July, 2008 Diary




Here I sit on the tailgate of the Element close by the shore of Flaming Gorge Reservoir reflecting back on the day.  


Actually a day I didn't think would happen as we pretty much had written off this part of Utah for the season due to our normally being able to fish locally in Colorado by now.

The greater reality is that both the older dog, Sky, and I needed to escape the relentless "puppiness" of our new bitch - whoops, new puppy - Bluey.  


Either the dog's bad puppy habits or my personal lack of tolerance for those habits caused us to desert Sue and the new dog for a couple of days this week.  We just flat need a good night's sleep. 


So the two males in the house drove over to Utah this morning and spent the early part of the afternoon casting cicadas and a variety of other flies on the upper part of section "C" of the Green and then transitioned to the lower part of "B" on the same river near Browns Park.

The fishing wasn't great - at least not as much so as it was the prior week.

A good sized thunderstorm brewing over the high Uinta Mountains gave us enough cloud cover to lower the air temperatures from the high 80's to the low same, but when the winds broke loose, the downdrafts were sufficient to throttle all attempts at casting for the next three hours.

Before those winds destroyed our afternoon, we walked well down into a part of the C section where we'd not yet been prior to today.  It too wasn't outstanding fishing, but at least we were able to identify a modest yellow sally hatch coming off.  Matching it was another problem.  Although I have both hair wing and flat wing versions in the box - neither of which appeared to work as the fish weren't very cooperative.


Until this whitey bit the flat wing, I had no clue what I was doing wrong.  The whitefish being here I don't understand, never having hooked one in this river.  


But from the other rises that we saw showing similar characteristics, apparently there are lots of those normally unwanted fish in this section of the river.

Another one took the red copper john trailing a cicada, but most were too finicky to accept my offerings.  Happily several of the nice local browns weren't so fussy, and they inhaled the cicada without too much encouragement.

The problem was that once the thunder winds cropped up, everything else ceased.  In an attempt to salvage some of the afternoon, I tied a black marabou streamer on the line in place of the cicada and actually had a strike or two with it.  After a while we quit casting and simply sat in the back of the car until the wind died enough to permit some cast and blast placements of dry flies on the water again.


Results were modest, but it was just great to be out on the river again.  I suspect only releasing a dozen fish for the entire afternoon.  


The browns were in that same range - 14-20 inches - and the couple of whiteys that I actually landed and released were probably 16 or so.  


Tomorrow we launch the kayak in the lake and hopefully will find success on the local smallmouths and possibly a rainbow or two.

7/1:  Tuesday afternoon.  Another kind of strange day here on the lake.  While I'd certainly describe the fishing as very decent, it's been quite erratic.  Started the day trolling with the sink tip line and attached two different streamers to the tippet.  Up front was a gummy minnow and the trailer was one of those tan colored marabou streamers that worked so well last time here.  Today it seemed to take forever to simply get a strike.




After about a half hour one smallish smally took the gummy, and I released it.  


Was just letting out the line again to trolling depth when the trailing streamer was slammed by probably the biggest smallmouth I've ever landed.  


Just a wonderful fish that fought like crazy.  Can only estimate his (her) weight at something in the four to five pound range.




Then things quieted down again for another half hour.  Eventually started getting more regular strikes and released a good dozen fish or so by the time I'd paddled back to camp.


Next trip the other way up the shoreline brought a number of taps on the line and no hookups for a while.  


When I released this small rainbow, it appeared that numbers of those trout must have been in the area as their takes were completely different from the bass.  This trip trolling west from our camp was similarly productive for bass though none were over twelve inches in length.  


On the way back I did play a nice rainbow of roughly sixteen inches before he flipped off while close to the boat.

After lunch, with storm clouds gathering over the main channel, I cinched on that downrigger that seems to be something useful to get fly lines down deeper, but which has never yet been useful or successful.  


That negative result pretty much changed today when I kept getting strikes while trolling into deeper water while heading across the main part of the Sheep Creek arm of the lake.  

What's interesting about this plastic downrig is that when a fish strikes the pressure is immediately off the rod as the rig will tip upside down and head for the surface.

