Tuesday, June 04, 2024

North Park - May 31 - June 2, 2024

 




Quick 48 hour trip up to North Park for some fishing and friends.

Got some beer, gas and cash on the way up. Stopped by North Park Anglers to some intel - shout out to Rob for hooking me up with some Pat's Rubber Legs and info on the rivers. 
Hit a local river in late afternoon - water was high and off color, but used a big chubby and a Pat's along the edges and got a few - including a brookie in that drainage is strange. 
Hit the stillwater for drinking and camping. 
First time I tried my camping setup this year - pulled the jet boil, propane bottle, small pots and lighter and cooked me up some Peak 2 meals - it was a great setup and quick and easy. 
Shout out to LaBatt Blue for fueling the weekend.
 First night in the SmittyBilt RTT - set up easy, was warm and sturdy. 
Up at 6am and on the water in the float tube - we were all into fish right away. 
The guys got some great fish - all in deep water. I forgot my plumbobber, so fished as deep as 15ft, hooked and landed a small one (18 inches and fat cuttbow), but lost a huge 24" rainbow due to me being a knucklehead and not using a plumbobber. 
Wind came up at 11 and blew us off. Fished another stillwater with no luck - then a rain and wind storm came rolling in. 
Hit a local river/slough that was beautiful water - off colored and high, but fishable. 
I couldn't buy a fish. 
Was done in the early evening and headed back to camp. 
Helped (with a beer in my hand) fix a broken strut spring on a camper - a fellow camper/angler (Gene) was an expert welder and drop 3.5 hours round trip to his house to get his welder and tools. Gene fixed it up new in under an hour - amazing work! 
A few other friends showed up and we shot the sh!t and drank some beers for a couple hours. 
In the roof top tent and in bed by 9pm. 
Around 11pm a rain/lightning/thunder storm came up and the wind blew probably 50mph in gusts. 
The roof top tent did great - although I'm not gonna lie, I thought it was going to flip it over on top of me and someone would have to write "died in tent taco accident" on my obituary. 
Up the next morning at 6am and was first on the water. 
I kicked my ass out across the lake.
I had a plumbobber with me this time, but honestly I had no clue how to use it. 
Dropped it down to 20ft and immediately hooked up on a big fish, he spun me around the anchor a couple times, but the damn bobber didn't slip down my line. I tried to maually release it, but I popped the fish. Damn it! 
Other pontoons and tubes started showing up - and the wind died to nothing. 
We all sat there from like 7-10am with no fish caught. At about 10:30 we had 2 guys catch fish - nothing else. 
I was off the water and on the way home at 11:15am.
Uneventful 3 hour drive home. 
Great weekend guys - thanks for setting it up and good seeing some old timers from the FF and RMF boards! 
Not a ton of fish, but a ton of fun!

Colorado Canyon Fishing - May 25, 2024



Late invite to go fishing with my buddy, Werms.
Beautiful start to the Memorial Day weekend. 
Early start, chilly in the low 40's but sunny all day and warmed up nice. 
The canyon was busy as expected - lots of fly fishermen, hikers, campers and a few rock climbers (which you can see in the video). 
Werms was killing it on the Euro Nymphing rig, it is such an art to watch someone who is really good at it. 
Definitely something I'd like to try and get better at. 
It took us most of the morning to figure out what the fish were eating - and where they were in the river - but the late morning/afternoon were better. 
Hit Paradox Brewing on the way home - nice place, good beer - it was packed! 
#colorado 
#catchandrelease 
#flyfishing 
#euronymphing 
#orvisflyfishing 
#paradoxbeercompany 
#southparkcolorado

Sunday, May 12, 2024

South Park - May 11, 2024

 

Did another overnight in the truck in South Park. 

Cold night - but I was up at 4:45am and in the parking lot at 5:30am meeting up with Kratt and his son again. 
Hiked in, started fishing by 6ish. It was dead - couldn't stir anything up. 
The sun popped out and it started warming up, but it didn't last - sun went in and a cold wind started blowing. 
I was done by about 10am and hiked out on my own. 
Kratt stuck around, but while I was undressing at the truck, he was walking back out as well. 
Change of plans and needed a new plan - I know of a few rivers in the area, but most would be high, blown out and muddy.
I hit a great oxbow river that happened to be somewhat clear and not too high. 
The fishing was tough, but I caught a couple. 
Lots of snags in the river and lost a bunch of rigs.
Beautiful river and valley - lots of elk hanging out in the valley.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Colorado Stillwater (again) - May 2-3, 2024










Great day - dead start, but great finish!!

See the whole day here!








Sunday, April 28, 2024

Colorado Stillwater - April 28, 2024

Good day - not consistent fish, but consistently big fish.

I hooked up pretty quickly - catching a nice 22 incher.  



The second fish was caught about an hour later - a nice 22 inch cuttbow with a nice yellow belly like a Yellowstone Cutt (obviously it wasn't though).



The weather was ok - spitting snow, no wind, cold (32 degrees) and heavy overcast.  The third fish was nice - a 25 inch cuttbow that ran me a bit.





