Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eleven Mile Canyon in April

My buddy Mark and I headed down to Eleven Mile Canyon for the day to see if we could catch some fish.  We started the day at one of our normal spots with clear water and just a hint of a breeze.  I started the day throwing a BWO to a Black Beauty nymph while Mark started with two different nymph patterns.  I work my way upstream while Mark works downstream. 
I cast through a nice run and manage to get a bite but it comes off a few seconds later.  Working each pool and run as I go, the fishing turned off and I could not get another bite over the next hour or so.  I decide to walk downstream and see if Mark has had any better luck, and maybe change up some flies.  Sadly Mark has had the same luck as me and not caught anything yet.  I decide to tie on a little size 20 sprout midge(dry) to the back end of the BWO and try my luck at dry fly fishing. 

Mark casts through a run but doesn't get anything.  He does see a fish rising to feed on the surface and suggests I try it with dries.  Sure enough, a few casts in and I have hooked into a good size Brown.  I finally get him in after a good fight and have landed my first fish of the day, a nice 13" thick brown trout.  We continue to fish this same area for another hour or so, picking up a few fish each, all on dries, before heading to a different spot.

To finish off the day we head outside the canyon and try a spot a couple miles downstream.  We proceed as before with Mark fishing downstream and myself upstream.  I have a section of water which is mostly pocket water behind boulders and a few runs.  Over the next hour or so I end up catching three more fish to bring my total to 9 for the day while Mark finishes off with three of his own and 12 for the day.
Great day in the canyon catching some bigger browns and nice to find a new area to fish.  As always, just nice to be fishing in the mountains with a buddy.

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that worked:  BWO, Sprout Midge

Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow start to a good finish

Today was an interesting day of fishing.  I started the day by driving up Clear Creek Canyon only to find the water really stained.  I figured if I drove up high enough I could get into some clearer water.  I make my way to the turn off for highway 40 and try my luck at some pretty skinny water.  I tie on a couple dries and walk down to the bottom of the section I'm fishing.  I cast through a number of spots with no action or even fish to be seen while I work my way upstream.  After spending a hour or so with no luck and only a couple fish even seen I decide to drive over to Boulder Creek.

I drive highway 119 up to Nederland to see if Boulder Creek is running any clearer and see what Barker Res. looks like.  I get to the creek only to find it stained and shallow above the reservoir.  I start up by the park and work my way down to Barker Res., but did not get any hits or even see a fish.  After a quick look at the almost completely iced over lake and very skinny inlet waters, I decide to drive below the reservoir and see what the water looks like there.

I find a spot up high and try my luck but still can't seem to land a fish.  After a half hour or so I pick up and drive down to Boulder Falls and work my way upstream.  This section is mostly plunge pools and pocket water and runs a little faster than the earlier spots I tried.  A few casts in I have my first little brown of the day.  With the ice broken, I start to catch in every other spot I try.  By the end of the day I have caught a half dozen fish and hooked numerous more. 

I make a quick stop below the falls but find that the creek is stained again from the added water and decide not to fish it.  By this time it's 6pm and I decide to call it a day.  Slow start but turned into a pretty nice day of fishing and a great day in the mountains.

Rod:  Iwana 12'  6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating line 12'
Flies that worked:  Black Beauty

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Cache La Poudre with a Couple Buddies

Headed up to the Poudre yesterday with Mark and Dan to try our luck.  It ended up just me and Mark fishing while Dan took pictures with his new camera.  We start the day at the normal spot and then work our way up canyon the rest of the day.

I tie on a BWO to a red midge and mark tries a double nymph rig to start the day.  We work our way upstream fishing around a couple islands without a fish between us.  I walk just upstream of the last island and manage to catch a little rainbow on a Rainbow Warrior nymph for the first fish of the day.  Mark heads back downstream to fish a good run where we started and manages to land four fish before we pick up and drive upstream.
We stop at the first section of wild trout waters and see what we can get.  After both of us walking upstream a ways and getting nothing we decide to try a different section upstream.  We find another section of wild trout water with a few pools and a bunch of boulders in the stream.  Mark heads upstream while I head downstream.  I pick up a little brown trout downstream on a black beauty before I start making my way back upstream towards the car.  On my way back up I end up catching a little cutthroat in a pool between boulders on the black beauty.  I try a few more spots with no luck before calling it a day.


Mark finishes the day with seven fish landed and me with three for the day.  Probably could have been a better day but the wind made every cast a challenge.  Still great to be in the mountains and fishing with a couple of good friends.

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that worked:  Purple San Juan Worm, Black Beauty, Rainbow Warrior,

Lower Calf Creek Falls

My oldest brother and I were on a photography trip through the southwest and ended up spending our last half day on Calf Creek.  I have been here a number of times but it was Scotts first time.  The hike to the falls is about three miles, so I let Scott walk ahead as I fish the section around the campground to start the day.

