September, 2001

9/2-3:  The Colorado was murky from last night's storm when we drove down to State Bridge, but the walk upstream to the mouth of the Piney gave us a clear shot at clear water.  Although flowing at only about 25 cubes right now, the Piney is easily wadable anywhere and offers some decent dry fly action.  I managed to miss a dozen strikes in the half mile we walked this stream but did land a couple of sturdy rainbows in the 10-12 inch range.  They all took the attractor brown WRS.  A small BWO hatch was in progress, but these fish were fairly catholic in their tastes.

Nymphing the Colorado (which was a good foot up & cloudy) produced nothing but a handful of tentative strikes and one strike powerful enough to pop the stonefly off the leader.

Today (the 3rd) we journeyed to Silverthorne for some last minute shopping & fished a good stretch of Ten Mile Creek on the way there.  Because there are few clearly marked access points, this little creek doesn't get heavily fished & it's a fun (smaller fish) piece of pocket water.  Sue did better than I by using a #18 greenish WRS as opposed to the #16 brown one I was throwing.  She played 8-9 fish in a half hour of casting & did release a 12" brown.  I had a roughly a dozen strikes and managed to not have to release anything.

Wednesday we travel to Lake Powell for another camp out on the lake & hope that the threadfin shad are more plentiful this year to give us some decent smallmouth & striper fishing.

9/4-8:  It was a lake trip sandwiched between a couple of river excursions this week.  The Roaring Fork Tuesday evening was delightful.   Below the Sunlight Bridge nymphing produced a fat 16 inch rainbow right off the bat followed by several other lesser rainbows & browns.  Up in the riffle water the shallower water holding browns took a green WRS or beadhead buckskin with abandon.

We headed down to Lake Powell on Wednesday afternoon & got there in time to paddle the wash deck kayak & our rubber ducky full of supplies out to an isolated point and our regular camping site.  The wind became something of an annoyance almost immediately although the air temperature was perfect.  Powell is down in depth perhaps twenty feet below what we've ever seen and this fact changed the dynamics of our fishing.  Trolling streamers from the kayak was possible, but not much fun, nor productive through our last day there.

We normally use the trolling method to locate schooling populations of smallmouths or stripers & then do some shoreside casting.  The unusual and unceasing winds kept us from doing much of either this time around.  Best success was had with a black cone head bugger.  The "gray pearls" that normally are our best pattern did virtually nothing.  Because the water temperatures were so high we assumed the threadfin shad the gray fly imitates were in much deeper parts of the lake.  In all honesty we did very poorly this trip & left the area before the date we'd originally intended to depart.

Sue had better luck trolling close to the cliff walls & distinct rocky points were also moderately productive.  None of the bass caught exceeded a foot in length.  We saw no stripers, nor did we have our usual success with any of the sunfishes, walleyes, catfish, etc.

After returning to Glenwood I did a solo drive up the Crystal Saturday morning and had very good success again nymphing the lower part of that fun little stream.  The same nice pools & runs produced a dozen decent rainbows using a leading #16 copper john trailed by a smaller buckskin.  Both flies took fish equally.  Cold air temperatures (Sopris was covered with snow from the previous night's storm) put an end to my wading after an hour or so.

9/10:  Sunny & beautiful today in Vail.  Gore Creek cleared after last weekend's temporary snowmelt cloudiness & wanting a break from programming, I rode the bike out to the golf course area of the stream for some casting.   Started with an up & down combo of #18 brown WRS & trailing #18 beadhead buckskin.  All strikes were on the surface fly so I detached the sinker & went completely up.  Changed to a #20 WRS & it seemed to produce a bit better although I missed more strikes being less able to see the fly in the water.

Didn't hook anything very large - most were smallish rainbows under 12 inches & a couple of brookies.  The really great thing was shaking off some verrrry small rainbows in the 4-5 inch range which means we are still getting reproduction of that species in the creek.

9/12:  The Eagle River really looked sick to me today.   In the lease area above that named town as low as the flow is right now, the river should be running clear as a bell.  It's not.  The closer one gets to town, the dirtier the stream appears.

