Saturday, March 18, 2006 - South Platte River, Deckers
Beautiful morning, 45 degrees, windy and cooler as the afternoon went on, 146 cfs, clear water.
Fished with Tom today - nice day to get out. I haven’t been out with Tommy in over a year (Dream Stream I think last January). I think we were on the front end of a low pressure storm – the fishing seemed ok. The water was running at a decent clip – there are a lot more places that the fish hold when the water is flowing at over 125 cfs. Basically we just hit the Deckers areas between the bridges.
I jumped right in at the bend where the log is down and worked my way upstream. I didn’t have a whole lot of luck at first chucking a streamer with a nymph trailer. I worked my way up to the lightning burned stump and hit that run on the far side of the island. I could see a few fish, but couldn’t stir anything in the first run. I moved up to hole that sits under the tree. I fished it for a while and finally saw a fish sitting on the far bank in a deep hole. I moved up and tried to trail the streamer right in front of him. I hooked a 14 inch rainbow that slammed the streamer – my first fish of the day, it got me excited. I kept trying at the other deeper fish, with no luck.
I moved up the run to the bridge and fished the dump pool right under the highway/fly shop bridge. I’m still not sure how to fish the streamer in some of the normal pools and runs. Off color water seem to make the fish hit the streamer a lot more – of course today was gin clear. I moved down and fished the highway side of the island. I switched to an 18 and 20 midge and hooked a couple of very small fish. They were just sitting in the run (that normally wouldn’t be there with low water). I moved down again, to a spot I don’t really want to divulge. The spot is the same spot I hooked a 24 inch rainbow three weeks prior. The fish slammed my flies and thrashed it’s head and ripped the whole rig apart. Well, I started fishing the run, not for anything in particular until I saw a dark figure behind a rock move out to a sandy spot and then moved back to its holding position. I 1through a size 18 and 20 killer midge at this fish for about 20 mins, over a 100 casts – nothing. I switched the 20 killer midge to a 20 black beauty and with in 10 casts I had him on. It was a big fish and he thrashed his head again. I moved him carefully to a smoother run and beached him in 6 inches, scooped him with my net. Tommy saw me scoop him and gave me a thumbs up. The fish didn’t even fit in the net! His head was hanging out a good 8 inches! The fish was long and not as thick as usual – but still a beautiful fish. He was nicely colored and strong. The mouth was huge! I saw a small fly hanging out of his mouth – a size 20 rainbow snack – the exact fly I was fishing with 3 weeks prior! As I went to remove the fly the fish got heavy and popped out of the net. I thought I still had him on my flies so I didn’t panic. I tried to grab the net and the fish, but I didn’t want to rough him up so as he floated towards the current, I just let him go. What a beautiful fish.
What a great feeling! I went down and sat next to Tom as he changed flies. I was satisfied, but wanted to keep fishing. The weather started turning a bit – it got very cool and windy. Tom decided he was going to hit the lower bridge and on the other side – I said I’d fish my way towards him. I fished the bend again, right at the log. On my first cast on the far side of the log I hooked and landed a feisty 12 inch rainbow. I caught 3 or 4 more fish from the same spot – most a little smaller. I moved down towards the bridge hitting all the normal holes. Not much luck. With such fast water it is harder to fish such small nymphs. I moved to the other side of the bridge and met Tom. We headed back to the bridge and I climbed up on to the bridge and scouted about – Tom pointed out a fish ahead of him, actually just under the bridge in the shade. I thought it was a stick, but it was a huge fish – probably a brown, maybe about 22 inches. Tom fished to it, but he said he scared it off.
On the other side of the bridge was a huge rainbow that was sitting on a sandbar between two fast runs. I moved down and tried to throw at him, but lost sight of him. Tom appeared on the bridge and we decided to head out. It was a good day.