East Fork of Hermosa Creek – 06/23/2024

Time: 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Location: Meadow section two miles above confluence with West Fork

East Fork of Hermosa Creek 06/23/2024 Photo Album

Upon our arrival in Durango, I visited Duranglers to suck up local information on fly fishing conditions. I follow Duranglers on Instagram, thus the connection. In exchange for information I bought a spool of Rio 5X tippet, but I must confess that I was shocked at the price. The young man who helped me find the tippet rack suggested three stream options for me to consider. After enduring heavy rain on Thursday and Friday in southwestern Colorado, I was favorably surprised to learn that stream fishing was a possibility. The three choices before me were Hermosa Creek, Cascade Creek and Lime Creek. Each of these streams were high elevation creeks that were beyond the peak run off conditions.

Narrow Meadow Stream

I chose to begin on the East Fork of Hermosa Creek. To reach this pretty spot, I turned at Purgatory Ski Area and twisted on a moderately rough dirt road over the top of the mountain that hosts the ski area. I dropped over the western side, and in a short amount of time, I spotted a narrow ribbon of a stream running through a lush and wide open meadow. I passed up a couple scarce pullouts and then finally snagged a wide shoulder location. The temperature was in the upper 60’s, so I passed up layers and stuffed my raincoat in my backpack. I set up my Sage R8 four weight, and I ambled down the road a short distance, before I cut over to the creek.

Jewel of a Trout

The stream was a thin band of water rarely more than five feet wide with dense overhanging bushes. For the next 1.5 hours I worked my way upstream and executed daps and slingshot casts to possible fish holding lies. It was a challenge. I spooked a few fish, but I did land two very pretty cutthroats in the nine inch range along with three sub-six inch gems. My offering was a size 10 Chernobyl ant and a beadhead hares ear nymph on an eight inch dropper. This was definitely tough fishing, and I grew frustrated with the inevitable snags of bushes. At 12:15PM the sky darkened, so I scooted back to the car and ate my lunch from the driver’s seat, until the worst of the precipitation subsided.

One of the Better Spots

The map at the fly shop depicted an additional drive of two miles to reach the confluence of the East and West Forks, so I executed a U-turn and made the exploratory drive.

Fish Landed: 2

Chernobyl Ant Drew Interest But No Takes