Thursday, December 29, 2011

Colorado River - Dec 27, 2011

Fished the Colorado River again in the same spot as last week with Steffan. Same result, just much smaller fish this time. Nothing really over 16 inches - and only 1 that big - all browns, but it was great to get out with Steffan.

Attached are some pics of the river and Steffan catching some fish. Steffan broke 2 tips to the ice - it was an expensive day for him.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Colorado River - December 18, 2011

Werm, Kratt and I made plans to fish on Sunday - it ended up being a Werm Birthday/Secret Santa trip. Kratt and Werm showed up just before 5am and we were on the road. The ride up was pretty uneventful - made it up there (spot is omitted to protect the innocent fish) around 6:45 with no one in the parking lot.

Although the Secret Santa was a total bust this year, Kratt made the below fish for Werms - complete with Werm's 5 favorite beers and Old Chub. Somehow it was conveyed by me to Kratt the Werm loved Chub, so that is why it got prime real estate on the fish. Pretty fun now. But, that fish is frickin amazing - Kratt did a really good job and no lost finger (or close to it) this year!

Werm and Kratt cracked beers in the car, while I got out and walked around a bit - damn it was cold - like -6* cold. Finally the boys got out of the car and started dressing - the sun was just popping over the mtns and through the trees. We spotted a bald eagle right off - a good start to the morning.

We struggled to get dressed, struggled to tie on flies and struggled to actually get down and into the water - but we made it. I caught a small brown on my first cast, Werm had a fish on soon after and Kratt followed it up - all of us were off the skunk. It seemed like another hour or so before we caught any more fish. We had a couple hook ups and slow sets along the way, but eventually we started landing fish - it went in the same order, small browns, but at least we were catching. The water looked cool, with steam coming off and a strong sun coming over the mountains - the sun felt good, but the water was a long way from warming up.

We seriously were pounding beers (and Maker's for Kratt) - I think all day we drank beer instead of water - must have been about 18 or so. 7am and we were drinking. The morning seemed to go by quick, although expensively - Kratt snapped a tip on his rod no more than 10 casts in while chipping ice off and I lost numerous fly rigs on the bottom. Another funny thing happened - while Kratt was getting a new rod, a hunter crossed below us, with a young black lap in tow. He passed across the river from us and nodded, then no more than 2 minutes later we heard a loud pop gunshot and saw a few ducks flying down river - scared the PISS out of me! But it was pretty funny.

About 9am I hooked into a good sized fish, the rainbow below. The hardest part was I couldn't land these pigs myself because I had about 12 feel of line from my fly line to my bottom fly (bad planning on my part). The rainbow was nice and thick and took the midge - he was by estimate 18.5 to 19 inches and fat as anything - what a great fish. Soon after I hooked and landed a 17 or 18 inch cuttbow - not quite as thick. I think those were the only two bow/cuttbows of the day. The second bow took the an egg.

After about 10am the water started warming and the air seemed almost bearable. The fish started cooperating as well - Werms started going to town landing fish after fish as Kratt and I struggled to keep a fish on the end of the line. We eventually started hooking up and we all landed some nice browns - but then it died out again at 11am and we decided to hit up another spot to try our luck.

After a 25 minute ride - which felt awesome because we were finally warming up and getting feeling back in our feet - we landed.. At the parking lot there was a 10 foot shelf of ice out into the middle of the river to where the fast water was - there were tons of iceberg sized floaters going down river and we decided that this was not a good idea. We headed back to our original spot.

Around 12:45 or so we were back,, another beer, a quick dump for Kratt and we were on the water. However, there were two guys in our hole - so we fished down low and I made my way back to the hole to see if I could squeeze in between the two guys. The older guy left, and the other guy was just standing in our hole, on the bank, rod strung up, just looking at the water. When I got up to him I asked how the fishing was and he replied "caught one up there, just getting started" - I was thinking its gonna be a long wait - so I hit the split at the top of the pool, made 4 casts, looked back downriver and the guy was walking back to the car - my next cast flung into a birdsnest, so I started back to our spot. I was waving Kratt upriver the whole way back to the hole!