As I'm gripping the rod between my knees while paddling, the pressure from the pull down into the water column is quite heavy.  It's very tough to feel a strike happening.  Eventually I got more accustomed to the feeling and did begin landing some decent bass and a very nice rainbow of roughly eighteen inches.  So happily the downrigger actually works.  I was beginning to wonder if it was just another worthless piece of equipment.

The weather got really ominous about two hours ago when we went out of the last time this afternoon.  Changed the setup slightly to put a heavily weighted white lead head jig up front and kept the tan streamer out the back end.  It worked a bit better as the lead gets the line somewhat deeper in the column.  




Got hung up a couple of times on sunken brush but did land a handful more fish including the nice double shown here.


We'll make a couple more forays into the lake this afternoon & evening and then will pack up early tomorrow to try the bottom of " B" again before heading back to the barn (Vail).

After a very spicy bowl of chile for dinner, we made one last trip around the western point near our campground.  Decent it was for the same smaller bass that we'd enjoyed for most of today.  While heading back to the takeout point through a quite deep section of a bay, I hooked something far larger than anything we'd touched today.  It ripped off line and pulled loose from the hook just as the leader was about to break the surface and give us a glimpse of whatever it was.

A very exciting ending to what had been a wonderful day on this lake.

7/2:  Wednesday morning.  


Arose with the birds today.  The early hour temperatures are low enough to warrant sweat shirt and pants before the sun hits the roof of the car.  


A nice coffee mocha followed by some fresh strawberries on Cheerios got the day off to a fine start.  The dog enjoyed breakfast too.


We exited our camping spot beside the reservoir around 7:00 and headed north, turning right on the dirt road back down to Browns Park and our first fishing point at Bridgeport.  


Some pipeline water trucks were already loading water from the Green when we waded by the hose and started casting at the head of the large pool at this put in/take out.



It took about ten minutes to hook up with an absolutely wonderful rainbow of somewhere between 18-20 inches that fought like a wild thing.  


At first I thought it might be a cutthroat, but when slipped into the grass to be released, it clearly was mostly rainbow - though the red slashes below the gills might suggest it had a mixed parentage.





A bit further on a nice sixteen inch brown came to hand and then behind a small mid stream rock, a second, slightly larger one took another cicada and was quickly released.  


After missing two more strikes, we had pretty much used up this part of the river and drove closer to the bridge.


Disappointing this was at first with only a couple of missed strikes to celebrate.  By the bridge itself though, I finally hooked a couple of what obviously are stocker rainbows.  

Threw cicadas up here a couple of days ago and missed all the strikes, so at least these juveniles are learning their hard lessons quickly.

This was a very nice early morning session.  We could have tried to repeat that same part of upper "C" but opted out as we needed to get back to Vail to start earning our keep with the "Little Bitch" again.

I'm pretty sad that this is our last trip to the Green and Flaming Gorge for the year.  The lake particularly was a real jewel to enjoy, and we'll miss its residents until next summer rolls around again.


07/10-11:  The majority of Colorado's streams are still too swollen from runoff to be easily fished under any condition, much less so while also being accompanied by an eleven week old puppy whose understanding of water dangers is less than insignificant.  So starved as we - and as are most other Colorado fly fisher people for some casting - we opted to venture to some still waters yesterday in the hopes of not only catching a fish or two, but also doing some training of the new dog.

Normally we'd throw the kayak on top of the Element and do some trolling as well as shoreline casting, but the probability of that young dog being able to sit still while we paddled around a lake is laughable.  Happily the Eurovan solves most of our issues - except for being a conveyance for the kayak.  Lots of room for both dogs to move around in while we're driving and a comfortable place to do the overnight sleep out.

We made our way through Silverthorne, towards Green Mountain, up over Ute Pass and then turned left at Granby heading towards Rocky Mountain Park to see what the headwaters of the Colorado looked like.  Though we assumed this stream would also be bank full, we were overjoyed to see it running fishably normal. 


Sue & I cracked some windows in the van and also the overhead to keep the dogs cool, rigged up, and set off along the river.  


It's really a beautiful small stream up here in the park snaking through meadows with a few deep holes and undercut banks.  


