Darren, Dave and I fished the Gore Canyon stretch of the Colorado River today. It was a great trip. Flows were 530 cfs (which is as low as I have seen it) and the water was dirty with less than 12 inches of visibility.
The day started at 4:45 when Dave met me at my house, we loaded up and were at Darren's at 5, then we headed up the mountain, a wet but smooth trip to Dillon, south into Silverthorne, about to Green Mountain and it started getting nasty - snow and rain and poor visibility. We pulled into the Pumphouse parking lot around 7:30 - checked out the water and suited up. Although the air was a bit warm, the wind and blowing snow SUCKED ASS. Everything was wet in minutes.
On the river soon after and found a great long run up river from Pumphouse where a small creek dumps in and the river makes a huge riffle and then a 90 degree bend. We sat in this spot for a while. Darren was hunkered down and started catching fish immediately - he had 2 or 3 before anyone else, including a chunky brown that ran 17 inches:
Right after that Dave hooked up and he had on a pig - and this fish couldn't be muscled in - we finally got it to net and it was a slab of legit 18 inch brown. Beautiful fish - thick, fought hard and was fiesty - love them freestone browns!
The boys continued to trade fish while I flopped around in the water working on my skunk. I snagged bottom, added a birds nest, lost flies, lost weights, almost fell in....yeah, not so good. The boys decided to head up river without me, I waved them on, because what I was about to do should not be witnessed by anyone without a strong stomach. Yes, that's right - I went whitie hunting! And man did I land one. 19 inches of thick pig, as big and fat a round as your calf. He was the biggest fish caught today and I was sure proud of him! Mark him off my list of To Do's this year!
I caught up to the guys at the bend, where I found out that Dave had basically caught another 5 browns and Darren another 7 or so. Dave took some time to sift through the river bottom with his little aquarium net and man did we find some bugs! In one scoop with his 4"x4" net he scooped up 8 salmon flies - I grabbed these three below for samples for a friend - a crane fly nymph, a caddis nymph and some other larva. all where a drab green. The salmon flies were HUGE - I mean they stretched 3+ inches long and were meaty! Not too difficult to see why the fish get big!
Moving closer to the canyon we traded some fish - Darren slammed this 18 inch slab of a brown in 2 feet of water no more than 3 feet off the bank - where the fish were hanging out all day.
The fish seemed to be taking anything shiny and big - hare's ear worked for me, Darren had luck on some streamers and a wire worm and Dave had luck on a midge/buzzer pattern. All flies were larger than normal - most in the 14-16 range and Dave's midge/buzzer was a size 18 (I think).
I landed a hearty little brown - about 16 inches - and then a couple of others further up into the canyon.
The weather cleared about 2.5 hours after getting there, the rain.snow stopped, the sun slowly came out, the wind died down, and we saw some blue sky. Most of the day remained that way, the sun stayed behind some clouds, but it was manageable. The fishing turned off however - we had a couple hits, but no more than 1 or 2 fish landed in about 2 hours. we decided to head up more into the canyon. Where the BWO's were coming off, however the fish were never really keying on them in the canyon. We did see some taking the BWOs a little later down outside of the canyon.
Around 2pm we decided to head back to the entrance of the canyon and try our luck. Of course our stomachs got the better of us and we headed back to the truck for a beer and a sandwich. We didn't stay long at the truck and suited up again and headed back down to the river. Dave and I fished the same stretch - Dave pulled out 5 or 6 on a double emerger rig and I hooked and landed 1 nice brown.
Darren of course disappeared, crossing the river and heading upstream. The weather started turning nasty again with wind and flying snow. On D's way back crossing the river he managed to hook into this bad boy - you, he got a whitie too!
It was a great day on some new water for D & D. Dave did manage a chunky rainbow - that I think Darren got a pic of - so that rainbow was the minority fish of the day. Great day of fishing! Thanks guys!