Monday, October 10, 2011


... the stars align and we are blessed with a day of fishing that compares to nothing else. I experienced a day like this last week. Armed with a new piece of jewelry that was sure to bring good fish ju-ju (my friend picked the fish up in Steamboat, I made the necklace by braiding nylon backing), I set out.

The weather was perfect. Overcast with no wind. Surefire weather to get the fish biting. I hit a stretch of water that isn't fished very much and contains very large fish. I started with a grey RS2 which had been producing in the past few weeks. To my surprise there were no bugs hatching except for some microscopic midges. I fished a few spots I knew held fish, but couldn't get anything but a large bow that came up and sniffed my indicator. I was getting rather worried after fishing an hour with no action. I moved upstream and tied on a large midge that has produced in the past. It didn't take too long to get into the fish.

I nailed a few nice browns as I made my way upstream. I was getting into the groove. I still couldn't see any discernible hatch going on, but they were biting and that's all that matters.

This was a nice brown, but take a look at his coloration. I have no idea what makes some fish look like this. I've caught browns that were completely black on part of their body. Anybody know? He put up kind of a lethargic fight too, weird.

I am in love with this picture. Sometimes, pretty much daily, I look around and can't believe I live and work in such a beautiful place!

I worked my way on upstream, picking off fish after fish as I went. I came to a run which was just upstream of a fence which could be the boundary of the property. Maybe I was trespassing, but this one final run was just too tempting to pass up. I took a look around to see if anybody was watching and proceeded to nail this chunky brown. I was manhandled by a couple large fish that made me feel foolish.

I made four drifts and got four bites, the fourth bite yielding this massive bow. To date the largest rainbow I've caught on the CO. He put up a whale of a fight and I snapped this pic of him before I released him.

I had passed a few rising fish in a tail-out as I was fishing up. I didn't want to re-rig with a dry because the action was so fast. But on the way back to the car I decided to tie on a dry and give these rising fish a go. As I was lengthening my leader with some 6x, I spied this little guy fluttering on the water. Bingo, I found what the fish were eating and the midge I had been throwing was a spitting image. Sometimes it's pretty nice to be lucky.

Having found this little mayfly, I tied on this fly. Look similar? I think so....

...and so did this guy! It's the only fish I caught the rest of the day. But I'm pretty sure it was a cutt-bow. The yellowish gill plates and the spots oriented more to the tail of the fish make me think this. I was pretty stoked when I landed this dude.

The orange gill slits are another reason I believe this to be a cutt-bow. This is the first one I've ever caught. Pretty sweet!

Aww yeah. I dig it...

And sometimes the stars are in disarray and the weather is crap. Bright bluebird skies and gusty winds make for terrible fishing! The fishing may be bad, but these days make for some amazing vistas.

This is taken just down the road from the ranch looking over the divide back towards Denver.

This is the Vail Range. Spectacular.

I had big plans of hitting the Blue and throwing meat for hungry browns. I got to the parking spot and looked down upon the river. I thought it looked pretty high. I made the trek down a very steep grade and ran across these three mule deer. They just stopped and looked at me as I snapped a few pics. These were the only form of wildlife I'd see on the Blue that day.

The Blue is a tailwater. I have never checked the release schedule here, and the other day was the first time it's ever bitten me in the ass. I made it down to the water and was the only soul around; for a reason. The water was raging. There was no way in hell I was wading this river alone. Dejected, I trudged back up the hill to the car.

I made my way back to the CO and hopped on the water in a place I'd only been to once. There were others on the water and nobody was catching a damn thing. I fished for a few hours and caught what I believe to be a retarded fish. This guy ate an RS2 in a very unsuspecting piece of water while there was NOTHING hatching. Not even midges...

Everyone fishing around me called it a day. I moved back upstream and finally fulfilled my hopes of throwing meat. As the sun was starting to set the fish started to eat a streamer. I had many strikes but only connected with two. This being the best of the day. I fished until after dark with the aid of a full moon. I packed it in and headed for some chicken fingers with my tail between my legs. They call it fishing, not catching. And I'm cool with that. Every great day has a not so great day to go with it.

Life is good right now. In fact, life is great! Today, I locked in my plans of heading to Poland in January to meet up with my good friend Maciej. After meeting up with Maciej, we're heading to the French Alps for a week of skiing. What could make this better? My 25th birthday is the Saturday we'll start skiing. HELL YEAH!!!

Keep it reel folks!


  1. Great pictures. To your question of the browns with black marks - I've seen the same thing on a spring creek here in VA. A couple summers ago there were several huge old browns with completely black heads and a couple with black heads on one side. I think it may be an age thing but I was also told it could be the site of an injury - like where they got nailed by a bird.