June, 2003

 

6/5-7:  Back to the beach - or if you prefer, Lake Powell.  Still down roughly 95 feet from its normal level we continue to visit there for at least one paddle/camping trip each year.  We headed out from Glenwood around 8:00 Thursday morning and arrived at the ferry boat landing (where we launch) at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Loaded up the rubber ducky with all our outdoor gear & fishing stuff and paddled the short distance around the point to an area where we've long camped.  Our favorite tent raising spot is almost a skyscraper height above where we finally set up this year, but we still had plenty of privacy and a pleasant spot to spend a couple of nights.  Began our regular trolling procedure by paddling slowly along the existing rock walls and drop-offs and really had not much success at first.

But back in camp right before dinner I hooked and released a very nice sized striper, then played a couple more before the evening ended.  The following day we both caught several smallish smallmouths and I got lucky on a couple of channel cats in the bay right beside camp.

As it was also carp mating season, the next challenge became trying to figure out how to catch one of those ugly creatures.  A piece of sour dough bread on a bare hook suspended beneath a strike indicator finally solved the problem, but it really didn't seem very ethical a method.  Later I learned that dropping a wooly bugger in the feeding lane of these fish would eventually lure one to "taste" the bugger, at which point a strike would occur and a nice short fight would follow.

Normally our best success down at the lake has been on what we term to be a gray Powell pearl.  This season an olive wooly bugger took the honors.  Deeper trolling would probably also be more effective, but Sue's full sink line brought her more strikes while we were paddling than did my ten foot sink tip.  Casting from the shore with a floating line a cone headed olive wooly bugger was clearly the winner.

To shorten this tale, suffice it to say we had a great time for three days.  We caught reasonable numbers of a variety of fish, missing only a walleye.  Actually I probably had one on for a short period since that species is the only variety I can think of in Lake Powell having enough teeth to sever a 1X fluorocarbon tippet.

We ended up with releases of the following species - smallmouth bass, striped bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, and carp.  Trout certainly exist here as do walleyes and possibly some other species although this is the most variety we've caught in the many years of coming here.

Next weekend it's off to the Gunnison in the hopes of catching the last of this year's stone fly emergence.

6/13-14:  The trip the to Gunnison would appropriately be called a cluster f....  Since the North Fork was running at roughly 750 c.f.s., I assumed we could not possibly safely wade across it at the forks.  So we opted to try to find the jeep road from Austin down to the opposite bank of the main stem.  The road is marked H75 at the start.  Eventually all markings disappear and it's a very tough process finding the correct turns the first time a person drives this.

Anyway we finally took the right turnoff at the top of the last hill leading down to the river, and after about 45 minutes of white knuckle driving arrived at the stream.  Sue was so nervous at this point that we decided to drive back out and attempt the crossing of the North Fork.  It looked wadable.  When we finally got there, it was not wadable.  At least not for Sue or the dog - the latter of which would have been swimming right out of the box and probably would have drifted a half mile downstream before getting to the other side - if he made it at all.  We passed.  Walked up along the North Fork bank for a bit and cast wooly buggers along the bank.  No sign of a strike.  Eventually we drove all the way back to Glenwood and wrote off the weekend completely.

Next week I head to Oregon for the annual visit to mom and should get in at least a bit of trout and warm water fishing while in that state.

6/19-25:  Pretty much like all our recent trips to the Roseburg area region of Oregon, fishing was more or less a bust.  Growing up and learning the craft on the North Umpqua was fun and rewarding.  Nowadays with the exception of the summer and winter steelhead runs there's really not a lot of action for the inholding  trout that once filled this classic stream.

Rick and I did have a nice hour of releasing small sunfish on the warm pond near the Rod & Gun Club, but with the exception of a few 6-8 inch smolts, there was little fly action in the river itself.  Both the South and North Forks are still running high, but clear.  The bass seemed quiescent near Stewart Park and there was really too much flow on the North Fork to do much damage there.  Tried casting for smallmouths on the main stem near Elkton and didn't see a sign of a fish.  Suspect I needed a full sink to get closer to the holding zones.

Am back home in Colorado now, and we plan to take the van on an overnighter to the Gunnison again this coming Friday.  This time we should find the North Fork of that stream easier wading to get up the canyon.

6/26:  What a joy to be back on our home water.  The Roaring Fork is still ripping, but the fishing is superb.  Given a standard runoff this spring season all the fish have been driven to the banks where they're eagerly waiting for something that looks like a decent meal.  It's not easy fishing given strong currents and touchy footing, but rewards await the aggressive wader.

Browns particularly are more vulnerable now - and for a change they fight like rainbows.  Hatches weren't strong this day.  There were a few caddis, actually a couple of different species, some yellow sallies, and even with the bright sunlight, a decent BWO hatch.  I eschewed (my mistake) working with the olives as they were the entree of choice most of the afternoon.

But a brown WRS, a flat winged caddis, and a bead head caddis pupa all brought decent results.  Only had a long hour on the water so numbers released were not great.   All the browns ranged between 14-16 inches and the lone rainbow was roughly 16.   Wonderful fun however.  We take the van to the lower Gunnison again Friday & will hit that stream Saturday morning as well.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous day

6/27-28:  This morning was roughly a repeat on the Fork.  Virtually every place a fish should be holding, there was one holding.

After lunch we drove the van up past Carbondale & Redstone, over McClure Pass and to the forks area of the Gunnison.  A hot (90 degrees) hike up the main stem brought us to our favorite water.  The river's very low right now and can be cross waded in several spots.

Not much hatch activity was evident.  There were a few small yellow stones and some sporadic caddis along the banks with really no fish rising anywhere.  Deep nymphing probably would have been more productive, but we opted to use a surface WRS and trailing bead head caddis pupa.  Probably as good as anything else today.

Catching a dozen or so small to medium sized rainbows and similar numbers of browns in the 6-14 inch range was reasonable action.  The fish were lying in mostly riffle water - as would I be given the summer hot conditions.  We cast for roughly three hours and finished up by 6:00 in the evening.

Saturday dawned bright and warm as well.  (It was 92 on the bank thermometer in Hotchkiss when we passed through there about noon.)  No hatches were really visible until perhaps 10:30 when a few red quills started popping out on the water.  As seems to be the case when this fat mayfly is present, the fish stop looking at anything else and gorge happily on the species until its emergence passes.

Our dark bodied WRS worked extremely well during the hatch.  Riffle water was again the preferred location.  In the couple of hours we waded, we probably played a good three dozen fish of various sizes - mostly under a dozen inches, but I did release a wonderful brown in the 18-20 inch range, and Sue played a similar sized fish before it "long released".  All in all a very fun trip.


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