As I was re-tying my shit, Kratt proceeded to hammer the hole - catching 3 fish before I had even tied on a fly. He even got the token whitefish of our trip! Werm was soon up river again and we fished across river from each other for the rest of the day.

There was about an hour period there where we hammered them - with several doubles and a couple near triples. We didn't take much time to take pics because we didn't want to miss the window of opportunity. The weather was beautiful now - almost not glove weather, but not quite.

I managed 3 browns on 3 casts in the same spot - all fought so hard and didn't want to be netted. The fish below was my favorite - although not as colorful as most of the browns we caugt - he was the longest - I taped him out at 20 inches next to my rod. What a nice surprise in this hole! The good fishing continue - lots of browns with their golden bellies, blue and red spots and red tipped tail fins - amazingly colorful and a lot of fun. The damn browns also spin themselves to death when you get them in on a rig - they flip around in the net 25 times before you can grab them - throwing your rig into a rats nest and tangles. I released a couple fish only to find they weren't released because in their spinning hurry they hooked their asses on the fly below.

What a great day. At 3pm or so we decided to head out and get in line with the ski traffic, which didn't end up being too bad. It was a quick ride home. The flies that worked were basically eggs and small grey or black midges. Those seemed to pick up fish, but mostly as the water warmed up.

Thanks for the great trip boys - I wouldn't have done this on my own, but you guys talked me into it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Colorado River - November 17, 2011

Werm and I decided to do some fishing during the week to escape the crowds and before it got too cold. On a tip from a friend, we decided to hit the Colorado River (specific spot is intentially omitted for fear that it will be hotspotted). Werm was at my house at 4:30am and we hit the road. The ride was pretty uneventful, but it was beautiful to see the sun rise against the snow on the mtns backdrop. We were in the parking lot at 6:30 and suited up. The morning was about 15 degrees, but no wind and the flows were good at 573 cfs.

We jumped into the bridge pool, Werm was pre-rigged and ready to go, I set up the camera behind him and recorded his first few minutes. In the 10 minutes of filming him he caught 6 fish, and it didnt stop all day long. He caught those 6 fish before I even wet my line. I was struggling to get going. The hot fly all day was the chartruese egg. Werm kept slamming them throughout morning - getting about 20 before I even managed my first. We fished below and above the bridge and Werm torn it up.

The absolute funniest part of the morning was when Werm got a tangle and was undoing it, I jumped into his hole just in time to see a huge brown head surface between me and my indicator. My first reaction was that a huge carp was surfacing, but them I saw two eyes and a face and I screamed, pooped myself a little bit and started running and falling to get out of the water - I put my arm down to brace my fall and got soaked, but I avoided the huge beaver that just surfaced less than 3 feet from me. Problem is, I still had my rod in my hand and now the indicator was zooming to the middle of the run - I had a small dog sized beaver on my rod. Luckily within seconds he broke off, taking my entire rig and my indicator floated freely down river.

At about 11am I finally started catching fish. The first was a nice 18 inch fat rainbow - that looked like a stillwater pig. I then got a few more, including some large whities. Werm didnt stop all day, continually catching fish after fish. It was fun watching him catch fish - he must have had at least 40 - all on the chartruese egg. I caught 2 on a gray sparkle RS2 - both whities. The afternoon saw my start catching a few more, but after 12:30 or so we only caught dinks - all were under 13 inches.

What a great day to be out - great fishing, some good beer, the fish cooperated, even some big ones. We left about 1:30 and were back at my house at 4. I forgot to mention I did catch a fish in the morning. I snagged a stick that had a brown trout wrapped in monofilament dead on it - so technically I caught a fish. Dead fish are way harder to catch than alive fish - just sayin'.

Werm poked around under some rocks and found some huge stoneflies - they were easily 2 or 3 inches long.

Thanks for driving Werm - can't wait to do it again!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hogs Gone Wild?

