Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chatfield, Saturday May 30, 2009

Nothing to report - water was a lot higher - the elevation shows 5,431.82 ft which is actually lower than yesterday. I walked out to the bays with the dog, she could stand on the path, but off the path she was swimming. Nothing moving at all, and only saw 2 fish jump out of the water. Hopefully the spawn will still happen and I am just early.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Fly_Fischa has some beautiful flies that I found on Fly Tying Forums. These are nice looking PT/CJ's in brown and a great photo to boot!

This gives me lots of ideas on different types of flies that you can make with that crystal flash as "legs".

Antero Reservior - Thur, May 28, 2009

My buddy Darren and I hit up Antero on Thursday and we had a great time. Met him at his house at 5:30am, we hit Antero by 7:30am and on the water by 8am. The morning was dead still - no wind at all and we could see lots of jumpers. I brought the kayak with me and I'm glad we did. I have a 14 foot Advanced Elements inflatable kayak and although it wasn't built for "fishing" the thing is completely stable and with an anchor system you can get anywhere and hunker down. That is exactly what we did - we went to the North Boat ramp area and saw a bunch of fish jumping and decided this was a good spot. The kayak takes minutes to inflate, snap the seats in and we were on our way. We paddled over some weed beds and decided to anchor just on the far side of the weed beds and cast back into them. The first hour or so was pretty slow as we kind of got our bearings and our "feet wet".

I remember a small boat came trolling by and right in front of them I hooked into a monster. The fish wasn't fighting real hard, but it was towing me around like I was in a dingy. I tried to muscle him in with no luck, he just kept pulling me. Luckily we had the anchor down, so we didn't get towed too far. The fish swam sideways right under the boat, and it looked like a large mouth bass (not kidding). Darren said it was a silvery rainbow and no kidding the fish was 14 inches TALL! I would guess the fish was 5lbs plus. He popped off right under the boat, so we never got him in.

I got into a couple more fish, including a 14 inch sucker and then a nice 19 inch rainbow. The bow was thick and wouldn't fit all the way in the net. While popping the fly out of his mouth, he fell back into the water before any pictures were taken. Darren started nailing the fish soon after - landing numerous suckers, and the occasional football rainbow in between. The average sized rainbows were 14-16 inches and they fought awesome and were just so thick.

The fishing went off around 10:30 and then started picking up again around 11:30. Again, we were into lots of fish. Suddenly the belly boats and pontoons started circling us within 30 feet - I'm not kidding, these assholes were literally getting within casting distance of us. A couple of times these guys casted over our lines or were within 3 feet of our indicators. I made some loud mention of it, but they just didn't get the hint. The reason why this pisses me off so much is because outside of the 3 guys that were circling us within a 100 foot radius, there wasn't another boat within 600 yards! These guys were assholes, and if you were fishing Antero yesterday just east of the North Boat ramp you should be ashamed of yourself, if this was one of you guys. Next time I'll be pitching treble hooked streamers and I promise I can hit anything from 30 feet away.

Anyways, the fishing was good for another hour or so - still not a breath of wind. We could not believe how beautiful the day was - South Park is known for it's wind, but we weren't experiencing it. Of course with the good comes the bad, both of us had to pee like race horses, but no way we were moving from this spot! We contemplated peeing in a bottle, peeing in our waders, peeing at the belly boaters so close to us, but we sucked it up like true wader wearing gladiators. The 11:30 to 1pm fishing blitz was highlighted with Darren catching an 18 inch thick Snake River Cutthroat. The fish fought hard and was beautifully colored.

I had on a beautiful Hofer Rainbow about 17 inches as well - it was dark dark green and the coloration was beautiful, but again he popped off right in front of me. This one popped off because it is virtually impossible to land a fish when you have a 13 foot leader out and an indicator at the top - you can get the fish close, but it is a tug-o-war. We lost a lot of fish right close to the boat due to these reasons - that is just reservior fishing for you. I did lose another beauty, this one wouldn't show itself too much, and we could see it in about 4 ft of water as it circled the boat - it had white tipped fins and we were sure it was a splake or a brookie. When looking at pics I'm pretty sure it was a splake. It too was about 16 or 17 inches and fought nicely.

At about 1pm the wind kicked up and put a ton of chop on the water and the fishing shut off. The jackasses in the belly boats circling us got sick of getting skunked and had gone in for lunch. We decided to go in as well - to pee and eat. We took about an hour and rummaged around on shore and in the shallows looking for bugs, we were marvelling at how large the chironomids were and then Darren found a cool damsel nymph - the thing was huge (around 2.5 inches) and I tried taking a pic in macro mode (not so good):

We headed back out around 2:30 to the same spot - this time cutting through the wind and fighting the waves. We didn't catch anything consistently, but Darren caught one every 15 mins or so. Amazingly the wind stopped at around 4pm and again the reservoir was like glass. Darren continued to hammer them and landed a few more footballs.

