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Large decks directly over the river with incredible views, fully re-fitted, in Trumbull, 1 mile north of Flies & Lies, 2 mile drive to Gill Trailhead & Cheesman Canyon, adjacent to the owners property - this is one sweet cabin, fully winterized.
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# Guests -------------------------- / night ----------------------------------- / week (7 nights)
1 =================== $125.00==================== $750.00
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Week ending January 7th 2016
We are once again running our Winter Guide / Cabin special - from Dec. 1st thru Feb 28th - 2 anglers, 2 nights in one of the Cabins (Bernies or Rustic) and a 1/2 day guided trip - $300.00 ($150.00 / angler)
Winter nymphing can be challenging - perfect drifts - correct weight - distance to weight / indicator - all are crucial - take advantage of our winter cabin / guide specials to tune you in
Keep in mind that our overnight air temps in the valley can be 15 to 30 degrees below Denver overnight Temps, but our daytime temps will equal Denver day time highs
Water temps now become critical - anything below 38 degrees will be tough angling - so bust out those stream thermos
Stand in the sun, cast to the shade
May see some risers to a small midge later in the day (Matts midge, Trailing Shuck, small Para Adams)
When dead Drifting, try any small midge behind an egg, rubber leg or worm (Black Beauty, JuJu, Red Larva)
Starting to see more Bald Eagles - seemed to arrive late this year - seeing some big cat tracks, but no actual sightings - plenty of deer tracks and Bunny hoppings - some Fox
Rascal Racoon has yet to return to the cabin - Lucky him - Rob just cleaned my 20 gauge for me
Flow is at 124 cfs - great winter flow - some sludge found as close to the shop as Trubull Bend - Overnight air temps well below 0 degrees (Had -20 on a few occasions pre - sunrise) - mainly single digits - pretty cold - drive downstream 'till you find ice, then turn around - the further you go up stream the ice will clear
No sense in getting to the river by 9 - 10 am - best from 11 am till you can't see the fly or indicator
Trail into Cheesman Canyon is a bit tricky - slick, snow packed, and icy - but judjing by the cars in the lot, most are getting in
Jeremy is itching to do some winter guiding - so give us a call - we go out on any day - find out his tricks - they be many
Week ending November 5th, 2015
Flow is now 100 cfs - was dropped last week to 50 cfs so the Division could perform a shocking survey of the trout population - results usually take a while to be published
I used to partake in the survey - but was delegated to pulling the catch box - not an easy task - now I just stop by and watch - One year Jeff Spohn stopped by the cabin to ask for assistance - our area biologist - snowy day, just lied down to a nice fire and a good book on the couch - but I went anyhow - anything to help the river - yup, got stuck with the catch basket
Rogue Raccooon in the Valley last week
Woke at 2 a.m. to refill a water bottle, turned the corner from the great room into the kitchen - refrigerator door is open - food on the floor - looked right away to make sure the back door was shut - maybe a bear
Looked a little furtther in - trash can is toppled - food on the floor
Looked to the right - there is the little rascal, crouched in the corner below the coffee pot
Opened the back door. put on some boots, shuffled him out the door with a broom, went to give him a whack for good measure, glancing blow. broke the broom - now I am really pissed !!! - found a porch window left a little ajar - that was the entry point - little imp figured out how to open the screen door to the porch and found the opening
2 hours later I wake to noises from the porch - same coon trying to open the same window, that had been left open by cabin visitors, i just did not notice the gap
Next night it crosses the road to Rob's cabin - got in thru an old unused vent - tore into Rob's pantry - woke Rob up - He loaded a 12 gauge with #4 shot, pulled the slide, and the little criminal bolted down the same vent - gone into the night
Disscusions were had on how we dispath the little monster - hat (shotgun) - throw rug (pistol, rifle)
Nice Fall flow - hopper dropper is now in play - Tricos are done but BWO's are hatching late mornings into the afternoon
Nymphing with egg patterns trailed by small midge imitations or BWO nymphs are very productve (Black Beauty, Chocolate Thunder, Split Case BWO, RS2)
River has changed after the high spring / summer flows, so you just have to go and explore - actually a lot of fun
Most of toilge has rdopped in the valley, biut still some nice colors to be seen = spottrd the first migrating Bald Eagle on Tuesday this week
Sun row rises over the back range at 7:15 am, drops tj the west range at 4:45 p.m.
Cold mornings - pre sun rise temps can hit in single digits - usuaallly hits mid 60's by late p.m.
Week ending August 13th, 2015
Flow is currently at 367 cfs, river looks great, good clarity, but it has changed some
The high flows have moved things around a bit, but it is all good
Tricos have started to swarm in the mornings, spinners hitting the surface around 10:30 a.m. and some of the trout are getting on them, but most are eating drowned spinners - a black RS2 or chocolate thunder will cover it nicely, or simply sink your spinner at the end of the drift
Still seeing some PMD's and Caddis
We have started to fish dry / droppers using Amy's Ant or a hopper and dropping 2 nymphs off of it about 2 1/2 feet down with a micro shot in between the nymphs
Had some major downpours this past week, stained the river some but it cleared quickly - if you do find off color water just keep moving upstream, it will eventually clear
Flow had peaed at 2,320 cfs back in June - almost lost Trumbull bridge
Caddis Larve JUJU PMD, Pats Rubber leg, 2 bit hooker, Barr emerger PMD are other selections - small P-Tails too
Coming into the nicest part of the season - you should come out and enjoy it - guide trips have been very productive
Week ending July 3rd 2015
Started out at 1,710 cfs last week - now down to 1,390 cfs - got down to 1,300 cfs - we think they are adjusting the pipes to get it off of the spillway - that is why we see the spikes - not much has changed - except the surfing waves are down
Big Bugs, 3 or 4X tippet - PMD's , Caddis Emergers ( A whole bunch of adul Caddis on the neon sign window every morning at the shop) - Not a whole lot of surface action - but it can be done - try a hopper or Amy tight to the banks - fan it out - Goddard or Elk Hair Caddis with a dropped emerger
Lot of water - be careful !!! - but it produces trout - be patient - guide trips are filling nets - not as many in numbers - but quality trout
High water will last a few more weeks
The river is wide open - come on up
Week ending June 25th 2015River is now open - Trumbull bridge has been inspected and passed for traffic - all roads are open
Flow started out at 2,000 cfs last Friday, down to 1,700 cfs today - dropping slowly every day
River is closed to tubers, rafters, swimmers and surfing
Jesse got busted for surfing by the Sherrif - no lock up - just run off - the high flows create some great waves - he could not resist
Jeremy, Rob and the boys have had some great guided trips - you can get away with 3x tippet and big bugs - stones, worms, caddis, soft hackles
Lots of bugs hatching, but nothing rising - have had PMD's, Caddis, BWO's, flying ants on the wind seine (porch screens) this past week
Cheesman Canyon is due to open this Saturday (6-27) in the a.m.
Want to try somthing a little easier than the high flows - we can get you into Rainbow Falls Mountain Trout - Private club 12 miles from the shop - series of lakes, ponds and a 3/4 mile section of Trout Creek - lots of big trout, but it does involve a rod fee above the guide rates
River clariity is not bad at all - trout are hungry, and gorging on all kinds of stuff
Get on up here !!!
Week ending June 18th 2015
OK - here is how we stand - only way into Deckers is Rt 285 to Rt 126. or from the Springs on 24 west to 67 north - currently no access thru Sedalia
River is closed from Deckers downstream to the North Fork confluence and up the N Fork to Buffalo Creek
Road blocks at Buffalo Creek, Foxton Rd, Spruce Wood and Deckers
Cheesman Canyon is closed, only fishable access is the 1.5 miles above Deckers bridge on the Y Camp road - that 1.5 miles holds some excellent trout - Cheesman lake is open
We expect the access to open early next week for the whole river
That being the case. it is fishing great, Pats Rubber Leg, SJ Worms, Caddis Pupa, Crane Fly Larva, PMD emergers
Flow is currently at 2,000 cfs in the Canyon, maybe 2,150 below Deckers - Feeder Creeks (Horse & Wig Wam) have dropped in flow and improved in clarity
Good news is the trout have gotten a break from angling pressure and you can get away with 3x tippet
I have heard that some are trashing the river on social media (I do not participate) - but they do not know what they are talking about - the river is fine and will be fine - trust me - I have more years up hear than they have combined - combine that with Jeremy (and Rob and Jesse) we have more years on the river than these chuckle heads have had time on this earth
On the 17th, before the river was closed, Jeremy had a 1/2 day trip - put 6 in the bag, lost more than that in the current - that was at about 2,400 cfs - below Deckers river peaked in the Canyon at 2,230 cfs last week
All is good - we look forward to a great summer - just be careful in the higher flows
Sun now crests the back range at 6:15 a.m. - first day of summer is Sunday the 21st
We have complete access to our guest cabins - so book away
Any questions or concerns, just call the shop - and thanks for the support at the shop - much appreciated !!!
Week ending May 21st, 2015
Started off last Friday at 669 cfs in the Canyon - this is Friday May 22nd - we have 1110 cfs in the Canyon. more like 1350 cfs in the back yard (below Dekers bridge) - feeder creeks are out of control
Have not seen them this high in many years - may not have ever seen them this high
Wednesday morning, just having a cup of coffee on the porch, I watched a good size beaver come thru the willows on the far bank - - kinda looked up and down the river, slipped into the water, lost about 10 feet in the current, climbed out - back into the willows - walked to work
This all said - the trout are eating - big time - just find an island seam, break in the current, along the soft bank water - they are gorging on big stuff - San Juan Worms, Pats Rubber Legs, Crane Fly Larva, Caddis Pupa - we call it "Fishing Junk" - you can get away with 3 or 4x tippet
Clarity in the Canyon is off, above Deckers Bridge pretty bad, below Deckers Bridge is - well "0" - so be carefull - best to fish from the banks - tight roll casts
Watch out for the Geese - they have nested up and are very agressive - they have moved from the islands to the river banks, 'cause the islands are pretty much gone
Have had Adult Caddis, BWO's and a Big Midge on the porch screens this past week (the wind seine), but due to water clarity, not much surface action - you may find a few risers along the banks if you hunt them out
Sun now crests the back range at 6:30 a.m.
Stay on the safe side of the river - that would be the side you parked your truck on
Week ending May 14th, 2015
Not much had changed over the past few months, but now it has - Flows have ranged from a low of 50 cfs - to a current 710 - it had reached a high of 770 from Cheessman - coming over the spillway - no control - whatever comes in is coming out
First Swallows arived in the valley on April 22nd, 1st Hummingbirds on April 28th - it's Spring
River is pretty clear in the Canyon. little ugly above Deckers Bridge, Nasty from Deckers bridge downstream - Horse Creek looks angry at Deckers - have not seen it this high or muddy in years - major run off - drove to town for supplies on Tuesday and saw springs flowing that I have not seen in years - lost afew beaver dams that did not help - Stronk's place lost their bridgr again - runs across Horse Creek about 2 miles from the shop - must be a dozen times since the Hayman Fire - poor guys
But - all said and done, the river is fishing well - tight to the banks or any break in the currents - If you have a jones to fish, but do not like the high brown water that we have in Deckers - we have access to Rainbow Falls Mountain Trout for guide trips - series of lakes and 1/2 mile of Trout Creek with huge trout - rod fees are not bad for the experience
San Juan worms are the ticket - we are pulling out trout with aquatic worms falling out of the mouths - just gorging on them - Caddis or BWO's as trailers - but a Pats Rubber Leg with a San Juan Worm will fill the bill - nice thing about brown water, the trout do not have much time to inspect your fraud = now is the time to go with 3 or 4 x
If you feel off by the flows, give us a call - we can show you how to navigate and work the river - sure is worth it
Jeremy and Rob did an R&D sesssion last week after work at 1000 cfs - landed some hogs in the back yard - big fat trout
Week ending February 27th 2015
Pretty much no change in fraud selections this past month, Egg patterns have come into play as a lead fly
Flows have gone from 170 cfs down to 80 cfs - we are now at 120 cfs
The low flows and cold over night temps resulted in the first sludge hatches of the year (Frozen, but moving water) - pretty much impossible to fish through - I had minus 18 degrees at the cabin this a.m. - pre-sunrise - Home hole was a mess - ice, sludge - just stupid cold !!!
Still no sense in getting on the water before 10 a.m.
If you encounter sludge, keep moving upstream, you should eventualy find open water
Sun now crests the back range at 7:25 a.m., days are gradually getting longer - Spring is on the way - just a few more weeks
We have had a few good days of snow, nothing more than 4 - 6 inches at a dump, actually fished nicely through the storms - Jeremy lit them up on this Wednesday with a client - but he usually does
Rob and Jesse have found risers in the late afternoon - some on BWO's, some on the big Spring midge, most on the small winter midge, but if you hunt the water, you can find a few noses - but hunt you must
We lost a good friend last week - Tom Whitley passed - He was a Great Guide, Great friend, Named Fly Tier - OK Golfer - Worked with us when he could - loved it - He will be missed - gone too soon, too quickly - I will miss Tom
Week Ending January 29th, 2015
We are offering our Winter / Cabin /Guide special starting December 1st (runs thru February 28th) - 2 anglers, 2 nights in one of the cabins, 1/2 day guide trip for 2 = $300.00 - total $150.00 per angler
We have gone to Winter haurs at the shop - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days per week - guide trips are pretty much 1/2 days - 10 until 2 p.m. Flow has been steady at 145 cfs, dropped to 125 cfs for a few days last week, then back to 145 cfs - great winter flow
I had a good 1/2 day trip this Tuesday with long time client and friend Chet - We landed some nice trout - lost a few more - one was an easy 18" Buck
Cut Bow - full spawnig colors, nice caped jaw - Just a spectaculart trout
Jeremy has had some great trips - told me today that his trip on Thurday had his first double hook-up for 2015 - and this is January
Try egg patterne, scuds. worms, rubber legs. them trail any midge pattern - miracles, top secret, chocolte thunders, zebras, etc
Dries in late p.m. - for an aft, snow midge, For n Aft., small Para Adams - you realy have to hunt them out to find a nose on the surface
Rob Bunged up his knee so has not been on the river, Jesse is in Panama on a WebCom tour event with his brother - all others are ready to go - take advantage of the Cabin / Guide Special - Can't be beat
Weekend looks OK - maybe some snow on Saturday, but that can be great - even for risers - give it a try - I would - probably will
Week ending January 15th, 2015
Flows remained steady at 147 cfs out of Cheesman Res these past few weeks - River is gin clear and ice free, great winter flow
Rob and Jesse have been getting out late afternoons and finding a few risers to small midge, not many, and tough to fool, but it can be done - Snow Midge, Griffiths Gnat, For n Aft - trailed behind a small Para or Bright Wing Adams (about 2 feet)
Some overnight snow dustings, but nothing major - most was about 2" on the 10th
We have hit mid 50's some days when the sun is out, but overall it has been near perfect - no sense on getting to the river before 10 a.m.
Nymph with Pat's Rubber Legs. Scuds, Worms, Eggs and trail any small midge - Red Zebra, JuJu's, Chocalate Thunder, Top Secret, Rainbow Warrior, Miracle
Next few weeks are typically the coldest overnight as far as air temps go - water temps then become critical - anything above 38 degrees will produce feeding trout - so bust out those stream thermometers
Now is the time to take advantage of the Winter Cabin / Guide Special - Dial in you Winter nymphing Skills with one of the guides
Remember that our day time high air temps usually match those in Denver, but overnights can be 20 + under Denvers - you can plan your trips accordingly
Week ending January 1st, 2015 (Covers the past few weeks)
Flows have ranged from 100 cfs to 150 cfs over the past few weeks - right now we are at 147 cfs out of the dam - probably 165 cfs below Deckers bridge when you add the feeder creeks - a great winter flow
BWO's have gone into winter mode. we are finding sparse risers to a small midge in late afternoons - try a small For n Aft, Snow Midge, Griffins Gnat if you see a nose or 2
Otherwise it is dead drifting a nymph rig - Scud, Worm, Egg leading the charge, trailed by an RS2, Chocolate Thunder, Miracle. Top Secret, Medallion - #20 or 22 - pretty much ant small midge pattern - all else fails, try one in red
Jeremy, Jesse and Rob did a first of the year trip into the Canyon - on the 1st, some good pics on the Face Book page - not only can they guide - they actually catch trout - on a cold snowy day
River is gin clear and ice free thru Deckers - the further down you go you may find ice / sludge, just turn around and get above it
Water temps are key now - above 38 degrees the trout will be feeding, below 38 and they are pretty much nailed to the bottom in survival mode
Eagles are very active up and down the river, Mule Deer have moved on - to unknown areas
Lots of snow on the ground - fun to walk thru virgin areas and follow the tracks, figure out what the beast was, where it was heading
This week looks great (we have had morning temps from minus 30 to minus 15 the past few days) but that looks to turn around (which means I don't have to watch the propane tank drop so fast)
Take advantage of the Witer Cabin / Guide special
Sun now crests the back range at 8 a.m., drops to the West Range at 4 p.m. - no sense on getting to the river before 10 a.m. - things do not really get going until then - even later
Get on up here !!!
