Sunday, November 27, 2011

The CO and the PAN

I headed to the Frying Pan to meet a buddy to continue the transition back to winter sight-nymphing. I arrived at the river at 12:30 pm and walked the road trying to spot fish. I saw multiple good sized fish (over 4 lbs.), but they all had anglers fishing those areas. Luckily the anglers were fishing blind and their drifts were not dead enough to trick any of the larger fish. One fish in particular, I estimated at around 8 lbs. and found it worth watching and waiting for. Eventually the angler fishing that riffle moved on, and there sat the pig. After I cycled through a couple flies, the fish took one, and a solid battle ensued. I usually overestimate weight on fish I see in the water, but this time I definitely underestimated.

just under 12 lbs. at 24.5 inches "obese maybe?"

...and not hooked in the bowl either

 Nicky searchin' the bowl as we waited for the spots we really wanted to fish

 This is why I carry a big net

I fished the C-O in Silt the next day: I had a bunch of takes swinging streamers, but only 2 fish landed.

The river is so big that figuring out how to fish it was the hardest part

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give thanks for fishing with my brother

Today is thanksgiving, and I got the chance to go fishing with my brother. I am thankful for that. We went to Deckers and fished very low flows, and had a blast. The fish were cooperative but it was hard to really want to get back into technical nymphing. We caught most of the fish on a size 26 midge, and a couple on a size 24. Below are a few photos of empty Deckers, and a couple from a return trip to Pueblo.

Off to the Pan and the Colorado tomorrow!

Happy Turkey Day to all you fisherpeople out there

Friday, November 18, 2011

Change-up baetis

This summer, I was fishing the Taylor C&R and was having success with a juju baetis, except certain fish would take a look and reject it, or after taking it coming off the line after a head shake or two. If the fish continued feeding, they would not touch the juju baetis. Coincidentally the fish wouldn't take barr emergers, PT's or any other baetis patterns I had, so I decided before my next trip I needed to tie a baetis pattern that was similar but different enough from any other stock pattern I carried, that these fish might take. I tied 5 different patterns, and the one that worked I decided was going to be my "change-up" baetis. Its not my first string, starter fly, but its always ready to come in and help. So far it has been productive on all rivers except for the elevenmile canyon stretch of the South Platte! which is exactly what I didn't expect.

Change up baetis:

hook: TMC 2487 or equivalent sizes 16-24
thread: olive 8/0 UNI
tails: olive brown hungarian partridge
abdomen: olive brown microtubing
thorax: dark green ice dubbing/ hare's ear dubbing or equivalent or whatever dubbing you prefer
flash: thin strip of mylar
legs/wings: brown fluoro-fiber, or olive brown hungarian partridge

This fly is not unique! It is a mix of a juju baetis, a Barr emerger, and a Stalcup's baetis, but different enough from all three. The original version used partridge for the legs, but it seemed to get destroyed too quickly; fluoro-fiber is much more resilient. I also used to tie with a fatter piece of flash, but to differentiate it enough from a barr flashback emerger and a juju baetis, I now use the thinnest flash possible.

I also tie this pattern in a 16 and 18 with a tungsten bead, its a good change up from a bead head PT, and a two-bit hooker for float fishing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Steelheading Colorado Style

With a couple cold mediocre days on the Dream Stream, and a skunking on the Blue, I needed a change of pace. As my fishing partner Wes said we needed a chill day: meaning no set departure time, or even premeditated destination.

High of 23 degrees. If you look closely the egg is tucked in Mr. Bow's mouth

With only animal prints in front of me I thought it would be an epic day: fail
The day resulted in a cracked net (no idea how) and non-functional boots

So where did we choose for our 'chill day'? Well my criteria was above 32 degrees and a chance to swing streamers on the switch rod. So Court, Wes and I  departed for the Ark at about 11:40 am. The water was murky and the wind was howling, but an olive Sculpzilla pulled in about a half a dozen fish, with the two biggest weighing 6 pounds and 6 3/4 pounds! A 22'' Bow rocked my 7 weight switch, I can't imagine what a real steelhead could do.

Looks like a Steelie to me

I think all of us could use a few more days like this before winter really sets in.