February, 2000

2/2:  It's amazing how quickly the characteristics of the streamsides change during the winter months. A week or so ago because of the January thaw, the banks of the Eagle were nearly ice free, but today Mother Nature had struck back again.  Below zero nighttime temperatures for the past few days have pulled that shore ice back near the middle of the river again, making casting & the drift of the nymph very difficult.

But a half hour of throwing the sunken stone at least brought a bit of success this afternoon on the lease water down by the town of Eagle.  Had several soft strikes before finally landing a couple of dandy - and feisty - rainbows of fourteen and eighteen inches respectively.

Tomorrow brings a trip to Aspen and perhaps some casting on the Roaring Fork.

2/2-2/3:  Two fish a day ain't much to speak of - but I need to record it anyway.  Tried a new hole just above Aspen Glen on the Fork on Wednesday with no success at all.  A later wade above the Sunlight Bridge was almost as uneventful with the exception of a 12" brown and a 3# whitey.  The brown took a #12 dark stone & the whitey a #18 miracle nymph.

Driving back to Vail today a stop at No Name resulted in one more whitey and a ten inch rainbow - both to the stone again.  Nice days both - but not much in the way of results.

2/7:  It's really unimaginable to catch fish on a large surface stone fly this time of year, but lo & behold it actually happened today - three times!  Year around it's common to just use a larger "floaty" stimulator or stone as a strike indicator - I often do it regardless of season just because I think the fly presents a less intimidating appearance than does a bright plastic strike indicator.

In the summer months it's common for that fly to bring as many strikes as the trailing nymph, but today was truly unusual.  In fact the first two fish were cutthroats which again is about as common as catching a catfish in the particular stretch I fished today.  Later a small rainbow took the "indicator" while it was slightly sunk, and finally a twelve inch brown took the bead head near the bottom.  But it was a very strange experience to see those cuts break the surface - despite the utter lack of any form of surface activity.

2/9:  Really ugly fishing today on the Eagle between Gypsum and the town of that name.  Easy wading, but iced guides on every cast.  It's just too much work clearing them.  Fished an hour & a half on the bottom through some nice holes, but results were almost non-existent.  Landed two small rainbows (8 & 12 inches), but to tell you the truth, I didn't feel either strike.  Both fish took a #10 dark stone.

2/22:  Possibly the last fishing trip until April today, as I'm booked virtually nonstop with ski clients on the mountain through March.  Lots of snow lately coupled with warmer temperatures has the Eagle higher and somewhat (pleasantly) off color right now.  45 minutes of casting down near the town of the same name resulted in a handful of rainbows brought to the release point, and a good dozen other strikes were felt.  So the fish are getting much more active in terms of feeding - perhaps in anticipation of spring spawning.

Both a leading #12 stone and a trailing #18 red midge larva were attractive today.  Have to go to Aspen on the first of March, so maybe we'll get in a few casts on the Roaring Fork that day.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

2/29:  IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST the temptation to fish on the last day of February of a leap year.  And lo & behold the rainbows leaped on this leap year day!  Forty five minutes of casting nymphs on some of the lease water above Eagle brought a half dozen 'bows to hand.  They took quite a variety of flies from a dark stone to a red nymph to a bead head golden stone.   Frankly I think they're just hungry now and are bulking up in anticipation of spawning season.  But the sun shone as the fish jumped, so it was a very nice excursion.

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