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.