I pretty much was on the skunk - which was ok with me. We wrapped it up around 5pm, and were packed and on the road by 5:30 headed home. It was a great day of fishing, although the fishing wasn't "on fire" it was certainly consistent. I think we did very very well for a bunch of rookies in an ugly kayak.

A couple of observations/comments from the day:
- Darren can cast a mile from the sitting position with a three fly weighted rig and 2 inch thingamabobber - he literally got about 60 feet on some of those casts.
- The kayak is so comfortable that Darren said it was like fishing "from a park bench" - as both of us would sit sideways in it with our feet in the water and fish the same water.
Sitting on the park bench fishing.
- We witnessed a 1 in a million day of weather at Antero - although the wind came up (and it looked like it would storm) it was mostly a calm day.
View in the morning.
- Lake fish look like footballs - seriously - how is it a 14 inch fish could be 8 inches tall/wide????
- I need a boat net - it's impossible to land big fish in a tiny net when you can't reach them. Two feet extra of length and a larger net is money.
- Bring beer, or an iPod, or a book, or something - bobber fishing is boring - even though you catch pigs, the waiting is extremely boring. Darren and I just ragged on each other all day - I'm glad he's not sensitive.
- If anyone is around the North Boat Ramp and finds a pile of fish lips and assholes, it's because Darren ripped them all off on his wild hook sets from 60 feet away. I'm apologizing to the fish on Darren's behalf.
- Man, is Colorado beautiful - the peaks and the background settings of South Park are beautiful.
- Always bring a good friend to put your thingamabobber on. Oh, and one that pays cash for gas too!
- When your buddy says "hey, can I see your fly box for a minute" always count the flies in it - so when it comes back with 25 less flies you have proof when you ask him "How many did you take?" and he says "1" you know he is lying. Just sayin'.
- When a sucker spews on you that is good luck - seriously, it is. It happened to Darren multiple times and he hammered them right afterwards, happened to me too and I did the same.
- The flies that were working were all size 16 - hare's ear, grey scuds, black thread, silver wire and grey dubbing chironomids, and a black chironomid with green holographic tinsel/super hair around the body. The white beads weren't really working yesterday.

Thanks Darren - it was a blast. We'll hit that other "lake" soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some home made dubbing!


I didn't say that I made it! A friend of the blog - KBarton over at hooked me up with some of this home made dubbing (straight out of the coffee grinder!) after I made a small donation to his addiction fund. His addiction - is it beer? whiskey? women's underwear? Although I can not rule those out, I do know he has a steady addiction for anything that looks buggy at the craft store. Yes, KBarton is a craft store junkie, ready to buy a skein of this or a dash of that and put it on a size 12 hook and throw it at fish and see if he'll eat it. (Imagine what he makes his kids eat???)

He has assured me that no old ladies at the craft store were harmed in the making of this here dubbing!

Great mixture and thanks again Singlebarbed! It will come in very handy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Carp fishing at Chatfield

Well, I finally had the chance to get out and see if I could spook up some carp. This weekend has been crazy and I haven't been able to find any time - and the couple times I did have some time it was pouring rain (which it is right now again).

I took Cabo over around 3:30 today and we walked all the way out to the point. The inlet bay is dry - only a stale puddle of water and nothing in it at all. The open bay side was beautiful - the internet is saying the altitude of the lake is at 5429.29 ft, but that is still way too low. I seriously think it needs to come up at least a foot more and flood the bay again. The could happen over night with all this rain.

The bay was beautiful - complete wind free and like glass. Of course the huge fish were jumping out of the water - some were within 50 feet of me. I tried a carp slider and a damsel nymph, then dropped the damsel and tried a green streamer with bead chain eyes. Nothing, not even a bump. I think I blew up a couple hundred fish without knowing it - they probably swam right up to me in the dirty water and then blew it up getting away from me. The amazing part about the bay is that I can walk out 100 feet and it still isn't more than waist deep.

Well, long story short, no carp, and it's raining. We have gotten more rain in the past 4 days than I can every remember.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chatfield Update

The water dropped over a foot since the last time I was there (a week). My inlet bay is completely dry and the lake side bay has easily receded about a foot and a half of shoreline.

But, I can still see the carp jumping and moving. The shallow water makes it easier to see them moving around. I plan on heading out (today) and fishing for them for a couple of hours.

I'll post how I did later in the day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chatfield is close!

I went over to Chatfield today with Cabo to check out Chatfield and see if the water has dropped and if the carp are starting to get their swerve on. I do have to save that due to some decent snow, some decent rain storms (in particular last night!) and some cooler weather, the Chatfield area is looking very very green - everything from the grass to the bushes to the trees is all green - it's nice to see.