Week ending December 4th, 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flow started out at 75 cfs 2 weeks ago, went to 120 cfs on Nov. 25th, then back down to 100 cfs on Dec 1st - brings dry / dropper back into play
We start out with small midge patterns dropped under or behind a big dry or egg / scud - switch to Baetis nymphs after 1 p.m.
Found rising trout on Thanksgiving day - and even some today - BWO, Sno Midge - For n Aft - all worked - but boy are they picky - and all seemed to be in tough spots to get a decent drift - patience and persistense - and a real good drift
Rule of thumb, as far as air temps - we can be 10 to 30 degrees below Denver's over night lows, but ususlly meet or exceed Denver daytime highs - just a funny little banana belt here in the valley - past 2 weeks I have had overnight temps in single digits to low 20's
Sun now crests the back range at 7:50 a.m. - no real sense on getting to the river until 9 a.m. - risers, if you find them do not start until 1 p.m. at the earliest
Quite a few bald eagles in this season - Deer porn has wound down - last Buck I saw chasing one of the girls was a few days past "T" day
River remains ice free and gin clear - weekend looks fantastic weather wise - come on up and through a few casts - does the soul good
Week ending November 20th 2014 (covers past 3 weeks
Flow was very steady at 99 cfs, then went crazy up and down this past week - Up to 225 last Saturday, now down to 75 cfs today - we don't know why - but that's where she is - brings dry/dropper back into play - drop at least 2.5 feet to a couple of nymphs from Amy or Fuzzy (midge in a.m., Baetis in p.m.) pinch on a micro shot between the 2 dropped bugs - yes - baetis are still coming off - BWO in # 18 or 20 for surface action - usually after 1 p.m. - Jesse and I fond risers today just after noon (Top Secret, Rainbow warrior, Zebra a.m. - Stallcup, Barr Energer, Chocolate Thunder, RS2 p.m.) as droppers - BWO dries #20 for surface play
Rob got into a bunch of risers downstream from the shop on Tuesday - 6 on the surface with a para adams in a few hours - 2 - 4 p.m
Bunch of good Bucks around the cabin these past few weeks - chasing the girls with determination - Jesse calls it "Deer Porn" - We call it nature
Jeremy has done a great job at the shop - bought in a slew of items from Simms - Shop looks great - come by and take a look
On our quick afternoon session today ( I was finishing with my usual afternoon poacher run after a few hours at the shop) I ran into Jesse at Trumble Bend - we both fished from the bank (no waders) - spur of the moment session - Jesse hooked and played a small Rainbow from a dry/dropper rig (I had the same, since there was one in the Jeep ready to go) - 1/2 way into the fight a Large Trout - nae HUGE Trout tried to eat Jesse's trout off the line - so try some streamers - if you are not familiar with the tactics, come to the shop - we can dial you in - it is fun
Bald Eagles have been very active in the back yard - saw 2 doing the "Talon Clasp" this afternoon - do not know if they were mating or playing - but they were pretty low for mating
Sun now crests the back range at 7:40 a.m. - COLD Pre-sunrise temps - as low as minus 18 on Monday - no sense on getting to the river before 9 a.m. - action does not pick up until around 10 a.m. when the bugs start to move - we nymph (or dry/dropper) until we see some noses, then switch to dries
River is gin clear, ice free and looks fantastic - a real bug factory - should be a great winter
Week ending October 30th 2014 (plus Friday the 31st)
Flow was steady at 147 cfs until Friday the 31st when it was dropped to 118 cfs
Mornings have been cold - mid teens to high 20's, but have warmed nicely to mid 60's
Sun now pops over the back range at 8:10 a.m., some parts of the river are starting not to see any sun during the day - that in mind, we turn the clocks back on Saturday - the bugs and trout do not know we do this, so the hatch or spinner fall you saw at 11 - 12, will now occur at 10 - 11 a.m.
Really no sense arriving before 9 a.m. - things are slow until 10 or so - cold enough on Wednesday to see frost on the backs of the cabin deer herd
We nymph (Or dry / drop) until we see risers - then switch
Egg patterns have come into play along with any trailing Baetis pattern for nymphing - surface action has died down, but at 118 cfs it should pick up - Hoppers, BWO's - some late Trico spinners are the ticket
Colors have peaked in the valley, but it is still spectacular - gin clear river, fat, healthy, colorful trout - don't get no better than this
Week ending October 23rd 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows started out last Friday at 234, down to 134 on the 11th, down to 97 on the 12th, down to 71 on the 13th, up to 124 on 14th, up to 147 on 15th where we now stand - we have no idea why the fluctuations - it's just Denver Water
Browns are spawning - have a few in the back Home Hole that are launching well out of the water - theory is they are trying to release eggs - I think the theory holds
Tricos and BWO's are the ticket on the surface - starts around 10 a.m. - see a boil = Trico Spinners, see a full on mouth = BWO Duns - cast a #22 BWO adult trailed by a #22 Trico spinner - deadly
Until you see the noses appear nymph with an RS2, Rainbow warrior, Choc Thunder - usual stuff - add an egg pattern to the line up
Fall colors are still present - just too spectacular
Mule deer are herding up, young Bucks trailing - bigger Bucks will soon run them off - Bald eagles begin to arrive from the North in steady numbers
All of us at the shop - well, we are Trout Bums - and this is our season
Week ending October 9th 2014 (covers past 2 weeks + some of Friday the 10th)
Flow started out 2 weeks ago at 132 cfs, bumped up to 160 on Friday the Sept 26th, down to 130 cfs on 9/30, Up to 180 on Oct 3rd, up to 235 cfs on Oct 8th, then back to 134 cfs on Friday Oct 10th where we now stand
Higher flows took dry / dropper out of play, but it is back in now - lots of grass and crap in the drift but that should abate this weekend at the lower flows - it was not much fun to try and drift thru
Tricos are thinning out, but you can still find some Spinner swarms up and down the river - usually around 10:30 am to 1 p.m. - gotta hunt them out
Small BWO's can be found hatching between 10 a.m. to dusk - at 134 cfs, you can find risers - again, you have to hunt them out
Big Bear got into some cabins at Sway Back Ranch last week - tore the front door off of 3 cabins and trashed them - actually tore the door off of one cabins refrigerator - this is a big bear
Sun now crests the back range at 7:50 a.m. - Elk were very active back there on this Wednesday before sunrise - lots of bugling
Pre sunrise air temps have ranged from low 20's to high 30's - Highs usually matched those of Denver's day time high
Heavy rain this Thursday into Friday had no effect on the river - it is gin clear, looks fantastic
Willows, Aspens and Cottonwoods have just about peaked in color - this place is so beautiful right now - big, hungry Trout - feeding steadily - it gets no better than this
Week ending September 25th, 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flow remained steady at 100 cfs, until today, when it was bumped to 130 cfs (we don't know why) - 100 cfs brought dry / dropper into play big time - Fuzzy or Amy dropped down 2.5 feet to an RS2 - 10 inches to a Chocolate Thunder with a micro shot between the 2 bugs worked for me on multiple trips
You can mix and match the bugs - Barr Emerger, P-Tail, JuJu Baetis
At 130 cfs, depending on where you are, a standard nymph rig might be best
Trico Spinners have reached Deckers, along with hatching BWO's - small kind - but I have seen rising trout as early as 9 a.m on the Olives., spinners hit the surface around 10:30 - 11 a.m.
On a trip today I worked 2 riffles - a lower riffle that had trout rising to BWO's, the upper riffle had trout hoovering up Trico Spinners, so I rigged up a #22 Sparkle Dun trailed by a #22 Black RS2 - we went back and forth between the 2 rifles - fool a few in the lower, move to the upper, fool a few. rest it and go back to the lower - too much fun
Sun now crests the back range at 7:30 a.m. - first full day of Fall was Tuesday - we are now into what I consider the best time of the year - don't get me wrong - I like all of the seasons - just somthing about the Fall
Last week we had some chilly a.m.'s - mid 20's at the cabin - ice on the Jeep - good ice - but we average mid 30's to mid 40's - warms up quickly - went from low 30's to low 80's today as an example
Saw 2 Bald eagles last week - same day - one in a.m., - one in p.m. - could have been the same bird, maybe an area resident visiting the river for a day - a little early for the migrators to arrive - have seen and heard a few Ospreys - they tend to move out when the Eagles come to town
Winter is coming - get your river time in now - hunt out the risers, fool a few on the surface - just nothing quite like it + the colors are starting to peak, the views are incredible - gin clear river - big healthy trout
Week ending Sept. 12th 2014
This report covers the past 3 weeks from August 22nd
Flows started out at 397 cfs on 8-22, down to 350 on 8-23, 300 on 8-27, 275 on 8-29, up to 330 cfs on 9-1 (we still don't understand that bump), down to 145 cfs on 9-6, to 134 on 9-10, and finally down to 100 cfs on 9-11 where we now stand
This low flow brings dry / dropper back into play - and what a great time of year for that to come around. Amy's Aunt or Fuzzy with 2 dropped nymphs (Barr Emergers, RS2, Small P-tail, JuJu Baetis) all work
We have a diagram at the shop on just how to rig it
This system makes it really easy to swap out if the trout start rising, and rising they are (Small BWO's, Trico duns and spinners) have all been on the menu, just watch the rise forms to determine the correct fraud
I have seen rising trout as early as 9 a.m. - small para BWO, Cripples, Trico spinners, Hackle Wing BWO, or a Black RS2 in the film
We have had some good rain showers / storms these past few weeks, one so thick it blocked the TV sat signal, but the river has held up beautifully
Humming birds and Swallows have pretty much departed the valley for parts south - a little early this year
Watched a young buck chasing a Doe last week on a guide trip - that also is a little early - he was still partly in velvet - she wanted nothing to do with him
Bull Elk bugling in the back range this Wednesday morning - well before sunrise - very eerie - low clouds over the range, steam coming off the river ('cause the air is colder than the water) and that unmistakable Fall song
Pre-sunrise air temps have ranged from low 30's to high 40's - Sun crests the back yard slopes at 7:30 a.m. - drops to the west at around 7:15 p.m.
This is my favorite time of year - trees are starting to turn, river is low and gin clear - a great opportunity to explore different sections - downstream from the cabin are 11 miles of river - mos tof the lower section never gets touched - and it can be so much fun
It is also a great time to go on a trip with us - learn dry / dropper tricks, target rising trout, tune-in to sight fishing, learn the river at low flows, so that when they are higher you have more knowledge of structure, holding areas - how it looks to the trout
River looks great (I know I say that alot, but it does) - so come on up - winter is just around the corner, so get your surface action in now
Week ending August 21st 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows from Cheesman started out at 480 cfs, got down to under 400 cfs by Wednesday the 20th, then they had to get it off of the spillway, so we went up to 500 cfs (350 cfs out of the pipes until then) - we are currently at 350 cfs - all out of the pipes - we think it will steadily drop these next few days & weeks - just never know.
Not mucxh surface action to risers, but you can drag a few up with Fuzzies or hopper patterns - you just have to work a lot of water - if it went over a trouts head a few times with no response - then he ain't gonna eat it
Nymph rig with SJ Worms or Stones traild by Chocolate Thunders, 2 Bits, RS2's. P-Tails have been best
With all the P.M. rain storms the river remains gin clear
Storm last Tuesday at 4 p.m. was so intense it knocked out the TV satelite signal, but the river was fine
Pre sunrise air temps have ranged from mid 30's to low 50's, but daytime temps have reached low 80,s - ideal conditions for late August, flows are a little high but very manageable - lots of big, beautiful, healthy Trout are being brought to the net on the guide trips
Give it a try
Week ending August 7th 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows reached a low of 391 cfs, but then releases upstream and heavy rains had it climb back up to 583 cfs by Saturday the 2nd, It is slowly dropping back each day and we are currently standing at 480 cfs
Despite recent, heavy p.m. rains, the river has remained gin clear - a great sign, 4 years ago it would have been chocolate milk for a few days - not any more
One storm on July 28th was so thick that it blocked the TV Satelite signal for a while - that storm did muddy up the river, but it was fine the next morning
Found heavy mating swarms of Tricos this week, but they have not reahed Deckers yet - mostly around Scraggy View on down - some trout are getting on the spinners in slow water close to the banks - if you find a sipper, try a small parachute adams or Trico Spinner - you can also trail it with a black RS2 in the film - about 2 feet behind the Spinner or Adams
A black RS2 on a nymph rig can be very effective - trail it behind a San Juan Worm and a Chocolate Thunder in a.m. or a PMD Emerger
Lots of baby deer around the cabin - as soon as the moms start dropping them they are off and hopping - at the same time the antlers start to return on the bucks - quite a few in velvet
PMD's, Caddis, Stones are also on the surface, just not many trout rising to them, just too much water flowing, only a few will expend the energy to rise thru the water column - very frustrating - have also had a few Green Drakes on the porch screens - the biggest May Fly we have on the Platte - not many of them (though I did find quite a few nymphs clinging to logs and rocks in the river) - adults are about a #14
Mountain Lion reported down by Bridge Crossing this week - pacing a pedal biker in the willows, sped up and crossed the road in front of him - scared the crap out of the biker - it was a big cat
You can get up to date flow reports every hour on the 1/2 hour by calling 1-303-831-7135 - when prompted, hit 1 - then 40# - that will give you the flow rate at the top of Cheesman Canyon
Guide trips have been very succesful - if you are struggling in the high flows, give us a call - we can dial you in on a few tricks
Week ending July 24th 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows reached a high of 526 cfs last week, then have steadiy dropped to the present of 406 cfs, when the rain hits to the south, the flows come up - we presently have 350 cfs out of the pipes, the rest is coming over the spillway, so whatever comes into the lake will come over the top - rain to the south tends to increase that
Pretty much the same tactics - lots of weight and emerging Caddis or PMD's, trailed behind a San Juan Worm or Stone
You can try a big dry (Amy) dropping a few nymphs, but a standard nymph rig produces better
Tricos have still not reached Deckers in any numbers, but downstream they are working well - good mating swarms - few more weeks they should be here - we can't wait
I say this every week, but I can't stop - river is gin clear and looks outstanding - a true Trout river in all respects
We have also done trips at Tomahawk on the middle Fork (dry / dropper), Spinney res in Jeremy's drift boat and the Dream Stream - all good
Give us a call - we can set you up on any section, fine tune your technique - get you into trout - some awfull big ones coming out of the Deckers section, so good
Week ending July 10th, 2014
Flows have ranged from 470 to 480 cfs all week, still have 350 cfs out of the pipes, the rest coming over the spillway, we thought it would be steadily dropping, but it just hasn't
Don't let the higher flows scare you away - river is gin clear, looks fantastic and is fishing great
On the wind seine (the porch screens) I have had Tricos, PMD's, a Green Drake #12-14 and an unknown May Fly in #18, plus Caddis from #14 to #20 - bug city
Jeremy tried an Amy's Aunt with a dropper this week on the guide trips - it worked !!! - Amy and a couple of droppers
I went out today with a single Amy - no dropper - took 3 nice trout in an hour
Best bet is still to set up a nymphing rig with proper weight and indicator placement
But taking Amy for a walk is - well - lots of fun
Watched a PMD emerge into a Dun and take off from the river today - about 10 feet in front of me - 8 feet off the water - out of no where comes a swallow at full clip - snap goes the beek, PMD gone - the dexterity of these birds is amazing
Rubber hatch was out of control over the 4th - one flotilla spanned from one bank to the other - we understand the powers that be are looking into new regulations for floating the river - not a bad idea
I Can't imagine being mid stream with a client (or by myself) and seeing a bank to bank monstrrosity headed my way - all tied togehter
Major storms late Monday had no effect on the river - years past the river would have gone off badly
Bunch of Mule Deer Fawns appearing on the property - started dropping about 2 weeks ago - lots of twins - love it up here
So come on up - just a day on the river - it gets no better
Week ending July 3rd 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows have ranged from 370 cfs on the 4th of June to 586 on the 28th of June - Pipes have an outflow of 350 cfs, all else is spilling over the top, so whatever is coming into the res, will be coming out - right now we are at 469 cfs - river is gin clear and looks fantastic
Don't let the higher flows put you off - trout are eating - big time - Li'l John has had good times casting Amy's Aunt to the banks and landing some slobs
Jeremy has had some great guided trips these past 2 weeks, so has Rob - they even got me out this week on a double - Me and Rob with 4 great clients - not a whole lot landed, but enough
You just don't get tired of this
Run off should start to abate over the next few weeks
PMD's and Caddis are still hatching, not a whole lot of Surface action, but you can drag a few up with Amy. Para Adams, Caddis on the surface
Put on some weight and dredge the bottom with RS2, Chocolate Thunder, 2 Bit Hookers, SJ Worms, P Tails. Pats Rubber Leg and any PMD emerger - you will hook up with proper drift, proper weight, distance to wieght to indicator - all so crucial
