December, 2001

12/3:  I mentally pleaded with Santa to give me the Christmas present of a fine rainbow to release today, but he said I'd not been a good boy this year.  You can guess the rest.  The dog & I fished a favorite spot just above the bridge to the town of Eagle with both rabbit bugger & (fairly) deep drifted nymph combo of stone & red midge for naught.  To make things somewhat worse, the shore ice is still breakable & I soaked both tennis shoes repeatedly walking along the stream.

We repeated this process a mile or two later on the lease water up river with the same results.  As skiing is taking over my life, it will require some extra effort to claim the annual 12 months of catching & releasing this year.

12/16:  With November's warmest temperatures in 100 years being followed by a similarly record December - in the opposite direction, fishing has completely come to a halt.  The Eagle's completely frozen over in most places & the trickle of visible flow in the rest of the river makes it virtually impossible to access.  Unless we get a short period of thawing or we can get down to the Colorado or Roaring Fork, this may be the last entry for 2000.  Merry Christmas to one and all.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

12/18:  Happily the above was not the last entry for this year.  Although the Eagle was visibly showing only a thin strip of open water between two large sheets of shore ice, we continued driving downstream past Gypsum & arrived in Glenwood Springs around 11 in the morning.  The Fork as always was running clear, low, & basically ice free except in a few places above the Sunlight Bridge.

Unfortunately I'd forgotten how miserable winter trouting can be here.  An air temperature of roughly 10 degrees coupled with a downstream wind of perhaps fifteen knots made throwing a big nymph rig upstream an almost impossible task.   But we continued trying this approach with a #18 green rock worm & trailing #20 red copper john.  Actually did have a handful of strikes on the rig and finally managed to hook & land a 12 inch brown.  Boy was he dumb.

At the top of the big hole, we changed tactics & switched to a #8 olive rabbit bugger that was quite heavily weighted.  Almost immediately had a bump & then got another 4-6 strikes before finally releasing a wonderfully fat 18 inch rainbow at the tail of the pool.  Shortly thereafter a 16 inch brown fell to the same fly.  We managed to last an hour & a half on the river today with not much success, but it sure beat getting skunked.  The dog had fun on the snow & ice & so did I despite completely frozen fingers.


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