Holy @$%#&@, look at this picture - the dude has the fish by the scruff of the neck to hold it up. That fish looks like someone stuck a hose up his butt and filled him full of air. WTF!

Wow. BTW, I don't know who this guy is, but that is a pretty nice catch. It was on a streamer at a South Park lake.

Bear Creek Res - October 29, 2011

Hef and I have been trying to make plans to hit BCR for a while - things finally panned out. We met up just before 1pm at the lot next to the Shell station on Morrison Road and I jumped in his truck, we were down the road and on BCR by 1:15.

Of course it was like glass when we got there, and about 30 minutes wasn't. We fished the inlet from Bear Creek and tried stripping streamers - with no luck. We each had a hit, but not much else. I talked Hef into trying a pegged egg and within a few minutes he had on a fish - actually the fish had on him - as it hooked himself (Hef wasn't even holding the rod) and jumped about 4 feet in the air. The fish was a little acrobat - a nice little 13 or 14 inch rainbow.

Soon after he were into another fish - another little rainbow that jumped and popped off right next to the boat.

The wind kept blowing and it got colder. We eventually called it quits about 3:15 - I was home by 4. It was great to finally meet Hef.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Silverthorne Pond, October 10, 2011

Due to Columbus Day on Monday, my son's daycare was closed and my daughter was also on fall break from school - so I took the day off and took the kids up into the mountains for some fun. We started out by hitting the stocked pond in Silverthorne near the school - we could see a few fish, but had no luck catching any. I fished for about an hour hoping to catch something and have the kids net it - but I was skunked.

It was almost lunchtime so we hit up McDonald's and then headed towards A-Basin and up over Loveland Pass. There wasn't a ton of snow up there, but enough to make everything white and have the kids play in about 3 or 4 inches of snow.

We had a 1:30pm departure time on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, so we headed down the Pass to Georgetown. The trip was fun, a 20 minute trip to Silver Plum, a 20 minute wait and then a 20 minute return trip to Georgetown.

We headed home around 3:30. It was a good day, and the kids had a blast. The fishing didn't go as planned - I was hoping to just get 1 fish and get the kids excited - I figured if they saw one fish it would make them more interested in fishing - but with no fish it was "boring" and may have turned them off to fishing. I guess we will see.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Oct 1, 2011 - Colorado and Blue Rivers

Cabo and I had a chance to fish with Darren on Saturday - first time we've gotten to fish in over a month - and first time fishing together in 2 months. Started out early around 4:30am, hit the parking lot of Hot Sulphur Springs at just before 6:30 - made good time. It was still dark, so we decided to take our time stringing up. The light started coming up pretty quickly after that and we were soon on the water. The water was low, but the river had completely changed. All of the drop offs and holes were completely filled in. You had to find the fish in the deeper sections and nymph for them.

Darren and I fished the 1/4 mile stretch, picking up a few 12-13 inch browns and a few dinks. Darren picked up a nice rainbow by a downed tree. They were hitting a pink worm and a small jujubee. We decided to hit below the bridge before leaving, at the big pool where the hot springs dumps in - D caught a couple of fish, but besides them it wasn't on there. We were done with the stretch by about 10:30 and decided to head down and hit below Byers Canyon. I love this stretch, having basically learned to fly fish here back about 10 years ago.

We had a beer, ate some chips, then dropped down into the flooded bridge area and immediately started catching dinks. They were fun. We worked our way down to the picnic bend pool area - catching a few here and there, then worked our way back up to the highway bridge and worked the run right by the parking lot. Usually this run is waist deep and full of fish, but the river has changed and now it is mostly shin deep all the way across. We switched to dry dropper, floating nymphs and then 1 dry and caught dinks for about an hour.

The only pic I took all day.