Sun now pops over the East Range at 6:10 a.m. - pre-sunrise temps have ranged from 32 degrees to 50 degrees
Day time air temps usually match Denver highs
Major Rubber Hatch's are expected over the Holiday weekend (Tubers, Rafts, etc.) - usually starts early afternoon. - the further you go downstream, the thicker the hatch becomes
But no matter what, come on up, Big Healthy Trout, incredible arena, so picture perfect, just a day on the river revives the soul
Week ending June 19th 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Cheesman Dam valve tests were completed on Wednesday June 11th - flowws reached 938 cfs at the peak - we are now sitting at 575 cfs - what is coming into the dam is coming out of the pipes
Do not let the high water turn you off, the river looks great, gin clear, and is fishing Lights out - Lots of weight, perfect drifts - that is the key
You can get away with 3 or 4x leaders and tippet, big bugs - Stones, SJ Worms, Scuds, Caddis emergers - not much surface action, but if you hunt out the banks and soft water you may coax one up - Amy's Aunt, Dry Caddis could work in the right water - maybe drop a stone or caddis emerger
My favorite way to hit the river in high flows is to just step into the water, keep the bank on my left side, Cast upstream, Goddard Caddis with a dropped emerger, 20 foot of line out, first cast tight to the bank, next 6" out from last, do a fan pattern to 3 feet out from the bank - keep the same line distance, when the fan pattern is complete, move up 3 feet in the river and repeat - can be deadly - but you have to find the right stretch of water
Big 'ole Black Bear on Friday the 13th - Blowing thru the fishermans path and willows across the river from the cabin, got directly across from the porch where I sat and decided to take a swim - flow was 700 cfs + - did not phase him - maybe lost a foot downstream from entry point - right thru a deep hole - the power of that beast - right thru the lower back yard headed for "Whole in the Wall" - glad I was on the porch
3 mornings this month of June and I have had ice on the Jeep and sub freezing air temps - been so cold in the a.m. along with the Mothers day snow storm that no lilacs in the valley bloomed this year - 1st time in 12 years, all the years I have been at the cabin on the river that they did not bloom
Sun now crests the back range at 6:15 a.m., air temps pre sunrise range from 25 to low 40 degrees - but day time temps equal Denver's highs - warms quickly
If you want to learn how to angle the Platte in high flows, just give us a call - we have all the tricks and enjoy imparting our local knowledge
We are fooling LARGE trout this year - it is excellent
Week ending June 5th, 2014
Cheesman started coming over the spillay last Friday, by Monday the flow had peaked at 583 cfs, clarity went off a little thru Deckers, got worse the farther downstream you went
Then today the boys at the dam called the shop at 8 a.m., they were going to get the water off of the spillway - open up the pipes, inflow to the res at 514 cfs
Flow will go to 1,000 cfs on 10th & 11th ro check the valves that were installed last year
Fish meat - 3x - SJ worms, Rubber Legs, Green Caddis. Scuds - Big Trout will hammer a good presentation
You can;t miss
Week ending May 29th 2014 (and some of May 30th)
Flow was dropped last Friday to 100 cfs - stayed steady until Thursday when it was bumped up to 140 cfs, Friday May 30th, we got a call from the Dam "We are Spilling" - Close to 400 cfs is entering Cheesman, so by this Sunday we should see 400 cfs in the river - still have 140 cfs coming out of the pipes - 260 cfs should be coming over the spillway
Do not let this put you off - should fish fantastic - we have been at 400 cfs this year, and the gradual rise should not put the color off much if any - may limit some access to certain parts - just 'cause crossing could be tough
Great Caddis hatch on Wednesday - #16 to #20 - started as early as 11:30 a.m. - some trout were on the adults - same time as the BWO's came off
Splashy rise = Caddis - surface sippers = BWOs - but most were sub-surface eating emergers
Barr emerger, RS2, GB Caddis, Copper Jons, Graphic Caddis - lead with a red San Juan Worm
As I write this report Friday p.m. we have rain in the valley - did not start until 2 p.m. - should make the weekend fantastic - you may get a little wet - but you should slay 'em - Big, Fat, Healthy Trout - that is what we see each day - and a lot of them
Week ending May 22nd 2014 (covers last 2 weeks plus some of Friday the 23rd)
Flow was dropped to 100 cfs today, Friday the 23rd of May - We were up to as high as 300 cfs, then radically dropped over the past few days
Cheesman is about 5 feet below the spillway, run-off has yet to start, but we feel it is coming soon
Friday May 23rd - great BWO hatch and Caddis popping - lots of surface action - Caddis are #16 to #20 - BWO #18 to #20 - starts just after noon - at 100 cfs the weekend could be epic
Nymph with SJ worms and trail a BWO nymph or Caddis in a.m (Barr emerger, RS2, Stallcup. P-Tail, Buckskin, Graphic, Swing. cased)., see some noses switch out to the dry - #18-20 BWO Dun, or #16 - 20 Caddis
We have all the patterns at the shop - river is gin clear and fishing lights out - Big, Healthy trout - way too cool - Guide trips have been outstanding in trout landed and overall size - one client complained that Jeremy got him into a 14 inch Rainbow - that was the smallest of the day - he wnted BIG trout - and that is what he fooled - Hell, I like 14 inch trout
From 27 hours of non stop snow and 8 inches on the 11th,(all gone in 48 hrs) to 75 degrees and sunny on the 22nd - Rocky Mountains at its Spring best - most major storms the past few days have gone North of the Valley - we have stayed pretty dry, even though Denver and the East have been hammered with rain and hail - that pattern should continue - river is gin clear - come on up
Week ending May 8th, 2014
Flows started out at 352 cfs last Friday morning, bumped to 366 that afternoon, up to 470 cfs that afternoon, down to 365 cfs on Monday, down to 290 cfs today - with the higher flows, we have been presenting a lot of "Meat" - Stones, San Juan Worms, Scuds, Caddis Larvae, Crane Fly Larvae- trailed by any Baetis Nymphs - can be deadly
Still not many noses on the BWO Adults - tho they still continue to emerge and hatch - about a size #18
Don't let high water put you off - it may limit the water you can angle - but it still produces - and produce it does
We reckon the flows will increase over the next few weeks, but Denver Water has its own agenda - so we never know - they call us from the dam when they move water, but only the day of - we do not get advanced warnings of a few days - or even one day out
Rob and I had a group of 4 on Monday - one of the guests spotted a small Bull snake in the drift headed down stream - it seemed to go away - then one of Rob's boys hooked up - Big Rainbow - Rob directed the fight, got ready to net, snake shows up - came upstream in the slick bank water - tried to get in the net
Rob beat the beast with his net, tried to net the "Bow, snake came back. tried to get in the net again, Rob whacked him again - snake persisted, one more whack did the trick, Rob netted an 18" "Bow for his client - I was still laughing
Week ending May 1st 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows again have been all over the spectrum - we started out 2 weeks ago at 200 cfs, went to 270 on 4/20, 300 om 4/21 380 on 4/23, down to 300 on 4/24 - down to 270 on 4/25, down to 250 on 4/28, back up to 300 on 4/30 and topped off at 350 cfs today May 1st
The dam has yet to spill, but is very close - the boys at the dam were sure it would spill by now, but Denver has called for more water just before it does - who knows??
But don't let the fluctuations or high flows put you off - it has been fishing great - big, fat trout gorging on all the new food pushed into the flows - stones, worms scuds - we call it "Meat" - then trail a small Baetis pattern #18 - you can't miss - you may not land 'em, but you will hook up - just get the drift right - correct weight, distance to indicator are critical
First Swallows of the season arrived last week, along with a few Hummingbirds and more Turkey Vultures - it is Spring - then we had a dusting of snow overnight on the 29th - Pre sunrise temps range from 10 degrees (this a.m.) to 30 degrees - sun now pops over the East range at 6:50 a.m.
Weekend weather looks great - we have had some wind issues, but should be calm and warm for the next week - could bring on the Caddis and really pump up the BWO's
River looks great and is pretty much gin clear
Guided trips have produced numbers of big, fat, beautiful trout - check out the Face Book page - Jeremy does a great job of uploading pics - I can't believe I just typed "uploading" - I have no clear idea how it works - we just fish
Get up here !!!
Week ending April 17th 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Flows have been all over the place this past week - week before we were steady at 80 cfs, that all changed on last Friday - went up to 145, next day up to 175, next day up to 240, next day up to 320, next day down to 255, then on the 16th down to 200 cfs - they are trying to keep the water off the spillway so ongoing construction can continue - the spillway is the only way across to the far side of the reservoir - they reckon 210 cfs is coming in so we expect the flow out to be raised soon
Great hatches of #18 BWO's, just nothing rising to them - but boy are they munching on nymphs and emergers
At the higher flows you can present "Meat" - SJ worms, Stones, Scuds - then any Baetis nymph as a trailer
Had a few storms roll thru but nothing major - river is currently gin clear, all snow has melted - looks fantastic
Watched an Osprey take a good trout out of the Home Hole last Monday - sure wish they would find another fishing spot
Seems most of the adult Bald Eagles have departed - Jeremy has seen a few immature birds still hanging out - I have seen none
1st Turkey Buzzards of the Spring have arrived in the valley
Jeremy had a client for a 1/2 day last week - 1st time with a fly rod on a river - got him all wadered up, Jeremy says "You just follow me down the river - going about 5 miles" - guy goes out to his car, then comes back to get his shoes - Jeremy is in his truck at the lot exit - then I see the guy fumbling under his waders by his car - I look down and see his keys on the counter
I run them out, by now Jeremy has exited the lot and is inching along the outside of the guard rail - the client backs up and now Jeremy has slid slowly out of site behind the cafe
The cliemt hits the exit and goes LEFT !!! - headed for Woodland Park - one thousand one, one thousand two - Jeremy slowly backs up into site, rolls down the pax window and asks "What just happened" - I raise my left arm, extend my index finger, and say "He went thataway" -
"What !!!' - says I, with finger still pointing"Yup, thataway" - Jeremy pulls a 1/2 "K" turn and speeds off - won't say how fast he went - Sherriff Tim reads the report, so I don't want to get Jer a reprimand - but he said he never had that truck go that fast
3 1/2 miles from the shop Jeremy finally got the clients attention with flashing lights and a blasting horn
Then they went Fly Fishing - guy had such a good time he re-booked 3 days later
Weekend looks great - if flows stay steady, noses should appear - just too many hatching BWO's to keep those trout down
Week ending April 3rd 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
Shop will return to regular hours starting Saturday April 5th - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days per week
We had 2 storms hit the valley over the past 2 weeks, 1st one on Saturday March 22nd in the afternoon - hit near white out at 2 p.m., but only about 3" total, next one hit today and left 6" on the ground by noon - raw and nasty - but started to melt quickly by late afternoon
Otherwise it has been pretty nice, some wind and cold a.m.'s, but not bad overall - great fishing weather
Flow was bumped up on March 25th from 111 cfs to 130 cfs, down to 115 cfs on March 29th, then down again today to 80 cfs - Cheesman is 2 feet below the spillway and filling pretty fast according to the boys at the dam - we do not expect the 80 cfs to last very long
We are still running small midge patterns in the a.m. (Black Beauty, Zebra, red midge, miracle,Cheesman emerger, WD 40)
Then we switch to a Baetis nymph in the afternoon (JuJU, P-Tail, Fluff)
Trail them behind a SJ Worm or Stone pattern - Buckskin has also produced nicely
Jeremy, Duane and Rob have all had good trips this past few weeks, bunch of big healthy trout have been fooled
I did my first trip of the season on the 31st, and it was good - Full day with one angler - I guided his friend a few years back - He hooked and landed the largest Rainbow of his angling career - solid 20" - we landed another at 18" that was heavier than the 20 incher - big ole belly - we were well into double figures for trout hooked - 20+ - we managed to land almost half of them - yup, excellent day
I am mainly only doing 1/2 day trips - leave the full days to the younger legs of the team - so if you ever wanted to be guided by me, book a trip, just give a call - this is gonna be a good year - river looks great, gin clear and ice free
Starting to see more BWO Duns in the afternoon and at 80 cfs we should see a lot more noses - about a size 18 adult - Hackle Wing, Sparkle Dun, Parachute will cover it
Weekend looks very fishy weather wise - get on up here - big trout are eating bugs
Week ending March 20th, 2014 (covers past 2 weeks)
We are running a great MARCH SPECIAL - Book any standard guided trip, and get a 50% discount on one of the cabins for up to 4 nights. For one angler that means Bernies would be $62.50 / night, 2 Anglers would be $75.00 / night, Rustic would be $50..00 / night for 1, $62.50 for 2
Flow was dropped from 128 cfs to 111 cfs on Tuesday the 11th, Cheeesman is about 3 feet down from the spillway - river remains gin clear and ice free
Sun now crests the back range at 7:50 a.m., drops to the west around 6:50 p.m., mornings (pre-sunrise) are still cold, air temps ranged from minus 10 on Wed the 12th to 30 degrees and every where inbetween (only the 1 morning below "0") - rule of thumb in the valley - morning temps will be 15 to 20 degrees below Denver's overnight low, but will match (and sometimes exceed) Denver's daytime highs
We are now able to sell 2014 / 2015 licenses at the shop, your current license will expire March 31st, new license will be valid April 1st, so don't throw out your current license until then - if you do pick up a license from the shop, please bring cash for the purchase - resident annual is still $36.00 (that includes a $10.00 habitat fee)
Had a call at the shop the other day "I'm coming up with a friend tomorrow, I'm pretty good, but he is new to the sport, do you think he will catch a trout ?" - My delayed reply "I have no idea, why don't you give me one on sports, I'm good at those"
Geese arrived in the valley this week, song birds are active thru out the day, Woodpeckers are hammer heading anything that will make noise, all kinds of ducks are quacking away - Spring has arrived, allthough this Saturday forecast looks more like Winter - but it could really fish nice
Still have not seen any real surface action, a few noses here and there on the big Midge or #18 BWO's, mainly after noon. We nymph with a Stone, San Juan Worm or egg pattern and trail small midges in the morning and switch to a Baetis pattern in the afternoon
Black Beauties, Red larva, Red Zebra, Miracle, Chocolate Thunder and a few others for the midge, JuJu Baetis, 2 bit hooker, P-Tail, Split case for the Baetis
Jeremy got a client into a huge Rainbow last week - 25 inches, 8 + pounds - and not in the Canyon - just a big ol'e slob - (pic is up on facebook) - river has really turned on with large, healthy, beautiful trout - we are having a blast
Week ending March 6th, 2014
Flow remained steady at 126 cfs, nice winter flow, great for sight fishing, but we expected more water, we are now looking at a big run-off for early Spring - but no telling what the Water Board will do from now till then - we hope they start releasing some water soon
I am writing this report on Friday afternoon the 7th of March - rain started at 11 a.m., turned to a mix at 12 p.m., snow /mix at 12'30p.m., total white out by 1 p.m., fire going in the cabin, nice and cozy, pretty brutal outside
I used to be seen on the river these days, but not too much anymore, I remember comimg back to the cabin and finding mutiple bleeding finger tips, from cleaning flies from debris, and not knowing I was poking myself - when challenged by the boys, I might go, but more often then not I pull a cabin fire and watch the winter pass - until the trout start to rise
Passing it will - we turn the clocks ahead this weekend - the trourt and bugs do not know we do this - so display meat (eggs, worms, stones) in the a.m., then turn on to Baetis or small midge in the p.m.
Start to look for risers late p.m. - #18 midge or BWO - perfect drift, good takes, nice trout, great river
Week ending February 27th, 2014 (covers last 2 weeks)
Flow has remained at 126 cfs for the past 2 weeks, river is gin clear and ice free from the dam to the confluence with the North Fork
Same nymphing techniques apply, with pretty much the same bugs - we have seen a few risers to the big midge and some BWO's, but they are still few and far between - should really pick up in the next few weeks, especially at these low flows
Sun now crests the back range at 7:30 a.m., still chilly pre-sunrise (single digits to mid 30's), but if the sun stays out it warms nicely to mid 40's - mid 50's - some wind issues these past 2 weeks, but nothing like the reports from surrounding areas
Jeremy, Jesse, Rob and Lil Jon trekked up to the Dream Stream last Thursday - had an epic outing - many double and triple hook-ups, Browns, Cutthroats, Cutbows and Bows - we guide on the Dream Stream, so if you want to explore some new water, give us a call - spectacular setting
Had 2 immature Bald Eagles and one Adult in the backyard last Thursday morning - and a bunch of crows keeping thier distance - the Adult did not stay too long - went up to Hole in the Wall, but the other 2 perched on the same Cottonwood branch - never really had seen anything like it - then I saw why - one of them had a nice trout gripped firmly in talons - and was not about to share - the crows were set up to snatch any dropped goodies - boy were they quick to swoop.