Honestly we've never had great success on the water, but the scenery makes up for whatever lack of releases we have here.

Both of us were set up with a floating small WRS trailed by different nymphs.  Almost immediately Sue got into a nice brown on the surface.  


She released it and ran out of space along the bank to move up her side of the stream, so we separated and went our own ways for the next half hour or so.  It really was decent fishing for both of us.  


There aren't a lot of large trout up here - at least neither of us have ever caught one, but wherever there was a good piece of holding water, a small brown would usually poke its head up to taste the dry, and in Sue's case, she caught her best fish on the nymph.


Both our "lunkers" were in the 12-13 inch range.  


She also released a smaller cutthroat, and I did the same with an eight inch rainbow.  This was fun fishing and probably the best dry fly activity I've personally had on this pretty little creek that's the beginning of a major river.


In early afternoon we threw in the towel, retraced our path out of the park, stopped in Grand Lake for a burger, and then went back to the base of Shadow Mountain Reservoir to look at the strange "tailwater" flowing from that impoundment down to Lake Granby.  


We regard this as not a normal tailwater in that one day it can be flowing at 1500 cubes and be down to 30 feet the next morning.  Just don't understand why they manage the stream the way they do.

As it looked to be running at a very low release rate, I suggested we fish it together and take the dogs along, but Sue was uneasy about having the pup down there, so I went by myself while she kept tabs on the animals.

Given the pressures on this short stretch of water, the fish are very wary.  No identifiable hatches were in progress aside from the ever present midges, but I rigged up with a #18 PMD and trailed it with a smaller red midge larva.  It was tough fishing.  The strikes were extremely quick, and I simply didn't react well to them.

Eventually I more or less got the hang of it and began releasing numbers of small browns, rainbows, and a brookie from time to time.  It was another decent outing.

Went back to the car and we drove a couple of short blocks back to a canal where water from Granby is pumped back up to Shadow Mountain - I'm sure there's a good reason for this, but I can't imagine what it is.  I'd always wanted to make some casts in this slow moving canal as there have to be fish in it, and we did see a couple rising.  The better approach would probably be to launch the kayak here and paddle the length of it while trolling with a sink tip, but we lacked the boat today.

We cast our way down a hundred yards or so using sink tip lines and weighted streamers.  I had no success, but Sue did have one strike.  It really wasn't a whole lot of fun.

Next stop was a pull off at Lake Granby.  Again used the sink tip - this time with a gold colored damsel nymph - and had a couple of strikes but no fish on for maybe a half hour of casting.  Again, not a lot of fun.

Last fishing place was the big bend in the Colorado River in the town of Hot Sulfur Springs.  The Colorado's quite high and a bit off color, but the fishing here wasn't bad at all.  Couldn't get to a lot of the places that usually hold trout, but where the water slowed down enough, a brown or two would take the rubber leg WRS though more were interested in the trailing prince.  Nothing over twelve again but just fun to catch anything.


Made our way back towards Parshall turning off just before that settlement and wound our way up the road to the large camping peninsula on the shore of the Williams Fork Reservoir.  


Happily it was only slightly populated by other campers, and we found a very nice level spot on the north shore.  


I tried a bit of completely unsuccessful casting off the point before dinner with no luck at all.  After our happy hour and pasta supper, the last casting outing as the sun was setting was much better.  


Only one strike happened to the little gold colored damsel fly nymph, but it was a dandy fish.  









A pike of roughly two feet fought its way to the bank where I was happy to see it was only lip hooked.  


Had the fly been inside its mouth, my 3X tippet would have shredded in a micro second.


Today we made a few more pretty futile attempts at fishing this lake from the shore.  


I ended up with one more pike landed - a bit  smaller one than the previous day's, but a nice fish anyway.  Surprisingly this one also took the little damsel fly, and again it was lip hooked.


Don't know why that particular fly was successful.


Williams Fork is absolutely crammed with crayfish which have to be the major food source for the fish that live here, but I don't think the damsel in any way resembles a retreating crawdad.  


So who cares?


Next week we may do a repeat of this same trip as it turned out very successfully for both the people and the dogs.  

