October, 2002

10/6:  With a couple of hours to kill before the Bronco's game the dog & I again returned to our latest favorite new spot on the Colorado near State Bridge.   Flows are down again & hatches seem to have disappeared altogether.

I had one of those let's-see-how-many-strikes-we-can-miss-in-a-row starts, but eventually managed to release six or eight mixed browns & rainbows.   Interestingly the species were pretty much split today which may infer something about increased spawning by the bows.  Largest fish was a nice sixteen inch hen rainbow that took a new tiny bead headed olive nymph trailed closely behind the surface WRS.

These smaller (1.5 MM) beads are fascinating.  I actually was able to tie a range of nymphs between 20-28 with this tiny piece of metal & hope to try them to the fussy browns on the Green next weekend.  In fact this whole upcoming week may be a fun one.   Monday we'll be on the Roaring Fork, Tuesday & Wednesday on the White, & then the Green for 2-3 days on the Columbus Day weekend.

10/7-9:  Sue had a Forest Service meeting scheduled for the Meeker area on Tuesday & Wednesday of this week, so the dog & I got to travel up that way with her to do a bit more fishing on the White.  We did head down to Glenwood early afternoon on Monday & fished the park below the Sunlight Bridge on the Fork for a couple of hours.  To be honest it was lousy - or I was lousy - or some combination of the river and I were both lousy.

There was a sporadic BWO hatch & a few red quills in the air & a couple of fish came up, but nothing I tried was successful on the surface.  The nymph rig of leading stone & trailing tiny bead head olive caught a couple of quick rainbows plus bought some play time with a very large fish (brown or rainbow) that I never did see.  And that was it for this river.

Tuesday was a different story.  We arrived on the White River's public "catch & eat" water around 10:30 in the morning & started casting up some normally wonderful pocket places with both dry & nymph & then double nymph rigs.  No strikes at all.  This was not fun.

Driving on to our favorite piece of river things started to change.  The first seams yielded a 12" and then a 14" rainbow to the surface WRS and bead head buckskin respectively.  We walked a long stretch downstream to fish back up to the car.  The starting place hole brought a 22" rainbow to the forceps  followed by another half dozen bows from 12-16" and one nice 14" cutthroat.  Wow!

This kind of action continued through the day.  In all my trips here to the White, I've never seen this many large rainbows so readily take surface - or even subsurface flies for that matter.  It seemed they must all have gone simultaneously temporarily insane.  The obvious thought is that they're bulking up for winter & have lost the "smarts" it's taken them so long to acquire for having lived so long.  It was nice to note that all the fish's mouths appeared clean & untouched.  Nothing like the black mouthed beat up ones on the Frying Pan & Green.

While not every fish was a giant, I suspect I played or released at least 25-30 fish over sixteen inches in length and at least four were larger than the 22 incher noted above.  (Landed none of them.)  90% of the trout took the surface WRS and the balance chose a closely trailed bead head buckskin or olive.  It really was astonishing fishing & has to rank as one of the top 20 days best ever in my life.

Worth noting for future fall trips that the river was up slightly from last month's levels and temperatures were significantly lower.  Wet wading has become an endangered species.  There really were no hatches.  A few midges.   That's all.

Today was not as good, but I tried to stay off the same water as the prior day so Sue would have a shot at good fish when her meetings were over in the afternoon.   Tried the lower North Fork & then the lower South Fork with no success at all.  No explanation for this lack of success on decent pocket water.

Repeating some runs on the main stem yielded a few decent trout but not in the numbers of the prior day.  Best fun was a double hookup of 12 & 16 inch rainbows.  The sixteener broke off almost immediately but landed the 12" on the short tail of the tippet.  Also hooked & played two 20 inch plus fish from the same eddy - both ran me downstream 100 yards before respectively separating the tippet or the fly itself.

When Sue got out of session, we walked some of the lower water that had been wonderful the day before.  As might be expected, the trout were more wary.   She released five and played four more in the hour we spent there, but she didn't get into any of the large ones I'd hoped she'd see.

For the two days spent here all of my fish were rainbows except for two pretty 14-16 inch cutthroats & a couple of whiteys of the same size range.

The only negative of the trip was running into two deer.    The first one near Meeker I was able to slow down to perhaps 20 miles per hour before the strike happened & she got up & ran off without apparent pain, but the last one on I-70 tonight took out the right side of my Subaru (although I was able to straighten out the fender & drive home, I have to assume that latter deer bit the dust - at 70 m.p.h. it would be inevitable.)

10:12-14:  Conditions couldn't have been much more unfavorable when we arrived at the Little Hole - not because the weather was lousy, but because it was way too nice.  Bright sun all day long & not a hint of a cloud.   The Green's been running at a consistent 800 feet all summer since the spring release from Flaming Gorge & the trout are all locked into long term holding areas.   Couple that fact with fishermen casting at them every single day, and you have a recipe for very limited success.

