April, 1999

4/1:  Murk prevails again on the Eagle.  An hour's stopoff in the red canyon section of this river reminded me why this time of year we don't find other fisher people down there.  Last night's brief snowfall had melted quickly, spilling some more sludge out of Alkali & Milk Creeks.  The river flow is still low so fish have not been driven to the banks making streamer fishing marginally effective.  But some #10 bead head stones brought three modest rainbows to hand along with one large whitefish.   Is it my imagination or is the whitey population increasing here?

4/6:  WHITEYS RULE! A nice day on the Roaring Fork off the Satank Road brought more whitefish to the flies than I can almost count.  Smallest was probably a pound & a half and the largest, possibly close or over four.  My arm almost fell off from fighting so many of these big fish.  And fight they did - much more than later in the summer.  A few browns & rainbows also came to hand, but 95% of the action was on the whiteys.  Interestingly they took large bead head and standard dark stones as well as a green killer caddis.  The smaller rs-2's they normal prefer went untouched due to detritus in the water.

Midges were present in bunches everywhere and a nice BWO hatch came off at about 2:00, but no fish rose for anything, nor did they take emergers of either species.

4/7: EXCEPT for the ferocious winds, today's experience on East Gore Creek was a nine.  Hooked numerous brookies, browns, & rainbows on a tiny combo nymph rig of a white backed midge trailed by a red midge larva.  It was hard to believe that the brook trout would lay virtually motionless at my feet and continue to respond to repeated drifts - while their brothers & sisters were splashing mightily overhead.  But they did.  The best fish of the day was a perfectly marked 14 inch rainbow that grabbed the white back nymph in a deep artificial pool.  The only disconcerting thing was a poor 8" rainbow who inadvertently was gill hooked - apparently from twisting when he felt the tipped cross his body.  I HATE THAT.   I know fish are hurt by our flies, but when a trout bleeds - especially a small one like this - it ruins my day.  WE NEED ALL THE SMALL TROUT WE CAN LEAVE ALIVE IN THESE RIVERS!

4/11: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FISHING on the Eagle today.  I threw in the towel after about 45 minutes of catching and releasing rainbow after rainbow.   Waded a favorite section of the lease property over the noon hour.  River was only vaguely colored so started with a rig of #10 dark stone trailed by a new version of a crystal midge.  The stone stoned them!  After catching a half dozen I added a smaller bead head yellow stone to the back end of the tippet and it was equally successful.  Don't know how many fish were landed.  Probably between 15 and 20, plus shook off another 10 or so.  One landed was another whitey - we're being invaded.  The bows were beautiful & all in good shape.  None were under 12" and the biggest a solid 18".

4/12: HIGH HOPES FOR A SURFACE STRIKE today on the Gore, but it was not to be.  A nice BWO hatch greeted me when I trucked down to the creek just after lunch.  Watched a large (14-15 inch) rainbow frantically picking emergers and duns under a bridge by Lionshead.  Cast at him for 20 minutes without hooking him - but did turn him several times and ticked him at least twice.  Tried tiny comparaduns, RS-2's, and loop wings with an equal failure rate.  Did land one modest brookie. 

The important new is that the RAINBOWS are now sitting on their REDDS, so PLEASE use care when wading this stream and if at all possible, either fish somewhere else or don't wade at all until after the runoff is finished.  Hope this got your attention.

4/14: THE HOPE OF CATCHING THE SPRING CADDIS HATCH ON THE ARKANSAS prompted a quick trip to Salida.  Weather was routinely lousy - my timing is always imperfect.  Snow squalls trailed me all the way down river.  But after arriving in town & setting up to wade the Ouray lease section, a few breaks in the clouds appeared.  The stream was running very low & clear and my first view of the river brought no sign of caddis.  Trying a number of different nymph rigs also brought no success.

Shortly a few fish started breaking the surface.  So I switched back to a surface caddis trailed by an emerger.  Still no luck.   Eventually a couple of BWO's floated by on the breeze and a change to a loop wing/comparadun combination finally brought the first SURFACE ACTION of the year.  It was fun!  Thank you.  Interestingly the loop wing pattern was infinitely more successful than was the comparadun.

In the next couple of hours I released a at least two dozen fish - all browns - and all between 8-14 inches.  One lonely 10 inch rainbow was mixed in for good measure.  As soon as the hatch stopped, so did my success.  Nothing worked, and I really tried hard.  With another day to spend on the water, hopes that the following day would bring better weather of course proved false.  Terribly false would be a better descriptor.  30 mile an hour north winds coupled with a 12-20 degree temperature range prompted a rapid trip home.  It really didn't matter though - after fishing that nice hatch.

4/14:  Modest results on Gore Creek this afternoon.   Recent bitterly cold temperatures have again partially frozen some of the better pools and definitely have impacted the fish's interest in moving for food.  Took a half dozen small rainbows, two brooks, and one 14" brown in a couple hours of casting with small midge larva/emergers and a pint sized black wooly bugger.

4/19:  TRULY STUNNING FISHING on Gore Creek this afternoon.   Hopefully without giving away the location, the first run yielded seven rainbows between 12-16 inches and lost one that was close to three pounds - a huge fish for this tiny stream.  Although a few lonesome caddis were in the air (first of the season for me), nymphs were the ticket.  The fish preferred a small bead head caddis emerger and a trailing sparkle emerger caught some too.

Upstream there was a minor baetis hatch in progress and another half dozen good fish were brought to hand on a #18 loop wing BWO trailed by an RS-2 in the same color scheme.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

4/23-26:  A VERY SUCCESSFUL SPRING TRIP TO OREGON even though no trout were involved!  Both the North & South Umpquas were in runoff when I arrived for the annual spring trip to socialize with the folks and my brother.   Besides all streams were closed anyway in a probably hopeless attempt to protect the few remaining searun cutthroat that inhabit these rivers.

So Rick & I turned to a wonderful log pond by Winchester for some continuous action on warm water species.  In the couple of hours we fished each day (while the parents took their afternoon nap), we each probably landed 2-3 dozen fish apiece.  Most were good sized bluegill and crappie with an occasional junior sized smallmouth thrown in for good measure.  Fish took surface flies and other streamers, but the best action was on a double rig of two different sized wooly buggers.  The rig often produced double catches which was even more fun.  Best fish of the trip was a pot bellied 2-4 pound largemouth that fell to a tiny black bugger.  We'll hit the trout stream next September.

Tomorrow Sue & I & the dog head to Lake Powell for some more fishing of the above type.  As the lake pool is down about 16 feet from last fall's trip, we should have good success in some favorite nooks & crannies.

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