I cast to a little pool where I can see a number of fish swimming around.  Using a BWO to a red midge I get a couple of strikes but can't hook up so I move upstream a little.  I come to another little plunge pool and start casting near to far.  I start twitching the fly a little and get a fish to come after it.  The first fish misses it but I cast back out and do the same thing, when I finally have my first little brown trout hooked.

I decide to pack up and start the walk to the falls to meet Scott.  After getting some pictures I try my luck in the pool at the falls.  I walk up to the outlet and start casting into the pool.  Almost instantly I see three fish get spooked and swim away.  I keep casting and get a nibble but no hookups, so I decide to walk downstream a little and try a couple more spots.  Second spot I try Scott sees a fish on the back end of the pool for me to try and land.  I cast out a number of times and see the fish move for the fly at least twice without getting it.  I keep casting and as I'm twitching the fly I finally get him to eat it.  Much to my surprise I have landed a cutthroat trout.  After a few pictures and a quick release I pack up and we start the walk back to the car.

The absolute best finish to our trip I could have asked for and without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever fished!

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Fly that Worked:  BWO

Friday, March 21, 2014

First day of Spring

Headed up to Bear Creek with my buddy Mark to try our luck on the first day of spring.  We had a sunny and warm day with just a hint of a breeze and the water around 40degrees.  I start the day around the parking lot and Mark heads upstream a ways.  We work our way upstream over the next hour or so with no action to speak of between the two of us.  After talking about the poor fishing for a little bit we decide to head to South Boulder Creek to finish off the day.

We get to South Boulder Creek around 1:30pm with a packed parking lot and a little more wind than earlier.  The flows were back up to around 90cfs and providing a few more areas for the fish.  I figured with the increased flows the mysis shrimp would be a good pattern to start out with trailing a BWO.  I start at a hole I have had good luck at before and sure enough, second cast in I have landed a nice little brown on the mysis to start off.  I work myself downstream a little casting behind a couple boulders but only manage to get a sniff from one fish on the BWO.

I walk downstream to find Mark and see what kind of luck he has had.  No fish to speak of for Mark, but we take a little break and then get back to it.  I find a nice section where I can see multiple fish feeding on the surface.  I take off the mysis and put on a midge and start casting out.  After fifteen casts I finally get one to take the BWO and I have landed my second little brown of the day.  I can still see fish feeding on the surface so I keep casting to the area.  I get a lot of movement towards the BWO but the fish just wont take it.  I switch up the midge pattern a dozen times but still can't get anything to take it.  I fish this area for about a half hour and manage to get three or four hits but for whatever reason I can't get the hook to set in the mouth.  I pick up and find Mark again, who had worked his way downstream and back.  I take a little break and Mark fishes the hole I just got done with and manages to land a little rainbow on a BWO in no time.

I walk upstream a little to an area with a big slack water pool between a couple huge boulders to finish off the day.  Once again I get three hits on the BWO, where I can see the fish take it, but when I go to set the hook, I just seem to be pulling it out of its mouth.  To finish off the day I head back to where I caught my first fish and try it again.  Nothing!  I walk up to the hole to see if there was a fish and sure enough I spook out a fish as I approach.

We call it a day around 4:00pm and head back to the car with a total of just three little fish for the day.  That being said, it was a beautiful day to be fishing with a buddy.

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that Worked:  BWO, Mysis Shrimp

Friday, March 14, 2014

A pretty good no fish day

Had another day off and I decided to try out Clear Creek for the first time this year.  I start the day around 10:30am at a nice sunny pullout section of the canyon.  The water was stained from the snow melt but there was no ice at all on the creek.  I start at the bottom of the section and work my way up using an egg to any number of different nymphs.  As I start casting the wind decides to pick up, and I can tell it going to be a tough day of casting.  I manage to get a few good casts in, but not before a few bad casts probably spook the fish, because I get no action at all through the entire section.  With the wind still gusting I decide to head back to the car and try Bear Creek to see if it's a little less windy.

I get to Lair the Bear and snow on the ground but the creek is ice free.  Still casting the same setup, I start right where the trail hits the water.  I cast through a far side run a few times when I finaaly get some action.  I get a bite but it shakes loose almost immediately.  So disappointed.  I continue to work my way upstream relearning the creek since the floods last year reshaped the whole area.  I see a few fish get spooked out by me but nothing will take what I'm throwing.  With the water being very clear and low I figured the fish would be in the deeper pools, but even targeting those areas will multiple flies I get no action the rest of the day.  I head back downstream to where I got the bite and see fish rising to a hatch.  I tie on four or five different small dries from midges to bwo's but can't get a bite.  After ten minutes and no action I decide to call it a day and head back to the car.

