Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Bone Fishing" the Flats at Deckers, Colorado

Of course we were not bone fishing at Deckers. But we were sight fishing to trout moving over a sandy bottom that reminded my client of bone fishing. My client loves to sight fish and had the skill set to present the fly 'just right' to the fish. He said, "I would rather hook just a few sight fishing than catch a dozen fishing blind." I agreed.

He hooked and caught more than a few. But what does it matter? And what does it matter what we were catching? They were beautiful, deep bodied with big shoulders and they came exploding out of the water. Some ran like bone fish (for a short pull). 

Slightly over cast at times, brought some of the fish up to the surface for BWO's. But our tactic was mainly to nymph with a short line. No need to double haul; or single haul. Just keep it short and sweet. Perfect presentation.  Again; black beauties and RS2's were the ticket.

Caution: Even though it is late May, we are still seeing some spawning fish so please ignore them. Look for the feeders on the flats and in the channels.

Enjoy the Caribbean sun. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Riding the Storm Out: 11 Mile Canyon Fish Still Rise Among Falling Snow Flakes


It is difficult too see trout rising to tiny midges during a snowstorm but we were able to be quite successful drifting nymphs below a small strike indicator. How beautiful it was to see rainbow trout leaping through the falling snowflakes as our clients hooked many fish.

Scott Hartwig and I guided a group of 6 wonderful people this past Thursday during the storm. It was one of those storms that could not be avoided. In the days proceeding the trip the forecast for snow in the mountains was 100%.  Although we had to deal with the cold there were advantages. We were mainly alone giving us a true wilderness experience.

The fish were somewhat picky wanting perfect drifts and tiny imitations. Instead of the common size 22's we were using 24's. Black beauties and Rs2's. As is often the case, short line high stick nymphing was the key. We also tried to use smaller strike indicators.

Besides doing some great guiding, Scott prepared a much needed hot meal over a fire. Buffalo burgers and smoked salmon. Then a flash of light, and two seconds later, the boom. Time to run to the vehicles and head down the mountain.

The photos above were taken by Scott.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Taking a "Run" before a Fishing Trip

Before fishing the runs of the South Platte tomorrow, I had to take this run down Pikes Peak. What a place to live!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Eleven Mile Canyon Heating Up.

Some anglers are wet wading already. BWO's and midges are hatching bringing fish to the surface. Some nice fish are on the move.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Deckers in A Storm:

It is getting warm again. The river is in good shape. Fish are feeding. But last week, was brutal.

I guess I am not as tough as I used to be. Cold feet. Cold hands.

Last week my client John was determined to fish and so there we were in the snow and cold wind. With some folks I experience an unspoken connection. Or maybe it was just too cold to talk and use words. In the silence, we did a lot of staring into the water through the snowflakes (enough wind and snow made it hard to see the fish). Every once in a while, even with blurred vision, a trout appeared inbetween the flakes, connected to our leaders. 

And those fish warmed our hearts. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Deckers: A Triple A Day


Triple A: Alan and Andy and Anthony were on the river at Deckers. Alan is the Dad, and Andy is his son, and Anthony is the guide. And we gave the South Platte river an "A" rating. We had a fun time talking and hooking a good number of fish on San Juan Worms (brown) and small black beauties.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Looking for Pattern Discrepancies on the South Platte River:





Rick described strike detection to his son Tim and son-in-law Nate, as a looking for pattern discrepancies on the river.  

Something just feels out of place, “not right,” or different.  The tiny strike indicator or the tip of the fly line or any section of the leader that you can spot, suddenly breaks the pattern of drifting along, and slightly hesitates. That is when you strike.

All three of them were good at recognizing these pattern discrepancies on the South Platte and hooked many fish.  The strikes were subtle and with the skies overcast and gray limiting visibility, they learned to rely on other clues;  clues revealing a discrepancy in the normal pattern.  

There were changes in the weather patterns also. Cold overcast, with spitting snow would give way to the warmth of the sun. We could briefly warm our hands.  Fish would rise heavy to BWO’s, but then they would stop, only to start up again. Were they rising more when the air warmed up or while overcast?   

What patterns were the BWO’s and the fish following?  What variables changed the pattern? Were the bugs suddenly hatching in greater numbers or were the fish rising in greater numbers?  Did the cooler moist air prevent the duns from drying their wings and therefore they were on the surface longer drawing fish up from below? Was the wind blowing the bugs around too much for the fish to track?  Were our repeated casts putting the fish down? Did we need to just rest the hole?  It was difficult to identify the patterns.  And how do you find the discrepancies when the patterns seem random?

I remain largely ignorant of the creation and its mysteries.

Yet, like many mysteries that come to us, they often occur by breaking through the normal patterns. Windows of opportunity that appear momentarily and then vanish like a clear slick spot on the surface of the currents that allows us to see the large fish hiding in the seam lines.

While we made our casts, connecting to fish, sometimes seemingly “some-thing” of God broke through the discrepancies of our overly patterned lives. And, like the strikes, all very subtle and easy to miss.  Even the discrepancies with their deeper meanings can easily pass through our nets and drift on down the river to be contemplated another day.