8/25-9/1: This past week we made what's become either an annual or an every other year loop trip up through Western Wyoming and across part of Montana. We pretty much know where to fish everywhere on the drive, but this year the weather put the kibosh on many of our plans.
We had OK weather (but poor fishing) on the Smith Fork and ditto weather on Salt Creek (with great fishing) before things fell apart. The Hoback was a bust, but the Greys finally gave up some decent fish. A few more small ones on the Snake (missed some lunkers), and we had little success on the Madison before a massive storm destroyed the Shields, Bridger Creek, and the upper Yellowstone.
Boulder Creek was OK, and the forks of Rock Creek always come through with some small fish. Leaving Red Lodge we made our way to our absolutely favorite stream - the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone - only to find it basically blown out too. Still caught a handful of rainbows there.
Drove up the Greybull River and its tributary Wood River (also a bust), and gave up going further on the Greybull due to the water color - and bad condition of the road.
After a last night's camp out over an unnamed reservoir we drove down the Wind River canyon and decided to pass on the Popo Agie due to probably crowded conditions (Labor Day). So home we came on Sunday. It was a tough trip due to the almost constantly bad weather so I suspect it will be a while before we repeat this again.
Here's a lengthy video of the outing:
9/5-6: Sue was in Denver visiting her folks, so the dog & I did another quick overnight trip. This time it was the loop from Vail to Buena Vista, over Cottonwood Pass to the Taylor River, up past Crested Butte to the Crystal and back home.
Unfortunately several sections of the streams we'd hoped to try were very muddy and unfishable due to a prior night's downpour. Gave up on he Arkansas after seeing it milky white just above Salida.
We did have modest success in a couple of places - particularly below the Taylor Reservoir dam. This very difficult tailwater gave me more fish played Thursday night than probably all the other times I'd fished it in the past.
Most of the trout were browns, I used a #20 BWO comparadun and had very good success casting both up and downstream. Had a roughly sixteen foot leader with 6X tippet. Largest brown released was roughly eighteen inches, but I did have a couple of fish in the mid 20s rip the fly off this light tippet.
Anthracite Creek was running very low and warm, and success was limited there.
The upper Crystal below Marble was decent, but again, the sizes were quite small. This brookie was one of the better fish here.
Once we got below Redstone the Crystal was once again blown out and unfishable. So it was another of those trips we describe as "mixed bags."
Here's the video:
9/25: Ah the end was near yesterday, and today it finally happened. We had good weather, and while I thought about traveling to the Crystal or Roaring Fork, looking at the flow charts of those streams, there was no chance that they'd be even remotely fishable.
So it was back to our always good standby - Gore Creek.
And a good little stream it was. Must have played a good 20-25 fish this afternoon, most of which were in the 8-12 inch range. It didn't matter. The water was cold from the snowstorm a couple days ago, so the wading wasn't a lot of fun.
But the trout were recptive. They may be trying to bulk up for winter. Most of them took a #18 black bodied WRS and the remainder a #18 unweighted prince nymph. It was a perfect way to finish off the season here.
A last video from our state follows:
Last Logbook Entry é for previous day
9/26: OK, sorry about lying regarding the last day of fishing, but the storm that was supposed to hit us this morning held off for some reason, and I was able to take advantage of another nice 70 degree day to get in a bit more casting. Tried to fish the Eagle, but it was still blown out from runoff up Muddy Pass. Backtracked to Wolcott and made the drive to State Bridge where the Colorado was in really nice shape.
Did the mile or so walk up river left and had lots of success on the local browns. They were happiest chomping on some kind of rubber leg on the surface, but a few also hooked up on either a trailing antenna pupa or copper john. So again, a nice end to the season here. And that's for sure. Looking out the window as I'm typing this, it's a mix of rain and snow that should go on all day. Tomorrow we head to Arizona. Here's the short video:
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