June, 1998

6/1: KEEP WAITING FOR THE RUNOFF to blow out, but maybe this year it won't. Gore Creek's surprising clear, albeit obviously very high. Fishing remains difficult yet tolerable. Casting is mostly bow & arrow style through narrow bush openings or a flip into the current and drag the streamer back along the bank. Used a smaller #10 2X long hook woolly bugger today with decent success. Landed four rainbows and browns and had numerous other strikes.

6/3-6/7: EVERY FISHING DAY IS THE SAME - more or less - this time of year. Woolly buggers of varying sizes are "trolled" along the banks of large and small streams and generally produce a few fish in the course of a couple hours of fishing.

Yesterday we headed up to Homestake Creek (tributary of the Eagle) and did a camp-out in the VW Vanagon. This stream was very low due to a recent cold snap and all runoff locally was virtually halved by the colder weather. We got into a few smaller browns on tiny midge larva, but the fishing was quite difficult. Frankly I don't think there are many fish in that stream and those that do exist are of very modest size. On the way back to Vail today we stopped above the Dowd Chute area of the Eagle and landed a few more browns by yanking buggers along to the bank.

6/10-6/11: A GREAT TRIP to various locations in the Upper Colorado Basin.

6/13: GORE CREEK'S FISHING TOUGH as the water's still high, but crystal clear. We still managed to land a couple of decent sized rainbows on #14 stones fished along the bank.

6/14: A NEW JEWEL OF A DISCOVERY for the runoff season. You'll have to guess at it's location, as this is not one that will be disclosed. The tailwater's an hour from Vail and was running at 200 feet today.

And it was good fishing. We started with stones rigged and caught several nice browns in the deeper runs. Then a bwo hatch started, and while the browns were not responsive to nymphs or emergers, the fish rapidly began breaking the surface to snag adults. In a larger pool we caught several on a tiny comparadun, but when the fish got picky, an equally tiny loop wing fooled them better than the comparadun - including a chunky sixteen incher. A really nice day of fishing despite less than nice weather conditions.

6/15: A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT? Nope - it was a trout from every eddy. Gore Creek's still running high, but crystal clear and is tough to fish easily. But a bike ride to some favorite eddies brought a fish to a #14 stone semblance fly. Sometimes it took one cast, sometimes a dozen, but each good looking area yielded a nice rainbow.

6/16: AN EAGLE RIVER REPORT. From my perspective this stream is dropping and clearing way too rapidly. Neither Alkali nor Milk Creeks are any longer dumping massive quantities of murk - which means the Eagle is basically running clear from Wolcott to the mouth. It's too early for that situation to be the case, and while the moderate runoff that's left bodes well for survival for this year's class of rainbows, it also means the stream is going to be slammed by fishermen much earlier than normal.

I was able to bank fish the river almost anywhere below the Red Sandstone Canyon today, but while the fishing was great, the places I waded should not be at these low levels until mid-July. Used a combo nymph rig of stone up front with a trailer of either a good sized buckskin or a red midge emerger. Everything worked. Landed and/or played rainbows between 12-18 inches and even brought a 2# whitefish to hand.


6/23: THE RUNOFF IS BACK: Check out stream flows - fishing is tough again. But an afternoon session on Gore Creek resulted in 3/4 of a trout grand slam - 14" rainbow, 13" cutthroat, and 10" brown. Admittedly not a lot of fish, but fun for the variety. All took a #14 stone semblance.

6/26: Three trout and two golf balls was the CATCH TODAY. Tough fishing on Gore Creek again. Runoff is back in full swing, but the stream's clear as a bell, so instead of being able to step down to a fishable eddy as we could do when the creek was off color, now the fish can see clearly any movement along the bank. There is a minor caddis hatch in progress and loads of circling midges, but nothing coming to the surface yet.

Last Logbook Entry

6/30: NO BLUES ON THE BLUE: It's a lot of work fishing the Green Mountain Reservoir tailwater. Downhill, downstream hike for at least a mile on talus, but even with the stream at only 56 cubes, it turned out to be a good day. Using what's worked before (black stone & bwo emerger combo) produced absolutely nothing while fishing downstream, but after changing to a small yellow sallie nymph (flies were hatching constantly), managed to catch an 18", 16", and 14" brown on the way back uphill. Then the best part was catch two other fat browns of 14 and 17 inches on the surface with a small flat water caddis. Should have tied some surface sallies last night, but got lazy. Couple of other fish where the Blue enters the reservoir on a surface caddis hatch. Nice day of fishing and very few people in evidence.

Back to Vail OnLine , the Main Fishing Page, the 1998 Diary, or check on stream flows.