Friday, October 5, 2012

Farewell Colorado, Frying Pan River, Basalt, Colorado

Date: July 13 - 15, 2012

Weather: Sunny with a few storms that moved in and out
Insect/Activity: Midges, small baetis hatch - very sporadic
Patterns Used: Blacktail Baetis, AB Tungsten Hare's Ear, Grey Midge, **Top Secret Pattern**
Flows: 170's
A Magnificently colored and spotted rainbow!
Farewell Colorado - we had a good 16 years! You will be greatly missed. On July 25th Michelle, Winston and I packed up the cars and began our journey across the country to make the Grand Rapids, MI are our new home. Having started a family, moving back closer to family has always been on our minds and we decided that this was the time to do it. 

Probably some of the best news is that I am now living 45 minutes away from Jay so you'll get to see a lot more posts with both the Allen Brothers in the photos, and we hope to start producing a lot more quality content in video format! Plus, we should be launching a new Allen Brothers website with our blog content rolled into the new site, so navigation, ordering flies and content should all get a lot more user friendly - but ... you didn't click on this blog to hear about website changes - so back to the Pan.

Ben Robb and I headed there for a combination birthday celebration and as a last hoorah! We had two full days on the river, with no thought of nap schedules, feedings or changing diapers! 
Ben with a great looking brown.

The fishing was superb! We were surprised to find not many folks on the river and we essentially fished the upper stretch just below the dam for both days. The flows were low, the water was clear and the fish were feeding. What more can you ask for? Midge was the most predominant insect, and we did a few seines throughout the weekend and never came up with any Mysis so I'm guessing it had been a while since they pumped any major water through the dam. Surprisingly, though, we caught almost all our fish on the Blacktail Baetis. I gave the size #24 grey midge with 7x tippet a try on a few finicky fish, but always returned to the Baetis for our success.

A few smaller fish came on the Hare's Ear, which was used as a point-fly (weight) occassionally, but most fish came on 7x with a micro-nymphing rig for maximium "stealth". 
NOTE: I have made NO modifications to the image color!!! Crazy!
Probably the fish of the trip was this rainbow. Arguably, the most beautiful rainbow I've ever caught, but it is hard to say when each fish has it's own beauty, merit and story behind the catching. This one was taken on a Blacktail Baetis, while sight-nymphing and fishing 7x. So, it's pretty hard to beat that story for pure joy, and a grin that splits across my face every time I think about it.

And then, there was the "flume" hole ... I'm not one for fishing deep water with tons of weight, but we showed up on Sunday morning at 7 AM with not a soul around  and we decided to fish right below the dam for an hour or so. I had a hunch on a pattern I wanted to try. I'm not one to keep secrets, but this is one I'm not willing to share - in the wrong hands, it could be used for ill and not good ;-) I tied on said secret pattern and spent the next 30 minutes watching my indicator shoot underwater with the ferocity of a midget out of a cannon at the circus. I have never hooked more 18" fish in my life with such ease and speed!
Flume hole cast #2 of the day.
Flume hole cast #6 of the day.
Flume hole, somewhere around cast #20 of the day! That is some crazy pigment on this fish!

The rest of the day was good fishing. Ben and I both had our best luck in the flats, sight-nymphing until about noon, then the high sun shut down most of the fish and we usually retreated to water a little further down the canyon for the afternoon. We even sucumbed to the "flume" hole once more on Sunday, mid-day, and didn't do as well, but were surprised to find most of our fish, again, taking the Blacktail Baetis over midge or mysis.

Throw in a breakfast at Cafe Bernard and some burgers and beers at night and you have yourself one fine weekend to remember Colorado by.
They call is a "morning bun". All I know is it's got a ridiculous amount of sugar and butter. You can get a "morning bun" at Starbucks, but it's not even in the same universe as this one. CRAZY GOOD!
No doubt, I'll be back for vacations, and to see friends, but for now I am turning my attention to consistent eastern hatches and looking forward to my first season of Steelhead and some Salmon fishing in Michigan.

Tight lines, see you out on the water :-)

-Jeff Allen
The food journey: Lunch in Buena Vista at K's Dairy Delite
The food journey: Breakfast at Cafe Bernard
The food journey: Breakfast Sunday morning ... in my car :-( It was stark juxtaposition to the rest of the fare we had that week.
Ben with another healthy rainbow.


  1. Good luck on the move. Looking forward to reading your bloggings from a new area.

  2. Thanks Colin, hopefully I'll get something posted from here in MI soon!