08/01: Sue was tied up (not literally) helping some friends from Colorado Springs understand the basics of fly fishing today so the dog & I headed over to the Crystal River - a tributary of the Roaring Fork - to try some pretty intensive fishing of spots there that we've not had the ability to fish prior to this trip.
It didn't work out.
Even though I'd checked the flow rates this morning before leaving town, the mucky flow didn't show up despite the steady rate of flow on the river. Not fun. We gassed up in Carbondale and drove well upstream past Redstone to a spot on the river where we've never had much success. Today was a bit different. Not at first. I was worried about the dog getting lost and was mostly distracted (that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it). So I missed my first 6 to 12 strikes. Could it be just old age - maybe!
After that it got better. The fish loved our #16 white rubber leg WRS and took it without further persuasion. Once in a while they also took the trailing copper john. It was fun despite all the missed strikes.
Upstream by the air field below Marble, the fishing was fine too. Anything missed was just my fault. Here's a short, down & dirty video of the day:
8/6-7: We're suckers for the inexpensive golf up in Meeker so headed there again this morning. Played a fun nine holes before driving up the river to try our hand at the big fish on our favorite river. It was good catching. Not great. Just very good.
Despite the lower stream flows the fish remain "top water" oriented and we caught a bunch using a white rubber leg WRS trailed by one color copper john or another. The South Fork proved more difficult compared to past trips, but this morning, the main stem was productive once again.
Don't know why I can't land and release the really big fish we hook, but maybe the following video will explain it to someone besides me.
8/9-10: Maybe our last overnighter on the White this year. Just the doggie & me on this one. It was a mixed bag. On the bad side, the South Fork was miserable - maybe caused by trout running down to the main river to escape the shallow water caused by the drought.
On the positive side I did manage to finally land and release a fish measured in pounds instead of inches.
Trout were still looking to the surface rather than the bottom. The white rubber leg WRS was much more productive than either any nymph I tried or the standard tied WRS. So it was an OK trip overall, but with water levels continuing to decline, we may give up on any more fishing here this season.
Here's the video of the trip. I dropped the camera in the water at one point, and with its not being waterproof, found that the images were badly blurred for a big chunk of the movie:
8/16-18: Another long overdue trip bites the dust. Literally. And also maybe permanently. It was a disaster from a fishing standpoint. In my life I cannot remember trying so many alternative approaches on a stream with virtually zero success. Just the wrong time of year to be fishing the "Mile" section of the North Platte below Kortes Dam.
We caught a few small fish and missed a couple of larger ones, but the fishing really stunk. Watched all the drift boats and shore waders and saw no other fish landed and released either.
Leaving that river earlier than intended, we drove to the upper Encampment where my intention was to hike a few miles down into the better wilderness water. Sue disagreed, so we stayed on the shallower upper meadow section of the stream. It was pretty punk too. Could get lots of strikes from juvenile browns, but any of the larger ones were way too smart for us. Sue did land a twelve incher and I missed a couple more around that size, but that was it. Not a good trip from a fishing standpoint though the camping was fun.
We saw some great wild life. Antelope & muleys on the Platte and a beautiful full racked elk on the trip to Hog Park followed a couple hundred yards later by a cow moose and her calf. Here's the documentary for what it's worth;
Last Logbook Entry é for previous day
8/27-29: The summer's almost over..................again. We wish it would last longer every year, but it doesn't. The dog & I did a three day trip to Flaming Gorge, its tailwater, and the White River. No Sue on this one. She's tied up managing a retreat named "Casting for Recovery" with some breast cancer survivors this coming weekend and was too frantic to come along with us for this much time.
Am not sure I might not have been better off at home too given the modest success we had. Didn't land a single fish the first afternoon on the spillway area below the dam and then only released a single decent smallmouth on the lake the following day.
The upper part of the B section of the tailwater was equally indifferent for results. Played a few nice fish there but apparently neglected to tie proper knots which resulted in lost fish and flies. Just not much fun.
Back on the South Fork of the White, again I had problems landing fish on the second night out, but at least hooking a few decent ones took the sting out of that. Today on the main stem it didn't get much better. Very few strikes this morning resulting in hookups and the ones I did get more often than not turned into "long" releases.
Hopefully our trip to Wyoming and Montana after the Labor Day weekend will be more successful.
Here's the short video of what activity we did have on the trip:
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