The wind was up a little bit, but luckily the water was down. It is still about 6 inches too high, but they are letting a ton of water out the dam and down the Platte, so the reservoir should come way down some more. I walked all the way out to my bay, and made it all but the last 20 yards walking on dry land. I saw some guys walking around my flats with bows and arrows and round canisters on their bows. I assumed by the looks of this rig that this was carp fishing gear (not exactly the fishing I had in mind though). There was three of them and they were just kids. I chatted with them and they told me they got one 30 inch+ carp over in the shallow muddy bay and he was tied up over there. I felt a little bad knowing I lost a potential tug-a-war partner, but it is good to know that the fish are starting to show themselves.

However, today the fish weren't tailing, not getting their grooves on quite yet. I think we need about another week. However, the water was very warm - not sure if it was over 55 degrees, but probably pretty close. I stood in it up to my knees and was never really cold. I stood on the reservoir side and did see a couple of jumpers - one huge jumper in particular, but not as frequently as you do a little later in the year. I'm excited - we are about a week away and I plan on taking full advantage of it.

I'll keep you all posted, and drop me an email if anyone wants to join me on a carp hunt.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stillwater Fishing - Fri/Sat May 8/9, 2009

I got a chance to still water fish for large trout with some friends from the RMF board - it was my buddy Steffan and I's first time for stripping streamers and lake nymphing. The trip was to an anonymous water about 4 hours from Denver. We left early afternoon on Friday - leaving work early made it possible to do some night fishing on Friday and fish all day on Saturday. We got up there around 6:30 or so, met our friend Mark at his camper, we said hello's, created our plan of attack and were fishing by 7:30 or so. We decided to strip streamers, it was just getting dark and the sun was bouncing off the mountains in the foreground - it made for a beautiful evening.

We were lucky enough to be up there under full moon conditions and we were blessed to get into some fish as the night got darker. The temps up here get cold very very fast, and it dropped from about 55 degrees when we arrived to the 30's by about 45 minutes after sun down. What made stripping difficult was that your fingers are always touching the wet line and when you catch fish your hands are wet when releasing fish.

We all caught fish - the first being a beautiful brown by Mark - he caught the 20 incher on a skinny streamer with big lead eyes and a fat body. Steffan hooked up next - a 20 inch rainbow that was spewing eggs into the net. She was a beauty and we were all pumped that we were into fish.

I switched rods and on the way back down to the water Mark was headed up - his hands were frozen and he was ready for some relief. I jumped back into his spot and hooked and landed a large 20 inch brown, the fish had some pretty muted colors, but was thick just the same.

The night continued to get colder - as we fished under a full moon. Steffan and I then traded fish - he caught another thick rainbow of about 20 inches that he dropped before I could get a picture of him holding it - I did get this picture in the net.

I hooked a 19 inch brown that was dramatically thinner than my first.

We were off the water by about 10:30 and back at camp. We set up a nice fire and drank some of Steffan's home brew - not too shabby!!

Steffan set up sleeping bag and mat outside in the cold and I slept in my waders in the truck with nothing but all the clothes I had and a blanket. Big mistake. I was frozen by 3:30am as the temperature dropped to a low of 22 degrees! I tossed and turned until 5:30 then decided I had to start the truck and get some heat. We also revived the fire and got that going. I napped in the warm truck until about 7:30 and then we decided to fish again. We took the kayak out and tried trolling streamers - to no avail. We did meet up next to a guy who was a total diehard - he had fished from midnight to 2:30 am and had pounded 17 fish over 20 inches. He was a streamer pro and fished a huge 6 inch pattern literally on the bottom. He was amazing to watch as we sat next to him stripping streamers in about 15 feet of water. He caught fish after fish and never stopped. The wind kicked up around 10am and he was out of there.

We chased fish all morning. I sat in the kayak and cast backwards into deeper water - nymphing a size 14 green microtubing fly and a size 14 black zebra style midge - I picked up a lunker rainbow right off - probably only 18 inches or so, but the fattest 18 inch fish I had ever seen (these fish seriously needed Weight Watchers!!). I picked up 3 dinks after that - all about 11 inches long.

Steffan was shut out until early afternoon when we were fishing the fringes of some cuttbows that were staging to spawn - they were chasing each other and porpoising all around - some of these fish were in the high 20 inches and could have weighed over 10 lbs. I hooked a huge one and he just went on a straight line out - he ripped off over a 100 feet of line in about 8 seconds and there was no way to turn him - he popped the fly off at the knot. Steffan hooked and landed a brightly colored cuttbow that dwarfed his earlier fish - it had to be about 22 inches and fat! We wish we had a picture, but he dropped that fish too!

We said our good byes around 2:30 and were back in Denver around 6:30. It was a great quick trip and we caught some major hogs!! Thanks again Mark for letting us fish with you, and no worries, your secret is safe with us!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stillwater Fly Tying

I have a stillwater trip coming up this weekend - so I started tying some big old chironomids - I like tying big flies - easier on the eyes and finger tips!!