February, 1998

2/3: THE ROARING FORK LOANED ME four fish for a bit of fun this afternoon on my way back from data gathering in Aspen. Stopped off in Glenwood and fished under the Sunlight Bridge for 45 minutes or so. Two small rainbows and two whitefish came to hand. All took smaller midges - three to a red pupa and one to a chocolate pupa. Obviously not a great day, but certainly better than a boot in the snoot.

Stream conditions are definitely improving. The bank ice has gradually melted on the Fork, Colorado, and lower Eagle (below Red Canyon). Our recent warmer weather has to be the cause of this happenstance. However, the fishing's still tough and will be, I'd suspect, for the next 45 days or so. Temperatures are still so cold that slow drifted midges are probably the best bet.

2/6: TWO FISH ON THE EAGLE but neither were landed. A quick half hour of casting midge pupa just below Wolcott produced a pair of very nice 16 inch trout - one a rainbow, the other a brown. Neither made it to my hand, but it was nice to see bigger fish more active. Trout are definitely moving out out of the deepest holes & into some faster runs, which is great news. Both of these were hooked in 2-3 feet of water.

2/16: A NICE BROWN AND A NICE RAINBOW came to hand today for a half hour of casting on Gore Creek. Both were in the 13-14 inch range and the rainbow appeared to be in spawning garb. The brown took a red midge pupa and the rainbow came to an unusually tied egg fly. I used some of my lady fishing friend's red hair coupled with florescent orange thread. Unfortunately it was the only one I had in my fly box and I managed to snag & lose it on the next cast.

2/17: DROVE ALONG THE EAGLE through the Red Canyon section today and it looks open enough in many places to be wadable. Still lots of bank ice in places, but most of this water could be fished right now. Instead though I opted for some familiar water near Wolcott and had fairly good success. Used an attractor of that new crosscut scintilla egg pattern with a trailer of the standby red midge pupa.

Had a half dozen fish on - landing three feisty rainbows between 12-16 inches and missed several other strikes. A couple of the "long releases" were in the 17-18 inch range, so things are definitely picking up. Most interesting fish of the day was a chubby whitefish of roughly 3 pounds which inhaled the egg fly. Must try to get out again this week - maybe down in the Gypsum area.

2/22: EXCELLENT RESULTS ON THE EAGLE but the absence of a hook point on an egg fly cost me several landings. This was "tag" fishing at its finest! We finally were able to fish a spot in the Red Canyon section that had cleared of bank ice and the trout were very active. Used a leading scintilla egg trailed by a small red midge pupa and that combination was very successful. Unfortunately the egg fly apparently broke off at the bend early in the game, so seven or eight good strikes resulted in no landings until I finally got suspicious and took a closer look at the fly and discovered the problem.

Most fish landed during the three hours we were on the water were rainbows - two smaller browns made up the balance of the catch. The egg fly is terrific - don't know why we've not used it in earlier years.

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