6/12-13: We were very happy to get back home to Vail after having several 100+ degree days recently down in Arizona and decided to celebrate the early fishing season by taking a two day trip down the Arkansas.
Despite lots of sun both days, let's just suggest that the fishing conditions did not meet or exceed our vaguest expectations. When I started casting on the Kobe section below Leadville the wind was howling directly downstream at a good 25-30 knots. No fun - even though I did play a few fish there.
We gave up trying Granite or any other spot above Buena Vista and took an early lunch there before making a few more casts down at River Park. Very tough casting and only modest success again. Past Salida we drove to our favorite spot by Wellsville and here the wind was even worse. I suspect the line smashed the water above the fly at least 95% of the time. Just no chance to catch a trout either on the surface or nymphing under those conditions.
Drove back to Kobe & camped for the night. Froze our water jugs but awoke to better weather and were able to catch a few decent browns up above that SWA. All in all, not a great trip, but at least our season is now underway. With Gore Creek and some other favorites in mid July form, we should be able to fish most everywhere in the state starting next week.
Here's a what feels like a tortured video of the action those days:
6/14: Fishing expeditions are going to come fast and furious for the next couple of weeks. We're really starved for action on the water. Today was no exception. I rode my bike out to Gore Creek with pretty small expectations due to the 50 c.f.s. over normal flow. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded.
Plenty of trout almost everywhere. Caught a few rainbows, brooks, and cuts on my way out through the golf course stretch - and then at the end of the ride, landed the only brown of the day, making for a really fun and early grand slam on our "home" water.
Here's the video:
6/18-20: We had high expectations for the first big trip of the summer. Sue was otherwise occupied so could not attend leaving it up to the young dog & myself to catch lots of fish and have a great time. Didn't exactly turn out that way. A high wind watch was in effect when we arrived near Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah and that weather problem stuck with us every day we were on this expedition.
Anyway. We did a mile long hike down to the head of an arm of the lake and actually caught a few decent fish there. Later we hiked down from the spillway at the dam for a mile of so and had very poor success (I'll claim due to the ugly downstream wind blowing hard). Next morning we drove to Little Hole and walked upstream for a bit over three miles. The fishing started out lousy until I turned to a smallish comparadun, at which point things picked up pretty well.
In the afternoon we opted to drive the back way to the B section but gave up any thought of fishing either there or on the C section due to the massive winds.
Drove back to Colorado, passed through Meeker, and had an hour of nice casting for rainbows despite the continuing winds on the stream. Camped over night. Got up early the next day and did a regular walk up my favorite water. It was not fun to start with - could catch only whitefish for the first hour or so. But after changing to a rubber leg WRS, the activity picked up and I was happily releasing lots of decent rainbows for the rest of the morning.
Hopefully Mother Nature will be more cooperative next week and cut out blowing on us so hard.
Here's a somewhat lengthy, grainy and scratchy video of the trip, much of the sound problems caused by the relentless winds we experienced:
6/20-21: A couple of hour long trips to our home water brought very good results the past couple of days. On the negative side, the drought has been prolonged, and stream flows are already dropping to unusually low rates. If we don't have a strong monsoon beginning by the first of July, everything in all of our waters will suffer the consequences.
The fishing was great however and over the two days I released five different species - when we can make the assumption that a cutbow is separate from its combined parentage.
Here's the short video:
6/25-27: Fishing in Colorado is rapidly rushing into a disaster zone. We just got back from a three day golf/fishing trip to Northwestern Colorado just in time to have the DOW put a restriction against that sport (the fishing that is) on the White River. Given the lukewarm temperature of the Roaring Fork earlier today, I suspect many more streams are going off limits until the state gets some reasonably big amounts of monsoon moisture sometime later this summer. Very depressing this issue, but just another sense that Mother Nature can work her will upon us.
This trip really wasn't too bad overall, though on the White the whitefish are absolutely ravenous right now, and it's difficult to get a fly (even dries) on the water long enough for a trout to have time to find it.
Our first day was decent however since Sue actually stopped counting trout part way through the session. That means lots of them. I didn't do quite as well number wise, and the big pigs we caught earlier this season were nowhere to be seen. Am guessing sizes we released topped out at about sixteen inches or so. Sue also caught a couple of browns and cutthroat too. I missed out on both those species.
The second day was somewhat less productive than the first, but I did have a bit better success up on the South Fork, landing a beautiful eighteen inch bow and a couple others in the fifteen inch range. A trip further up the North Fork was very disappointing yielding no cuts and only a handful of smaller rainbows.
Today we drove directly back to Glenwood after the morning nine holes of golf and Sue did puzzles white I spent a little over an hour on the Fork. Only place I could find fish were in the deepest holes. Didn't do great but played a wonderful fish that had to be between 18-20 inches (he pulled off), then released a nice 14-15 inch rainbow and one of the ever present whiteys.
We're planning a couple more overnight trips before the 4th holiday, as it looks like fishing may be shut down most places after that time. Here's the short video of the trip:
Last Logbook Entry é for previous day
6/29-30: Two very nice days of fishing on this trip. Unfortunate that Sue & the dog couldn't attend, but the loop trip that we normally do as a group annually came off without a hitch.
On day one stopped and fished just below Granite on the upper Arkansas River. In a half hour caught a good two handfuls of browns between 8-12 inches mostly on a white rubber leg WRS. Drove into Buena Vista for the regular burger & fries lunch and then up and over Cottonwood Pass to get to Taylor Reservoir.
The stream above the lake was outstanding, albeit with somewhat juvenile sized browns. Action was continuous, however, and a rare sixteen incher made the casting well worthwhile. Stopped at the tailwater below the dam - caught nothing on a tiny nymph but did release a couple of twelve inch browns using a #16 flat water yellow sallie.
Camped that night on a new spot close to Almont up on the triangle and then fished the East River by Roaring Judy early the next morning. Again the rubber leg did the trick. Missed numbers of decent fish, but did release over a dozen browns between 10-16 inches. Passed on a long breakfast in Crested Butte, opting instead to make a quick drive over Kebler Pass, ending up at the Erickson Springs campground on Anthracite Creek. This stream too was very nice fishing as I released a good two handfuls of rainbows, mostly in the 12-14 inch range. Again, the rubber leg was the desirable fly.
Last stop was down the Crystal below Redstone. Interestingly this river is still running a bit on the high side, and I couldn't get to most of my favorite spots. Still managed to release somewhere under a dozen rainbows averaging roughly twelve inches.
All in all, a really good trip. Next week before the holiday crowds hit, we may take the van up to Williams Fork Reservoir and try for some pike.
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