At 1pm we decided to see what the crowd looked like at Parshall Hole. Every spot we had seen today was full with at least 3 cars (some had more). Parshall was no different - 7 cars, 10 anglers and no where to stand, so we just drove by. We decided to head for the kokes on the Blue above GMR. Unfortunately all those spots were taken too - with about 12 cars in one turnout and 5 in another. even Palmer Gulch had 10 cars, so we parked on the Palmer Gulch road in a spin off closer to the bridge - dropped down into a fishy hole and tried it there.

Palmer Gulch is beautiful, but it can be a tough place to fish. The holes there all look fishy and there can be some pigs in there. No kokes in sight yet. I ass hooked a big rainbow and was dragging him in when he popped off. We moved to a hole above us and D saw a fish in a roll hole. We both hooked up on back to back casts - he got a 16 inch rainbow and mine was a beautiful 17 inch cuttbow - what a pretty fish. There seemed to be threats of thunderstorms, but we never got a drop or saw any lightning. We decided to head up to Silverthorne and see what the Observation Bridge or Asbestos Alley was holding. The "O" was full but the I70 bridge was open. We decided to hop in there.

Unfortunately the river has changed here too - no "pools" rather just a long run now. No real depth to hold fish in an easy spot. We fish for maybe 15 minutes and got out of there.

The leaves are changing in the mountains and it is beautiful up there. I wish I had taken more pics, but I forgot the GoPro in the truck most of the day. The water was beautiful, the weather was even better. It was a great day to be out and we caught some fish. Winter is coming up in the high country, you can smell it, feel it and see it - the days are shorter, the air is crisper, and the leaves are falling. Get up there while the fall is here and before winter kicks in.

Thanks D for a great trip.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Boulder Creek - Sept 10, 2011

I helped Steffan today put in his new radiators in his house. We got done a bit early so we decided to hit up Boulder Creek for a couple of hours to end the day. We did very well, about 10 fish between the 2 of us, the largest being a 10.5 inch brown. Lots of small fiesty browns. Steffan stuck to the dry fly and I nymphed. Great little creek to wet a line on.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

South Park - 9/4-9/5/2011

Had a weekend to fish this past week - decided to do some stillwater and some river fishing with my neighbor - give him a taste of both and I finally get to fish a river this year.

Left early Sunday morning - got to Spinney around 6:30am and it was chilly. Suited up, got the yak out, fished off the second lot. First cast we had a hit - then nothing. We fished until noon out by that second lot, then moved to the South boat ramp and fished that area. Bugs every where - midges, chiros, huge callis. The callis were a greyish white color with a hint of olive. Cool looking bugs. The fish were motorboating the surface with their mouths open - we could see them within 20 feet of us. Some would come right by the boat. We tried everything but dries, deep, shallow, weight, no weight, grey, black, hare's ears. Nothing. Water temp was 58 degrees to start and 60 when we left.

Right before we left Tom hooked and landed a 15 inch bow - we tried to get a pic, but he's not used to hooking, landing, fighting or taking pics of trout. Water temp was 61 degrees.

Left and went to Antero (on the way to the Ark). Fished for 2.5 hours - I managed a couple of pigs, but the fishing was still slow. One 18 inch bow and another 17 inch bow - good fighters.

We left around 5:30 and got into Hecla Junction, at the base of Brown's Canyon around 6:30 - found a camping spot and set up. This was the view from our spot.

We tried fishing the area just below the canyon, but the water was up and that damn river is slippery as hell. The light was also low and Tom had problems seeing the flies he was tying on. I didn't want to get him killed, so we retired early. We cooked dinner, made a fire, drank a bunch of beer and went to bed. Got up at 7am and made bacon and eggs for breakfast. Decided to hit hit just below Big Bend - the water looked great, but we couldn't find any fish. I managed one hook up, but he took my fly and was gone.

We decided to call it a trip and make the 3+ hour trip home in holiday traffic. We did great until Fairplay - minor slow down due to the light - then we hit Boxwood Gulch before Bailey and it was dead stop for about an hour. We finally got to CR64 and took that around to Bailey - as we were head up Bailey hill - on the other side we saw a truck with a flatbed trailer - but it wasn't a flat bed, it was a popup camper, but the popup parts were spread down the side of the highway for 150 yards. Imagine a popup camper full, yard saled down the highway. Not sure if it was hit, flipped or what happened - but it was a mess. The ride home after that was smooth.

