Time: 11:00AM – 2:30PM
Location: Private water near Eagle, CO
My friend, Dave G., invited me to fish the private water of the Eagle River with him on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. Jane and I joined Dave G. and his wife, Beth, for dinner on Monday night, and then we stayed over in Eagle, CO.
Tuesday morning was very dreary with overcast skies and rain, so Dave G. and I took our time before departing for the river. When we arrived at the crude parking area, the air temperature was 46 degrees, but the sun broke through among heavy clouds. I chose my Sage R8 four weight and wore my North Face light down coat. We hiked a short distance to the A section, and we were positioned on the water fly fishing by 11:00AM.
I copied Dave G. and launched my pursuit of trout with a yellow fat Albert, a green-black Pat’s rubber legs, and a size 20 blue-green perdigon. In the early going I managed to land a small rainbow and brown trout on the perdigon, but then my fortunes tumbled, as I suffered through a lengthy fish drought. Dave G., meanwhile, was rocking, and his catches included a twenty plus inch cutbow.
After a lengthy lull, I asked Dave G. for one of his olive-green perdigons (I will tie some of these this winter), and he obliged. I swapped the unproductive Pat’s rubber legs for a salvation nymph, and I exchanged my perdigon for the olive-green version from Dave G. I approached a long and wide riffle that screamed trout, and I began to toss the three fly dry/dropper to the top of the section, as I covered all the feeding lanes. I fished from the top and moved steadily downriver for thirty yards, and I concentrated on the seam that bordered the fast moving main current. This section was easily my most productive on the day, as I landed four rainbows. The first netted fish was a football shaped sixteen inch rainbow that snagged the salvation nymph. The girth of this fish barely allowed me to get a grip around the body. The other three were fat gems in the fourteen inch range. I was beyond excited after this early afternoon session.
For the remainder of my time on the river, I progressed steadily upstream, and I doubled the fish count to twelve. Four of the additional catches were chunky thirteen and fourteen inch slabs that displayed iridescent pink and purple stripes. All the fish landed after the first two inhaled the olive perdigon except for number three which grabbed the salvation nymph.
Tuesday exceeded my expectations, and the size of the fish was superb. The weather gradually improved, although there were periods of heavy overcast with intermittent blasts of wind. I pulled on my rain shell as a windbreaker at lunchtime and added my billed hat with earflaps. More October outings such as Tuesday would be greatly appreciated.