Despite the no fish day, I really had a pretty good day in the foothills of Colorado.  Reminded me of when I used to just walk around and take pictures, except I forgot my camera today.

Rod:  Iwana 12'
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that worked:  None

Friday, March 7, 2014

First time on the North Fork

Had the day off so my buddy Mark and I headed up to the Cache La Poudre River to try our luck.  The weather was overcast but warm with just a hint of wind.  To start the day we headed up to Marks favorite spot which was further up canyon than the North Fork of the Poudre where we were to spend the middle portion of the day, before finishing up in the lower canyon.

So we get to Marks spot and start working our way upstream.  I start below Mark and follow him up after ten or fifteen minutes trying more or less the same spots he had.  I am getting no action but do manage to see a couple fish over the coarse of my walk upstream.  With Mark having the same luck as me, we decide to head downstream and try out the North Fork.

I have never fished the North Fork before and Mark has only fished it once with not much luck.  That being said, we try our luck on the advice of Doug Heggart, who was nice enough to give me the down low on an area he has been fishing this winter.   I start in an area that has a nice run and a Big pool behind a boulder on the far side.  I cast through the run on the near side when I spot a couple of fish sitting at the bottom of the big pool.  Second cast in, I see the fish swim up to the egg but turn away.  Then it swims up to it again, but turns away one more time.  Still dead drifting the fly, the fish swims to the fly a third time and finally takes it.  After a short fight I have landed a nice 12" Rainbow for my first fish of the day.  Not two minutes later I see Mark land his first fish of the day just upstream from where I at.  I still see the other trout at the bottom of the big pool and start casting back through the pool.  A number of casts in the other rainbow finally takes the red midge on the back end of my setup, and have another 12" fish in hand after about ten minutes.  I work my way upstream and manage to catch a 9" brown in a little pool on the side before meeting up with Mark and taking a little break.  After our break, Mark heads downstream and manages to catch one more, while I head upstream  fishing the runs above the bridge and the cliff pool.  I hook into a couple of fish in the runs upstream of the bridge but one shakes loose and the other snaps my fly off.  I move up to the inlet of the cliff pool and cast to the far edge and hook into another good size rainbow for my third fish of the day.  I meet up with Mark and we fish one more pool before picking up and heading back to the car and driving downstream to finish the day off.

We try a pullout Marks fished before and he heads upstream while I head downstream.  I fish through a couple runs and a few pools with no luck as I walk upstream.  I get to a skinny section of water with shallow pools and cast through them.  After a number of casts I finally hook into a little brown that manages to shake loose after about ten seconds of fighting.  With that denial I call it a day and head back to the car to meet up with Mark.

Didn't have much luck on the Poudre but the North Fork treated me just fine for the majority of the day.  Great to be out fishing with my buddy Mark again on a beautiful Colorado day in early March!

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that Worked:  Egg, Red Midge Nymph,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

South Boulder Creek skunking

Headed up to South Boulder Creek on a chilly and windy Wednesday to try my luck again.  I tied on a Egg to a Le Bug to start the day and headed downstream.  I was the only car at the parking lot so I had the creek to myself.  With that being said I fished a number of the holes close to the car figuring that had not been touched yet.  To my surprise I did not get a bite in any of the big holes where My buddy caught fish the last time I was here.  I get to a couple of spots where I can see a fish in the water and cast over it.  Both times the fish makes no movement at all to my flies and I can not figure out what they want.  I switch up flies a couple more times and still cannot get a bite.

I decide to take a little break and take some pictures of the ice formations that have formed on the river.  Amazed how many cool and different formations have formed in one little cascade section of the creek.  With the wind kicking up I decide to call it a day early and head back to the car with no fish for the day.  Still good to be out and fishing in Febuary!

Rod: Iwana 12'
Line: Riggs Floating Line 12'
Fly that worked:  None for me today

Friday, January 24, 2014

My friends first Tenkara day

Started the day by picking up my buddy Daniel Hayes around 9:30am and heading up to South Boulder Creek.  We get to the creek around 10am to a nice sunny low 40's with just a touch of a breeze.  I give Dan the Iwana 12' rod and tie up a egg to a purple Le Bug for him, while I use the Motsugo 9' rod and tie on a san juan worm to a mysis.
Dan has fished before but never fished for trout or used a Tenkara rod, so as we walk to the creek I explain a few things about where the fish will be and how we will have to approach them.  I don't tell him how to cast but tell him to false cast a few times to get a feel for what the line will do and where it will land.  Then I leave him to fish.  We fish behind a couple boulders but neither of us get a bite so we move downstream.  I find a nice spot where there was a deep pool for him to fish and after telling him the strategy for catching the fish we were using with the flies he had on, I leave him to fish.  I set the rod down and go to take some pictures of him when I hear that he has one hooked.  To my surprise he has hooked a rainbow on the Le Bug and not the egg, but who cares, my buddy just caught his first trout on Tenkara!  The added cool factor was that the Le Bug was one of my self tied flies.  