One day from March - season is about to kick in - we are all very excited - lots of big trout in the river and in good numbers - healthy, fat and beautiful
Week ending February 13th, 2014 (Covers past 2 weeks)
We are now running our "Cabin & Guide" special - runs from Jan 1st to Feb 28th - 2 anglers, 2 nights in one of the cabins and a 1/2 day guide trip - $300.00 - ($150.00 per angler) - can't beat that - learn a few Winter nymphing tricks - too much fun at a great rate
On the 1st the flow was 136 cfs, we had 6" of snow on the ground, then the bottom dropped out with air temps. Sunday the 2nd overnight low hit minus 20, producing a major sludge hatch (frozen but moving water) and lots of new bank ice in the river, it cleared the next day, then Wednesday the 5th and Thursday it was back due to minus 20 air temps overnight, river was unfishable
What a difference this week, flow was bumped to 180 cfs on Friday the 7th, down to 150 cfs on Tuesday, and again down to 125 cfs on Wednesday
Pre-sunrise temps have ranged from single digits to mid 20's, river is gin clear and ice free from the dam to the North Fork confluence
Weekend air temps look great, high 50's here in the valley. We have had some wind, but nothing like the surrounding areas, vey fishable
We have seen a few of the BIG MIDGE, even some BWO's, but no risers yet, that could change this weekend
Nymphing with red or brown San Juan Worms or Egg patterns, trailing small midge - red has been good, but blue, black, cream, brown and white have all produced, we have some great patterns at the shop
All the guide trips have been very successful, some great trout are being fooled and netted - mornings can be a little slow, but it picks up through out the day
Come on up !!!
Week ending January 30th, 2014 - covers the last 2 weeks
Flow started out 2 weeks ago at 136 and has remained the same thru today - not a whole lot to report that is new (1 of the resons I skipped last weeks report) - One thing to be aware of is that we have not experienced the wind events that some of the front range have had to deal with
Coldest morning was this Tuesday at minus 12 degrees, that produced a sludge hatch in the a.m. in the back yard - otherwise it has been ice free here in Deckers and in the Canyon - if you do run into ice or sludge, just move upstream - you will find open & clear water - we recon' the water out of Cheesman is about 42 degrees or above - depending on air temps - mainly overnight - well, that will dictate water temps and ice as you move downstream
Snow started today at 4 p.m., just powder, but could get to 5 - 6" by Friday - nice time to be on the river, get to fool some trout in solitude and see a whole bunch of game tracks
We lead with a brown or red SJ worm, follow with a small midge - red has been hot, but black, blue and brown not far behind - Pats Rubber Leg and a # 14-#16 Scud have also produced
Weekend air temps look a bit chilly - should keep the river wide open for those who tempt it - and I know some will - no sense getting in the river before 10 a.m. - then explore and enjoy - lots of water, some Huge trout to be fooled
Week ending January 16th, 2014
Flow started out at 150 cfs, dropped to 135 cfs on Tuesday, still a great winter flow
Not much new, may be some late afternoon risers to a small midge, size 22, 24 FornAft, Matts Midge, Griffins Gnat - otherwise it is a dead drifted nymph rig - drift, weight, indicator distance are all critical
Red SJ Worm trailed by any small midge - red, blue, black, cream, white - you could also try a Pats Rubber leg or Scud as a lead
Some stretches do not see the sun all day long - we avoid those sections - could be a 10 degree air temp change from shade to sun
You ar looking for water temps from 38 degrees and above to find feeding trout - we dip the thermos a lot thru the morning
Days are slowly getting longer, pre-sunrise temps are cold, single digits, but warms nicely - no snow this week, some wind but nothing like the gusts reported in other areas - pretty mellow little valley
Weekend looks great - weather wise - as always if you run into ice, just move upsttream, you will find fishable water - use your thermometer
Week ending January 9th 2014
Flow started out at 113 cfs, then was bumped up to 150 cfs on Monday the 6th
Nasty sludge hatch last Sunday the 5th, air temps really took a dive, woke to minus 20's here at the cabin both Sunday and Monday - river not fishaable thru Deckers on Monday, then the flow was bumped, air temps slowly rose, and we were back in buisness
You are now looking for a water temp of 38 degrees + - the trout will feed actively - but not below that - we drop thermometers in the river most of the day
If you come across ice or sludge, just move upstream, you will eventually find open water
Had some good snow in the valley on Saturday the 4th, 6" by noon, another inch the Sunday before, beating last year by quite a bit, should be a good run off in the spring, with good winter flows to keep things very fishable thru the winter
Nymph with a Pats Rubber Leg, trailed by a small Miracle, Mercury, Buckskin, Red Midge larva, Black Beauty, Zebra, JuJu
Took a nice 'Bow in the Back Yard Home Hole on the Miracle, another on the Red Larva last week, Jesse showed up while I was releasing the first trout, came down and I gave him the top run, 'cause I'm a nice guy (but I really wanted the bottom run) - and of course he whacked one right away
But then, so did I
Eric and John Lopez from Native Nets,, along with Ashley, show up at the cabin, yelled down that the river was full of anglers, so we waved them dowm. 5 trout bums sharing a good run, it was fun and all hooked up, Ashley netted a great 'Bow in the top run while Jesse took a break - laid his net and waist pack in the willows, told me I was not to fish upstream of the marker - I didn't, but I put Ashley in it, alls fair, Jesse went back up to the cabin anyhow - Ashley is getting good
I called Jeremy from the shop last weekend about somthing, somthing was discussed, then he says "Guess where I am' - "Where ?", "Ice fishing on Grand lake" - at 9 a.m., at minus 6 degrees, thru a hole, all by his lonesome - and he was releasing trout - the other hole watchers were stunned - "Why not keep 'em" - "I just like being out here and feeling the tug"
Week ending December 26th, 2013
Quick report this week, flow started out at 84 cfs, bunped up to 115 cfs on Tuesday
River remains ice free, if you do run into ice or sludge, just head upstream, you will eventually find clear water
We had a dusting of snow Sunday morning, otherwise it has been dry and nice, some wind on Tuesday, nymphing has picked up, small stuff trailed behind a scud or stone - RS2, Juju midge, red larva
Still finding a few risers later in the day to small midge and a few BWO's - bright wing para Adams, small Hackle Wing, For n aft, have all produced
Wanted to thank all of you who came by the shop, rented a cabin, went on a guided trip in 2013, we had a great year and are looking forward to 2014, sun has now reached its furthest point to the south in the back yard range, slowly moving back to the north, pops up right at 8 a.m.
Still no reason to get in the river before 10 a.m., mornings are still very cold, single digits, but warms nicely
Week ending December 29th, 2013
OK, only the first 3 days of the week were below zero degrees pre-sunrise, we seem to be warming nicely, but still no reason to get to the river before 10 a.m. - warming nicely = 2 degrees to 15 degrees above '0' - pre-sunrise
The boys are still taking trout on the surface with small midge patterns, but BWO's are still coming off - best bet is after 2 - 3 p.m for risers, you have to hunt them out - but out there they are - Para bright Wing in #20, trail a Matt's Midge or Snow Midge, or #22, 24 Para Adams
Nymph with Scuds trailed by small midge patterns until you see a few noses - Zebra, JuJu Red, Red or Blue midge Larva
Saturday is the first day of Winter & the shortest day of the year - that is when the sun stops it's long run to the South over the back yard range, turns, and starts a slow transition to the North - I watch this yearly passage from the screened porch every morning with a cup of coffee - like it when it finnally stops the southern momentum - means Spring is just around the corner - but we still have to get thru that butt ass cold spell from mid-January tp Mid february
Jeremy had a great trip this week, bunch fooled, lots landed, Jesse and Rob get out every day, they are my surface action guides - they find them, they tell me, I write about it
Couple of more Big Cat re-tells this week - some in the Canyon, some close to my Cabin - just keep an eye out and talk to yourself - loudly - one angler had a Cat real close - heard it growl a bit from the willows, left his rod and fly box on the log he was sitting on, crossed the river - bad move - take your gear with you - he could have been notched up as a hiker taken by a lion, not an angler ripped open by a Big Cat - the latter is acceptable and honorable- Cat or Bear - that would be my final desire
Watched an angler in the backyard on Sunday - right next to snake rock - 1.5 hours and did not move more than 2 feet up or down stream - 1.5 hrs !!!- never hooked up - this time of year you gotta move your feet - be methodical, cover a lot of water with perfect drifts, then move a few feet, then repeat, but keep moving
Flow started out at 120 cfs last Friday, went to 95 cfs on Wednesday, down to 85 cfs (even the boys at the dam were puzzled by that) on Thursday
River is gin clear, ice free, no sludege thru Deckers, if you hit ice downstream, just keep moving upstream, you will find open water
Week ending December 12th, 2013
Wow, what a week of nasty cold air temps, but the river held up well, no sludge hatch thru Deckers, ice starts down by Nighthawk, pretty amazing considering the overnight lows - minus 10 to minus 30 degreees, had minus 3 on Tuesday, felt balmy on the porch with a cup of coffee before sunrise
Made it thru all of that not freezing any pipes, but cost me a Butt load in propane to keep the crawl spaces warm enough - just sucks - longest, and earliest, spell of negative numbers since I have lived on the river - Last Friday I woke at 3 a.m. to check things - we were at minus 18, by 5 a.m. it dropped to minus 28, then by 7 a.m. to minus 30 - this is a brutal dangerous air temp, now I don't trust the outside thermo much past 0 degrees, but last Thursday I saw it hit minus 38 - that was the record low ever recorded here at the cabin - even if it is off by 8 degrees - OUCH !!
But Jeremy, Jesse ande Rob all went fishing - no guide trips, though Jeremy had 3 this week, went out on thier own - Rob was still managing a few on the surface with a small Para Adams later in the afternoon
Most were drug up on nymph rigs - #10 Scud leading the way, then drop any #22 midge, change the colors up, the trout seem a little reluctant to take - been a tough week, gotta be on your "A" game
Jesse, on one afternoon outing (mid teens) told Rob, as they were getting set to enter the water "The worse thing would be to break off on the first trout, then have to re-rig", since all rods were rigged in cabins next to warm fires, but Jesse was wrong - the worse thing was to pretend a slalom run down the bank before entering the river - and break off the rig before your boots hit the water - in the willows !!!- that is the worse thing ever - can't believe he admitted it to me - really a struggle to re-tie flies in those air temp - we still have a lot of snow on the ground from last Thursday's storm, then another brief dusting on Sunday morning, but our day time high temps match those of Denver, so do not let the overnight temps put you off
Lot more Bald Eagles these past few weeks, had an adult in one of the back yard Cottonwoods this week, was joined by another adult for a bit, she flew off, then an immature Eagle arrived in the same tree - they chatted a bit then the young one flew off - immatures look bigger than the adults due to many more feathers - look almost the size of a Golden Eagle
Flow started out at 110 cfs, went to 160 cfs last Friday, then down to 120 cfs today, Thursday
Really looking for a great gift ? - buy a friend a guided trip certificate - e-mailed to you the same day
We are pretty much down to 1/2 day guided trip these days, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is nice
No reason to get to the river before 10 am. these days - we call it "Bankers Hours"
Sun now crests the back yard range at 8 a.m., drops over the West range at 4:15 p.m.
River looks great, no sludge, no ice, weekend temps look ideal - gin clear river and Blue Bird Skies - come on up. wet a line - even if you do not hook up - it is spectacular
Week ending December 5th 2013 - covers 2 weeks
Flow remained steady at 110 cfs from Cheesman dam for the last 2 weeks - maybe 125 - 130 cfs downstream from Deckers, this is a sweet winter flow
Regarding winter, it hit the valley on Wednesday, but the rest of the weeks had been oustanding, weather wise - high 50's, low 60's, trout still rising to BWO's and adult midge later in the day - what a great Thanksgiving Week and Weekend - I had the usual extended family group at the cabin - used all our rentals - what a great weekend - food, drinks, fishing, lotsa laughs and re-connects - and fishing - 15 at dinner - gotta love it
That all changed this Wednesday, storm hit with a good 10 inches of snow in the valley and then bitter cold temps
Now, all of us disregard my outside temp gauge when it gets this cold, maybe 8 to 13 degrees off, but today, at 4 a.m., it read minus 35 degrees, that is $#@^*&^ COLD, no matter how far off the thermo reads (Jesse and I did an experiment with a streamside thermo last year, we came up with an 8 degree discrepency)
Had to run water taps into sauce pans to keep the water system going here at the cabin - dumped the pans off the back deck (did not want to send that much cold liquid into the septic) - dumped water actually froze on impact with the ground - some on the deck - it is #$@!^&% COLD
That said, we had 2 avid anglers in the shop on Wednesday who were determined to fool a few, also wanted to see if we were open and wanted to reward us with some purchases, and they did, and we were rewarded by a great sale - but we stll closed at noon - it never got out of single digits
Big trout, taking a buffet of dead drifted nymphs, surface action could be over for the season, or could turn on next week, gotta be honest, weekend air temps look dismal, but even today, at a suspect minus 30 degrees, we had no sludge hatch in the back yard, some bank ice, but minimal - a great sign
Winter dry fly action at these flows can be deadly - small midge trailed behind a Para Adams about 2 feet - both greased -- Oh Yeah !, if it happens
Sun now crests the back range at 7:50 a.m., drops to the West at 4:20 p.m. - bankers hours - 10 a.m. to 2 - 3 p.m. - push it to 4 p.m., you may find a nose or two - but layer up
Week ending November 21st 2013
Flow started out last Friday at 140 cfs, then was dropped on Wednesday to 110 cfs, pretty nice late Fall flow, when you add the feeder creeks it is close 125 cfs downstream of Deckers
Getting to that time of year where some sections of the river will not see sunlight all day long - we tend to stand in the sun, fish to the shaded areas just for the 10 degree comfort zone
Storm on Thursday was pretty minimal, maybe 2 inches of snow, but boy it was COLD, never got out of the teens all day, and when the wind came up it was pretty brutal, Jesse went fishing anyhow - I think Jeremy went skiing, Rob went home to tie flies, Duane went to his other job, Eric and John Lopez went to the Evergreen shop to make more nets (We sell them at the shop - they are truly awesome), Never heard from Li'l John, I just went back to the cabin after I closed the shop - got a good fire going, thought about tieing flies - then a frozen Jesse showed up - Flies were not tied, but I had a nice slightly orange colored beverage
Arrived home from the shop at 3 p.m. on Tuesday to find an 8 point Buck and a dozen Does and Yearlings at the cabin, most bedded down in the old garden. They stayed for quite a while - I think the Buck would haver had a smoke, the way he was relaxing, maybe a few of the does too.
Starting to see more Bald Eagles these past few days - a good sign, I was starting to get a little worried, usually have a 1/2 dozen in the vallety by late October.
BWO's are pretty much done, but some noses can still be found - just be persistent - best later in the day - This river has been a real bug factory lately
Otherwisa we are in that transition zone - from Baetis to midge fishing - we have some great patterns at the shop to cover both
Sun now crests the back range at 7:45 a.m. - no sense getting here until 9 a.m. or later - have had a.m. air temps range from 8 degrees to a high of 22 degrees - pretty chilly, but until the last few days it hit high 50's - weekend looks OK - chilly a.m., nice p.m., gin clear river, picky trout, test your skills. or go out with one of us and fine tune them, build your confidence - we can help, plus everyone laughs a lot
Week ending November 14th 2013, covers 2 weeks from October 31st
Flow started out at 175 cfs, dropped to 111 cfs on Monday the 11th, then down to 60 cfs on Tuesday the 12th for a Division Shocking population survey - Trout Population study done every year - flows should be raised back up by the weekend and will go to 140 cfs on Friday the 15th
Junk should work for the next few days, Pats Rubber leg, Scuds, SJ Worms, Egg patterns should all be used as a lead fly, follow with RS2. small P-Tail, Barr Emerger, Chocolate Thunder
Mule Deer have all herded up, had one Buck, 4 x 4, cozy up with the harem in the front yard this week - he is "Gettin sum" - have seen some good Bucks taken by hunters this season
Angling was tough at the lower flows, still some amazing trout taken this week, Big, Fat, Healthy - such a great time of year - biggest trout we have seen in years
We are cutting back on full day guide trips, mainly going 1/2 days with a start time of 9 or 10 a.m. - book ome - you will have a blast
Plenty of open dates the next few weeks, give us a call, we can get you into some great trout and fine tune your winter nymping skills for the upcoming season
Still some BWO's hatching late a.m., into the evening, along with huge Midge Hatches - BWO is about a #22, Midge can be fooled with a # 22, 24 fo-r-n-aft, Snow Midge. Griffins Gnat
The 2 Big Cats that Li'l Jon spotted a few weeks ago at Trumbul Bridge were down in the back yard on the 11th - wondered why I did not see the Harem that morning
Weekend weather looks outstanding - get up here and wet a line - plenty of open water, 140 cfs, Oh Yeah !!!