If we get really ambitious, we might bring along the kayak, but that's probably a stretch.


7/13:  HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN:  Sorry to be shouting, but we're returning to something resembling normalcy for our local streams the first time this summer.

When Sue & I were walking the doggies back from our regular noon trek through town, we passed over the bridge by the chapel and pausing there, saw something resembling a blizzard caddis hatch occurring below that named bridge.  Gore Creek is also clear - although running quite swiftly by regular summer standards.

My tiny brain suggested trying to wade Gore Creek upstream from Lionshead to the village, but a few microseconds later, the logical brain kicked in and suggested that would not work very well.  The necessity of passing across the creek several times on that stretch was simply impossible due to flows.

After getting back to the condo, I suggested to Sue that we head to Dowd's Junction to try some casting there.  She demurred.  I acquiesced to my own suggestion, loaded the fly casting stuff in the back of the Element and drove to the bridge just past the Forest Service buildings at that junction.

Walked across the bridge and began tentatively casting to the limited eddy water on river left of the Eagle.  It was not easy working my way up the stream.  A couple of small browns later, I exited the stream, re-crossed the bridge, and walked a half mile down the no longer used railroad tracks to the confluence of the Eagle and Gore Creek.


Much better down there.  


While the river (the Eagle) is still running too high to be easily waded, throwing a #16 gray bodied WRS and its trailing #16 antenna pupa from the bankside rocks was simple, and the results were wonderful.  


Local browns are still locked into the banks due to high midstream flows.  It was just way too much fun.

For a while I struck each fish that bit either the surface or pupa fly, eventually giving up on any attempts to hook those rabidly feeding trout.  At some point the joy of catching browns of all sizes (under twelve inches) became just too "easy".

Before crossing the railroad bridge to access the bike bridge across the Eagle to get back to the car, I made a short hike up Gore Creek to see if any local rainbows were also sipping the caddis that seemed to be everywhere.  


No bows made an appearance which was fine ---- because this nice twelve inch Colorado cutthroat ate the gray bodied #16 WRS and consented to be photographed before being released back into the creek.

The fishing continued fine all the way up from the start of the Dowd Chutes where numbers of local kayakers were still taking advantage of our high water.  


Photo is of several of them starting down through the drop just below the bridge.


Struggled along the shoreline across the bridge and kept catching and releasing good numbers of browns.  


Only one exceeded twelve inches but all were fun.


Here I'm standing in the shadow of the I-70 freeway overpass above the Eagle River and continuing to catch fish relentlessly.  




At about this point I gave up trying to hook anything.  


Just let the trout nibble either fly and then cast again.  


Don't know how many fish it would have been possible to release today.  


Would have been in the range of  "dozens".


It's just so wonderful to have our local streams finally getting back to summer levels.

We'd thought of repeating our trip to Granby and Shadow Mountain this coming week but probably will head to our "favorite" river instead to maybe play a little golf along the way - - and of course do a lot of fishing.


07/16/-18:  What a fine three day trip we've just completed.  The newcomer to our family - despite still having more "puppiness" than any of the rest of us desire, has come around to being a very good camping dog.

We reloaded the van with supplies and headed out of Vail early Wednesday morning.  The additions this time around were two sets of golf clubs - Sue's beginning to enjoy the game, and our plan was to try the small nine hole course in Meeker prior to our fishing the river that runs through the town.  Before heading up to the course, we stopped by the city park to give the dogs a bit of exercise and to drink some river water before being stuck in the van for a couple of hours.

As the park's right on the stream, we both rigged up and did some casting both within the park's boundaries and also just upstream from there.  When flows are more casual, usually a few smaller browns and some whiteys can be had just above the bridge here, but today the river was ripping probably 2-300 cubes more than it would have been on a normal mid July day.  It was tough just finding a quieter water to place a fly.  We worked our way up the riprap along the shore and started getting a handful of strikes and eventually landed a couple of smaller browns.  





Sue finally gave up on the upstream hiking and made her way back towards the van.  I kept going a bit longer, and on what I'd decided was my last cast, hooked a very heavy bodied brown which had been sitting in some shallow bank water.  