That pretty much turned out to be the case over the two days Sue & the dog & I were on the water here.  On Saturday we did our normal 3-5 mile upstream hike into the "A" section and really didn't have even a hint of a strike until at least 11:00 in the late morning.  I finally caught a couple of medium rainbows on an olive wooly bugger in a faster run.  Around 11:30 the daily BWO hatch started & things got better for us.  One nice eddy yielded 6-9 mixed rainbows, cuts, and browns.  Despite the fact that the fish kept feeding throughout our catching & releasing, we needed to change styles of olive patterns every few minutes to keep them interested.

The best fly turned out to be the simplest one.  I'd tied up some of the complex BWO emergers that were described in last month's Fish & Fly magazine, but the trout seemed to pick them out as fakes fairly quickly.  A very plain thread or fine dubbed olive body with a few antron strands as shuck on a #18-20 #2488 hook with comparadun type wings was much better received and for a longer period of time.

We ended up quitting around three in the afternoon and probably released 14-16 fish altogether.  Sizes were pretty much standard being in the 12-18 inch range.

On Sunday we hiked downstream into the "B" section for a mile & a half or so.  Probably will never do that again.  The water looked decent, but the morning proved to be almost a complete bust again as it may be the colder overnight temperatures causing the fish to be sullen until noon time.  Picked up only a stray fish here & there until the olive hatch started again and then it was pretty much a repeat of the prior day.  Worth noting that we did hook a few trout late in the morning on a large #16 WRS that apparently roughly imitates the fall caddis that flutter sporadically during the day.

It was fascinating to me that we finally are seeing young of the year trout cohabiting with the larger fish in some of the shoreside eddies.  Once the larger fish were turned off to our olive patterns they settled to the bottom to sulk & then the 4-6 inch long fingerlings took to the surface & started hitting our patterns.   So we always knew when to head to new hunting grounds.  Actually this is the largest number of young fish I've ever seen on the Green, so perhaps the class of this year had a large escapement.

Monday we arrived back at our favorite spot on the White River above Meeker.  Even though I was here for some fantastic fishing the prior week, it was apparent right away that the water temperatures had dropped dramatically.  Not only did this make wet wading painful, but the trout were really lethargic until roughly 1:00.  Our first pool experience brought no sign of a fish - and this was a spot that had yielded a good six to eight strikes last week.

Further upstream things improved.  There were no visible hatches going on.  Both of us used a fly combination of leading WRS with a closely trailed POGS.  If you'll excuse my French, the POGS was so named a "piece of green shit" because of its worthless appearance.  It's actually just a simple copper or gold bead head on a #18-20 #2487 hook with a tapered olive body of either thread or slim dubbing.  Somehow it may imitate a premature olive or some other generic nymph, but whatever the case, it took about half the fish we caught.  It's important to keep it in close proximity to the attractor dry fly - like 12 inches.

The fishing was really decent here although not as powerful as on the prior trip.  Sue landed the best rainbow of the weekend - a brawny 20 incher on the WRS & my best was a 16 inch 'bow.  In the three or so hours we spent here, we probably released several more fish than on both days combined on the Green.  All were rainbows with not a whitey in sight.


10/22:  After a data gathering trip to the county offices the dog & I headed down to the lease water on the Eagle for the first time in what seems like several months.  The river looks the same but obviously is much lower than normal.  Water temperatures are decently cool and wet wading was still OK.   Opting to not wade across the stream at one of my favorite holes, I spent 45 minutes casting wrong handed & managed a modest bit of success.

The same rig used on the White above was still on the rod & seemed to work reasonably well.  It was a mixed bag of browns & rainbows that took the POGS exclusively in the first pool.  Nothing came to the surface WRS.   Of the nine or ten trout played I only released a couple of modest 9-10 inch browns.  Several of the other fish were in the 14-16 inch range, but none were of the whopper size that usually are available in this part of the river.

Upstream a bit further a handful of similar sized fish all came to the surface fly.  How they could even see it or differentiate it from the Aspen leaves & other detritus on the surface was surprising.  It wasn't great fishing but still was nice to be back out on one of our home streams without having to worry about doing permanent damage to the fish.

10/24:  With snow coming down but a little more flow in Gore Creek, the dog & I drove a short couple of miles out to one of the golf course pulloffs & tried a combination of stream & pond fishing.  Drew a blank on the stream and can attribute that to not putting on two nymphs & dragging the bottom.   With no surface activity & the trailing bead head nymph too close to the dry fly attractor I had no chance here today.

The first pond was another story.  It's populated by both browns & brookies of modest size & both came eagerly to the surface WRS.  As spawning season is either close or underway, the brooks were fabulously colored & the browns aggressive as they are want to be this time of year.  Nothing took the trailer, but it was really fun to watch trout come off the bottom to take the dry.   Largest brown was roughly 12 inches & the rest were smaller.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days.

10/27:  Same kind of weather as the 24th, but maybe a bit uglier.  Did a repeat of the trip on that same day out to the golf course again.   Results were much better though.  Changing to an olive wooly bugger made all the difference.  The pond yielded roughly fifteen strikes, played fish, or releases - all were brooks or browns under 12" in length.  The nearby stream was also much better with every deep holding area giving up two or three rainbows or browns.  Sizes nothing to rave about, but the action was more or less continuous.  Lots of fun.

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