Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the River: Upper Arkansas River, Leadville, CO

August 22nd, 2009

You'll notice there are no pictures this round. Yes, folks, I won't be heading back to the Arkansas River anytime soon.

These stories always seem to start with, "I heard a rumor that there were monster fish up there".

Anyway, I heard a rumor that there were monster fish in the upper Arkansas, and every time I have driven by it always looked so "meadowy" and spring creek-like so I decided we had to try it out sometime.

Two of my good friends, Duncan Callahan and Timmy Parr, were running the Leadville 100 so we figured it would be a good chance to fish most of the day, and then watch the finish of the race. Turned out Timmy won, and Duncan (last years winner) got third place this year. It was a pretty good day for Gunnison Ultra Runners. But, back to my story ...

Ben Robb also met us for the day. He had just been given a CRAZY gracious gift from a friend (a brand new 4 wt. Winston rod with a Galvin large arbor reel and sharkskin line), so he was itching to test it out.

The day started out alright, we were hooking fish immediately, and Michelle even hooked into a 19" brown that gave her a fight and left her very, very sad when the fly pulled out. Really, we thought we were in for a great day, but the wind picked up and to be quite honest we just didn't run into any other big fish. I even did a fair amount of looking into deep holes and never saw anything of real size. I think all day long I spooked two other fish that could have pushed the 16"+ range.

In the end, we all caught fish-a-plenty, they just weren't very big. Which has been my experience just about every time I've gone to the Arkansas.

In defense of the river, it is a great fishery with a lot of fish in it, but I don't have much of a reason to be driving 1 1/2 hours to a river that doesn't fish any better than the Gunnison. If I'm making that kind of drive, I can head west to the Black Canyon and be in fishing HEAVEN with the chance at sight nymphing for 22" fish!

So ... if you know of any spots with consistent monsters on the Ark, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just be one less guy crowding the river.


1 comment:

  1. I'm sure there are places on that river that are great - I've spoken to several folks, including a family friend, Walt, that swears by that river.

    I've never had fantastic luck - usually similar to what you experienced.