A big fight ensued, the fish eventually giving up and permitted this photo.  It was a dandy twenty incher - and a real surprise.


Made my way back to the park and was about to enthusiastically describe my good fortune when she hooked and released a nice fourteen inch rainbow in the only eddy along the bank.  


We were happy!  A nice start to the day for all concerned.


After a quick nine holes on that testy little golf course, we drove the next several miles to our fishing starting point and rigged up.  

Sue used a standard WRS trailed by a copper john, and I opted for a barred rubber leg version of the same floating fly and the same red copper john behind.  Due to the higher flows we made our way immediately to the trough hole that's always been productive - and which is also fairly easy for Sue to wade across to river right.  





She almost immediately landed a big whitey from behind a rock that normally would be dry and empty of fish.




I kept going up the other side and when I got into deeper water, began hooking fish right away.  The first was a wonderful rainbow in the 22-24 inch range that had to weigh four to six pounds.  Just a great big strong fish.  After playing it for maybe 7-8 minutes, it started to tire, and I got the camera out to record the moment of release - just before the fish decided to release itself.  Oh well, that stuff happens from time to time.  Darn those barbless hooks!

So about two minutes later I hook another good bow of 18-20 inches.  Deja vu.  Played it and it too self released just before the photo.  Same thing happened again in the next five minutes.  Ditto sized fish did the same thing.  Thought I might have been cursed for the day.

A football shaped eighteen incher from the "trough" that was kind enough to let me help her take the fly out of her mouth.


Shortly however, the landing and releasing became more the norm.   What a wonderfully productive piece of water.  While there were a few smaller (12") fish in the pool, most were in the 14-18 inch range - and all were powerful.  


A couple of smaller cutthroat, several whiteys, and one eighteen inch brown rounded out the catch here.  


Caddis were plentiful in the willows, but a rubber leg version seemed to work better than did the standard style fly.  The copper john was also a winner, though it picked up more whitefish than perhaps we needed.




A nice sized brown took a rubber leg WRS.






Basically we'd had our day made without touching any of the other parts of the river here.  



Sue kept casting a bit upstream with more success, and I did the same along the opposite bank, but we threw in the towel after an hour of this.  It was just outstanding and fairly typical of what the stream usually gives up for us.


We drove a bit further near the confluence and I had still more nice hooks and releases in the pocket water along the bank.  Even had a double on for a few seconds.  

As both fish were roughly fourteen inch rainbows, something had to give.  One fish popped off the surface fly, happily at the end of the tag rather than at the tippet knot, so I was able to land and release the second one on the copper john.

As the sky was threatening with an impending thunderstorm, we decided to drive all the way to Trapper's Lake and camp/fish that area the following morning instead of doing it a day later.   Found a nice camp spot (free) near the lake, spent the night, had breakfast (lousy) in the resort's restaurant, and did a short hike along the eastern shore of the lake.  The lake's tough casting.  Way too many willows growing right to the water's edge.

Sue decided not to fish here, and I threw a streamer in a few openings but had no success at all.  When heading back to the car, we took a look at the outlet stream and made some casts here.  




Sue found a gaggle of cutthroats and had fun with nice sized ones from twelve to fourteen.  


I caught one small brookie and refused to let her photograph it out of embarrassment due to its size.  (As it turned out, that brookie was the final piece of a grand slam for the day, so maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to judge the size of that tiny fish.)

We continued to fish the outlet in a couple of places and ran into a delightful PMD hatch.  More nice cuts came to hand for both of us.  It was very nice fishing.  Sue actually had more success than did I by using a CDC winged BWO.  My "perfect" PMD matches weren't as well received.

Our little doggie addition had the first true swim of her life and enjoyed drying out in this nice field of wild flowers.


Back down the dirt road we drove and stopped well up the North Fork where Sue did some crossword puzzles while I tried a bit of wading on my own.  It's still tough fishing here.  


I'll acknowledge being a very aggressive wader, but today even I was somewhat edgy about the speed and depth of the water everywhere.  While I did catch a few more small cuts and played one of a good sixteen inches, the stream here is just too deep and swift for comfort right now.

