March, 2003

3/1:  At last - a pretty decent fishing outing.  With the mountain jammed by front range skiers this Saturday we passed on that sport & drove down to Eagle to revisit our favorite stretch of the lease water.  Sue's setup of bright stone & bead head buckskin proved slightly less successful than the more realistic stone and trailing BLM I used, but we played, fought, and released roughly a dozen plus fish between us.

There was a decent midge hatch ongoing while we were on the water but absolutely no sign of any fish coming up through the film to take any of these tiny morsels.   Strike indicators were a necessity due to detect gentle takes by the trout in the still very cold water.  Two thirds of the fish were very healthy rainbows ranging from 10-16 inches - the balance being browns.  Some of the rainbows were actually almost frisbee shape indicating that the pre-spawn bulking up has begun.

3/8:  A skiing cancellation allowed another trip down on the Eagle.  Although the day was warm, the stream's still running very low - and unfortunately Alkali & Milk Creeks are starting to dump their annual spring cache of murk into the river.  So below the I-70 rapids water color was not great to say the least.

We cast the same nymph combo rig starting at the main bridge into Eagle and worked our way up through the Red Canyon section.  It obviously was very tough for the fish to see the flies.  Here & there we hooked a few, but landings were almost nonexistent.  It was just one of those days.  Probably played a dozen fish & unhooked less than a handful - all were rainbows under 14".

3/25-27:  Wow.  A couple of days really devoted to nothing but fishing for a change.  Drove to Glenwood Tuesday afternoon and spent four hours on the Fork near Sue's place by the Sunlight Bridge.  Monday's storm drove the river slightly off color, but it was still eminently fishable.  When we hit the water by a downstream park, there was an obvious blue winged olive hatch in progress.

That hatch was doomed to be short lived as the day was sunny, bright, and warm.  Only saw a single fish focus on the surface and we pretty much ignored trying to get something to come up for an emerger or floating dun.  Our current standard rig of leading cone head stone and trailing something-or-other resulted in a handful of strikes and only three fish landed in the first hour or so.  It's worth noting that the fish are now working closer to shore but still prefer deeper eddies.  Everything we released this afternoon and in the early evening were large fish - nothing smaller than 16" and one rainbow that touched 20".

Above the bridge later on there were a few heads poking up, so switched to a surface attractor and a tiny bead head trailing behind.  A three foot gap between the flies proved ineffective but changing to a shorter tail worked much better.  Took three fish in pockets by the shore.  It was interesting that the olives did go drifting by most of the afternoon even though most fish continued to feed deeper.

Wednesday Sue took the day off and we headed up the Frying Pan for the first time in several years.  That stream's incredibly low right now and we probably started casting too early in the day given sub freezing temperatures.  But a large smooth surfaced pool did yield several smallish browns to surface comparaduns or CDC winged olives.  A trailed tiny bead head BLM also brought in a few fish.  Most of our casting was up around the 6-7 mile mark of the river.

Lower down we had very limited success deep nymphing along some undercut walls, but I did land a couple of 12" rainbows in a swift run.  Both took a # 16 copper john.

After lunch we drove up the Crystal and tried casting for a few minutes at a favorite pool, but we had no success.  The wind was howling downstream making drifts and casting almost impossible.  So we kept moving downstream and pulled off in the Satank area below Carbondale.  Another nice BWO hatch was ongoing and several fish were rolling to the surface.  For whatever reason both of us did poorly here despite using both duns and emergers.  These fish are not Green River PhD's, but they certainly knew what we were throwing at them was not edible.

Today we headed out one more time on the Roaring Fork and basically got skunked.  Last night's storm turned the river even more off color and the iced up guides, off & on snow, etc. made casting miserable.  Hooked & played three decent rainbows on the #20 BLM, but all were successful in not allowing me to detach the hooks from their mouths.

If the Eagle clears up some, we may try to get out again on Saturday.  Otherwise it will be Friday for us on the Green in Utah.

Last Logbook Entry  for previous days

3/31:  Another gorgeous day here in the valley.  Wish the fishing had matched the quality of the weather, but it wasn't to be.  Dog & I drove to our favorite stretch of the Colorado near State Bridge.  Water was low and Colorado "clear" which means that strange pea green tone it always seems to have.  We'd hoped for some kind of olive hatch on the main stream, but the only place we saw airborne insects was while wading across the mouth of the Piney.

To shorten this update it's sufficient to say we caught a fish on every fly we threw in the water.  That still didn't make for a big day.  The various browns took respectively:  a new stone pattern, a modified BLM, copper john, surface attractor, and wooly bugger.  Fish were uniformly between 12-13 inches.

We're still debating the Green for next weekend, but if weather turns really sour, we'll head down the Arkansas and see what's happening in the Salida area.


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