Shitty fishing, glad to get out. Not a total waste of a trip.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

GoPro Camera drops to $200!!

On Ebay

Great little "extreme" camera - not great for your up close, low light, zoomed shots, but great for wide angle pics, extreme video, and waterproof everything.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, Aug 19th, Colorado River

My mom was in town from NC and I decided to take her on a surprise trip up into the mountains - do a little horseback riding, fly fish a little and then she'd end the day at the hot springs with a massage.

The morning started late for us fly fisherman, but early for a 62 year old woman. We left around 6:45, stopped in Silverthorne for some coffee and a donut, then at Cutthroat Anglers to get a day fishing license, then were in Kremmling at Rusty Spurr Ranch at 9am - we had a horseback riding trip at 10am - this ranch was located up Rt 9, about a mile or so from the Pumphouse entry - but you turn right instead. About 4.5 miles back there is a ranch with no electricity. The area is almost all scrub brush, but it borders on some aspen/pine forest and has some good riding areas.

Our trip ended around noon and we bee-lined it for the Parshall Hole. When we got there we saw 2 cars in the lot, and as we ate lunch one of them left - the old guys said they caught a few on Barr's Emergers in size 20. Umm, ok, not going to fish anything that small with my Mom. We were then attacked by mosquitos - pretty crazy. We sprayed down, dressed and headed for the river. It took us a while to get my Mom down that little hill, over fallen trees, through the muddy banks and out about 10 feet into the water. But we made it and we actually caught fish. It took about 20 minutes to figure out the right depth, but we caught 3 nice browns in about 30 minutes.

As you can see from behind my Mom, the weather was starting to turn and we got some showers as we stood there and fished. My Mom had to be in Hot Sulphur Springs by 2:30, so we headed out. I dropped her off at the resort and told her I'd be back at 4:30 after her massage. Werm had mentioned there are some smaller dumb fish in the Hot Sulphur Springs section just north of the bridge - so I figured I'd try it. He was right. I hooked a couple little guys.

I did end up hooking one nice brownie, I taped him just over 16" and he fought a lot better - I thought for sure he would go 19". He ran down the fast water and headed for a bush that was submerged because of the high water. I landed him after a fun fight - and he was a fattie. Great fish for this section.

That was about it, I had a good 2+ hours total on the water today, but it was worth it - then I fought the rain and stupid traffic on the way home over Berthoud. We did see a moose along the road side almost at the top of Berthoud. I was home and eating Chinese food at 7pm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I don't usually do this, but I had the chance to sample the canvas prints at, and I am pretty impressed with them. I just got it in the mail, and love the pic and really like the quality.

They are constantly having promotions and deals and you can't get a better show piece for your hunting pics, fish pics or in my case, my dog Cabo.

Give them a try!!

Easy Canvas Prints
Easy Canvas Prints

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

RMNP August 7, 2011

On Sunday, Steffan, my neighbor Tom and myself headed up to the Roaring River drainage in RMNP to do some fishing. I was at Steffan's house at 5:30am and we were in the parking lot of Lawn Lake Trailhead at 6:30 - lots of other cars in the lot - we assumed these were from overnight campers.

The hike in was pretty uneventful, it took a good 30 minutes, but wasn't too bad. I took a video of the entire hike up, but not a single picture the whole day. The water was rolling down the hill, fastest I have seen it in my few trips up there. We tied up and jumped in the water, leapfrogging each other. The soft/slow areas that are normally everywhere in this river were hard to find. We'd see fish, but where we had seen 5 or 6 of them in the past in the slow water, we could only see 1 now tucked up to the bank. We didn't catch fish for a while - it was tough going, so we kept moving up river - there is a flatter section further up where we started getting into fish - but not many. I think we got 9 fish total and by 12 noon we decided to head down the hill and head for the Fall River.