An hour later I got the big one.  This one hooked up and ran straight to the left - I couldn't turn him.  He wore me out.  After 10 minutes I got him close and netted him - but he was so big he popped out.  I netted him again and finally landed him.  He took up all of my net and his back tail wasn't even in it.  Biggest fish I have ever caught.  27 inches or so and fat - maybe 10+ lbs.  






The sun popped out around 10am, but the wind picked up as well.  I did manage one more fish - a fat 25 inch cuttbow.  




Sunday, April 21, 2024

Quick Trip to Jaye's Lake - April 21, 2024

 Only got one, but damn was it worth it....

After having a strange three days of wintery weather, it broke today - but was cold on the way up there - the trees all had a nice coat of ice on them - made for a pretty drive!


Not even a breathe of wind on the water.


The brown was probably over 20" and about 4 lbs - nice and thick.





Sunday, April 07, 2024

Wyoming Still Water Fishing - April 5-6, 2024

 My first trip to Wyoming stillwater fishing.  With my daughter attending the U of WY, it gives me the perfect excuse to go "visit".  This was the tale of two days - the first day was 55-60 degrees with mild winds, the second day was 29 degrees and 40-50 mph winds straight in my face.  To say I didn't last long was an understatement - as soon as I caught that last fish, I was back in the truck trying to get feeling in my wet hands - then the pins and needles in my finger tips happened.

I was on the road by 10am headed to back to Denver, just in time as I heard they shut down 80 and I25 right after I went through.

I'll be back Wyoming!












Monday, March 25, 2024

Lake Fishing - March 24, 2024

Had to run up to the lake a replace a window in the shed.  Brought my buddy Tom up with me and we did a little fishing.  The ice was fully gone and the day started out nice with sunshine and 40 degree weather - the clouds came in and the wind kicked up a little bit and it got chilly.

Tom caught three fish - the first being a fat 19"+ brown trout.


This fish obviously fed well during the winter.  I haven't ever caught browns out of the lake - with the exception of a few years ago we were starting to catch them on Amy's Ants right when the sun was setting/dusk.  It was great to see this tank.

Tom also caught a 16 inch rainbow that was fat, and a standard 14 inch rainbow that seem to be the most common catch in the lake.  Last March I got skunked here - so it was good to get into a few fish.  I played guide for the day (tying up the rigs, casting the flies, and netting the fish!), but got to fish a little bit.  The tight area was tough to cast in, as I did catch 3 trees and lost a bunch of flies.  It was still a great 3 hours working on the shed and fishing.


Monday, January 01, 2024

My New Camping/Fishing Rig Setup - for Boondocking Trips in 2024!

Living in Colorado for over 20 years and having explored much of Summit County, Grand County and the Front Range with the wife and previous chocolate lab, I am familiar with most fishing areas in the state.  I am always looking for new areas to fish - and enjoy the solitude of some of the smaller streams and rivers.

I watch a lot of videos by LookNFishy on YouTube  and he's my inspiration for getting out and exploring more of Colorado/Wyoming/Utah/Montana - and now that my daughter will be headed to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming, I have no excuse but to visit the area more.  I recently reconnected with some old friends from the RockyMtnFly webpage and they do trips up there all the time (and some live in the area).  So no excuses for 2024 - I need to do more exploring - I ain't getting any younger!! 

Last year I started looking for a rooftop tent to do overnights in Winter Park with my son who downhill mountain bikes at Trestle Bike Park.  

I looked for about a month and found an almost new (used twice) SmittyBuilt on FB Marketplace for $900 - it sleeps three (well, two comfortably) and fits on my factory roof rack.  The only issue I found was that mounting it to my factory rack on my 4 Runner is difficult - the hardware it comes with sucked, so I had to improvise - especially since the room under the rack is very tight and near impossible to get your hands under and turn the bolts that hold the mounting hardware around the factory rack bars to the rails of the RTT.


  

Smittybilt Overlander XL

I had to get creative with the brackets since there was nothing off the shelf that would be perfect.  I went to Home Depot and walked around for a while trying to find something better than the cheap brackets provided.  I found these 3 inch electrical conduit straps that are pretty heavy duty.  They were  more round in shape than would fit around my factory bars, and I needed more of a flatter handle shape.  Again, I improvised and banged them down with a hammer to more flatten them out.  With shorter screws and a ratched 1/2" wrench, and the addition of a hockey puck sitting on my crossbars (duct taped in place), I was able to get the RTT securely attached to the rack.



I have driven many miles with this thing on my roof and it is safe, I check it constantly, and besides one of the pucks wiggling out of place (hence the duct tape), I have had no issues.  

I purchased a 1.5" mattress topper to add to the 3" mattress pad, and my sleeping bag.  I slept pretty good - and the RTT comes with a USB LED lights that are so bright I had to put duct tape over half the lights so they weren't blinding.