We move downsteam a ways to another big pool beside a huge boulder and leave him to fish as I go further downstream.  Before I get twenty feet away he has hooked another rainbow on the Le Bug.  I walk back up to him and see his second Rainbow of the day in hand before releasing it back into the water.  We move downstream a little and find a spot right before the first bridge.  Dan takes an area in the sun to warm up a bit, while I fish a couple pools in the shade.  Second pool I try and a small rainbow hits a olive bead head nymph I switched to behind the san juan worm.  I'm on the board!  The day has officially become a great fishing day!

We continue to move downstream and fish the deep pools we come across.  I find a cool section of fallen trees with ice on them and rocks with ice formations to take pictures of while Dan fishes.  Before I can finish he has hooked his third Raibow of the day on the Le Bug!  I couldn't be happier that Dan is cathcing fish, and I have given him almost no instruction.  He has figured out how to cast good enough and can approach an area in a way that lets him catch multiple fish on what was probably a little tougher day with the flows dropped from 100cfs to 10cfs.

We fish a few more holes before calling it a day and head back to the car.  In all we fished for about four hours and landed four fish, but both of us had a fantastic day in the mountains on the water!  Plus the coolest thing was my friend caught his first trout on Tenkara with a fly I tied!

Rod:  Iwana 12'
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Fly that worked:  Purple Le Bug  

Friday, January 10, 2014

South Boulder Creek with my buddy

My buddy Mark had the day off so we decided to try our luck on South Boulder Creek.  The temperature was in the low 40's with just a bit of wind and partial cloud cover.  The creek was running around 100 cfs and pretty clear.  We both decide to tie on a Egg and Mysis shrimp for our set ups to start the day and head down to the creek.

We start fishing near the top and work our way down throughout the morning.  Each of us end up hooking a few fish early, all 10" or less but still nice to have the action.  Somewhere around noon we decided to walk downstream a ways and try some new water.  Mark continued to catch fish, all on the Egg, while My action slowed to a trickle.  For the entire day we were both throwing the same rig but for whatever reason Mark was catching all his fish on the Egg, while I caught everyone of my fish on the Mysis.

We fish until around 2:30pm and start our walk back to the car hitting a couple spots along the way.   We finish the day with Mark landing twice as many fish as myself, but still had a great day of fishing with a buddy.

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies That Worked:  Orange Egg, Mysis Shrimp

Friday, January 3, 2014

First day of Fishing for 2014

Today was a day of hopes, as in "I hoped things would have been better".   I started the morning out just fine, getting up when I wanted and out the door when I wanted.  Unfortunately the traffic I hoped would be gone was backed up because of an accident on the highway and getting to the creek took a little longer than expected.
So as I pull up the creek I can tell the wind is blowing pretty good but hope inside the trees of the canyon the wind won't be so bad.  Walking out into the creek, my hopes get crushed again, it is windy!  I start to fish anyway using the same setup as last time, egg to a white le bug,  and can tell casting is going to be a challenge.   I cast through the same pool to start as I did last time, hoping to hook a fish again.  Denied, so I try a couple more pools but still no action.  I decide to pick up and walk way downstream and try the section that produced some fish for me last time.

I get to the good section and work my way into position hoping it will produce like last time.  I cast through the run and pool where I caught a few last week and after a few casts I land my first fish of the day.  A nice little rainbow that took the egg.  I continue casting through the area and manage to get a brown on the egg, and a rainbow on the le bug.  This area gave up three to me which considering my casting in the wind, was probably the only thing close to as I hoped.
I move upstream by wading through the creek trying to get to an area with a few big pools created by some logs and large boulders.  As I get to a point where I have to cross the creek, like always I try to find the shallowest point.  I think I have found a good route, when first step into a little faster section and I miss judge the step.   Splash! Down goes Frazier!  I end up dunking my whole left side into the creek before pulling myself up and drying off on a boulder in the sun.  I dry off and cast through a few more sections as I work my way back to the car.  I manage to hook into a little rainbow but it shakes loose as it goes over some falls.

With that, I call it a day and head back to the car hoping I will dry off on the way.  Well the day wasn't what I hoped, but it will still a good day out on the water catching a few fish in a beautiful canyon on a warm, sunny, January day in Colorado.  As far as the self dunking goes, what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger.  Plus If you had seen it, I'm sure you would have laughed.

Here is to hoping the next day of fishing is a little kinder!

Rod:  Iwana 12' 6/4
Line:  Riggs Floating Line 12'
Flies that worked:  Orange Egg, White Le Bug,