The Fall River right there by Lawn Lake Trailhead looks like a beautiful river, but it still had quite a bit of water in it. It was clear and we could see the fish, but they weren't any easier to catch. There are some great bend pools in this river - at lower levels I bet the fish just stack up in them. Steffan headed off with a dry fly and Tom and I stuck to nymphing. I managed a couple brown dinks and Steffan hooked a bunch on dries. We hiked up to the confluence of the Roaring and Fall to check it out and then headed for the truck. We left around 3pm and were home by 5:30.

Not much else to report. Beautiful day, not so great fishing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sylvan Lake Camping, Fri July 22 - Sun July 24, 2011

So, we did a little camping this weekend up in the mountains at Sylvan Lake (15 miles south of Eagle). The place is great for kids - 15 miles away from any town - keeps the riff raff out. Just a bunch of families enjoying the lake, mountains and sun. Got up there Friday around 6pm, set up the camper, made some hot dogs, started a fire and had smores. The kids were pretty wired from being in the mountains and enjoyed running around the campground and "walking" Cabo. Hit the hay pretty early - probably 10pm or so.

I got up at 5:30 on Saturday morning and took the dog and kayak out on the lake. The wind was steady in your face from the far side of the lake - nothing too bad though, just had to dig in the paddles a little more. I like the inlet to the lake because the water seems to be moving a little and I have seen fish in that section. I set up shop about 60 yards from the inlet and dropped anchor.

I was surprised how cold the breeze was and the sun wasn't even visible on the far off peaks yet. I started getting hits right away - had a orange scud/grey chiro/peach pegged egg rig on. The first fish I had on was the best, I never landed it, but I could tell it was good sized as it started running horizontal at a very fast pace - no head shakes, not real tugs, just a 20 foot run to the side in about 2 seconds and he was off. I was excited to get a hit so quickly. The indicator kept bouncing, but I wasn't hooking into anything. Finally, I got a pretty little rainbow. He was maybe 11 inches, not much of a pull on the rod - but it was fun to be into fish.

Soon after that I had anohter hit, a fun little fight and landed this brookie (again, about 11 inches) on the chiro. My first brookie in a long long time.

I managed another rainbow, and tried drifting back with the wind to the boat ramp. But the wind stopped, the sun came out strong and the fishing turned off. I saw the family waving at me back at the ramp, so I paddled out.

We had a fun day of playing in the water, eating lunch, and hiking - the kids got grumpy and the wife wanted a nap - so they crashed in the camper around 3pm and I hit the water again. I trolled around a few spots - again, a bunch of plops on the indicator, but nothing I could hook up with. I caught one nice 11 inch rainbow, then hooked a tiny rainbow as I had just cast my rig - must have been falling through the water column. I paddled back down to the inlet and hooked this brookie - again, same size - this one on a green scud.

I was done by about 5:30 and paddles back to the boat ramp. Avi and Mom were awake, but Z and Emma were still sleeping. We woke them up and headed into Eagle for Diner food and bowling. We got back to camp around 9:30 and had a small fire and more smores (of course). Hit bed around 10 again. I was going to get up the next morning and fish, but Avi slept next to me and there was no way to sneak out without waking her - so I slept in.

Sunday we played some more in the water - found lots of mayflies, damsel flies, thousands of grey/green scuds and just had fun checking it out. Here are some more fun pics of the weekend:

Great weather all weekend, no rain, in the mid-80's. We tried some off roading on the roads up behind Sylvan - went about 10 miles deep trying to find the old resort beaver ponds, but couldn't find them. Took all the roads back there, but couldn't find them. We did find Lede Reservoir - which was infested with horseflies. Some rough road back there. I would guess we were almost all the way over to Ruedi, but we didn't see any signs for it. Very pretty country.

We hit some traffic coming home, so we stopped in Frisco at the brewery for some food and sitting on the deck - very relaxing. Got home around 4pm. A very nice trip with the family.