After our 7:00 am stop for the traditional breakfast burrito and coffee, JT and I were off to the Poudre River. The plan was to head to the park; however, we only had a short amount of time to fish before we had to get back into town.
The morning drive was a typical Colorado morning. Clear blue skies, no wind, and a crispness in the air that made the skin feel alive. The tourists were plentiful and the number of license plates from states from afar made us appreciate the fact that the Poudre is in our backyard and a short distance from home.
Driving up the canyon, the water was running high from recent thunderstorms and the water definitely had chocolate milk clarity. As we drove up the canyon I could not help but admire Mother Natures resiliency after the fire. The tall dark skeletons of trees that lined and dotted the hill side were the only eerie remnants of the fire! The vegetation was lush and green. It was a welcome sight.
We did not see anyone pursuing the residents of the Poudre! We hit a pull out and fished sections of the lower river. The weather was clear, sunny and held the freshness of a new rainstorm.
We geared up our Tenkara rods and we were off. If you have not tried fishing with a Tenkara rod, you should give it a try! We still fish our standard Western fly rods every chance we get; however, we are trying to catch fish using our Tenkara rods on every body of water we fish.
We are not "traditional" Tenkara anglers. We use Western gear and multiple flies. JT runs a Cutthroat furled leader with 5X tippet and I use a 9' tapered fluorocarbon leader with four feet of 5X tippet. We fished with our traditional flies...zebra midge, ABU, hare's ear, copper johns in sizes 14 ,16 and 18.
As we approached the river, it was refreshing to see how all of the paths that once were tell tale signs of fishing addicts had grown over with vegetation. The water was 65 degrees and moving quick. The water was high; however, it was obvious that it had receded approximately a 1-2 feet recently. There was fire sediment in the water. The silt and muck still had not left the banks. It was not uncommon to get stuck as we were wading in the muck that had settled on the bottom.
Whether we were dead drifting or actively presenting the nymphs we minimized the amount of line on the water. We focused on structure close to the banks, and any break in the main current. Depth was extremely important.
In the water close to the bank, fish held close the front, side and behind the structure. On the main current, if a location looked "fishy", it was a matter of finding the correct depth.
With the Tenkara, adjusting for depth can be done by lowering or raising the rod obviously. Another effective approach is to stop the rod high on the forward cast which will allow your flies to hit the water first. Hold the rod high, and allow the current to pull the flies down to different depths that you are prospecting.
Casting above the "fishy" spot ensures the current has time to take the flies down before you pass the area you believe fish are holding in.
We were able to share some time with a few of the Poudre River residents. We caught fish in the riffles, runs and pools.
Tips of the Trip...
When the water conditions change, change your approach and try something different. In this case, we spent more time along the banks than we normally do.
Feel the bottom with your feet as you wade.
If an area looks "fishy", yet you have not hooked a fish, work different depths until you get the hook up.
Slow down...Systematically work fishy areas in high, fast, or discolored water. Plan you approach and always look for breaks in the main current.