Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On the River: Colorado River, CO

June 5, 2009
Day two found Jay and I fishing the same stretch of river, just working some new water. We didn't have as much time since we spent the morning fishing a smaller creek that was a potential site for the Teva Mtn. Games finals, but after an hour of catching 8" browns and realizing that we didn't need to know much more information than we had already gathered, we high-tailed it back over to the Colorado.

From a biological perspective we could not have hit better timing. The day before the Salmon flies were in the bushes and the air ... everywhere. It was pretty thick. But today we rolled onto the same stretch of river and not much was left. It was cool to see the transition from bugs everywhere to just a few stragglers hanging around.

Jay actually came up with the theory that there could still be a lot of drown stones caught up in the side eddy's that get washed down the day after. So, we fished a dark woolly bugger just a foot or two below an indicator. The beauty of anytime you can get a short rig like that is you can detect strikes almost instantaneously. Needless to say, we did even better than we did yesterday.

Another interesting note was that we were still seeing explosive rises with no "live" bugs anywhere near the water. But it wasn't long that we noticed huge mats of shucks getting washed downstream too. Being that we didn't have a shuck imitation (I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone tying one either), we figured the same principles of the drown stone would apply and a well placed cast over a "riser" would produce an explosive indicator stop.

Granted, none of these thoughts are exactly hard science, it is good food for thought the next time your out on the river around the stonefly hatch. In fact, as you'll see in one of my future blogs, we fished the exact same rig later that week on the Gunnison Gorge with the same success.

I love this sport!


  1. 'Dem some mighty fine lookin' fish, there, Jeff! Only fished the Colorado once, so this is a good read for me. Keep it brain is hungry!

  2. Yeah, it really was a great time (except for the weather). Very few of our fish were under 14". We talked to a lot of locals who said that the river average was not very big, but I don't know if they were talking about other stretches of the river, or maybe because everything was so gorged on stoneflies it makes a 14" look huge, but we sure felt like going back for another visit.

    Wait 'til you hear our report on the Frying Pan ... I hope to post that one in the next day or two!!!

  3. Dude....LOVE the Pan. Why do I get the feeling that you two flexed some serious fly fishing muscle there, and that you're going to be posting some great shots along with an even better story???

    Looking forward to your post....

  4. Well... it's probably not as epic as you think (or I was hoping), but still really good. I'm posting it right now.

    Between you and me (and everyone else reading this blog), I love the pan, but I don't see as many monsters in the shallows as I once did. 10 years ago Jay and I rolled up and both landed a 10 lb. brown within an hour of each other and that was SIGHT NYMPHING IN THE FLATS!!!!! Now, it seems like you have to hit the drudge holes to pick up big fish.