November, 2001

11/2:  Gorgeous sunny day on the Eagle lease water.   Stream was as gin clear as the air itself.  That probably accounted for some of the fishing difficulties.  With time being an issue the dog & I "dry" waded - in other words just walked down the bank without wading gear.   Cast a black rabbit bugger in a number of interesting pockets & runs but had only a couple of strikes until finally getting into a 12" rainbow at our big favorite pool.  That was it for the streamers.

At the tail of the pool changed to a rig of surface attractor for a strike indicator & trailed it two feet by a lightly weighted #22 BWO colored RS-2.   No results until we got towards the head of the pool when two nice 14-16 inch rainbows found the nymph inviting.  That was pretty much it.  Not a lot of action but with weather like this, it really didn't matter.

11/5:  Gore Creek was frigid and completely unproductive this afternoon.  It's also flowing at about 15 cubes near the golf course.   But.....the golf course ponds that are completely unavailable during the season for that sport were fine casting.  These are mostly brook trout areas & the fish generally smallish in size.  Because it's also spawning season, I was careful to avoid the obvious redds.  Happily three nice fish - a 14" brown & two gorgeous 12" brookies saw fit to taste the black wooly bugger cast to their feeding lanes.  There's little fishing left before ski season arrives, but hopefully we'll make it back to Spinney or the Roaring Fork one more time prior to Thanksgiving.

11/10:  The complete absence of bad weather made for another Eagle River outing for Sue & the dog & I today.  Stream was low & clear.   Given some moderate cloud cover, we'd hoped to maybe find an olive hatch going on, but it was not to be.  So we headed to our favorite stretch of the lease water & began nymphing carefully up through a nice pool.  It was slow going.  Sue used a small copper john fished by itself on the bottom & I tried a copper john ahead of a #22 BWO emerger.

We each ended up landing virtually twin 12 inch rainbows & missed several other strikes.  Fish are very tentative in their takes right now due to colder water temperatures and those mouthings are extremely easy to miss.  At that point I changed to an olive wooly bugger & did have a bit more success with it.   As we were moving upstream on opposite sides of the river, it made for unusually streamer casting - that being mainly upstream and across instead of the opposite.  I had a handful of strikes before finally releasing a nice 16 inch brown that inhaled the fly beneath a large midstream boulder.  Sue shortly got fed up with the slow action, so we shortly adjourned to the car & headed back home to watch the Bronco's game.   Unless the weather changes for the worse, I hope to head over to the Spinney tailwater on Tuesday for the last time this year.

11/13-14:  There's no skiing in Vail at the moment.   The weather is perfect - for fishing.  The dog & I aborted town and drove the vanagon to the Spinney tailwater on Tuesday afternoon.  Arriving at the lower parking lot roughly 1:00 P.M. - no wind - decent air temperatures - we chose walking downstream and fishing an olive rabbit bugger.  This lower section is more lightly fished, and although it probably holds less numbers and less quality trout, it remains eminently attractive for the less crowded nature of the water.

The first quarter mile produced nothing for us.  Then action picked up.  In the half hour before a nice, but really tiny BWO hatch began, we played a half dozen holdover rainbows on the bugger.  Once the olive hatch started, the bugger action quit.  I alternated between a #20 and #22 olive comparadun & had zero strikes on the larger fly.  These fish were far more size observant than are their counterparts on the Green in Utah.  They're also more leader shy.

Once the hatch stopped, we returned to the same streamer - with comparable results.  Best trout released this day was a stunning 18-20 inch rainbow that might have been eight inches deep & five inches across the shoulders.  Don't know the weight, but it had to be between 4-5 pounds.

We continued wading the lower area for another hour with similar results on the olive bugger.  Then we drove to the upper parking lot & tried our favorite piece of that water with similar results.  The day ended at about 430 P.M. when the sun went down behind the Mosquito Range.  Maybe 30-40 fish were played in the period.  Most were rainbows with a sprinkling of cutthroats & browns.   All fish were between 12-17 inches.  It was as much fun as one can have under these colder weather conditions.

Today.  A different story.  The extremely cold nights apparently breed sluggish trout reactions early in the day.  The morning streamer casting was sullen.  Olive buggers were worthless.  Over a couple of visibly feeding rainbows, we changed to a bright yellow bugger & their interest was suddenly sparked.  The change didn't last long but it was at least a bit of a revelation to note that color might matter.  Tried the yellow fly for another half hour with modest results and suspect it was more fascination with the color than appreciation of its food value on the trout's part.

Ah.  Almost forgot.  Released a Frisbee shaped 12-13" Kokanee with the yellow fly.  What a surprise.  The fish was may have been two pounds despite its short length.

Next fly try was a black rabbit bugger.  That imitation pretty much solved the problem for the day.  We fished it on the upper section and shortly thereafter on the lower section.  Lower down another of those "chubby" rainbows came to hand.  Not as big as the first lunker, but a nice release anyway.  Wish I could care if it snows enough to begin skiing, but with fishing like this, not much else matters.

11/24:  With a couple of feet of snow the past few days & very cold nighttime temperatures trout in our local streams seem to have entered their winter semi hibernation mode.  We looked off the skier bridge on Gore Creek this morning & found a group of seven trout ranging in size from 5-14 inches huddled in a stream space no more than two square feet.  Under normal feeding conditions the larger fish would never have tolerated that kind of congestion.

But we drove down the Eagle anyway & tried wooly buggering our favorite stretch of the lease water just above the town of that name.  In the aftermath of Sue & I each playing just one fish apiece in an hour of casting we both agreed that deep nymphing with egg flies or tiny larva probably would have been somewhat more effective.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

11/27-28: In the aftermath of a four foot dump of snow the dog & I were finally able to make it to Eagle to pick up data & then continued on to Glenwood Springs where we were able to bank fish the Roaring Fork for a couple of hours. With no sun in the canyon above the Sunlight Bridge the air temperatures were ferociously cold. Even wearing gloves while casting the rabbit bugger across & downstream didn't help much. For an hour of walking all we had to show for our effort was a grand total of three "bumps" and no hookups. Then in a space of five minutes two nice rainbows of 14 and 16 inches respectively took the streamer & were quickly released. I know deep nymphing with midge larva would work better but can't stand the thought of casting passively when it's this cold.

This morning on the way back to Vail we stopped at the Bair Ranch rest stop & repeated the same type of casting in the nice pool above the bridge. It was even colder today. Frozen guides right out of the box & we made it fifteen minutes before retreating to the warmth of the car. But a pair of twin fourteen inch browns made the cold more tolerable. I suspect there are very large fish in this hole & will wait for slightly warmer conditions to put on a sink tip line & make a try for them.


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