We camped down near the forks confluence, fended off hoards of mosquitoes, and spent another pleasant night in the van with all parties tired and conked out completely.

Today we decided we'd had plenty of fishing so chose instead to drive into Meeker, have a big breakfast at the hotel and then get in another round of golf.  Unhappily that popular restaurant has closed for some reason so were were stuck with burritos from the super market.  Golf we did, then drove home.  Another winner of a trip.  Summers are just too short here in Colorado.




One of the fine sized and oh so beautiful Colorado cutthroats we landed on the trip.







07/23-26:  I'm looking for a descriptor for this trip that's not negative, and to be honest, can't find one.  So let's just be kind and suggest it was an interesting repeat experience for us with virtually no fishing success, and we'll call it good to forget.

Around this time of each July, we pack up the van and head north towards Wyoming to enjoy the exceptionally fine tickets Sue has to the Frontier Days Rodeo.  They're directly behind the bucking chutes and give us a wonderful close up of all the action.  To be honest, rodeo's not my thing, but as Sue enjoys it so much, we always attend.

Which we did.

Which also gets a bit ahead of the story.

When we exited town, we drove to Walden and then up the pass towards the headwaters of the Poudre.   Given decent weather conditions, we'll sometimes do the mile hike up to a lake at the top of that pass which holds pure strain greenback cutthroat.  That lake (can't remember its name) was recently poisoned to remove trash fish, and we've not heard that it's fishable yet.  So we parked alongside the Joe Wright Reservoir which is just below the pass and waited a half hour for a nasty thundershower to vent on us and finally become spent.  

The weather really was ugly all day long and got worse as time passed.  But we did get in some short lived casting on Joe Wright for the local grayling.  


The inlet area was occupied by too many other fisher people so our alternative casting spot along the mid point of the lake turned out to be basically a bust.  


A few fish were rising here and there, and I did have a couple of bumps on the trailing nymph.  No hookups however.

We continued on down the upper part of the Poudre noting that it too is still running very high and fast.  Frankly too much so to be easily fished.  

Stopped at one point just below the steepest drop in the river and made some casts to bankside pocket water, eventually releasing a couple of smallish browns.  It just wasn't good fishing.


Further downstream I got out one last time in the middle of a combination rain/hailstorm and did some more casting on another usually productive stretch and came away with only a couple of sub twelve inch browns.  


One took a rubber leg WRS and the second, the trailing copper john.  Just not a lot of fun was this.  Sue didn't even bother to get out of the car along the river.


We camped that night between Red Feather and (I believe) the backwoods community of Glen Ellen and then made our way to Cheyenne the following morning where we took in the rodeo.  After some refreshments and a nice hot shower at a friend's house there, we made the short drive to the top of the pass above Laramie and camped for the night.

Breakfast in Laramie - then on to Sinclair where we turned north and made the miserable drive past Seminoe Reservoir and finally down to the Miracle Mile.  Even though I knew from a water web site that it was running around 2400, it's still something of a shock to see the river that high.  It's also off color being tinted brownish, but the overall clarity wasn't bad.  The fishing, however, was (bad).


We streamer fished the bank just above the bridge and came up completely empty handed.  Then drove river right all the way to the last point we could easily access the water from that side.  


I went down and began casting on the seam of a nice eddy and Sue eventually joined me.  


Our older dog Sky was with us, but when the young pup didn't show up and didn't respond to our calls, I walked back up towards the car, and to my amazement saw her snuggled up in the coil of a four foot long rattlesnake.

Terrified, I snatched the dog off the snake and immediately knew that it - the snake - was dead - albeit very recently dead.  Someone had also removed the rattles.

Not a good experience.  Now both Sue & I were completely gun shy about fishing any longer.  


We both wet wade through the summer months, and the thought of plowing through the two foot high grasses in shorts and sandals with relatives of that kind of critter about was too much for both of us.


Drove back to the bridge and across, heading to a couple of spots we knew were pretty much devoid of ground cover so we'd at least see what might be at our feet.  

We tried casting everything.  Streamers, attractors, double and single nymphs with no success at all.  At the next stop downstream a bit, Sue had a couple of bumps on her streamer, and I felt three or four on my nymphs but nothing hooked up.

