Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blue River at the Outlets - March 25, 2012

Had a couple of hours to kill this afternoon and figured I'd try the Blue river at the Outlets in Silverthorne. A couple weeks ago I was there and saw a huge 15# fish feeding right at the bridge. I watched as a redneck tried to hook him with 6 feet of tippet between indicator and flies. I knew I could do better.

I took Cabo and was at the Outlets around 12:30 - beautiful day, around 54* at the summit of Eisenhower Pass and about 68* in Silverthorne. I was lucky to find the spot empty, so I jumped in. It is a little weird being in a fish bowl with people walking above you and making comments, asking questions and throwing rocks. I should have started throwing rocks back - but I figured these fish have been through this 365 days a year for many years, a few rocks aren't going to slow their feeding down.

It took about 20 minutes, but I hooked a pig, fought him nice and landed him - got him on a size 22 red midge with gold ribbing - don't remember the name of the fly. He was a nice fish - probably 4 or 5 lbs and about 18+ inches - very health and very colorful. I held him up for Cabo to "kiss" and the crowd of onlookers gave an "AHHHHHH!" and then I released the fish to an applause. I felt like a stud.

I managed to hook another big fella in the pool and he literally ran a 100 yard dash around the pool and the spit the hook - he was a biggie too. I moved down the watefalls to each pool - finally the one right above the tunnels I saw a fish dancing in the faster water and slammed him - he was a fun fight too - but he was only about 15 inches.

I walked back all the way up to above the highway and saw some sketchy characters sitting on the rocks ahead smoking something and decided I was done. Man, that river has changed SOOOO much. I don't even know where to fish that river any more - its a mystery to me. The hole under the highway (Asbestos Alley) is about ankle deep. Sad.

I did see this HUGE cuttbow dead on the river - made me sad. He was easily a 6 lber and looked pretty healthy, except for the fact the he was, errr, dead and all. I saw another large fish that was dead as well - looked to be about the same size - he was on the other side of the river and I didn't get a look.

Cabo and I stopped at Good Times to get spoonbenders - she loves her custard. She's knocked out on her bed snoring now - poor mutt can't take the abuse of fishing any more. Good day - glad I got out and glad I didn't get skunked.


GeeRam said...

Sounds like a good day - can you expand upon your criticism of the '6 feet of tippet between indicator and fly' comment?

Also - for post fishing food around Silverthorne may I suggest the Carniceria Perla....outstanding!

Brandon said...

Good Times was just a quick stop - I thought I'd hit ski traffic (there was none) and wanted to get on the road. Plus, Cabo really does like their custard.

If you have ever fished right at the bridge there, you know the max depth of water is less than 2 feet. If you are nymphing with 6 feet of tippet between indicator and flies you will never get a hook up because the fish has enough time to eat, swallow and poop out your fly before your indicator has a chance to wiggle. This guy had a fly rod, but looked like a bait chucker to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that...but he looked out of his element.

GeeRam said...

Ok - I've crossed that bridge a few times so I understand the water is quite shallow.

Length of tippet is definitely something that's on my mind lately as I feel like I'm missing a fair number of hook ups. Definitely set too late/soft last week and was kicking myself for it.

Brandon said...

Soft takes are often a sign of the fly line brushing by a fish or the fish is just fast at inhaling and exhaling your fly.

Often, too long a tippet will result in you never even seeing a take because the fish has plenty of time to inhale and exhale the fly before the tippet tightens under the indicator.

A general rule is that the tippet length between indicator and weight should be 1.5X the water depth. In fast water I would agree with this - I think it should be shorter in slower moving water.

Think about a right triangle - with the top being your indicator at the top of the water - the side straight up and down is the water depth, the longest side is your tippet that is diagonal in the water column (most of the time your flies are moving down the river slower than your indicator - bumping the bottom below the faster top water) - thus, using geometry you know that your diagonal side of the triangle has to be longer than your water depth side. Is 1.5X exactly right? It's probably very close.

In slower water, I think the flies move closer to in sync with the indicator - making that triangle much more up and down - making the longest side a little bit closer to 1X the water depth.

Does that make sense?

GeeRam said...

Nice explanation Brandon.

I'm definitely well versed on the matter but have been putting more thought in to it lately. For a long time I was more get out and fish but these days I'm slowing down to really analyze every aspect.

nell said...

You have me curious about the cutthroats...hmmm...

Brandon said...

not a cutty, but rather a cuttbow. not sure there are any pure strain cutthroat in that stretch. what are you curious about - how he died? that big it could have been old age.