The dog & I ventured to the lease water today in hopes of having a nice afternoon of casting and instead ended up wading in red clay muck & worrying about next spring's rainbow spawn & the survival of our dominant insect species - the cased caddis.  Apparently this summer's many nasty thunderstorms prompted untold mudslides that dropped tons of red stuff on the bottom of this stream below Wolcott.  Admittedly both Milk & Alkali Creeks are still dumping gunk, but the greater problem seems to be the inability of the Eagle to cleanse itself of the goop that's clogging almost every eddy & slower paced hole.

If we had a major runoff type event between now & next spring, it would actually make me happy even if it meant no more fishing on this stream until that time of year.  It looks like that won't happen & I fear for the next season's rainbow class.  OK, maybe it's Mother Nature's way of just giving us a periodic low blow to the gut.

The fishing wasn't great either.  Coloration of this sort called for nymphing & that's what we did.  Browns & rainbows of modest size took either a #16 copper john or #18 buckskin indiscriminately - but not with much enthusiasm.  Downstream a couple of fish rose to a #18 brown WRS.  Maybe we touched 8-10 fish today, but that kind of tentative enthusiasm wasn't much fun over a period of a couple of hours.  Might try part of Gore Creek again tomorrow.

9/18:  The Colorado below its confluence with the Eagle was chalky brown this morning as we drove by both streams on our way to Glenwood Springs.   Hopes were thus dimmed for any fishing on the Roaring Fork, so we were pleasantly surprised when the latter stream showed clear but somewhat high on our arrival.

With only an hour or so available for casting the dog & I set out on the river upstream of the Sunlight Bridge & began casting a surface WRS attractor followed by a bead head buckskin in the small pockets close to the bank.   Even with an obvious BWO hatch in progress, the fish responded well to the nymph & we landed a half dozen modest sized browns & rainbows along the way.   Upstream in the deeper eddy we expected to tag one or more of the larger fish inhabiting that water but only connected with a few more whitefish.  Sure wish the Eagle would clear up & give us the type of fall fishing we normally expect from that favorite stream.

9/20-21:  Had time for a couple of hour long sessions these past two days.  On Thursday driving up from Avon we stopped off at a favorite pool below Dowd Junction on the Eagle & threw the surface/nymph combo rig as above.   Several fish approached the surface fly & short struck, but we managed to play 6-8 medium sized browns on the buckskin.  Don't know why that fly's been so successful this summer - perhaps it's the generic nature of the coloration - or maybe trout just like to chew on chamois strips.

Today the dog & I ventured on the golf course section of Gore Creek & managed to catch a similar number of mixed species - missing only the cutthroat.  All were small and most again came to the buckskin.

9/23:  An absolute "blue bird" day drove us to the lease water just above Eagle on that same river.  Temperatures were in the 70's, the river was fairly clear, and the Aspen's are turning.  Everything was perfect except the fishing - which would have benefited from some cloud cover.  With only a few midges showing as a hatch & no heads peeking through the surface, Sue & I nymphed & did catch a couple handfuls of browns this day.  Both of us really missed the boat in terms of tactics, however, and that led to less success than we should have had.   She used a surface fly with a nymph (buckskin) trailer, and I used a double nymph rig of copper john & buckskin.

We really needed to be on the bottom all day & neither of us wanted to use that approach.  Anyway the browns were fairly eager to hit & we assume that's in anticipation of their spawning season which will arrive shortly.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous day

9/25:  Continuing wonderful weather took us to the "land that time forgot" water on the Eagle this afternoon.  The dog & I waded roughly a mile of this nice stretch & had modest success on modest sized fish.   Although the temperamental browns were fussier than usual, almost every decent piece of holding water brought at least a strike.  On the lower part of the wade the fish seemed to alternated between a surface gray WRS & a #18 bead head buckskin.

Upstream at our favorite pool the #20 gray WRS with a tiny #22 BWO stuck shuck worked best.  No hatches were evident, but a few fish broke water from time to time.  Suspect they were probably taking terrestrials of some sort.

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