February, 2000

2/5:  OK, there's no fishing for me in the foreseeable future.   Just too much ski teaching and data work.  But I did take a look at the local streams on my way to & from Aspen today although didn't have time or inclination to put on the wading gear.  The Roaring Fork looked great.  It's running low & clear in the Glenwood area & probably calls for very delicate tactics right now.   Unfortunately the wind was howling at 25-30 m.p.h. when I got out of the car, so I didn't want to fight that problem.

The Colorado above Glenwood is a bit off color due to recent warm temperatures, but it has what we'd call in Oregon "good steelhead color".   Upstream on the Eagle the only place where the ice is off the river enough to get good access is directly downstream from Gypsum for roughly two miles.  In fact I saw a couple of bodies working that stretch when I drove past the area.

2/16:  Sunny afternoon and an early finish to my ski teaching today allowed for a quickie trip to the Eagle near Minturn.  Low flows & clear conditions made for tough presentations in this gravelly stretch of stream, but two small browns of 8 & 10 inches chewed on the #20 midge emerger and let me touch them before release.  Not much of a day, but it was nice to be out on the water again after such a long layoff.

2/21:  The Eagle's coming back towards spring-like flows & conditions.  Today it was quite off color due to the early morning snowfall that rapidly melted & caused discoloration.  Nevertheless I had some success in one of my favorite runs in the lease water section.  Used a double nymph rig of leading #16 black stone trailed by a #20 copper john.  The four rainbows released (14-16") took the flies equally.  There were numerous other strikes in this fine piece of stream, but either my reactions were lousy or the fish were just too tentative in their takes for me to hook any others.

The good thing is that our recent warmer temperatures are loosening the shore ice's grip on the river.  When water clarity improves, we should start that wonderful stretch of two good months of casting before runoff takes over later in April.

2/24:  The Eagle's showing even more signs of life.  A quick hour & a half of casting between Wolcott & Eagle allowed me to touch roughly a dozen rainbows.  None were over 14", but the fish appear to be getting more active.  In all honesty it took a good number of "heaves" to finally locate the first one, but after that, duplicating the casts to the same type of water produced pretty consistent results.

The fish still are not really active, and they remain clustered in the deeper, slower runs as they have throughout the winter. In sharp contrast to the outing on the 21st, today the rainbows exclusively took either a #20 straight or curved bodied midge emerger fished on the bottom behind the #20 copper john that was so successful previously.  It's the first time I've ever intentionally or unintentionally used a #20 fly as the attractor.

2/26:  Although the spring fishing season (for me) is showing more signs of life, today the Eagle was not (for me).  Tried my favorite stretch of the lease water again and had less success than earlier.  the river was cloudier & higher than a few days ago & even though I knew that called for changes in tactics, I was lazy & used the same rig as in the entry above.  A half dozen fish between 10-16" came (close) to hand, and I missed lots of strikes.   OK, we have some bad days & we have some good days, but we never really have a bad day on the water.

Thus spake Zarathustra.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

2/28:  The month finished a whole lot better than it started.  Had to go to Eagle on business and after a quick lunch at Burger King, we drove West on the freeway to Gypsum, at which point (the dog & I) doubled back & drove East on the freeway to one of our favorite parts of this section.

Rigged same as the past several days & it probably was OK, although we should have experimented a bit more.  Released a nice 14" brown after the first few casts on the #20 copper john, but after that, it was all fish chomping on the #20 midge emerger.  We waded for an hour & a half doing only nymphing.  There were many midges on the surface, but no sign of any mouths taking them that high in the flow. 

All but one other fish hooked this afternoon were rainbows - that exception being another brown.  Sizes ranged from 12-16 inches which is pretty standard on the stream.  Had thought (hoped) we might turn up a big one - as several are present in this part of the river that are over 3-4 pounds - but didn't hook any of those hogs - unless one tasted & rejected one of our imitations - which is more likely than not.


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