Friday, May 29, 2009
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.