Monday, April 29, 2013

Poudre River Fishing Report 4/26/2013

Travel at work managed to keep me off the river for awhile; however, 70 degrees on the heels of our last snow storm meant work or no work it was fishin time.

8 am rolled around and like clockwork, JT, was at the house ready to load up the truck. After a quick check of our gear, we were heading to the Poudre. The 45 minute drive with our coffee and breakfast burritos gave us time to talk about everything and anything, most of which would make no sense to anyone but us. It is amazing how many worldly problems get solved enroute to your favorite fishing destination.

Driving up the Poudre Canyon, we were excited to see what the river was going to have in store for us. We received two snow storms and rain since the last time we were on the river. Clear and sunny skies welcomed us to the canyon and we had no wind! It was one of those mornings that even JT got out and drank his coffee and took it all in before we started to gear up.

The Canyon is starting to green up and the nitrogen from the High Park Fire ashes is bringing new life to the canyon.  There were a handful of fly fishers that were going to make the most of the warm weather. The water level was up from two weeks ago and the water was a gray color, no doubt the early signs of the impact the High Park Fire will have on the river this run off. The river was running at 50cfs and faint images of rocks could be seen to about two feet. The water temperature was 48 degrees.

Tenkara rods were the rods of the day combined with double nymph rigs. We fished #16/#18 black zebra midges, ABU, and hares ear. JT landed a few rainbows on a #14 copper John. The drifts were slow and near the bottom in the pools we fished.  The takes continued to be subtle stops in the drift.  The fish were hanging out in the riffles and pocket water. The drifts in the pocket water were slow as well; yet the takes were definitely more enthusiastic.  We fished upstream and allowed the drifts to continue past us. We found fish near the bottom in the pools and tight to the rocks in the pocket water.   We caught browns and rainbows during the day.  The largest fish of the day was a poor sucker that I managed to foul hook in the top of his head!

With the exception of a rude “I wish I were a fly fisherman when I grow up” trying to show his girlfriend to fly fish in the pool we were fishing in and me losing a Motorola radio in the river, it was a wonderful day.

We called it quits at around 3:00pm.
Tips from the Trip:
Get on the water and fish!...The best way to improve your skills is to get out and do it.

Slow down…when you’re not getting strikes, missing fish, getting tangles and knots, or stumbling while your wadding they are all indicators to slow down. Slow down your approach, drift, hook set, casting, and your presentation.

Etiquette… politely educate the idiots that show up with their cooler, girlfriend, dog, duck hunting waders and drop into the water ahead of you close enough that you could hook them. Give your fellow fly fishers space. Hell if you ask, I'll share it with you!

Minimize the amount of line on the water… regardless of the style of nymphing you are doing , minimize the amount of line on the water.

Adjust the depth of your nymphs…If everything about you is telling you that a fish is holding in a lie, yet you have not convinced it that you have something it wants, adjust the depth of your nymphs. Get the nymphs in the zone where the fish are eating.

Wading safety in spring conditions and clouded water…Wade cautiously and feel the bottom with your feet. Make sure each step you take is on solid river bottom before you make the next step.

Happy Nymphing!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Breckenridge Blizzard and the Blue

Not the name of a new group or band; rather, me with a couple of hours to kill in the Town of Breckenridge during our last major snow storm on April 15. A local told me that the mountain had just closed for skiing; however, the storm was the best storm they received all ski season.
I stopped into The Mountain Angler,, and chatted with Kevin Macreery one of their guides and Jackson Streit, the owner of the Mountain Angler located on Main Street in Breckenridge. I asked them if they would be so kind as to direct me to a spot I could get on the Blue River for a couple of hours. I asked Kevin to please send me to a place other than the place he sends all area tourists that the area locals drive by and laugh at.

Kevin graciously directed me to a spot directly off of Hwy 9 heading towards Frisco and a slight pullout that would put me right next to the Blue River above Dillon Reservoir.  I geared up in the parking garage of the hotel I was staying at to beat the snow fall and keep Mr. Jack Frost at bay. I drove to the spot, wading boots and all, as the snow came down with a vengeance.

As the snow fell, I fished with my Tenkara for an hour and a half. I saw some amazing scenery and caught some beautiful Breckenridge rainbows. All fish were caught on #16 ABU and #16 olive zebra midge.

If you get the chance to be in Breckenridge with a fly rod, stop in the Mountain Angler, spend some time talking with Kevin  and Jackson, both extremely gracious and convince them to share a spot or two the locals enjoy!

Happy Nymphing!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poudre River Fishing Report 4/5/2013

70 Degrees and sunny tuned into overcast skies, 50’s; however,  what time was it…? Fishin time. 

First time my fishing buddy and I were able to get on the water together since we were standing on the frozen Poudre River back in January. It promised to be a great day! If for no other reason, being able to spend time on the river taking in its beauty, telling stories and decompressing from the trivial stressors of life.

We loaded the truck, grabbed the traditional breakfast burrito and large cup of coffee and we were off to the Poudre. Don't forget your new fishing license! We have roles on our trips…I drive and he checks the water. It works out that way. We tried it once reversing roles and we almost ended up in the Poudre because he was still watching the water instead of driving! 

The water was low, 25 cfs, and for some reason the amount of silt and ash looked more ominous than the week prior! It didn't matter we were on the river.

The skies were over cast and you could still feel the chill in the air and smell the moisture. I anticipated minimal layers and that thought process quickly changed to four layers! We spent out ritualistic time at the truck gearing up and giving each other grief. We both opted to take Tenkara rods and fish light.  We were wind free and no other fly fishers were in sight.

Once on the river, we enjoyed our brand of team fishing… 10 and out! We find a promising lie and one of us casts 10 times to work the lie. 10 casts or a fish and it becomes the other persons turn at the lie. Try it sometime. The benefits are plentiful… good conversation, improved nymphing skills, and an ability to try a variety of techniques and gear. The thermometer on my boot indicated that the water was a balmy 48 degrees.
We used double nymph rigs on our Tenkara rods. Although JT did have to try his extended body blue winged olive imitation just because he could not resist; however, quickly came back to the nymph side. We fished #16/#18 black zebra midges, ABU, and hares ears. The drifts were slow and near the bottom.  The takes with the exception of one, were subtle stops in the drift. One brown was as excited as we were that spring is around the corner and hit JT’s nymph as if it were the last meal it was going to have.
We found fish all throughout the river - along the banks, in front of and behind rocks, deep holes, and shallow portions of the stream where currents converged. We caught browns and rainbows during the day.

Knots and tangles tested our patience during the day. Some were untangled and others were cut off and retied. The knots taught us patience, don’t take it to serious, laugh often, the harder you pull the worse the outcome, and sometimes, you just have to give it a break and start over.

We marveled at how resilient Mother Nature is; yet, are concerned about the river after runoff.

Happy Nymphing!