Week ending October 31st, 2013
Flow started out at 55.5 cfs last week, raised to 82 cfs on Monday, then up to 110 cfs this Thursday - what a sweet Autmnn flow
BWO's still hatching - now around noon, but we change the clocks back this weekend, the bugs and the trout don't know we do this, so the hatch should start a little earlier, not too sure how much longer it will last, another week, another 3 - you do not want to miss it, some days the rising trout have been too easy, even at 110 cfs - goes on most of the afternoon
Nymph until you see noses, some are on Duns, some on emergers or cripples, watch the rise form, most will take both
Bald eagles have still not arrived in numbers, usually in the valley by now - just a few spotted
Mule deer have herded up for the rutt - dozen or so every morning on the property - no Bucks yet, but I know they are lurking
Little Jon and Jesse left my cabin at dusk on Sunday after the game - called from Jesse's cabin a few minutes later- saw 2 big cats just downstream of the Trumbul Bridge - both along the side of the road - not real big - probably from the same litter - mom probably kicked them out on thier own - they do that to set up for the next litter, just like the Mule deer
Sun now crests the Back range at 8:15 a.m., drops to the West at 5:30 p.m., mornings are downright COLD to not too bad - but it warms nicely, pre-sunrise has ranged from 10 to 20 degrees, afternoons mid 40's to low 60's
This weekend looks outstanding - mid to high 60's, get on up here, plenty of open water, plenty of hungry trout
Week ending October 24th 2013 9 (covers the last 2 weeks)
Flow was moved a bunch these past 2 weeks, starting at 92 cfs, up to 115 cfs, down to 66 cfs last Monday, then down to 55 cfs on Tuesday, this is a great flow for surface action with small midge or BWO patterns
I have seen rising trout by 11 a.m., and a whole lot of them - goes on and on thru out the day
Humbles you a bit, when you see that many trout in a run, and you now realize you never put a dent in them when nymphing
A few weeks ago, my best friends and partners were up for the weekend, Tim & Mitzi, Tim went out late afetrnoon upon arrival, as he returned up the path from the river, my usual question from the porch "how'd yuh do" - big smile from Tim "I just caught the biggest trout I have ever landed on the river" - Tim & I have been fishing the river since 1993, and have landed some memorable trout, had slay fest days at times, but this was epic - no firm tape measure of the Hen Rainbow, but all of 24", going by rod checks and net mouth. I was happy for him, and happy for the river
I honestly have to say the river is producing the best trout since the Hayman fire of 2002, I am getting lots of e-mails and calls from anglers who are truly impressed by the quality of the fishery, we could ceartainly use more trout per mile, could never hurt, the river is a bug factory these days, and would support a larger population, but it's good enough for those that ply it.
Jeremy had a trip on Monday, took a picture of a Brown that was landed downstream from Deckers, posted it on the Face Book page - we all agreed, biggest Brown we have ever seen come from the river, ever, looked like one of thos sea run Argentine brutes
Nymph with small RS2's, P-tails, JuJu Baetis, Chocolate Thunders,any small Baetis, when you see dimples on the surface, go to small BWO patterns, if you have a hard time seeing them on the water, trail them behind a #18 Para Olive about 2 feet, grease them both - pretty deadly
Sun now Crests the Back Yard range at 8:05 a.m., drops behind the West Range at 6 p.m., no sense gatting here until 9 a.m., I have had pre-sunrise temps from low teens to low 20's all week, but it warms nicely - coming back from the shop at noon today, the Denver radio reported 49 degrees, the Jeep thermo read 62 - and that is what it felt like - what a perfect day to be casting a Fly Rod & this Weekend looks incredible
Again, drift and presentation are key
Struggling ?, give us a call, go on a trip, we will dial you in - this is so much fun right now
Week ending October 10th, 2013
Flow started out at 150 cfs, dropped to 92 cfs on Tuesday, then back up to 120 cfs this Friday the 11th
BWO's - from 11 a.m to noon on thru the day
Small, some about #22, lots of rising trout, this is fun, but very challenging, they (the trout) are wise to our ways, fooling them on the surface takes a few tricks, we know the tricks, did I mention this is fun
I have had multiple Duns on the wind seine (screens on the porch) all week
Wind has been a bother off and on all week, mainly in the afternoons, but dies in the evenings, nothing like the reports from Denver, we fished thru it with great success
Cold mornings, nice afternoons, dress in easy dropped layers
No major rain, trees are peaking in color - you just need to get up here - let us show you how to nymph pre-hatch, then easily switch out for the risers when they are spotted - we do not waste much time
Week ending October 3rd, 2013
Flow started out at 214 cfs last week, then dropped to 150 cfs on Sunday - a great Fall flow, brings Dry / Dropper back into play
Last week had a client fool a few trout, then break off on a fast, hard take, nano-second and all 3 flies gone - I re-rigged the rod and we set out to fool a few more - 1/2 hour later, in the same run, another good take, this time a fat, healthy 18" Rainbow hit the bottom of my net - with 3 additional flies attached - yup, same trout that broke us off a little earlier - sweet
Had 18 degrees air temp pre-sunrise on Saturday - had to fire up the furnace - first cabin fire of the season on Friday afternoon to take the chill off from a guide trip, seemed a little early, still need to get the flu swept
Had a bugling Elk in the backyard on Monday morning, across the river but close to the cabin, started raking his antlers in a Cottonwood for a while, quite the racket, all before 1st light, so I did not get a look, sounded huge
Sun now crests the back range at 7:45 a.m., has traversed the mountains about 1/2 way to its turnaround point to the south - winter is coming, but what a spectacular time of year it is now - trees are starting to peak in full Autumn colors, along with the bank side willows and fire brush - this is my favorite time of year, and should last for a few more weeks and then some - the colors that is
Tricos are still swarming, but later in the mornings, I think the transition from the males hatching the night before has turned to both sex's hatching in the a.m. - look for the spinner falls around 11 a.m. - small # 22 BWO's start hatching around 9 a.m., trout start to surface around 10 a.m. to gobble them up - Surface action just depends on where you are - or where the bugs are - it tends to move around. Surface sippers = Trico Spinners, Full on gulps = BWO's, some trout are on both, keeps your attention
I went out on my own this morning - had been watching a big 'ole Rainbow rising to BWO's a few mornings in a row - this is a BIG trout, he really got my attention, just wanted to see it, the colors and size in the water looked amazing.
Went to the spot, but he did not show, I could have been fishing dirty water, water that another angler just went thru, it was pretty crowded, fooled 3 others with a tandem Para-Olive and #22 Hackle Wing, but not the Big Boy - Oh well, next week
Jesse eventually found me downstream, I fooled a few more risers with the same combo, most on the Hackle Wing. Tricos spinning down, Olives emerging and a ton of midges ranging in sizes from a #28 to a solid #22 - a bug factory - the Autumn colors, gin clear river, blue bird sky, rising trout (not easily fooled, so the challenge of cast, mend, drift - not a technical river, a technique river) - you fool a few, you know you did it just right, gotta be a few though, only one could be a fluke
Jeremy, Jesse and Rob did a little R&D late afternoon this week, after the shop closed, Jeremy landed an epic Brown - I think the pic was posted on the Facebook page - a spectacular Trout
Get up here, better yet, book a trip - you will not see more smiling, happy, giddy guides than at our shop - this is it
Week ending September 26th, 2013
This report covers 2 weeks starting from September 13th - I left the valley for a few days, and was not able to file last week - leaving the valley is a rare change - it was good that I went - nephews wedding - but so great to be back
Travel all day Thursday, Friday Saturday in St Thomas VI - travel home all day Sunday - I used to travel all the time - all over the world in my old life - but it sure has changed - told the extended family that unless all future family functions were within an easy day drive from the cabin that I would not be attending - I think they understand
Flow started out 2 weeks ago at 77 cfs, dropped to 50 cfs, then up to 150 cfs, then way up to 300 cfs a day later, I asked the boys at the dam what was up "Gonna get it over the top or thru the pipes, we're full" - We prefer it thru the pipes, over the top is warm water - dropped over the weekend to 260 cfs, down to 240 cfs on Tuesday, down to 215 cfs today, Thursday the 26th
This is a good nymphing flow, not a stellar dry fly flow, but you can still find the occasional nose - sippers on Trico spinners, full on gulps munching on a size #20 BWO
Occasional Caddis and Adult Stone Fly are the splashy rises - still seeing the odd take of an Adult stone 3 - 4 " off the surface - mid air takes - if you see a Stone or Crane fly hopping along the surface dropping eggs, stop and watch it - chances are you may see a mid air take - it is really cool
Most of the Swallows and Hummingbirds have departed for the South, had the first Bald eagle cruising upstream last Tuesday morning - Deer are starting to herd up for the rut - bunch of them this year - seems most of the moms had twins
Nymphimg with a lead fly - Stone or SJ worm (pink, brown, red or wine) - trailed by a 2 bit hooker, small mercury P-Tail, Whitleys grey flash back RS2, Chocolate Thunder, JuJu Baetis - all seemed to work, try a Whitleys Black RS2 around 11 - 11:30 a.m. to imitate the drowned Trico Spinners
River went off color last week for a few days due to Horse and Wig Wam Creeks blowing out a bit, we had some rain, nasty Cells at times, but the river is gin clear at present and with the right presentation, you can't go wrong
Trees are starting to slowly kick into Fall colors, should last for a month - went to town for supplies on Monday morning - Pikes Peak must have a foot of snow on the top
Had our first hard frost on Tuesday morning, woke to 20 degrees pre-sunrise, cabin windows still open. ice in the Jeep and the furnace kicked in around 7 a.m. - it is set at 55 degrees - that was a cold shower - today was a balmy 40 degrees, but count on chilly mornings with nice warm ups.
Duane and I were talking last week at the shop - mainly about how so many anglers think the Platte here is a "Technical" river - we both decided it a'int so much a technical river as a "Technique " river - we can show you the right "Techniques" - just give us a try
Week ending September 12th 2013, and some of Friday the 13th
Flow was dropped from 200 cfs to 150 cfs on Tuesday, then down again to 77 cfs on Thursday afternoon - I waited until Friday afternoon to write the report, 'cause I wanted to see how the latest storms affected the river for the weekend
I have good news, feeder creeks have held up well, we dodged a lot of major cells that could (would) have put the river way off, but it is fine, a little off color, but fishing well - I watched multiple trout rising to BWO's (#20) at 10 a.m., at Deckers Bridge today - we are OK, not gin clear, but clarity is fine - you know this 'cause trout are rising
I feel for all those that are not fine - we lost a lot of rivers this week on the Front Range, but more important, many people lost everything, that is so sad, and we feel deeply for them - we have been thru it here in the valley
Seems most of the storm cells moved east and north of our valley, very little rain until Thursday night, Friday morning - when we got a fair dumping, but the river held, even at 77 cfs
Dry/Dropper is into play, 2 nymphs below a Fuzzy or Amy about 3 feet with a micro shot could be lethal
RS2, Chocolate Thunder, Barr emerger, small P-tails, 2 bit hooker, soft hackle - Para Adams, Para Olive, hackle wings and tricos to target rising trout - just stop by the shop, we will be happy to set you up
In the Mountains, things can change in a matter of hours, but right now this is the place to fool a few
Week ending September 5th, 2013
Flow was dropped on Saturday from 260 cfs to 200 cfs - great Fall flow - coming into my favorite time of year on the river - from now to just about Thanksgiving it won't get any better
2 major rain events this week, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon / evening but the river stayed clear - Wednesday cell was so think it blocked the TV Sattelite signal for a few minutes - I was impressed how well the river and feeder creeks held up
Dry/Dropper has come back into play somewhat - we have been finding HUGE adult stones on the water - actually seeing trout launch out of the water to gobble them up in mid air - quite the sight
Nymphs have been Chocolate Thunder, RS2's, P-Tails, Barr Emergers, Soft Hackles
Dry/Dropper will limit the water you can fish, nymphing with weights and indicators won't
Starting to see more and more Hoppers, Tricos are still swarming in a.m., along with a small BWO hatch - all kinds of bugs out there these days
Morning air temps have ranged from low to high 40's pre-sunrise, but boy it gets hot by the afternoon - high 80's, low 90's, we should be back into low to mid 80's next week
We have been fooling, but not always landing, some very large trout on the guided trips, up and down the river - lots of high fives, fist pumps and big smiles - this is too much fun
Week ending August 29th, 2013
Flow was dropped last Friday from 262 cfs to 212 cfs, river was pretty brown from late Thursday storms - cells just hit in the wrong spots, Horse Creek and Wig Wam Creek blew out - 4 mile creek was clear - but the river cleared in 24 hours, back to normal in 48 hrs - this is how it used to be before the Hayman Fire - Creeks get dirty, beaver dams blow out (domino effect, one goes upstream, the following ones can't handle the new impact, so they blow, lots of retained silt) - but it clears quickly - the way it should - the normal occurance - we welcome it
Flow was raised back to 262 CFS today - limits some access to some spots, just 'cause you can't get there with clients - just depends on the stability of your guest - but still plenty of water to cast a fly and fool a trout
Duane, Rob and I had a group of 8 anglers out this week - 2 per guide, so we split up a little - Duane and Rob were within hearing distance - I was farther upstream with my anglers
Rob had set one up in a run, then went back to work with the other across a good rip - now, if you have not yet met Rob, he has a distincly deep voice, very authoritive
Well, no sooner does he get back to the upstream guest, when the downstream angler hooks up - this happens to us all the time - but as Rob is working his way back across the rip to net the trout, the angler was trying to grab the leader - "DON"T TOUCH THAT LEADER" says Rob - in his normal voice, which sounds LOUD
Well. the trout was eventually netted & released by Rob
We moved form those runs to another - packed all into the trucks - Duane happened to have the guest that tried to hand land his trout by grabbing the leader- says Duane "And what did we learn about trying to grab the leader?" - repies the guest "Well .... the guide yells at you....REALLY LOUD - All in the truck broke up - a true classic
Small BWO's, Tricos, big BWO's, can happen up and down the river, just no rhyme or reason - at 262 cfs, I do not expect too much surface action, but you can hunt them out - the risers - patience and a keen eye will prevail
Otherwise nymphing with Choclate Thunders, P-Tails, RS2's in Grey or Black (Black from 10 - 11 a.m. to imitate the drowned Spinners) - with the rise in flows you can lead with a Stone, Soft Hackle or San Juan Worm
Hoppers are starting to appear. fish the banks and slicks - you could get luck
Still have a lone Bald eagle hanging around, tons of baby Mule Deer, They spook me, and I spook them, with the first cup of java on the porch each a.m. before sunrise - right out near the back patio - Lots of Bear Scat along the road this year - looks like a big berry pie when you stop to inspect it - did not think we had that many berries this year
Coming into my favorite time of year - it only gets better - This river is fishing so sweetly
Week ending August 22nd 2013, + some of Friday the 23rd
Flow was raised from 200 cfs to 260 cfs last Friday, then back down to 210 today, Friday the 23rd
Waited till later Friday to log this report, strong storms had me worried about the river conditions on Thursday night, and it did turn brown - both Horse Creek and Wig Wam Creeks blew out, so Friday morning looked bleek - brown water in the back yard at sunrise, but it slowly cleared during the day and is now very fishable in the back - should be great by tomorrow
Tricos, BWO's and a BWO lookalike - Duane says it is a Serratella - I ain't a real bug guy, I just know a Para Adams or BWO Hackle Wing in size 18 seemed to do the trick
Trico Spinner Falls happen around 9 - 10 a.m. - same time as the Serra Hatch - smaller # 22 BWO's in the afternoons
Quite a few caddis around, could be a good searching pattern if you don't want to nymph - I have taken a few nice trout on Amy and a new pattern we carry, called a Fuzzy Wuzzy - big ole dry flies
At 260 CFS, I did not find many risers (but those I found I fooled) - should be better at 210 CFS
You Have to hunt out the bugs (Tricos et al) then stick with them for the noses to appear - seems to still move up and down the river - no real cadence - but you can't miss the Trico swarms - they are massive when you find them
Nymphing with P-Tails #16 to 20, RS2's, flashback or sparkle wings #18 - 20, Stones, SJ Worms, Soft hackle P-tails or Hares Ears, JuJu Baetis #16 - 20, 2 bit hookers - Oh Hell, just stop by the shop, we can help you get the right bugs
Tomohawk SWA is fishing great - this is the Middle Fork of the South Platte River upstream of Spinney reservoir - primarily Dry, Dry / Dropper water - bunch of fun - If you want to explore this unique fishery, give us a call - We would love to take you up there and introduce you to the water
Otherwise the River in Deckers is out of this world - some really big trout this year - fat and healthy - can't get my hands around some of them - just get the hook out, revive them in the net and let 'em go with a tail hold - 'bout the only place I can get a fist around them
River has come back sweetly - this latest brown water was a natural occurance - just big cells hitting the wrong area - used to happen all the time - then it clears - you fish it no matter what - but wading can be tricky if you can't see the bottom, unless you know it - but you still take it real slow - "where did that rock come from?"
Week ending August 15th, 2013
Well, the flow did some radical changes this week - none made sense to us, or the boys at the Dam - But Denver Water Board has it's own agenda - not one that complies with angling the river - we are pretty sure the dam is about to spill - the North Fork was raised to accomodate recreation activities (Bailey Days) - we are pretty sure our flow will be raised any day - as soon as the North Fork is shut down thru Roberts Tunnel - but your guess is as good as mine.