Mattress Pad 


We were now ready for our maiden voyage.  Unfortunately our first trip was cut short when Z wiped out pretty badly on the last run of the day, and he was pretty dazed and I made the decision to just drive the hour and 20 minutes home to be safe.  I don't think he was concussed, but he had scrapes all over his shoulders that weren't covered by his chest protector and helmet.  His helmet was a mess - and the visor was cracked off.  That put an end to the inaugural boys night in WP.

We did manage a second trip that we actually did stay overnight.  He biked for most of the day, and then in the early evening I convinced him to try fly fishing, but unfortunately the fish were down and the mosquiotes were up.  We cut the evening fishing short and went to dinner and then hit Lot G at Winter Park to camp for the night.

----------

I really enjoyed the freedom of having the RTT and being able to get more out of my trips by having the ability to stay overnight.  I know there are tons of free places to camp in NF or BLM land and most of the places I fish are off the beaten path.  I would love to extend my stays with the ability to "work" on the road and be able to extend my fishing time past Saturday's and Sunday's.

In preparation for the spring/summer/fall 2024's camping/fishing season, I have watched a million boondocking and truck camping videos and looked at all those "best gear" videos and started a wishlist of my own gear.  For Christmas this year, I started buying a bunch of things that would make my trips more comfortable.

Before I started buying gear, I wanted to add a shelf to my truck - adding more ability to carry gear.  I built this shelf that allows me to put three 10" tall tupperware type containers in here and still store my boots and rods and a power station under the shelf.  I can throw my fishing gear on top of the shelf along with sleeping bag and other gear.  I want to leave the back seat open for a float tube and my clothes and a cooler - and anything else I am forgetting.

In total I paid $17 for a piece of 3/8" OSB and $19 for a grey indoor/outdoor carpet.  I shaped the edges so it countours to the truck and set them on the wheel wells for support.  The split is 36 inches on the left and 24 inches on the right (ish).  This is pretty sturdy and holds a ton of weight.  I might put the legs on hinges so they flip out of the way.  I can fit a 39" deep solar panel on top of the tupperware container on the left hand side - I put the carpet on the back side of the shelf to protect the solar panel from scratching.  This also leaves my hitch open for a cargo basket, a bike rack or a hitch for the raft & trailer my buddy has.


Now that I had the rig all set up, I wanted to get a power station - after watching a few videos, I notice a few people had Bluetti's and they really liked them.  I wanted something strong enough to charge my laptop battery for a full weekend and charge all my other gear at night.  I chose a 700W system - as it would be easy to charge with a 100W solar panel.  This one isn't exactly the one I got - but is very close - it was $319:

Bluetti EB70 700W Power Station



I then got this solar panel - as it was the cheapest - $65 vs $90 for the same exact one at Harbor Freight.  y buddy told me I wouldn't need much more than this, especially if I left it out all day to charge the power station.  He was right - as I have left this out in my yard during winter sun and was pulling about 97 watts with it into the battery - and after about 3 hours it filled my battery from 60% to 100%.

100W Solar Panel


The next toy I had to get were lanterns/torches - I saw a video of a guy who lives out of his 4Runner and he had these lanterns that had magnetic bases, so you could stick them to anything.  They were also easily rechargeable through a USB cord. 

LED Magnetic Lantern's for $14


I was shopping over at Murdoch's (yes the horse feed store) and noticed they had tons of camping equipment for relatively cheap prices.



Mini Foldable Shovel for $17





Three pack of Sporks for $9 (these are the closest I could find):
Propane Stove for $18


I assume I won't be cooking very much - I will just need to boil water for tea and those Mountain Meals or Peak 2 Meals you get at Cabelas/Sportsmans Warehouse/Murdochs - you can get some other high end meals as well - but I don't plan to be too far away from civilization - so might even head back to town to do some work on my laptop and hot spot and grab food then.

I hit Sportsman's Warehouse looking for some deals and got:




I already have a ton of other items, like rope, sleeping bags, storage bags, cooler, first aid kit, propane bottles, tp, tire compressor, gloves, tools, blankets, matches, lighters, pillows, battery packs, truck battery jumper, tow straps, USB Fan for the tent, etc.

I still need to get bear spray, a life jacket (one of those small inflatable ones), maybe a WeBoost to increase my cellular signal (?), a small heater, a table system of some sort, mosquito netting - these are things I might wait to see their necessity after my first trip.  Of course I will also need a Wyoming full year NR fishing license.  

I'm thinking about getting a GoPro knock off camera to document some of my trips.  Still lots to research and keep me occupied during the winter months.




Thursday, November 23, 2023

Clear Creek Euro Nymphing

 Trying it out with my buddy Werm's rod and reel.


I managed one fish - luckily and on accident:




I will try again - maybe in the spring when the weather turns back to decent.

Sunday, November 05, 2023

11 Mile with Werms

 Last minute trip to 11 Mile Canyon with Werms - glad he pushed me to go.  Lots and lots of fish - watched him TEAR IT UP with the euro nymph rig - wow!  We both caught tons of fish - one was a decent rainbow about 16-17 inches.

The only pic I took: