time: 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Location: Two of the many ponds

Curtain Ponds 06/28/2024 Photo Album

My day on Hermosa Creek and the East Fork whet my appetite for stream fishing; however, when I reviewed the flows on Thursday evening, I determined that river and stream options along the Front Range and within a couple hours were limited. The Yampa River within the town of Steamboat Sprints dropped to the 900 CFS range, and I love edge fishing at that level, but the drive was more than six hours round trip, and I was unable to plan a Friday night stayover. Friday kicked off the Fourth of July week, and of course, campsites were at a premium.

First Pond Fished

I enjoyed my recent trip to the Curtain Ponds, and I felt like I failed to capitalize as a result of high wind and the loss of my hat incident, so I decided to give it another try. I was concerned about traffic heading into the mountains for the holiday week, but a quick check of my map application revealed that the drive was only slightly longer than normal.

Brilliant Orange Belly

I made the drive and arrived at the parking lot by 11:30AM, so I opted to enjoy my lunch from the comfort of the driver’s seat before launching my day of fishing. Once I consumed my small meal, I fitted together my Loomis two piece five weight. The temperature was a cool 62 degrees, so I slid into my raincoat, and I marched up the shoulder of the highway to my target starting point. The weather on Friday was typical of the Rocky Mountains with mostly sunny skies interrupted by periods of heavy clouds including one very brief cloud burst that included small hail balls. I weathered it all.

Circling AroundSuch Color

I began my day at one of the ponds with a size 14 peacock hippie stomper and a size 16 deer hair caddis. The double dry combination served me well on Friday, and the same flies remained on my line for the duration of my fly fishing experience. I prospected along the western/southern end of the pond for the first 2.5 hours, and I landed thirty brightly colored brook trout. 60% of the brookies grabbed the caddis and 40% chose the hippie stomper. Initially I cast and waited for a fish to crush one of the flies, as they remained motionless, but eventually I discovered that quick jerking strips attracted attention, and this was particularly true during periods of wind, when the pond surface got riffled.

Stretched OutVivid Colors on This One

The brook trout were all in the six to nine inch range with possibly one or two reaching ten inches, but they made up for their lack of size with brilliant colors. Many sported bright orange bellies and an array of subtle hues in the vermiculation along the back and sides.

Around the Corner

By 2:30PM I boosted the fish count to thirty fish, so I decided to move to a different pond. From previous experience I knew that this pond contained larger and more selective trout, and I was curious to know whether the technique that fooled many fish in the first pond would generate similar results in the more challenging body of water.

Gentle GripAnother Pond

In short, the answer was no, the technique did not translate. I managed to land two additional brook trout with the last fish of the day perhaps the largest, but quite a bit of futile casting accompanied my two fish catch rate in the last hour of fishing. I saw fewer rises, and I suspect that the fish density of the second lake was far less than the first lake that I fished.

Last and Perhaps Best

Friday was all about beauty and numbers of fish, but I was quite pleased with the outcome of my trip. After a week of traveling and mostly sightseeing in southwestern Colorado, I was tempted to pass up fly fishing on Friday, but I was pleased with my decision to make the holiday week journey. Hopefully I will soon be edge fishing freestones in Colorado and feeding that fly fishing addiction.

Fish Landed: 32