One last chance before we gave up.  I rerigged with a tanish streamer and cast it through a deeper riffle and eventually into a large eddy that held plenty of big carp - of all things.

I love carp.

They're big, tough to attract, and very good fighters given their robust sizes.  In the next twenty minutes I managed to hook one in the riffle and two more in the big eddy, twitching that wooly bugger slowly across the bottom.  Landed none of them.  Hook pulled out of two and the fly detached from the 3X tippet on the last one.  But at least it was a bit of action.

We gave up on staying overnight here.  The fishing just didn't justify it, and the thought of walking up on another snake in the grass was enough incentive to leave.

That was basically it for our fishing.  

I stopped at the low head dam on the North Platte just downstream from the Dugway takeout spot and cast a streamer for a few minutes without any success.  Water levels are still too high here as well.  Exiting the dirt pulloff, we ran over something very sharp and in the next few seconds recognized a flat rear tire.  Not good.  While we'd never had to change a tire on the van, the process turned out to be relatively painless, and we thanked the powers to be that the spare which had never been touched in the last six years, was still full of air.

Camped last night on the east fork of Willow Creek last night, didn't fish there, and then returned home passing by and stopping at Williams Fork Reservoir.  Put on a gold damsel nymph and tried casting from the shore for a few minutes but had no strikes.

So not really a productive trip at all.  This week I may head back to Williams Fork and try taking both dogs out in the kayak by myself.  Getting away from the heavily trod banks of the lake may prove more productive.


7/28:  When I rode off on the bike to fish Gore Creek after lunch today, I remembered everything except the camera so no shots of the few fish released this afternoon.  It's amazing how high this stream's flows remain at this late date in July.

That's the bad news for us fisher people and the good news for our finny friends who are enjoying the extra protection these greater water depths allow them.  Suspect I'd have done much better going strictly deep today, but it's just too tempting to go both dry & wet at the same time.

No hatches were in evidence so I popped on a #16 camel colored WRS up front and trailed it with a #18 pheasant tail (no success) and changed to a #18 prince (a little better luck).

In the first pool the dry turned a really nice sized - maybe sixteen inch fish - but it was not turned "on" by either of my offerings.  Shortly hooked and lost a rainbow of about twelve and then released a smaller brown, both of which took the surface fly.  The next long pool was a complete dud.

With our regular afternoon thunderstorm starting to rain a few drops on my head, I made some quick casts in the pool we've labeled "nevermiss" and was able to release a twelve inch rainbow before hopping back on the bike and making my way back to the barn to avoid a good soaking.

Probably only cast in a quarter of the places I'd hoped to today.  Mornings are more weather reliable during our monsoon season.



Last Logbook Entry  for previous day  

7/30:  Despite cloudless skies and an 80 degree afternoon temperature reading, I once again biked out to my favorite stretch of Gore Creek - with low expectations.  The good news is that the stream has again lost some flow and is now at 125 c.f.s. at the mouth where it enters the Eagle by Dowd Junction.

The better news is that it also seems to be fishing as well as I've ever seen it fish.

Started in that same big hole (see above) and I once again turned a really nice sized (estimated sixteen inch) trout of some sort - probably a brown due to its intelligence in rejecting my offerings today and a couple of days ago.  Next hole proved mildly productive, but every other place I waded and cast in the next hour or so produced lots of fish.

Kept the same rig going today.  On top was a very small (#18) WRS with very tiny rubber legs.  Hopefully it represented some kind of local hopper, yellow sally, or golden stone.  Whatever the case, it worked wonders. Keep in mind we're dealing with shorter sized fish on this part of the stream.  Down below the sewer plant, sizes increase exponentially, but up here a foot long hot dog is a big fish.

Most trout came to the dry - a couple of the larger ones were suckered in by the #20 bead head buckskin.  Best sized fish of the afternoon was a fifteen inch brown, but the most fun one was a good thirteen inch fat-as-a-hog brookie.  Nicest one of that species I've seen in this stream in a month of Sundays.  Rainbows completed the mix.

It was just a nice afternoon.


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