September, 1999

9/1:  Lousy weather as usual, but the fishing wasn't bad today on the Blue.   It was going to rain in this valley, so I ventured over the hill in hopes of getting away from the mass of moisture showing up on the weather channel's radar screens.

That really didn't work, but at least I was able to avoid the off color conditions on the Eagle.  Since the Blue's a true tailwater right in Silverthorne, we can almost always count on decent conditions there.  Walking downstream to our favorite run, no hatch was visible, so began casting with a surface x-caddis trailed about three feet later by a large CDC RS-2.  The rig worked - slightly.  Landed four fish fairly quickly, browns & a rainbow, between 10-13 inches.  Nymphed again up river and did about the same but got dumped on a few times by cloudbursts.

Above the town offices a rig of the x-caddis, again trailed three feet later by a little bead head caddis emerger was quite productive, producing another dozen browns, but no more rainbows.  Our weather really is the pits.  I suspect my trip to Aspen tomorrow will be a washout. 

9/2:  True to my assumptions of yesterday it was a washout.   The weather all the way from Aspen to Vail was a nightmare.  This is the worst summer for rain I've seen in 30 years of living here.  While the rain is better for the fish populations, it's hell for those of us trying to connect with those critters.

The Roaring Fork looked fine and very fishable from its confluence with the Crystal all the way upstream, but below that point, the river is totally out and probably will be through the weekend - at the very least.

9/4:  Surprisingly good dry fly fishing on the Eagle.   Recent cold night time air temperatures have also cooled the rivers.  Normally these change-of-season conditions put fish off their feed, but today was an exception.   When I hopped into the river, my first efforts were with nymphs, and that didn't work well at all.  Hooked & "long released" a couple of nice fish, but basically did nothing else for a half hour of casting.

Then waded across the stream & set up with a single #18 x-caddis to see if a change of pace would stir anything up from the depths and sure enough that happened.  Apparently (and I should have known this) the browns are bulking up for spawning season.  So I had a wonderful time casting to seams & runs for the next hour or so.  The fish were all strong and healthy - even if most of them weren't large.  Best was probably 15".  We'll try to repeat this again tomorrow.   Still don't understand why they were so surface focused as no insects were on the water - must have been good memories from earlier in the month.

9/6:  Our trip to that stretch of the upper Arkansas where we earlier had such tremendous success was repeated today.  It's still astonishing to me that one can park by a major Colorado highway, walk a few feet and have fishing for trout that are completely blissful about someone trying to catch them.  The action was so fast that I ended up keeping my forceps open on my casting hand to more easily release the fish as they were landed.  We won't tell you the exact location of this fine piece of water, but here's a hint - when you find Randy Garcia, you're there.

We then drove over Fremont Pass & stopped again at Clinton Lake.  No fish rose, but after tying on a weighted wooly bugger, I finally landed & released one nice cutthroat that apparently had a death wish, since he struck the same fly again after being previously hooked.

A bit later on our favorite section of the Blue the fishing was tough as nails.  A change to a #20 cdc rs-2 variant brought a couple of nice hookups from large fish, but the reality is that with levels dropping ever lower, the best casting will be in the early evening hours.

9/7:  Too much success on Gore Creek.  The little #18 x-caddis remains a killer fly this fall.  Rainbows came out of everywhere for it.   Some good sized - up to 15 inches.  Amazing to get fish that large - and larger - from a creek flowing at maybe 25 c.f.s. right now.  Finally got sick and tired of unhooking them so TAG fished and let another dozen or so mouth the fly before ejecting it.  It's just too easy, and that ain't any fun.

9/8:  IT WAS LIKE A PIG FARM on the Eagle this afternoon - the trout were so large.  For a couple of hours I thought I might be in Montana - where the really BIG fish live.  Tried a seldom fished area near the Gypsum Ponds and had excellent success sizewise and minimal success quantitywise.

First riffle water brought a husky 18" bow to hand on an x-caddis.  Changing to a combo nymph rig of #18 bead head caddis trailed by a #20 cdc rs-2 brought more big fish out of hiding.  Almost all fell for the tiny rs-2 and several straightened out the hook or detached by the hook popping out of their mouths.   The smallest fish I saw today was roughly 12" and the largest that got away after doing it's hook thing was probably 23-25 inches and had to weigh 5-6 pounds of brown trout flesh.  Most others were rainbows in the 16-20 inch range.  Probably only had on a dozen fish in two hours of casting, but they were pretty much all whoppers.

9/10-12:  A three day trip to the Upper South Platte and Arkansas Rivers - Details here.

9/14:  Before our ceaseless rainstorms began again today, the fishing was not bad on the Eagle.  There were some small mayflies - probably BWO's - being sipped when I arrived at a pool in the Red Canyon section, but I opted for nymphing.  The results actually were fascinating.  Used a double rig of a #16 bead head caddis up front trailed by a #20 gray CDC RS-2 hybrid.  The rainbows all came to the smaller fly and the browns all preferred the bead head.  As intelligent as browns are supposed to be, they wore dunce caps today.  Perhaps it's because they're getting ready to spawn, and they're simply more aggressive right now.  But the dozen or so fish that were hooked were all decent, ranging from a 12" brown through some 14-16" rainbows and maxing out at an 18" hook jawed male brownie.

9/15:  More or less a repeat of yesterday on the Eagle.   There was a decent fall caddis hatch going on today, but strikes were few & far between.  The fish really prefer underwater goodies.  Same rig used nymphing and basically the same results.  But one nice 16" rainbow did fall for the bead head compared to none the prior day.

9/17-20:  A different kind of trip to Oregon.

9/22:  GLORIOUS WEATHER ON GORE CREEK and lots of strikes to match the good conditions.  Low flows & shallow, clear water made the better fish spooky today, but hatches of an alloperla stone and some tiny baetis brought them to the surface.  Best fly turned out to be a deer hair winged #18 stone.  Three different species struck and were released.  Tried to TAG fish as best I could, but some came to hand anyway.  Will be on the Roaring Fork in Glenwood tomorrow and hope for similar conditions.

9/23:  HO HUM fishing at best on the Fork today.   Beautiful weather but minimal action in the middle of the day.  Bottom is strung with that nasty green goop fouling up the nymphs on almost every cast, so switched to a #14 stone/grasshopper/stimulator trailed three feet later by a small bead head caddis and had better luck.  Strikes were split evenly between the two flies although the dozen fish released in three hours (none larger than 14") don't really constitute a successful day.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

9/27: FEROCIOUS WINDS on the Eagle this afternoon really destroyed the fishing.  Leaves were clogging the surface and sub surface waters - and even though it was basically a tailwind, any attempts at "precision" casting went for naught.  First nymphing attempts with a bead head stone trailed by a #18 CDC RS-2 were fruitless.  Changing to a large stimulator with a bead head caddis three feet behind finally brought some action albeit limited.  Hooked a handful of mixed browns & rainbows between 10-14 inches - all of which came to the bead head.  It wasn't much fun.  Wednesday the vanagon gets serviced in Denver, after which we'll take a drive up 285 and try some casting on the South Platte.

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