We started with a flow of 130 cfs last Friday, bumped up to 200 cfs on Monday, then back down to 155 cfs on Tuesday - A constant flow of 160 cfs would have accopmplished the same results - What Up ? - Then today (Thursday) we are back up to 200 cfs - What is up?
Put the hatch off and some of the angling - these constant fluctuations - but should be OK in the morning
But, right now, the hatch is on - I had a a day off - from the shop and the river - but I still went out and did what I call a "Poacher Run" - looking for bait fishers in the restricted areas, and checking the river
I found a huge BWO Hatch at 9:30 a.m upstream of Deckers Bridge - Huge Trico Spinner Swarms from Deckers down thru Trumbull - and a bunch of trout feasting on both - all at the same time - BWO's were a solid #18 - Spinners #20 - sippers are on Tricos, slurpers with wide open mouths = BWO,s
What a thing of beauty - feeding with wild abandon, gulpers and slurpers - easy targets with the right pattern and a perfect drift - and that is the key - if you ain't on your "A" game, you will just be working your arm, flailing away - but if you nail it (the Cast, Pattern & Drift) - what a blast
Had a lone Bald Eagle hunting the home hole in the back yard on Wednesday - rare sight this time of year - must be a resident - really worked the river from here to FBI Johns, but never dipped - seemed like a young bird, came in with the shadow preceding the take - from upstream - old vets of the river swoop in from downstream - talons first, then shadow
Had a 7 yr old angler this week - little young for the sport, but OK with me, did good for a while. kinda lost the rhythm, took a break, then got it back - had him locked to my hip the whole time, Had to grab him on each cast and most hook sets - little eager on both - saved him from a dunking each time
1/2 hour to go to finish the trip, I look upstream to his Mom "I can't believe he is still dry" say I, too soon - I look downstream and he must have seen a butterfly or somthing, he wandered away from my hip. just out of grab range - that quickly, I say "Nicolas, STOP!!! - too late - arms start to windmill and down he goes, right up to his little chin - the JINX - I spoke too soon - His Mom knew though, had a complete change of clothes ready.
The Jinx also occurs when you perform the demonstation cast, mend, drift and set to a group of fishing guests - you display these demos for all anglers - regardless of skill abilities - then, on the first or second demo drift a trout takes - you try to do this in a run that does not usually hold trout, but a rouge trout takes, you autonatically set the cast, I mean, your a trout hunter, instincts precedes schooling, you can't stop the set - a trout just tasted your flies - your set is automatic - now your guest's think "This is gonna be easy" - you try to hand the rod off to the nearset observer so they can fight and reel in the trout - never really works out - never got thru the demo enough to fighting a trout- OH NO. THE JINX !!!, Cause it aint that easy - most of the time.
I have some 1/2 day trips open next week. if you want to solve the Trico Spinner fall along with the concurrent BWO Hatch, give ne a call, I love these times, and enjoy sharing them and the tricks
Week ending August 8th, 2013
Flow really dropped this week, went fom 250 cfs, down to 180 cfs, then down to 130 cfs - we do not know what is going on, neither do the boys at the dam - Cheesman is about to spill - we do not want that - it means warm water - that sucks - water temps have been ideal - we are not a BFF of the Water Board (did I get that right ?) - I do not own a cell phone - do not text - would not know how - but I think I got that right
Tricos have hit Deckers - so have a small BWO, Trico Spinners and Emerging BWO's at the same time - 11 a.m. - just watch the rise forms
At 130 cfs, dry/dropper almost comes into play - your call - I would high stick nymphs until I spot a nose on the surface - then match the hatch, or spinner fall
Could be Trico Spinners, PMD,s, BWO,s - you gotta look at the river, watch the rise form, make a decision, or - like I do - cast a double dry - maybe 2 feet apart - cover the bet - Para Adams and a black RS2 ay 11 a.m. can be deadly
Black RS2 imitates a drowner Trico - they really do munch on them
Lots of baby deer this year - I have a bad habit of driving the river road looking for risers - then nearly avoiding head on collisions - scare the crap out of the on-coming vehicle - but I still keep a keen eye for the deer & fawns
Jeremy did the same last week, but a doe still manged to ram the rear of his new truck - deer OK, truck about the same - came out of nowhere - not a thing he could do - just driving the river - not even looking for risers - just a place to park and get his guests into trout
Rains last Saturday put the river off color,cleared quickly, now she is gin clear and on fire - right pattern, good drift, = a take
I love this river, the bugs and the fat healthy Trout that lurk here
Week ending August 1st, 2013
Yup, August 1st, it just flies by - the season matures, as do the bugs
This morning on the wind seines (the cabin porch screens) I had the following as I slurpped up the 4th cup of coffee (1st 3 happen before the sun crests the back range and I can read the seine) - 1 Adult Caddis, 1 Adult Male Trico, 1 big Drake (Gray or Green, not too sure, but it was HUGE) & 6 Small BWO's - it was a bug buffet - the wind seine is about 25 yards from the river - for it to attract that array of bugs means a whole lot more are hanging out along the river foilage - what a healthy population - what a healthy river - we are sooo stoked
My best bugs for nymphing today were a Brown San Juan Worm, very small P-tail and an RS2
Flows went from 262 last Friday, down to 190 cfs, then down to 140 cfs on Tuesday, back up to 200 cfs on Wednesday, up to 250 cfs on Thursday - Cheesman is almost full - inflow is about 250 cfs, we expect the outflow to match that for the rest of the summer - whatever is coming in is gonna come out of the pipes
Tricos laid down during the flow fluctuations, at 140 cfs they (the trout) were all over them - some epic days at the low flows for surface action - not so much at 250 cfs - but you CAN find those surface sippers - just have to hunt them out - look for slicks, slow water, back eddy's
Other risers will be on small (#22) Bwo's, Caddis or Drakes - just watch the rise form and river surface - what bug is that ?
Find open water (no other anglers) and jump in - the whole river is just great
We Hear that Tomohawk SWA is starting to turn on afetr run off - this is strictly a dry/dropper fishery and can be a blast - lots of takes - maybe a trophy, but most are small wild browns - just a bunch of eager trout - lots of action - you want to explore it - new water - give us a call - we love it up there - Middle Fork of the South Platte above Spinney reservoir
Rubber hatch (Tubers, rafters) usually starts around 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on weekends here in Deckers - keep an eye upriver, if you wave them off to your back soon enough, they usually try to comply, some just physically can't, but give it an effort (the majority try to share if given enough warning), some drift by giving you the bird, you have a fly rod in your hand with sharp hooks attached to a leader - the crafts are full of air with a thin lining - OOPS !!!
You can't beat the South Platte at Deckers right now
Week ending July 25th, 2013
Flow was bumped up twice this week, on Monday it went from 150 cfs to 200 cfs, then on Wednesday up again to 250 cfs, then Friday, today, back to 190 cfs
Big stuff worked, Pats Rubber legs and all kinds of Stones, Brown San Juan Worms & P-Tails as the flows were bumped up, but the surface action waned at 250 cfs
That was for dead drifting nymphs - On Thursday I found Trico Spinners hitting the water late, say 11 a.m. - at the same time a BWO in an 18 or 20 was hatching - we found trout taking both
Upstream of us they were going gonzo on the Olives, across the river they were sipping Trico Spinners, so my guest got some casts to the BWO eaters upstream, one ate, but he set on it like it was a Tarpon (He was raised in Florida in his defense), I have to remember to replace that Hackle Wing in my fly box - we laughed, and then tried the sippers across the stream, nice cast, great drift, and the take - that was fun
Today, Friday, no Tricos, no noses at all during a 1/2 day trip with Eric from Native Nets, we had to work for them - 3 guests and the 2 of us - they hooked trout, but at 250 cfs, getting them to the net was a challenge, the trout are big and fat, they know how to bury thier heads down and get in the current - I managed to get Robin, a good old client and friend, into a pod of feeders - they came out onto the gravel from the habitat to feed on the bottom, every good drift produced a take - that was a lot of fun - most of it sight fishing - we fooled a bunch of trout
I think the surface action will improve at 190 cfs - look for Trico Spinners, BWO's and some PMD's early to late morning
Rob has been going out late evenings - afetr 6 p.m., and finding nice Caddis action
So, nymph with a nice menu, when you see (if) noses, watch the rise form, sippers = spinners, open mouths and bubbless trailing the rise form = BWO's or PMD's - Big Splash = Caddis
River looks sooo good - I even saw some hoppers today while resting on the porch - it will only get better
Week ending July 18th, 2013 (covers 2 weeks from July 4th)
Flow was raised to 150 cfs on Wednesday the 10th (from 100 cfs) - then back down to 100 cfs on Sunday 14th, then raised today back up to 150 cfs, on Thursday the 18th - a nice summer flow - but puts dry / dropper on the border line - we still use it, 'cause its easier to switch to a single or double dry when we see noses poking up - but you have to be able to make an accurate cast with a drag free presentation - the trout will accept nothing less
And they are rising - to Trico Spinners in the a.m. - say 9 to 11 - then great action on drowned Spinners from 10 to 12
Seems to me if they left it at 125 cfs for the last few weeks, we would be even for the flows into Denver for 3 weeks - but that is just my calculation, Lord knows how they calculate it
First bump to 150 cfs put a lot of junk in the flow - made it pretty tough to drift a fly, had to clean the cast every drift - should not be as bad this bump, could be great for fishing "Junk" - Stones, San Juan Worms, Scuds - trailed by a small nymph.
Good rains and "T" storms these past few weeks - But we feel for those living in the recent burn scars - the flash flooding can be horrific - we have vivid memories of our struggles here in the valley after the Hayman fire - so we think of them, and hope are safe and OK
Still, with recent rain events, the Valley is way too dry, rain puddles dry up in hours, thirsty ground just soaking it all up so quickly - please be careful with ANY open flames
Tricos - they have reached Deckers - mating swarms - once the mating bugs reach the river surface it really turns on - but after the surface sippers go away, sub-surface presentations with drowned Spinners really turns on - it is so much fun - we had trout this week actually chase drowned Spinners down stream a few feet - and eat 'em
Things seem to lay down in the afternoon hours, unless we get some cloud cover, rain and cooler air temps - but turns back on after 5 - 6 p.m. - Caddis, some PMD's, a few small BWO's
Had a good friend and client in this a.m. at the shop - school teacher in Denver - good guy, was here last week and got under the deck in front of the shop to avoid one of the boomer "T" storms - was about to quit for the day - Jesse was here - in town for a few days - said "Oh, no man, wait it out, it is gonna turn on" - and it did - He went out just in front of the shop, after the boomers moved off to the East, , Cabin hole up past Deckers Bridge & nailed them on PMD's - one of his best sessions ever - and he works this river all the time
Jeremy has had some outstanding days on the river with clients - he knows this water so well, and the tricks that it takes - Duane, well the same - these guys are so good
I have a few 1/2 days available next week - if you can make the "cast" and want to give this Trico spinner fall a try, give me a call - the tricks and presentaion are key - won't take long to get you on 'em - otherwise it will drive you batty
Had a young lady enter the shop this week - Rob & I were just doing an a.m. - p,m hand over - asked if we had any worms - I responded " You can't use them in the river, Flies and Lures only - no bait allowed"
Well, she finnally found some at the Country Store, next to the shop ( We never tell that they sell bait, always wonder if they keep the overstock of cool items in the worm cooler - if your Klondike bar smells - well, earthy, maybe suspect it)
Then a good client and his young daughter sitting on a bench outside the shop (she got her 1st trout on a fly rod that day - could not have been 7 years old - good dad) - Said "Danny, I know you hate this, but that girl just walked across the river with a bucket of worms"
I watched her cross to the bridge and slide down to the water, so I took a stroll, saw her friend with a pole in the water - she probably outweighed him by 100 pounds, and he was not a thin man - "What are you using", "Oh, just some salmon eggs" - now I am 20 - 30 feet from a 3 x 4 foot division sign that states in 3 different colors "Flies and Lures only, no bait allowed" in 2 different languages !!!
So I said "you can't use bait in this section, I just told your girlfriend that" - she respoded - and this is the truth - "I thought it just meant worms"
Honest - how do these people hold down a job that pays enough to afford gas to Deckers - it tasks me to no end
Week ending July 4th, 2013
Flow was raised last Thursday (after I logged last weeks report) to 103 cfs, nice summer flow - beats the hell out of 41 cfs that we had to deal with for a few weeks.
Not much has changed from last week, we still present Dry / double dropper rigs until we see risers, if we think the client can make the cast, we switch out to the proper dry and target noses as they start to rise - they could be rising to PMD's #18 or 20, Trico Spinners #22, or egg laying Caddis #16 - 18 - rise forms will give you a clue - splashy = Caddis or struggling PMD's, full on gulp with an air bubble trailing out of the rise = PMD's, sippers = Trico Spinners
Now enter a few curve balls - some sippers will slowly move upstream taking multiple spinners in a side to side movement, then dive, turn around, go downstream a ways, turn and repeat - not only do you have to make an accurate, drag free cast, you gotta time how far upstream his next sip will be - a challenge
Then you find the sipper in a back eddy, facing downstream, but into the upstream eddy - on the other side of a fast current - a bigger challenge - no way to write on how to approach these conditions - you just have to come out with us - so we can show you
Rubber hatch on the weekends and Holidays can be massive (tubers, rafters, kayakers, canoers) - usually starts around 11 a.m. - so we get our trips starting at 7 a.m. - best time to be on the river - or wait until evening - say 6 p.m. 'till you can't see your flies.
I have found risers to all 3 bugs as early as 9 a.m. - just depends on where you are
River is gin clear and trout are eager to take the right fraud - drowned Tricos (after the spinner fall) - PMD Barrs emerger, P-Tails, RS2's, Chocolate Thunders have all worked as droppers - make sure you use a micro shot to sink the droppers - the bouyancy of the dry will dictate the size of shot you can get away with
We have had some great trips this week - some up at the Dream Stream, a few at Tomohawk - which is getting more fishable each week - run off is still ongoing, but dropping every day - this is great dry - dry / dropper water - or right here in Deckers - bunch of trout, some are - well, huge !!!
We aquired a new rental cabin this month - just south of my cabin - "Rustic"- river views, direct river access, 1 BR with a River Rock fireplace, sleeping porch, nice deck - it is fully remodeled with a rustic Pine Bark exterior, Pine Tounge and Groove thru-out the interior- it is really, really sweet - a cozy Mountain retreat
Week ending June 27th, 2013
Flows were finally raised last Friday from a mere trickle at 42 cfs, up to 71 cfs, we were all relieved and happy
River is alive with bugs and trout, we try to get out early and quit when the water warms too much, we have had some hot afternoons, but standing in the river swinging a stick is a great way to cool off.
Duane and I did a trip together the other day, 3 really nice guys, and it was insane - Trico mating swarms started swirling down to the river surface around 9 a.m., at the same time a size #18 PMD was hatching, to top it off a bunch of egg laying Caddis were dancing atop the river, dropping down to lay eggs, popping off upstream, and repeating
If you find risers, like I did on a morning session today, well it can be epic - no, it was epic - today was the first day the trout really got on the trico spinners, usually takes a few weeks after the swarms appear for the trout to start to re-act - and they did - I fooled some real slobs - my arm hurts as I type (actually I peck at the keys, never really learned how to type) - the gentle sip of the fraud from the surface, tension on the line, and then the explosion as the fish knows somthing ain't right - what a blast
I have 1/2 day morning trips open most of next week, so if you want to come out and go "Trico Hunting" with me and learn a few tricks about this incredible hatch (it is actually the Spinner Fall we concentrate on), then give me a call - I like to get going by 7 a.m., knock off around 11 a.m.
We have been fishing dry / droppers until the noses appear, makes it easy to switch out to the proper bugs, and at these flows it is extremely deadly, then, when the noses stop showing, we sink drowned Trico spinners off a dry - they really slam them
All the wild fires are out (Lime Gulch, Strontia and Waterton Canyon - the latter 2 were fairly small, Lime Gulch scorched about 500 acres along the North Fork of the Platte) and ALL roads to Deckers are currenly open.
River could not be more exciting right now, gin clear, nice dry fly flow - just to be standing in it calms the soul - then you start to see noses.
Week ending June 21st, 2013 - report covers 2 weeks from June 6th 2013
Flows were very, very low these past 2 weeks, went from 70 cfs, down to 50 cfs on Friday the 7th, then down to a scary 42 cfs on Wednesday the 12th - bunch of us called in to Denver Water asking for more water, we were really concerned, then today they bumped back up to 70 cfs - I am told we won't see anything below that for the rest of the summer - but you never know - I was told by the Denver Water guy on Tuesday that 40 cfs would remain for another week or so, they were sorry, but had to make every effort to fill Cheesman res during run-off - it is a critical part of the drainage and Platte water storage
Maybe, just Maybe, all of our efforts worked (Pat from the Blue Quill, Duane and Jeremy from Flies and Lies, Me from South Platte Outfitters - We wanted to get as many shops and outfitters in concert - I was the last to call from our end on Monday - but you can bet some calls were made from Wig Wam Club amd a friend who knows some people on the board from Sway Back Ranch.
