March, 1998

3/11: THOSE FISH ARE GOING TO HAVE HELL TO PAY TOMORROW! It's been forever since I've been out on the water, and today was a bust. Had a data installation to do at Avon and took 15 minutes out afterwards to fish the "warm" water below the sewer plant. Saw one dead 12 inch rainbow at the bottom of a pool and didn't have a sign of a strike. Tomorrow I go to Eagle and will fish several spots from Gypsum upstream.

3/12: HOPES DASHED AGAIN! When I drove over the I-70 rapids bridge on my way down to Eagle, that damned Milk Creek was doing its thing again - dumping copious amounts of sludge into the river. That put the kibosh on fishing the lower Eagle. So I did my data thing at the county offices and headed back upstream, exiting the freeway at Wolcott and drove to the old standby spot.

In the first half hour I landed three nice fish - a two pound whitey followed by 14 and 16 inch rainbows - all on a new orange thread underlayed red bead nymph (apparently nicely emulates rainbow spawn.) That was it for the landings. Managed to hook & lose several other fish in the next hour or so, at least one of which was in the 18 inch range. And that's probably all of the fishing for the next 10-12 days unless I have a spare hour or two tomorrow.

3/13: WHAT STARTED OUT UGLY GRADUALLY became beautiful today on the Eagle. One more trip to the county offices revealed that now both Alkali and Milk Creeks were dumping mud into the stream. But above their confluence's, it was still pretty clear - sort of like what we would call good Steelhead color on the North Umpqua in Oregon.

Fished for a couple of hours below Wolcott using two different incarnations of egg flies. The brighter bead constructed one seemed to be best, but after I swapped their locations on the tippet, the scintilla did the outperforming. (Will try to put both patterns on the fly page shortly.) The gist of the story was that I probably landed a dozen modest sized rainbows and lost an equal number - plus a really good brown of 18 inches or so. That's the end of the fishing for about ten days as I start a long ski booking this weekend.

3/21: NEXT TO LAST DAY OF THE SKI BOOKING finished up a bit early so I biked out to the golf course & made some casts on Gore Creek. It was slow going. Fish are still locked to the bottom. Caught a couple of 12 inch bows and a smaller brookie in an hour's time. Hopefully the Eagle will be more productive Monday.

3/22: GOOD FUN ON THE EAGLE just below Dowd Junction this afternoon. Used the same old double egg fly rig, but unlike the last trip to Wolcott, today the fish took nothing but the crosscut scintilla pattern. Though that water is normally 95% browns, the first couple of fish on were rainbows between 16-18 inches. The operative word is "on", since while I saw both of them, neither were landed. But shortly thereafter I did land a couple more bows and four other smaller browns between 10-12 inches. It was a great hour of fishing.

3/23: NORMALLY ANY FISHING IS EXCITING, but today was an exception. The Eagle is completely out of whack with runoff from Alkali Creek downstream, so I popped off again at Wolcott and fished the area below that tiny town. An hour & a half of nymph casting wrong handed (right side) yielded a half dozen rainbows between 12-16 inches. Probably had a few other strikes, but it was pretty slow for the looks of the water. Fish took either the crosscut egg or a small brown midge larva.

3/27: IN BETWEEN SNOW SQUALLS managed to get in a few casts on Gore Creek. The ice is mostly off now, so the creek will be fishing well once weather permits staying out there for longer than a few minutes. Used a combo fly rig of tiny scintilla egg up front and a chocolate midge at the end and landed a couple of 12 inch rainbows - one on each fly. Had a large rainbow on for a few seconds but he slid under a large rock and scraped me off quickly. Smart fish.

3/30: HAPPILY, THERE ARE A LOT OF SORE mouths on ten or twelve trout on the Eagle today. We had colder weather over the weekend, and I was hoping that perhaps Alkali and Milk Creeks had frozen over temporarily to clear the Eagle down below Wolcott. It almost happened, but not quite. Mud still flowed to a point that it was not going to be much fun casting down there, so I repeated the familiar Wolcott water.

And a pleasant couple of hours it was. The first six rainbows were uniformly between 14-16 inches. The next was a "shrimp" of 12 inches and there followed a couple of more 16's and one brawny 18 that fought like a steelhead. Most of the fish continued to come to the small scintilla egg, but a few were fooled by a deep midge pupa.

So a very nice day - even with icing rod guides, frozen hands, and all that other stuff.

Last Logbook Entry

3/31: TWO FISH - BUT WELL EARNED! The valley received 13 inches of new snow last night. Today the Eagle was murky from the get go, so settled on Gore Creek for an hour of casting in between snow squalls and high winds. Ugly day. But two pretty fish - a ten inch brook and a twelve inch rainbow came to hand to a minuscule micro soft hackle fly. They were worth the trouble and the pain.

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