Thursday, March 27, 2014
Colorado River - March 22, 2014
I was not very happy to be awake, and had to push myself (for the first time in a long while) to not just text Darren and bag on the trip. I got my ass out of bed and got in the truck and started driving - like so many trips before. I always need to remind myself that no matter how tired I am, or how hung over I am, or how cold it is, of how rainy/snowy it is, that not more than 5 minutes after one of my buddies gets in the truck and starts shooting the shit with me, I will be glad I stuck with the current trip.
Today was no different, 2 minutes into the drive I was wide awake, catching up on what's going on in D's life and what we were going to do today. No matter how good/bad the weather is, you will always be optimistic about the day, even if there is no merit or reason to your optimism. We were excited for today, with breaks in the weather, super high flows and some good reports about the fishing.
The trip was uneventful, as most are, we managed to make good time - swinging through Silverthorne in about 6:45. Only Eisenhower Pass was a little sketchy, with some soft snow coming down, but decent roads headed up towards Kremmling. Then Darren mentioned that this road is scary for deer - that they are deadly on this road, and of course I said "we won't hit a deer". I may have jinxed us. After I uttered those words, we saw approximately 300 deer along the side and in the middle of the road. Most were smart enough to turn and run, but we did have one close call as I was watching some on the right cross and didn't see the last one come up and over from the left and then at the last minute turn and run back off the road. Close call.
We finished the uneventful ride to the Colorado, popped into the parking lot and geared up. The river is in mint condition - super high flows for this time of year, at around 1000 cfs. The water was perfect height and only slightly off color. The bug activity was tough to determine - we did see some stones, midges and some BWOs.
The water was beautiful, but the fishing was tough. We easily fished an hour before Darren decided to tie on a white bead head chironomid (seriously) and caught two fish on two casts and then nothing. I managed a couple of fish on some small black zebra midges. The weather was cold, about 30, with fluffy snow falling on our hats/hoods and jackets. It wet our shoulders, gloves and liners - but it was never "cold". We stayed pretty warm and comfortable.
We moved down river, picking up a fish here and there - but nothing consistent or fancy. D did manage a large fat sucker - probably the fish of the day! We kept moving down river, but before we knew it, it was noontime and we actually had some spincaster fishermen approaching, so we bailed.
We decided to move further down river, and had better luck. There seems to be a lot more snags in the river. Lost a couple rigs there. We didn't light it up right away. Darren landed 3 nice browns. I landed a feisty one as well, then headed back to a big pool below the bridge. Darren returned and we picked off a couple fish and then I broke off or tangled and had to re-rig. Darren headed down river. For some reason I tied on a huge black Kaufman stone, a pink wire worm and a double pink small pegged egg and something clicked. In three casts I hooked and landed a large 16 inch brown on the eggs, then a huge whitie on the stone fly and finally a small rainbow on the wire worm. Following those fish I had another few fish slam my rig. The whities were feisty and I actually had one jump out of the water after being hooked (a first).
Darren disappeared, but had some pretty decent luck - hooking a bunch of decent fish down at the next deep bend pool. It was about 3pm, and if we were going to beat the ski traffic, we needed to get our asses out of there. We high tailed it back to Silverthorne, up and over Eisenhower, no traffic at all, and then back down into Idaho Springs. The weather actually got a bit sketchy between IS and Denver.
Great first trip of the year - decent weather, good water, decent fish, great company.