Friday, April 13, 2012

Colorado Quickie (part 2)

View from the rappel site at Frontier Ranch
We had less that 12 hours to fish on our Colorado trip before our meetings started, and 3 of those hours (6am-9am) were expected to be cold and slow.  We opted for more sleep Tuesday morning, visited the local fly and coffee shops in BV, and drove 45 minutes downstream to access some warmer water on the Arkansas River that promised more bug life.
riggin up

We were armed with BWO emergers, caddis larvae, and other bed head nymphs, but we were surprised with about 2 hours of dry fly fishing.  We fished for about 5 hours and never moved more than 100 yards upstream.  At first, the emergers where the ticket, but when fish started rising, we tied on dries and fished a slow and steady hatch. Caddis and BWO's where in the air, and the BWO (baetis) seemed to be the snack of choice.

cookie cutter 14" wild brown
The hatch would come in waves, and risers were everywhere on the left side of the river.  Wild browns tearing up the surface is flippin' awesome. A size 18 parachute olive produced the most fish for me, and a number 20 barr's emerger after that.  I never picked up a fish on the emerger when they where feeding on the surface.  I thought I had some cdc comparadun olives, but I didn't.  I think that would have been money. Ward caught exclusively rainbows, one over 16 inches.  I caught more browns, but did have a few rainbows in the mix.

Ark river bow

I enjoyed fishing the Arkansas more than the Dream Stream simply because it was clear, big water, and fish acted like fish.  You also had views of white capped fourteeners in the background. All the browns in the Ark are wild, and all the bows were stocked 10 inchers at one time. You can see how quickly they begin to look (and act) wild in the above picture. Note the white tips on the fins. I even did a stream side survey for a biologist who filled me in on the colorado river strain, whirling disease resistant, rainbows they stock.

Dry fly fishing pre-runoff was great.  Can't wait to get back. That river is loaded with fish.

A bazzillion caddis larva waiting for the Mother's Day Hatch.

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