Bugs have been fantastic - PMD's about an 18, Green Drakes - big ones - #12 - 14, Caddis in 18, little stones #16 - and yes, the Tricos have started swarming - not a whole lot of trout on the surface spinners yet, but they will gladly take a drowned spinner
Starts around 9 a.m. (the spinner fall) lasts till 11 a.m. or so - we have been casting dry / dropper rigs in the low flows - Foamulator dropped with 2 nymphs and a micro shot between them - Hares Ear, Soft Hackles, P-Tails and RS2's- and we really had to work it, trout were very exposed and very spooky
We try to get on the water early and quit around noon - when water temps started to rise - best bet is to be here by 7 a.m., watch the water temps, when they get to mid 60's, put the rod in the truck, find a tree, have lunch, take a nap, and try again around 6 p.m. (yup, a nice long nap) - just kinda give the trout a break
Lime Gulch fire started Tuesday night on the North Fork (about 18 miles from Deckers) - lightning strike - we saw the storm from the porch in the afternoon - really blew up on Wednesday - about 600 acres right now - but access to Deckers is still open from Rt 126 at Pine Junction, and Rt 67 from Sedalia - access to the river downstream of Night Hawk / Pine Creek Road is denied - but the rest of the river remains open - for now - just depends on what the fire does, what direction she moves - whether road closures will change
Fire is west of Foxton Road and the junction with the North Fork of the Platte - nasty area, lots of trees and steep terrain - 5% contained this a.m.
Overnight temps have ranged from 35 degrees up to 52 - we have hit high 80's and low 90's in the afternoon - and the winds, which are making the fire danger critical, come up almost every afternoon - but are nice for naptime
PLEASE be careful with any open flames - fire bans are in effect - and the authorities are taking them seriously - so just be careful
We have added new water to guide on this year - Tomohawk SWA, middle fork of the South Platte (great dry fly water) and Spinney Mountain Reservoir (great day floating in Jeremy's drift boat hanging trophy trout with droppers) and also the Dream Stream - where anything can happen
We also have added a new cabin to our rental pool - just south of my place, 1 BR, river rock firepalce, sleeping porch, river views, river access - one sweet place - more info to come - should be available starting July 1st
Week ending June 6th, 2013
Flows were pretty much all over the place this week - started out at 70 cfs last Friday, went to 130 cfs on Saturday, up to 175 cfs on Sunday, down to 100 cfs on Wednesday, then down again to 70 cfs on Thursday - True 70 in the Canyon, more like 90 cfs downstream of Deckers Bridge when you add the feeder creeks - to get updated flows call the number at the top of this page - 'cause you never know - they call us from the dam when they are going to adjust, but we never get any type of advance warnings - takes about 4 hrs for the adjustment to reach Deckers - they call, open or close the valves and that is about it
River looked fantastic today - Gin clear - went off color after the bump to 175 cfs for a day, but still fished great
BWO's are still hatching - now have 2 different sizes - #18 - 20 - and a tiny size #22 - looks just like the Fall BWO - I have had what I am sure are Tricos on the porch screens this week - and yesterday a PMD - so it is really starting to kick in
Trico swarms have yet to appear - typically start further downstream and work thier way upstream - we will keep you informed of the swarms and the progress - still a little early for true spinner falls
Finding Caddis and small adult stones - same applies - splashy rise - Caddis or Stone - sippers are on Mayflies - check out the surface of the river to find what Adult Mayfly is hatching - then try to match it
Drifts have to be dragless and right over the rise form - you can be a little sloppy with Caddis / Stone presentations - actually helps - I like to let the Adult Caddis drift out - then lift it off the surface for a few feet upstream, then drop the rod tip and let it drift out again
Had a Slob on the guest rod this a.m. - well downstream of the Canyon - what a pig - lots of huge runs, great air time - we all got a good look - then she thru the hook - after an epic battle - we are seeing large trout, medium trout, small trout - a healthy environment - and lots of bugs - this season is going to be great
Nymph rigs with standard patterns (small P-Tails, Rubber legs, San Juan Worms, RS2's, Zebra Midg, Soft Hackles) until you see risers - then switch
Week ending May 30th, 2013
Flow was dropped to 100 cfs, then down to 70 cfs on Tuesday, probably about 95 cfs below Deckers Bridge when you add the feeder Creeks
Still seeing nice numbers of BWO's - #20, Caddis in #16 to #18 - mainly after 12 p.m. - splashy rise = Caddis, Sippers = BWO adults or emergers/cripples - we still present a double dry with a Parachute as lead, then trail a 2 foot long adult/cripple/emerger - 'til we get a take - one of them is gonna work
You can cover both hatch's by leading with an adult Caddis, then trail the BWO fraud - or try a single Caddis, at the end of the drift, lift the fly off the water, move it upstream a few feet, then drop it back onto the river and let it drift out - drives some trout crazy - same motion from an egg laying Adult
Geese are starting to hatch the young ones - give them a wide berth - the males can get nasty - Mergansers and Mallards will not be far behind
Woke to rain, thunder, lightning and hail on Wednesday - I had a full day trip scheduled - thought it would end up as a half, but the weather cleared out and we got the full day in - most of the bad stuff staid just to the north - I have been doing as many 1/2 day trips as I can - river is really showing off
Same day, somthing was hatching (or spinning down) at 6:45 a.m. - swallows were going nuts - and I swear I have found a Trico or 2 on the porch screens this past week - Jeremy says he swatted one on his neck, before a complete identification - could be an epic trico season, just like Pre-Hayman
Sun now crests the Back range at 6:15 a.m. - pretty much has hit its movement to the north, will slowly start to move back to the south - Pre sunrise temps have ranged from mid 20's to low 40's - river is gin clear, trout are big and healthy, find some open water and make a cast - this is a very special place - come and enjoy it
Week ending May 23rd and some of Friday May 24th
Flow was bumped today, Friday the 24th, to 125 cfs - pretty big increase from 50 - more like 175 cfs below Deckers Bridge - this is a nice flow, bit of a surprise, but welcomed - next few days you can present a lot of "junk" - stones, scuds, san juan worms, caddis, crane fly larvae - follow with any baetis patterns - or caddis, soft hackles
Adult Caddis and BWO's are very present in the afternoons - Splashy rise, try a #16 or #18 Elk Hair or Steamborn - at the end of the drift, lift the fraud off the water, move it upstream a few feet in the air, then drop it back down and let it drift
Deadly tactic - if you watch egg laying Caddis, they drop onto the surface, lay eggs, lift off, flit upstream a few feet, and repeat - drives the trout crazy
Sippers are on BWO's - nothing but a perfect presentation over the rise form will be accepted - trust me - you gotta be on your "A" game - but the results are electric
Sun now crests the back range at 6:30 a.m. - air temps pre-sunrise have ranged from mid 20's to 40 - I think we skipped Spring in the valley - going straight into summer - and the valley is really greening up - should be a good wild flower season - but PLEASE be careful with open flames - forcasts have us going into a dry / windy period - we are still - and always will be - gun shy of fires
Plenty of big, healthy trout to be fooled - we figure this is the best year since the Hayman fire - still not back to Pre-Hayman - but close
Watch out for Poachers - fishing bait or killing under limit trout in the restricted areas - if you do not want to approach them, come up to the shop - try to get a car description and plate # - we will do what we can, we usually do pretty good
Yes, the river is crowded at times, but you can always find open water, just search it out, it all has trout - and the further downstream you go, the easier they get
This is getting fun - but then again, it always is - we can't get enough of it - and we are on it every day
Week ending May 16th, 2013 (covers 2 weeks from May 2nd)
Flow went from 108 cfs down to 60 cfs on Friday the 3rd, back up to 103 on Monday the 6th, then down to 50 cfs on Thursday the 9th, where it still stands
Storms last week put the river off below Wig Wam Creek for a few days, very fishable, but murky - had an inch of snow on the ground on the morning of the 9th - and some good rain - valley is really greening up - should be a good Wild Flower year
River is now pretty much gin clear from the dam to the confluence
Caddis started popping in a big way this last week - #16 to # 20 - Dark (Peacock) and Olive are your best bets - BWO's still coming off - I have seen rising trout as early as 10 a.m.
We nymph with Baetis patterns until we see some noses - Brown San Juan Worm has been very effective, trailed by a JuJu, P-Tail, Barr Emerger, RS2 - #18 to #20
Guide trips have been outstanding - lots of quality trout fooled - we are having a ball - I even got out on some trips these last few weeks - really enjoy doing the 1/2 day outings
Found the first hatching Geese today - probably only a few days old - all the song birds are nesting up, and quite loudly - had a woodpecker boring into the side of the cabin - made a pretty good hole - covered the area with some flapping tin foil - he ain't been back
River looks great - flow below Deckers Bridge is about 80 cfs due to the feeder creeks - lots of sight fishing with the nymph rigs - splashy rises tie on a Caddis, Sippers - tie on a BWO size #20 - I like the Hackle Wing or Foam Top trailed behind an 18 Para-Olive
River is turned on - so many healthy, pretty trout - and some hogs, and I mean real pigs - check the Face Book Page for recent pics - then get up here
Week ending May 2nd 2013
Last month to take advantage of our Spring Speacial mentioned above
Thats right, May 1st - Wednesday - snow started at 6 a.m. - went for a good 14 hours staight on- only about 3" on the ground by Thursday morning, we did not get the big flakes in the valley, too cold - but I am over winter - it was a long ass cold one - furnace kicked in starting September, still kicking in in May? that ain't right - 4 cords of wood - maybe 3/4 left on the pile - propane cost way too high - man. I am way over winter
Good news, flow was raised on Saturday from 80 cfs to 110 cfs - helps hide the trout from the Ospreys - who seemed to have thinned out this week - they really put the hurt on the trout at the lower flows
My partners Tim & Mitzi were up for the weekend - Tim went down to the home hole early Saturday morning after we watched a herd of 12 mule deer grazing at FBI Johns front yard - As Tim sets up in the back yard - I had another cup of coffee and watched the weather reports - TV and great room windows are on the same line - and I see all the deer bolt in all different directions - A Cat !!!- thats all I can think - just before I call down to Tim to watch out - I see a Turkey at FBI Johns - big old hen
Must have spooked the deer flapping in from across the river - they do create a wind amp when in flight - then the deer, after re-grouping, started to follow the bird - one right up to its butt - it gave no care - just kept strutting and pecking - they followed her right into the willows
I called down to Tim - "watch out for a bad ass Turkey" "Huh? - then I went to the shop - I would have been more concerned if it was a Cat - but knowing Tim, Cat or rouge Turkey - He would have blown it off
During the blizzaard, I watched migratory birds pretty much freak out - never, ever saw a hummingbird in a snow storm - but now I have - 1st ones arrived on Tuesday - day early - most other birds just flew around all day - looked a little confused
BWO's continue to boil off - maybe 12 p.m. - maybe 4 p.m. - just depends on location, sunlight, water temps, cloud cover
Set up your cast to lead the fraud to the rise form first
Size #20 - mayebe #22 - it is a big Spring bug - they are very line / leader shy
Try any Baetis nymph prior and during the rise - switch to the adult when you see a nose or two
This river is on fire
Week ending April 25th, 2013
Flow was raised today from 50 to 80 cfs - that should help hide the trout from the Osprey onslaught - they have been really whacking the trout - we figure at least 6 have been in the valley this past week - we even have a pic posted on the Face Book page taken from guests staying at "Bernies" - they just happened to be on the deck with a camera when the bird of prey flew downstream and picked a trout right out of a riffle - sad to see the loss of just one trout - but a great image Had a typical spring / winter storm blow thru on Monday - woke to 20 degrees air temp, hit close to 50 debrees by 10 a.m. - ran to town for supplies in front of the storm - by 1:30 p.m. we were back to 25 degrees and wind, first flakes at 2 p.m., blizzard conditions by 5 p.m. - we only got 3 -4 " on the ground by Tuesday morning, then the sun came out in the p.m., melt off started, - 50% of it was gone by sunset - all ground snow gone by the end of Wednesday
BWO's are boiling off the water - size 18 - 20 - but man are they picky - drift has to be nothing less than perfect - let alone your fraud selection - we lead with an 18 para olive and trail the following - hackle wing, foam top, sparkle dun or cripple
Nymph with P-Tails, merc baetis, JuJu, fluff, RS2, Barr emerger - lead with a stone or a scud
Jeremy and Duane have been on fire - great trips this week - our Fed Ex guy Drew booked a 1/2 day for him and his step-father with Jeremy - great guy, the step father - late 60's - early 70's, never had a fly rod in his hand - by his count he had 14 trout - and loved it - our Fed-Ex guy was stoked - great father / son day - Drew came in the shop the next day, rubbed his right shoulder - "That was a grood day"
If you get here early try a dead drifted midge - but a.m.'s are still chilly - hatch can start as early as 12 p.m., as late as 3 p.m., just depends on where you are - but it does come off - search it out, best to have 2 in the truck - one looking for noses, one watching the road - I had a couple of close head - ons doing that solo this week - most waved at me, understanding - one flipped me the bird - but I could tell when I waved back that he was not a trout hunter
Week ending April 18th 2013
Report is a little late, sorry - we got busy
Found a major glitch on the auto e-mail auto click on the web page - it don't auto click - so if you clicked on it and sent a mail (which never reached me) - I apologize for not responding - I just never got it - it looks like it was sent on your end - but the mail is sitting out there in - well, I have no idea - until I can get it fixed - please send e-mails directly to email@example.com
Check out our great April / May special above - guided trip and 2 nights on the river for 2 anglers at an incredible savings.
It is now all about Baetis - maybe small midge nymphing in the a.m., but go to baetis later, then BWO Cripples and adults and emergers from noon on - as soon as you see some noses or boils
Guide trips have been on fire - a whole bunch of trout fooled
Getting some clients into thier first dry fly action - we love that - first trout on a dry fly
We never got the snow this week that others did - maybe a few inches out of all the storms - and it has all melted - river is gin clear from the dam to the confluence - good time to explore the lower sections
Flow from the dam is 50 cfs. more like 65 - 70 cfs below Deckers - river looks great
Week ending April 11th, 2013 (and some of Friday the 12th)
Flow went from 65 cfs to 50 cfs today, Friday the 12th - a little skinny for our taste, but it does bring surface action and dry / dropper into play - I have seen rising trout as early as 11 a.m. - and not seen it start until 4 p.m. - just gotta hunt them out
Mostly rising to a #18 - 20 BWO, but some are still on the BIG MIDGE - I had both on the porch screens earlier in the week
Storm came in on Monday night, nasty all day Tuesday, wind, snow, COLD - blizzard at times, and the first Swallows arrived - kinda bad timing on thier part, but it always coincides with the Spring BWO - Wednesday the bank ice and sludge hatch were back - woke to minus 10 degrees pre-sunrise - really thought we were done with that brutal cold - furnace kicked in at 2 a.m. - woke to run the water taps - man, this is April !!!, been one long, cold winter
Maybe 1" - 2" on the ground - pretty sad for a 24 hr storm - just too cold to squeeze the big spring flakes out - but we take what we can get - still way too dry up here - please be careful with open flames
Last few days have been more Spring like - weekend weather looks great
Geese have started to pair up - along with other water fowl and all birds in general, watch out for the Geese - they can get pretty aggressive - give them a good wide berth.
Same patterns and tactics as last report - we have some new BWO nymphs in the shop that are working beautifully (Thanks Jeremy) - who, by the wa,y has had some amazing trips this week (Duane too) - double digit trout on 1/2 days - some on the surface.
River is gin clear and as good as it gets - both in hungry trout and beauty - get up here, take advantage of the Loft / Guide special - fool some trout, enjoy this incredible valley
Week ending April 4th, 2013 (and some of Friday the 5th)
We have gone back to season hours at the shop - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days / week
Flow went from 60 cfs, up to 100 cfs last Friday, down to 80 cfs on Thursday, down to 65 cfs on the 5th - 100 was sweet, but 65 will bring dry and dry dropper into play
We have seen the BIG MIDGE, the small midge, BWO's and Caddis this week - as I write this report at 4 p.m. on Friday, I have 3 size 18 BWO's crawling around the porch screens - nice !
Had the first thunder of the year last Friday afternoon, some evening, overnight rain, but all in all a great week weather wise
Sun now crests the back range at 7:30 a.m., fishable light at 6:45 a.m., drops to the west at 6:45 p.m., fishable until 7:30 p.m., pre-sunrise temps in the high teens to 30 degrees on Wednesday
I have been running a dry dropper rig, para adams - black Rojo, Black Beauty in the mornings, P-Tail, Baetis nymphs in the afternoons, If I find risers it is an easy switch to the single dry fraud.
