October, 1998

10/1:  The winter approaches.  A quickie visit to the lower Eagle lease water provided a shower of falling golden aspen leaves, chilly water temperatures, and a half dozen various sized rainbows that fell to a combination rig of #18 gray cdc emerger/ #20 bwo cdc emerger fished right on the bottom.

10/6:  The weekend's storm brought almost a foot of snow to the top of our mountain.  So I suspected that the trip to Aspen today would be a washout fishingwise due to the expected runoff from snowmelt.  Happily that turned out to not be the case, and I was able to get in an hour of casting near the Sunlight Bridge in Glenwood on the Roaring Fork.

A sunny day brought on a BWO hatch, but I saw only one fish rise during my time on the water.  A combo nymph rig of #14 dark stone and #22 BWO CDC emerger fished deep brought good results again.  Landed a half dozen nice rainbows to 16 inches, a handful of smaller browns, and some of the largest whiteys I've ever seen.   The largest probably was close to a state record - roughly 24 inches long and as fat as a football.  It was a nice respite from work.

10/8: GOOD COP - BAD COP might allegorically describe today's fly patterns on the Eagle.  Runoff from (see above) raised flow levels by about six inches and discolored the river - slightly - below Milk Creek.  Starting out with yesterday's tiny cdc emerger combo rig of #20 and #22 respectively did nothing.  So I replaced the leading tiny fly with a #14 black stone (bad cop) and left on the bwo cdc emerger behind it (good cop).  The results were respectable, if not extraordinary.   Strikes are tough to feel now as the fish are quiescent due to colder water temps.   But several nice fat rainbows bit the dust (so to speak).  All took the trailing fly.  Hopefully water levels will drop and clear somewhat by the weekend so we can enjoy some better late fall fishing.

10/11:  Virtually a repeat of the 8th.  Color was much better on the Eagle today.  A friend & I landed perhaps a dozen rainbows & browns using the nymph rig noted above.  Everything came to the smaller fly.

10/12:  A gorgeous fall day prompted our annual trip to Radium on the middle Colorado.  As always we set out on the wash deck kayak from just above Sheephorn Creek.  Took along the new puppy of Sue's & he was a star on the boat and on the bank.  Had only a few tentative strikes until we hopped out on an island in between some river braids and there we just had a great time hooking & landing maybe a couple dozen fish.  Most were big whiteys with a sprinkling of nice rainbows thrown in for good measure.

10/15:  A look back at the 1997 log for this date revealed that red midges became productive last year.  Not the case this year.   Cloudiness on the Eagle forced me above the Dowd Junction area.  In an hour I only landed three fish - a brown to a #18 surface caddis, a rainbow to a #20 bwo cdc nymph fished deep, and another brown to a black woolly bugger.  Go figure.

10/19-10/21:  We've done a bit of casting on the Eagle with pretty meager results.  The fish are going through that in between seasons change, and they're very quiescent right now.  A number of different flies are taking rainbows and browns, but no patterns are a "killer".

Today on the lease water just above the town of Eagle I had a half dozen nice rainbows on, but it took almost three hours to hook them.  They took varying patterns - from a stone to a bead bodied egg fly, but the most successful was a black ostrich winged #22 bwo fished on the bottom.  The water's clear, but now so cold that you have to really put the fly on the fish's nose - and at a pace that allows them time to slowly open & close their mouth around it.  So it's not easy going.

10/23-26:  A TRIP TO THE CRYSTAL on Saturday was fun, but pretty unproductive in terms of the fishing.  Water clarity was excellent and the fish were correspondingly cautious.  We caught a few decent rainbows on small bead heads.  The usual suspect flies (tiny bwo's and pheasant tails) produced nothing.   Sunday before racing home to view the Bronco's game we stopped at a couple of places on the Roaring Fork in Glenwood Springs.  The first spot was a complete bust - not even a whitey to show for an hour of casting.  The second place above the Sunlight Bridge produced one brown trout - on a surface caddis of all things - and a few more strikes on a weighted wooly bugger.

Today on the Gore it was a pleasant surprise to land a handful of rainbows on either a #18 brown caddis or a #20 bwo comparadun.  Nymphs produced nothing - same problem on the RF above.

Last Logbook Entry

10/28-29:  ANOTHER TRIP - this time to Denver to get the faithful Vanagon its annual tune-up.  With an afternoon to spare I borrowed a car and tooled out to the Waterton Canyon parking area.  The Forest Service sign said no dogs allowed on the upper canyon stretch, and as I had the puppy Aussie along, that option flew out the window.  But the stream trails below the parking lot had a sign that read "leashed pets allowed" so that opened up an opportunity for us.  We hiked down very heavily traveled trails a half mile or so and began fishing up a very nice looking stretch of water.  Unfortunately the stream was somewhat off color from recent rains and the river was loaded with leaves from trees doing their fall turning.   Couple that with a puppy which still doesn't understand the fishing process, and I had lots of excuses for not catching anything. 

In three hours I landed two fish - a 6" and a 12" rainbow.  Both on tiny bwo comparaduns (a hatch was in process).  Not much action, but fun anyway as all new water is want to be.  I suspect the upper canyon would be more productive, since I saw much evidence of spin lures, worm buckets, etc.   And as this water is eminently accessible, it must get incredible pressures during the main summer season.

TODAY I had to go to Eagle to gather data, and as the data process seems to get longer each month, it left me with only a half hour or so to fish the river of that name before getting back to the office.  So I jumped on the stream right at the bridge in Eagle and with a few casts (with the aid of a #14 black stone) managed to have one fly absolutely ripped off the leader by a strong take - and then I landed maybe my best rainbow of the year from this river - a 19" fatter than fat, female.  Not bad for fifteen minutes of work.

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