November, 2000

11/1:  With only a spare 45 minutes to "waste" on this data gathering trip to Aspen, I had a choice of stopping at the Satank Bridge or hopping off the Interstate at No Name.  Chose the former as it's less of a hike to get to anything resembling decent fishing.  Although my results can't be really labeled decent, it was nice to release a couple of fish.

The rig was a leading #14 dark stone nymph trailed by a tiny #20 scintilla egg fly.   Sure enough the twin sized rainbow & brown that came to hand both took the egg fly.  At least that's an indicator of what it might be like on the middle Colorado this weekend - assuming the next storm doesn't keep us off the water.

11/4:  A bright sunny, but crispy Saturday led us to the Colorado River near State Bridge.  The dog & I hiked downstream on a jeep road for about a mile before starting to fish.  Unfortunately we were on the south shore of the river which was completely shaded & really cold.  We started nymphing upstream and nymphing upstream ad nauseum. with no success whatsoever.  It was bad enough being that cold, but to have zero strikes made the first hour extremely unpleasant.

Finally made a change to a silver cone head brown wooly bugger and a bit more success followed.  The smallish browns that struck either inhaled the fly or batted at it in an apparent effort to get the nuisance (fly) out of their feeding zone.  It wasn't great action, but was better than nothing what went on earlier.

Later we tried the mouth of the Piney and saw a couple of heads peek through the surface apparently chewing on midge emergers.  I threw a #20 comparadun at them and was rejected totally.  Tomorrow we may get a couple of hours on the Eagle before the Broncos play the Jets at 2:00.

11/8:  Shore ice is trying to form on the Eagle now.   The past few days with nighttime temperatures in the teens are doing the job.   Icing of the guides is also the order of the day even with bright sunshine on the river this afternoon.  My assumption was that the colder water temperatures would have the fish motionless and basically settled down to a winter state of quasi hibernation.

Wrong again.  Started fishing my favorite pool using a tiny #20 scintilla egg fly 4-5 feet behind an oversized (#16) BWO that works as a strike indicator.  The flat back end of this pool is pretty shallow & contains far fewer fish than in the deeper upper section.  But normally if the rig we're using is attractive, we'll get a strike or three on the way up to the better water.  Didn't happen today, so I uneasily was contemplating a shutout.  Then one nose broke the surface.  Despite casting to that rise & coming away empty handed, the activity suggested changing to some kind of midge which I shortly did do.

The fly is fished like a nymph.  It's very simply constructed.  Sizes 20-22.  Black thread.  A thin black flashabou body, peacock herl thorax, & a few short wisps of light dun CDC for a vestigial wing.   Replaced the egg fly with one, and the action started.

In fact it was too much action.  The rainbows loved the fly.   Strikes were tentative and many were the strikes I missed, but I released a good dozen fish in the 14-17 inch range before finally detaching smaller twin 10" browns & rainbows.  Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.  I quit the hole before fishing more than 60% of it.  When anything becomes too easy, it ceases to be fun.

That raises a philosophical reality.  If I had fishing this good every time I went out, I'd quit the sport and turn to something else more challenging.  It's just no fun to have it too easy.  Does that make sense?

11/20:  Five feet of snow and unrelenting storms have brightened the hopes for our ski season but have done nothing for the fishing.  With sunny skies today & visions of sugarplums (and rainbows) dancing in my head, I tried to find some open water on the Eagle between that town & Wolcott.  It was not easy.  The stream is in a mid January mode instead of that of the actual date.   There's so much shore ice it's scary just trying to get to the water.

I saw only two spots in ten miles that looked fairly fishable & tried only one of them.  It was pretty much a disaster.  Used the floating sinking combination as above on the 8th & really had no success at all.  There were two indications of a strike, but I was unsuccessful in making a hookup.  Clearly the fish have developed their mid winter lethargy.  It took so many casts to cover the water that when a strike (or quasi strike) did happen, I was off in mental never-never land.  If these conditions continue indefinitely, the tailwaters on the Blue, Muddy Creek, etc. are probably our only bets.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

11/24-25:  It's really a waste of time writing in this log when there's nothing to report in the way of success.  The weather's been sunny & crisp, but the rivers are still in mid January condition.  We traveled to Kremmling in the hopes of doing something on the Wolford tailwater, but those hopes were quickly dashed in the hour we spent there.  Saw only a handful of rises in the pool below the dam and had no success with our regular midge nymphs & surface flies.  There was no hatch of any sort going on & neither Sue nor I had a single strike.

We did stop at our favorite piece of the Blue in Silverthorne.   Hiking downstream to our start point and entering the water, Sue caught a 10" brown on her second cast.  Hope sprang.  It was quickly squelched when she got the "wet ass" award for the day by slipping on some shoreside rocks & dunking herself above the hip boots she was wearing.  So it was back to the car immediately & back home.  Ugly.

Today the dog & I had a couple of hours to spare so we headed to State Bridge & then upstream a bit on the Colorado.  Too much risky shore ice for my taste, but we did some casting with nymphs & wooly buggers for a while.   Had one unknown species on for a couple of seconds & then later had one other decent strike, but that was it.  It's getting frustrating.  Next week I go to Eagle for more data updates, but suspect it will be the same old story down on that stream.


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