Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

Down here in the Springs it hit 96 degrees today. Yesterday I got to spend a full day on the water. The morning consisted of guiding out of Mountain Angler alongside Pete Reynolds, bringing the joy of trout fishing to a family from Florida. That afternoon I met my brother at the mouth of Elevenmile Reservoir to kayak and cast to Carp and Pike. Again we didn't find pike, but carp were everywhere: the first cast to a carp ended in a tight line! Joining us were two bald eagles, one owl, a flock of pelicans, three turkey vultures, and a few sea gulls.

This 28.5'' 15 pound carp took me to my backing in under 25 seconds

A night previous, I arrived at Elevenmile around 8 pm and fished until 10 pm. I was lucky to run into another carp hungry angler, "Boston George." George and I shared the water and a couple cokes after it got to dark to see, he told me some interesting stories about the Dream Stream, and topics related. The veterans always have tricks and secrets and to them I am all ears.

Well, saturday the carp were active and I hooked 10 carp and landed 3 either on a white crazy charlie or a green tucker scud tied on an Umpqua Competition hook.  As the afternoon drew on we decided to head up near the dam and fish the dream stream, hoping the high flows wouldn't discolor the water up there quite as much. It was empty of course and we decided to fish streamers. 

We fished a well known drop off and I had a grab right away. when we got the fish to the net it was a sucker, with my black double bunny leach up to the articulation in his mouth! I had always been told if you catch a sucker, you must have snagged it, but this is the second sucker I have caught on a streamer, and both times the fly has been deep in the mouth of the fish. Go figure.

You know its summer time on the Dream, when you see caddis, mosquitos, and skies like this

As we were heading out, I was telling my brother of a monster brown I had hooked and lost in a side channel last fall, and since then I always scope the side channel for hiding fish. and sure enough as we walked past I saw a light colored fish around 20''. Immediately we dropped to our knees, but the fish spooked and started to head upstream. We then got up and started scanning the shallow channel for where he went. We couldn't find him and decided that he must have headed back to the deeper slot in which we found him. So quickly we took my brothers woolly bugger rig and added a caddis pupa dropper, and two cast later the fish made its presence known. 

battle-scarred 19 inch cuttbow hiding in a side channel

There was a pink San Juan worm still stuck in the corner of the fish's mouth, and as I pulled it out, a piece of tippet headed down into his stomach. As I pulled this out, the trout regurgitated a 5 inch long pink earth worm, a bunch of little black leaches and green scuds. Attractors on the menu. We called it a day at this point and headed back to the Springs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keeping in Touch

So, on Friday night we received a text from a great friend we hadn't seen in a couple years, saying, "where are you guys going to slay this weekend?" To that I responded the pan, wanna go?, and he  immediately said "I'm in, I'll meet you at Basalt at 930 am." So we headed over to Basalt by way of Independence Pass, which is always a treat, especially the sections where the road narrows to 1.5 lanes and therefore no center line exists.

Since the pan was roaring below Ruedi at 800cfs and had a total of 300 yards before it turned to chocolate milk, the flats and bowl were very cramped, but everyone seemed to be hooking into fish all day long.  We also met Jake and his family on the river, making it an awesome experience!

Jake with a nice bow, having to use his shirt to keep it from slipping away

In the high flows Court was able to find a honey hole of nice rainbows, and his mysis, jujubaetis rig was the most consistent producer all day long, and all five of us alternated with that rod

JP with a beauty of a 'bow. he deserved this one after losing many fine fish earlier in the day

Paul getting a hold of a great looking fish

JP's dad Paul and I found a nice cutbow comfortably feeding in tight water, and after making a few adjustments to get the perfect drift, the fish took and Paul perfectly played the fish until I could get the net on him.

We kept the net under the fish, since these fat fish have undersized tails, making them very tough to hold

This 8lb hen was JP's fish.  He hooked and lost it, and 10 minutes later it gave me another chance

The next morning we wanted to try to catch some elusive grass carp in a certain pond, and JP was at the oars and guided us around the pond as we stalked, casted, hooked, and did not land a single carp. However the carp took special notice to an olive meat whistle and a bunch of grass tied on a hook shank with green 8/0 thread. We did get to land a bunch of rainbows on streamers as well, with the prizes of the day being two quite large brook trout!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spinney Mountain Circus

We had heard good things about the Dream Stream, specifically an influx of medium sized summer browns, so we had to investigate.

All the Essentials

As we pulled up to the river, all three lots above the bridge were almost completely full!! As full as  it normally is come early october. Including white passenger vans with anglers pouring out. The barns section was dotted with Anglers, so we headed above the tressels and sighted to some 14-17" rainbows and cutthroat. It took a good while to find something they would take, but eventually the ticket became a green scud.

We covered a lot of water, but really struggled finding any Browns, most likely any that are in the system were hiding under rocks, due to the ridiculous crowds. If the crowds continue many of these lake fish will become ghosts.

Eventually we did sneak up on a 19" Brown and it took a caddis larvae.

And then came the wind and rain, so we took the opportunity for a quick nap, and then headed down to the mouth to chase some carp.

Unfortunately every hooked carp got free, but boy were there some intense runs

These carp are amazing...You can only see them well with pure sun above, they are extremely spooky, and only take perfect drifts. I had a very large carp snap 2x easily on his first bull rush.

So the word on the Dream Stream: Undecided, if there are large numbers of browns in the system, they are hiding, there is pretty productive nymphing right now overall.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Runoff Blues

I haven't posted in a few weeks, and its not from a lack of fishing, but more so a lack of really productive fishing.

1. We looked for pike at both Elevenmile Reservoir, and Taylor Park Reservoir, and didn't find any at either place. (locals say its just a little early)

2. The flows were dropped to 500 cfs on the Taylor, so we fished in tea colored water. The fishing numbers-wise was outstanding, but we didn't see a fish over 22-23 inches. (all the big fish are in the overflow section by the spillway, we looked at them with binoculars from the road above).

3. We fished the mouth of the Dream Stream for Carp, had a number of them hooked, but didn't land a single one.

4. We fished Elevenmile Canyon, and had some fun with the cooky cutter 10-18 inch fish there.

5. The Frying Pan looks promising, but haven't found the time to make the drive

But everyday we left the water a little unsatisfied, I would attribute it to missing the "Spring Hunt. " That is the stalking of a particular big crafty fish...

So now that we are at a time of transition, what's on the horizon?

1. Pike!!
2. Summer run lake fish in the dream stream (there are always a few pushing 24'')
Typical 20'' (humpy) found on the Dream Stream in the Summer

3. Summer fishing on the Taylor (and yes Cottonwood Pass is open, just barely).

Yes, that is a goldfish aquarium net

4. Midnight mousing in Badger Basin.
Oldie but a goodie, 2005 nighttime mousing and streamer fishing in Badger Basin (for some reason I thought it was ok to hold a trout like a large mouth bass)

5. Chasing Green Drakes somewhere, (Jurassic Park, Middle Fork of S. Platte, Yampa, the Encampment)

6. PMD's!!

"Parachute Adams" season on the middle fork of the South Platte: this season coincides beautifully with mosquito season