May, 2001

5/6:  A massive comma shaped low pressure area brought snow by the carloads & cold temperatures to Colorado this weekend.  The aftermath was lower stream flow from reduced runoff and - hopefully - better fishing conditions.  That wasn't exactly the way things turned out, but we (Sue, Sky & I) had a fun day anyway.

We drove to Silverthorne, gassed up, & continued on to the upper Colorado between Kremmling & points East.  Every CDOW parking lot had no less than three vehicles parking & fishing, so we continued on to "Sulphur" & explored fishing our favorite "river left" side near the park in town.  It turned out to be great.  Fish were rising.  We knew not what they were taking.  Various hair wing surface flies trailed by bead head anythings and a green caddis pupa all took fish.   At least we had a bunch of strikes & fish on - lots of long releases.   These browns weren't large, but they were feisty & we had a great start to the day.

After that the fishing headed south even with low stream flows, but we found a great new spot to camp & a place that should be terrific this summer after runoff.   Just below Barr Canyon.  Leave the rest to your imagination.  If stream's stay low for the next few days, we may get some good casting before heading to the windsurfing in Texas.

5/8:  Oh what a difficult, tantalizing, enticing river you can be - Arkansas.  The dog & I drove over Tennessee Pass today & headed to Buena Vista to take advantage of lower stream flows caused by last week's snowstorm.   Even though we arrived by 9:30, the Ark. was somewhat up & a bit roily, but it looked eminently fishable.  It was - sort of.  No bugs were in the air at first, so we set up with a large light elk hair caddis trailed by a bead head pupa of the same make.  That didn't work, so I went deep with two different pupa & that worked a little bit better.

The browns really weren't active or moving much and didn't seem to be interested all day, but the morning turned out better than the afternoon.   About noon a light Grannom hatch began & I did end up hooking & missing a few on the surface which was fun & had a similar number come to the bead head.

When we left B.V. & headed up to the Clear Creek confluence, I had one strike on the first cast & that was that.  Our experience at the Granite water was similar.  Caddis's were on the banks in light numbers & a Pteranarcys did crawl up my ankle when I was tying on a tippet, but the fish just weren't cooperative at all.  For the whole day I probably - short - or long - released a dozen modest browns to 12 inches.  But I did get a nice tan, and the dog had several good swims.

5/14:  Virtually all local rivers are blown out.  The dog & I are passing up a trip to Corpus Christi in the hopes of finding some halfway decent fishing in Northern Utah reservoirs & tailwaters - plus a couple of days at Lake Powell.  We'll be there through May 21 & will report back on our return.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days

5/15-19:  MOSTLY UTAH ON THE TRIP.  This was scheduled to be a warm water fish type expedition to a number of impoundment's in Utah about which we've read, but never visited.  It turned out somewhat differently than anticipated, and that's OK.

The first stop was supposed to be Steinaker Reservoir just North of Vernal which lake ostensibly holds record sized Bluegills.  Unfortunately when we arrived there, the wind was howling which made either shore casting or trolling from our wash deck kayak out of the question.  However, as our old springtime standby of the tailwater below Flaming Gorge just another hour away, we continued on to Little Hole overlook to see what had changed since our April visit.

What a change a month makes.  Although water clarity was fine, the flows had been radically increased apparently in an attempt to simulate historical spring runoff conditions through the lower canyon.  Masses of vegetation were being ripped off the bottom by the extreme flow rate.  We did not have high expectations of success assuming as it turned out incorrectly that the lack of fishermen meant no good fishing was to be had.

The dog & I hiked downstream into the "B" section for a couple of miles & started casting a wooly bugger in some tight shoreside eddies.   Nothing.  Then upstream in a larger eddy, lo & behold, here was a pod of feeding trout sipping something on the surface.  To shorten the story we eventually figured out a fly combination that worked & started catching fish just like on our last trip.  While it appeared that midges were on the hatch, a #20 BWO comparadun trailed by a smaller midge emerger did the trick.  We took mostly browns along with a couple of rainbows & one cutthroat.

Upstream the same fly combination again prevailed & we had a great afternoon.  Fish sizes were consistent with earlier sessions, ranging from 14-22 inches.

The next day we experimented again by walking roughly three miles up into the "A" section.  This time we found less promising water & were really only able to hook a few fish by deep nymphing with midge emergers.  The walk down into B again proved the better choice and it was pretty much a repeat of the first day.

In early afternoon we packed up the vanagon again & drove back down towards Steinaker hoping for better conditions & maybe a day or two of fishing there.  We stopped at the shoreline & hiked a bit of it, but with very high water & unimaginable numbers of ants on the bank preventing stopping for even a few seconds, we gave up & headed out towards Price with the intention of visiting Lake Powell the following day.

None of the impoundment's or streams on our drive to Price appeared fishable with the exception of the Strawberry River which was running high and fairly clear.  As we could find no public access to that stream near Duchesne, we gave up & drove to and through Price before stopping for the night.

At Lake Powell, because we had the vanagon as a camping device, we opted to not tow our camping gear out to our regular isolated point of land, choosing instead to try the primitive campground at Staton Creek.  It was crowded as usual, but happily also less noisy than in the past.  Our fishing the following day was decent as we trolled & alternately stopped to bank cast at several points along the bays.  Water levels were low & the fish we caught (all smallmouths) were uniformly uninteresting - 5-12 inches.  Had a few better fish strike, but was unsuccessful in landing them.

It was fun at one point to stop, cast, & release 20 fish or so on fifteen consecutive casts.  The doubles were fun as always.  Our most productive outfit down here seems to be a fairly stiff rod with full sink line trailing a smallish gray pearl fly followed by a larger dark wooly bugger.  The momma - poppa ploy always seems to intrigue the fish & it's been successful on several species here.

Basically that was it.  We headed back to Glenwood Springs by the Southern route hoping against hope to find some decent stream or lake fishing during this peak of runoff season.  It was not to be.  We passed up Hite's Crossing with muddy water dominating, and later the Dolores, the Uncompaghre, the Gunnison, Anthracite Creek, & the Crystal, all with no more casting to enjoy.


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