Thursday, October 01, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009 - Clear Creek
Thursday, October 1, 2009 - Clear Creek
The day started out for the suck - I managed to get the day off from work (even though it is the day after quarter close). But, I still planned to get up early, work for an hour or two, and then leave for the Blue with my buddy Darren. Unfortunately when I got up at 5am, I couldn't log in to my work server as it was down. I called Darren and told him I needed another 30 minutes. The work guilt was starting to set in and I called Darren back in my allotted 30 minutes, and luckily this time he allieved me of my guilt by talking me out of going - he really wanted to go, but he told me the weather in the high country was plain bad - ice packed and slick. So we decided to put it on hold, and I decided to go into work. I hit work normal time, and luckily the system was back up and I finished my stuff by 10:30. I gave Darren a call and he was up for anything - so we decided on Clear Creek.
The wind was ferocious, blowing through the I70 corridor down from the high country - it was actually spitting snow off and on, even though the sun was mostly out the whole time. We landed at about 11:30 and started fishing just West of Idaho Springs. This river is always a bit off color, and this time of year it had leaves, twigs, etc blowing through the water - making it virtually impossible for the fish to see our flies. But we managed, and had a great day. I brought Cabo along too - it is an easier river to keep her out of the water - so that made it an easy decision - she really enjoys being outside, in the water and getting to see the fish. It was a beautiful day (except the wind) and the colors were all changing up in the foothills/high country. The water was relatively low and ice cold. Our hands burned after handling and releasing fish.
We started right off at the parking lot with the tree in the middle of it - for those that know CC, you know exactly where this is. Darren was onto a fish immediately - and soon was changing up his rig to take advantage of the excellent dry/dropper "hatch". He caught fish all day - often times doing the "round the world" move on an unsuspecting little brown. For those that don't know the move - it is when you go to start picking the dry fly off the water for your back cast and you have a dink fish on and he ends up getting tossed over your shoulder, and you just save it by swinging the little guy back over the water. If you are lucky, he is wiggling so much that he pops off over the water and you have a clean release, if you are unlucky you flip him in the bushes and have to rush after to him to save his little life. But more often than not, you just swing him in a vicious circle again and again as you try and get him closer to you so you can catch the line and release him. Darren did this move at least 6 times today - it was quite entertaining.
We were into fish all day - they weren't huge, but were willing, dumb and fun. The most memorable fish is the one below - it was my first cast with the pink midges I tied the other night - I hooked and landed a pig of a rainbow - 14 inches and fat. That is a big fish for this river and was the biggest fish of the day. On my very next cast I caught an identical rainbow only about an inch shorter - I actually used the net on both fish!
The wind started getting to us around 3:30, so we packed it in and headed home. Had a sandwich in the truck, shot the sh!t on the way home and just enjoyed being outside and not working. A day of fishing is better than any day of work - I don't care what you do for work! Good company helps, and Darren and Cabo provided that too. A bit of an extreme weather day, but it was well worth it for a half day trip. Thanks man! Oh, and Cabo got to kiss many fish today, she was a happy girl.
Pics courtesy of Darren, I didn't even know he had a camera!
Just a note on Clear Creek - on September 9 Trout Unlimited did a river clean up on the Clear Creek River - I have done it 3 of the last 5 years, but was unable to this year. The river is filthy dirty and is in a sad state of cans, bottles, glass, etc. Also suffering are the fish. On three occassions today I snagged bait casting equipment - I hooked some 15lb test line/hook/weight that was snagged on the bottom, then hooked another hook and swivel that was snagged on a stick, and finally I actually landed a small fish by hooking the swivel eye that was attached to the line he had sticking out of his mouth - in which he had a hook down his throat (I clipped the line as close to his mouth as possible) - amazingly the little guy was still alive. If anyone thinks bait chuckers aren't deteriorating the environment that we all fish in they are kidding themselves. 15lb test? Egg containers laying around? It is a shame. Clear Creek deserves better.