Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hard Work & Private Browns

This past week has been crazy! Dial for Men held their second Camp Dirt here on the ranch this past weekend. We started building the events last Monday, and worked like dogs all week. We built a paintball course, a mudslide, an ATV race course, mud football field, life-size game of Battleship, and a skid-steer drag strip. Whew!

The work was all worth it when the contestants arrived. They seemed to have a blast while competing for ten thousand dollars. Two good ol' boys from Florida took home the check. They were cool dudes, I'm glad they won.

The free beer all weekend wasn't too shabby either!

With all this work came no time for fishing or reporting on my last trip on the Fraser River.

Sunday before last I got the chance to fish a private stretch of the Fraser River. The price of admission was a twelver of Fat Tire. I'd pay this anyday! The fishing was stellar and so was the weather. Overcast, threatening conditions always seem to get the big browns active. Sunday was no different. We hit the water a bit after two and fished for about two hours. Green Caddis larvae was the ticket all day.

No more than 15 minutes into fishing, I nailed this guy in a deep run. He fought like a champ and was absolutely gorgeous! Just a short while later I nailed a nice bow, but he jumped me off. Feces Occurs...

I got to fish with a guy I work with on the ranch. Rusty's a super nice guy and I'm glad we finally got to fish together. He had been telling me he had access to this stretch of water all winter, and we finally hit it.

This is looking in an easterly direction at the divide. The weather looked like this all day, SWEET!

This is by far the biggest brookie I've ever caught. But after catching these big browns out here, these guys aren't really doing it for me. However, you will never hear me complain about catching a fish!

Rusty had been fishing the run upstream when I nailed that brookie. He didn't have any luck and moved on upstream. His spot looked way too fishy to pass up. I made a few drifts and nailed this guy. One of the better fish I've caught out here. Rusty was obliging enough to snap a hero shot of me and I turned him loose. Got to love that private water...

We fished on up without much success, keeping our eyes on the skies the whole time. We came up to a nice looking pool that was fed by a deeply undercut bank. The spot definitely held a fish. With Rusty experiencing a very nasty tangle, I took the opportunity to nail a nice brown right against the bank. Green Caddis larvae were under every rock and the fish were killing them! I dig this picture.

Man he was a stubby little dude! He fought like hell and stirred up the whole bank and pool. No more fish came to play.

With eminent torrential downpours, we retreated to the car. We stopped just in time to crack one of our cans of admission with the landowner. We chatted for a minute, and were insured a return trip. But only if we brought another twelve.

What a sweet little window of fishing! Can't wait to make it back.

As for tomorrow, I'm heading back up to the Haynach Lakes in search of my first cutthroat trout. It's about a six mile hike into the first lake. There is a stream that connects the two, and they are supposedly full of cutties. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!


Friday, August 19, 2011


HALLELUJAH, It's time to fish people!

For the past few weeks the fishing has been slowly picking up, and in the last week it has EXPLODED! Hatches are coming off almost like clockwork and fish are feeding, such a great sight to see!

I've mostly been fishing Willow Creek here lately. This is the stream that runs through the ranch. The fish I thought weren't there are showing up, and the fishing is actually pretty good. Most the fish are stocked rainbows, but there are a few wild browns in mix. I caught this guy about 2 weeks ago and although a stocker, quite pretty!

This is Willow Creek at the mouth of Willow Creek Reservoir. This stretch of water is full of little rainbow trout, plus a few stockers that have been washed downstream. Catching 30 fish in an hour or two is not uncommon...

Mom came to visit me this past week, she stayed 5 days and we had a blast! I was also hooked up with some sweet new gear.

The hatches have been crazy around these parts. Stoneflies, mayfies, caddis, you name it, and its been hatching!

These guys were hatching on the Yampa this past Saturday. I came away fish-less, but I can't say I was fishing in the best conditions. Regardless, it was fun fishing some new water. I definitely plan on fishing up that way in the fall.

Quiz: Who knows what this is?

This was a caddis hatch on the Colorado a couple nights ago.

Fatty stocker taken from Willow Creek. These fish eat two flies, a hares ear and an elk hair caddis. Like clockwork...

This is a wild rainbow taken from the Colorado a couple evenings ago. As I've said before, catching a rainbow on the CO is a pretty rare thing. The rainbows were decimated by whirling disease. In the CO there are around 5,000 browns per mile, compared to around 200 rainbows per mile. Before the whirling disease these numbers were reversed.

Not only was this a nice wild rainbow, but it was also tagged. Pretty cool I think...

An Evening on The Colorado

Brown Town


The ranch has a private mile and a half lease on the North Fork of the Colorado. It's such a sweet looking stretch of water. But, I was strictly forbidden to fish it unless I was with a guest. Does that make any sense to you? Shouldn't a guide know the water he's fishing? I think so. I've felt like an idiot the few times I've been there with people.

This had to change. I formulated an argument and presented it to the big wigs. My argument was stellar and I gained permission to take the afternoon and fish the water. HOLY SHIT!!! The fishing was epic, even in the middle of the afternoon! I caught alot of fish. I landed four or five fish of this caliber. I had even more fish of this size come unglued, and one broke me off. That hasn't happened in a long time!

These browns blend in so perfectly with the bottom of the CO.

Gazing upon Rocky Mountain National Park from the N Fork of the CO.


Life is sweet!

The fishing should do nothing but continue to get better as the fall comes on. Cooler temps are starting to move in, and the aspens are starting to look a little brittle. I'm cool with it.

Next week will be alot of work, but alot of fun. Dial soap company is invading the ranch to film a commercial called Camp Dirt. Pretty much were going to be building mudslides, operating machinery, and blowing things up. I can't wait.

Keep it real people,