Midge in the morning, sub-surface BWO & Caddis in the afternoons, see some noses, try a size 18 or 20 Hackle Wing or Sparkle Dun, you can trail them with a BWO Cripple or Foam Top - if the rise is splashy, try a Peacock Elk Hair # 18 or 20, or Crystal Stimmie
Weekend weather looks great - maybe a winter storm on Tueasday, but this is the time to get up here - river has been fishing lights out - nice Browns and rainbows, fat, healthy, strong - and the colors are amazing - check out the Face Book pages for Pics
Week ending March 28th (and some of Friday 29th)
Flow was raised from 40 cfs to 60 cfs on Wednesday, then up to 100 cfs on Friday the 29th - color went off a little in the afternoon due to the push - put the surface action down, but really turned on the nymphing
Creeks were all iced off last Friday, then a storm moved in - pretty good one - 2" on the ground Saturday morning when I rose at 5 a.m., blizzard by 7 a.m., air temps never out of the low teens all day, by Sunday I woke to maybe 6" on the ground, minus 12 degrees air temp - we thought we were done with these cold - bitter cold - mornings - not - same thing on Monday morning - major sludge hatch both days - just brutal COLD.
You know it's bad when your down vest gets crinkly from just a trip to the wood pile and the air shock device does not work on the back secondary outside door and it slams shut on your heels after the trip to the wood pile. You don't expect that, so you loose balance a bit, cuss, then head to the Franklin Stove - unload, and realize that load won't cut it - this time you stop the door with your butt, mechanical problem solved
But things turned around quickly, by Tuesday, all is good, sludge hatch gone, bank ice receded, trout started rising to the BIG MIDGE, by Thursday they were rising to BWO's around 2 p.m., so the season has started
We are finding rising trout to the midge as early as 9:30 a.m. - keep an eye on the surface water and air around you - check the bugs - look at the rise forms - then cast a Para Adams trailed by a Shuck Midge or a BWO (I prefer the Hackle Wing) - or if you have good eyes, just cast the sigle dry.
Or - tie on the Adams and drop a Tungsten Zebra or P-Tail as a dropper - use Henry's sinket to make sure the dropper sinks, use 6x tippet, about 2' to the dropper, same for the double dry - (no sinket!)
Nymph with PRL, Eggs, Worms, Scuds - trailed with P - Tails. JuJu Baetis, Zebras, the list goes on - oh yeah - black Rojos - stop by the shop, we can fix you up
All of the snow from last weeks storm is gone, all of the bank ice is gone, the trout remain - they are healthy, hungry, and just demand a perfect presentation - they can be fooled - and it is so much fun - even better when it is a surface slurp on a well presented dry fly
Weekend weather looks great - mid 60's - sun now crests the back yard range at 7:45 a.m. - at 100 cfs, it could be sweet - come on up
Week ending March 21st, 2013
Flow was dropped on Monday from 68 cfs down to 40 cfs - that is what you will see in the Canyon, downstream of Deckers is more like 60 cfs when you add the feeder creeks, river is gin clear as are the feeder creeks, which are mainly all iced off now and running nicely
River looks fantastic and the BIG MIDGE action really picked up this week, Jeremy also spotted a (as in only one) BWO in flight
First day of Spring this week co-insided with the arrival of the first Blue Birds, Red Wing Black Birds and a few Robbins - nice
River is fishing great, Jesse and I got out for a while on Monday, he worked a dry (adams) with a dropped P-tail and Zebra and did really well, I worked a nymph rig and was not as productive, Rob had a nice Rainbow take his dry on Wednesday (size 20 adams) - all of the guide trips have been very productive
Shuck midge, For-n-Aft, Sprout midge will all work for the BIG MIDGE, along with the Adams in 20 - Nymphs have been Zebras, JuJu's and P-tails along with Pats. Stones, Eggs and Worms - we have a whole bunch of new patterns in the shop that look extremely "fishy"
License renewal time - last years expires March 31st - If you plan on picking one up at the shop, please bring cash (stop at the ATM BEFORE you get to Deckers) - we do not accept cc or checks for lic purchases - resident annual is $36.00 - There is an ATM in the Cafe, but they open late and most times it is out of money, so I would not count on it.
Sun rises over the back yard range a little before 8 a.m., all pre-sunrise air temps this week were in double digits, ranged from 10 degrees to 30, nice day time temps in low 50's to low 60's
I found rising trout today at 10 a.m., Jeremy has seen them after he shut the shop at 3 p.m.
Dry shake will really help keep the small dry on the surface, and "Henry's Sinket" does great in getting the small droppers down in the water column without having to use weight ('Cause face it, a #20 Adams aint gonna support any weight).
Another trick we came up with a few years back was the "Stuck in the Shuck" - thread an Olive #24 dry midge through the eye of an #18 Miracle nymph - close down the hook of the midge to the shank - an articulated bug appears - just like the final stage of a midge freeing from the husk on the surface - the most vulnerable time in the cycle - easy pick'ins for the trout.
Horse Creek went off color on Wednesday afternoon due to some culvert work about 2 miles from the shop - I closed the shop door, hung the "be right back sign" and went to investigate - but all was fine and it cleared pretty quickly
The trout are healthy and beautiful, and some are very big - take care in reviving them - enjoy the release - watch them swim off and completely disappear - the way trout do - until the next set and bouncing rod in your hand - nothing like it.
Week ending March 14th, 2013
Flow was dropped from 80 to 67 cfs on Thursday, Cheesman is 46 feet down from the spillway, that is a scary number - gonna take a whole lot of water to get back up - we need some heavy March snow falls - like the one last Saturday - 8 - 10" on the ground - blizzard conditions at times - shut the shop at 12 p.m., even though Jeremy was out on a 1/2 day trip
Clients were warned of the pending conditions, did not care - and they had a blast - lots of high fives, caught a bunch of trout, Jeremy had a great time - he likes challenges like that - me, I got back to the cabin, started a fire, watched the blizzard roll thru and wondered "who would be out in this ?" - well, one of the team was.
The BIG MIDGE is starting to show - water temps of 44 degrees seems to now be the key - could start as early as 12 p.m. - just depends on where you are - # 20, 22 shuck midge, for-n-aft, or our famouse "Stuck in the Shuck" all work. Best nymphing with PRL, Egg patterns, San Juan worms trailing small midge patterns or small P-Tails
Snow from Saturdays storm is all but gone, no sludge hatch all week, culvert work on Horse Creek may have put the river off color on Wednesday late afternoon, but it seems to be completed - most of the black ice on the feeder creeks is gone, so they should not be a problem as Spring nears.
We have installed new Fly displays at the shop - really sweet, Charlie and Jeremy spent a lot of time working on the labels, we all worked on Monday getting them all set up - plus our Temple Fork Fly rods arrived - from 7"6" 3wt's to 10" 4 & 5 wts - life time guarantees, sweet rods, starting at $149.00 - come on by and take a look
Weekend looks good, weather wise, so does all of next week - Spring is here - almost - we still want a couple of 2' to 3' snow dumpings, but we are out of the bitter cold mornings, sun now crests the back range at 8 a.m. (due to the clock change), but sets to the West at 6:50 p.m.
Week ending March 7th 2013
This past week we lost Gill, Jesse's pup, found at the Gill Trailhead about 4 years ago, abandoned and in very bad shape, maybe 1 week to go, Jesse and Gill took to each other like no pairing could match - Jesse got him all fixed up with a vet - probably 8 to 10 yrs old - As far as we can determine, Gill had a pretty hard life before Jesse convinced him to get in the Jeep - I remember at the start of the Gill era - try to give him a kiss on the nose and he would shy and bolt - within weeks, he would accept affection - all due to Jesse - and some due to the gentle approach from all of the Decker's crew
Gill got to go hunting, long walks for antler sheds, great days at the shop - but mainly he went fishing - I talk about his rising trout knowledge in weekly reports. He even got to fish with John Gierach & Col. Gary Beene and his wife Holly on a special day - I will always remember that outing - we caught trout on Caddis - and Gill was a good boy.
So we will miss Gill - greatly - Jesse gave that good ol'e boy the best years of his short "good" life - that we know, for sure.
Flow was bumped on Tuesday to 85 cfs - we are pleased - a great mid winter flow
Only had a sludge hatch on Tuesday morning - before they raised the flow - that was the only morning below "0" degrees air temp this week - I like looking at my weekly notes this time of year - No Sludge, No Sludge, Sludge, No Sludge ....... We are in March, thru the toughest part of the Rocky Mountain cold temps - we will still get snow - but it "don't mean n'uthin"
With the added water, finding risers later in the day has become tougher - but they can be found - nymphing with the same patterns from prior reports is still standard - but weight, rig set up, indicator distance and presentation / drift are so crucial.
Had a Bald eagle really working the Back Yard on Sunday afternoon - looked hungry - they have a real tough time with the sludge hatch - they mainly like to hunt in the mornings - saw the first Geese of the season this week on Saturday, then a few more during the week - still have yet to see the BIG MIDGE - but it is due.
Clocks turn ahead this weekend - the bugs and the trout do not know we do this, so adjust your schedules accordingly - sun rise over the back range will now be 8:15 a.m., but the drop to the West will be an hour later - close to 7 p.m. - nice
Storm due on Saturday - could be up to a foot of snow here in the valley - have had some of my best days on the river in a storm like that - glove up, hoodie up, watch cap up - man up - and get into them (and use the wind, don't fight it)
Week ending February 28th, 2013
Flow was bumped up to 60 cfs on Tuesday, Ice and sludge problems most of the week in the mornings, but mainly clear by the afternoon. Morning air temps still single digits above and below "0", except for Sunday when I woke to a balmy 20 degrees - and a blizzard by mid morning - only about 6" on the ground Monday, but it got nasty, another 2" Tuesday into Wednesday, but the roads are clear and most has melted
Still finding risers late afternoons - very picky & spooky - sipping small (#22 - 24) spent midges
Nymphing with the same patterns mentioned in tha last few reports is best bet - until you see some noses
P.M. air temps ranged from mid 30's to low 50's - actually pretty nice most afternoons
River went a little off color on Saturday afternoon with snow & ice melt, but that can be a good thing, not for risers, but sure enough for nymphing
Jeremy found Lion tracks in the shop parking lot on Monday morning in the snow, might have been the small male that was in the backyard a few weeks ago, some Woodpeckers are already starting to peck for mates - little early - might be a good sign
Weekend air temps and conditions look excellent - how can you resist
Week ending February 21st, 2013
Flow remained fairly steady all week from 36 to 40 cfs, probably 50 + cfs downstream from Deckers and the shop when you add the feeder creeks. Ice and sludge have been a problem most mornings, with air temps in the single digits above and below "0" pre-sunrise.
It gradually dissipates during the day, so we tend to start our days off upstream, then follow the sludge hatch downstream through out the day. We had a major ice off on Saturday when air temps hit high 50's, the backyard returned to normal, from a narrow sludge filled channel, with bank ice receding to the edges
Snow overnight Sunday into Monday morning left about an inch on the ground, another stronger storm Wednesday into most of Thursday morning left another 4" - great to see, but we need a lot more
Every day we hope to get a call from the boys at the dam that the flows are going up - but the call has yet to come and we really do not know when it will.
We continue to use Pats Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms or egg patterns trailing one or 2 small midge patterns - Black Beauty, Zebra, RS2, Mercury Midge, Miracle Midge, Red Larva, any JuJu. - look for a minimum water temp of 38 degrees before it starts to turn on - but turn on it will
Jesse has been getting surface action with Snow midge, For&Aft, Griffins Gnat later in the day - you have to hunt them out and boy are they selective - he called the other day to say the latest he hooked up was 6:02 p.m. - then it got dark.
Days are slowly getting longer, we are almost out of February and the colder mornings, sun now pops over the back range at 7:30 a.m. and the BIG MIDGE should be just around the corner - C'mon Spring
Saturday looks like a great day weather wise, still no sense arriving before 10 a.m. and with the new snow cover, well it's just too pretty to pass up - so avoid the traffic jams to the resorts and spend a day on the Platte - only traffic here will be one of us slowly cruising the river looking for noses.
Week ending February 14th, 2013
Flow remained between 35 and 40 cfs - ice and the sludge hatch (frozen, but moving water - sometimes more frozen than moving) started to become a problem this past week due to overnight cold temps - single digits above and below "0" degrees pre-sunrise - along with the extremely low cfs - well, you get ice
As always, keep moving upstream until you find open water - you may have to go up quite a ways these days
Good news is that we have started to find rising trout late in the day to spent midge returning to the water to deposit eggs - you just have to wait it out and keep your eyes open - small Snow Midge, For-n-Aft, Griffins Gnat - trail 'em behind a Para Adams if you have a hard time locating them, some evenings have been deadly
Have had some minor snow events these past 2 weeks, but nothing to be concerned about as far as access to the river - sure could use a good dumping or 2 - if it is gonna be cold, it may as well snow.
Jeremy, Charlie, Duane & I attended a meeting on Wednesday in Deckers about the proposed re-hab of Horse Creek - the last feeder creek in the drainage that still poses major problems from the Hayman fire of 2002 - studies are being done, permits being obtained, priorities being identified - but it is taking sooo long - these people are good, and genuinely concerned, but we may not see a final result until 2015, 2014 if all goes well - so figure 2015
Best bet nymphing for trout is to go big & small these days, Pats Rubber Leg, Egg, SJ Worm, then a small midge (Rojo, Red Larva, Black Beauty, Mercury Cream) - look for at least a 38 degree water temp for active trout - still no use getting here until 10 a.m. - then rig up slowly - check all leaders and knots twice - then give them all another good tug, then proceed with caution - low flow = spooky trout, breaking bank ice = lots of noise & vibrations
Only a few more weeks to take advantage of our Winter Specials - try to squeeze them in if you can, won't come around for another year
Every day we anticipate a call from the boys at the dam that the flow is "Going Up", but it does not come, so we hunker down and do our best - but on Wednesday the conditions were so bad we did not think we could get a solid 1/2 day in - Jeremy was scheduled, but at 10:00 a.m., made the dreaded call to our guest "Gotta be honest, save the time and gas money, we need to try another day" - it is the right thing to do
1/2 hour later Bob Dye from the "Quill" shows up - "What????, are there any open runs???" - "Sorry Bob, rumor has it the Gulf Stream is flowing nicely down by the Keys, but not much open water here, it was a lot better when you called the other day - it kinda changed" - I replied with a shrug (forgot he had a scheduled trip that day)
Bob also did the right thing, passed on the money, cancelled his trip, lost the day - our guests were more than understanding, and happy we stopped them - everyone wants a good day, we all try to make sure you have at least a fighting chance - at least those Shops and Outfitters with integrity -
I was very proud of Jeremy & Bob - they made the right call - as a Fly Fishing Guide there are no "Personal days" - no "Sick Pay" - no "Mulligans"- you lose the day and it can't be replaced out of the 365 available - plus the gas money to the river, so it's a loss - both by time and out of pocket - but good guys do the right thing - they could have called me before heading out (Jeremy did, we discussed the chances in-depth)) - but they have to see for themselves - and make the right call
Weekend actually looks good, weather wise - air temps in mid 50's - sludge & ice should be less of a problem - be patient - be stealthy - be careful on the bank ice - some of it is slicker than owl shit
Week ending January 31st 2013
Uh Oh - flow was dropped to 100 cfs on Monday, from 172 cfs, then down again to 60 cfs on Tuesday to 40 cfs on Wednesday - We do not know the theory behind these radical drops - only the people at Denver Water know - We don't think they know much - specifically in regards to the trout and anglers - We do know that the guys at the dam have reported the level down 48 - 49 feet from the spillway - that's a 4 to 5 story building from spilling - takes a ton of water to bring her up - think about it - has to go up 4 stories - but out thru the coves, etc - just to reach the spillway - right now we do not have the snow pack in the upper drainage to cover the deficit - another thought is that the top spill pipes live at 60 feet below the spillway, maybe they are worried about the level dropping that far and doing some damage - We think that if they kept the flow all winter at 150 cfs they would have been OK - and so would we.
But why drop the flow below the dam at the coldest 4 weeks (historically) of the year ?- makes no sense to us - I'm sure it makes no sense to you - sludge hatch in the back yard was ugly in the morning - did not get fishable until 2 p.m. - and the 40 cfs had yet to set in
We just have to trudge on - weekend temps (air) should make outings fine - 50's to low 60's predicted - o'nights in low teens to single digits - no sense arriving until 10 a.m. - hit the sludge hatch, just move upstream, you will find open water - if the sun comes out, the sludge hatch will deplete faster, then just follow it downstream as the day progresses.
Jeremy calls me on Monday - I just got back from a towm run "Can you cover the shop for a few hours ?" - "Yeah, what's up ?" - "Got a last minute walk up guide trip" - Sweet !" - I went in, the guest wanted some tips on winter nymphing and Tenkara angling - pretty much a long rod with a leader
They broke off a big fish with the Tenkara rig, landed bigger ones on the nymph rig, and had a few on the Tenkara - Jeremy just figured it out - what a premier guide does - figures it out - The guest was stoked
We had a dusting Sunday into Monday morning, 1 - 2 ", nice, but not enough - rain Saturday night, good showers, never (and I may be mistaken) have ever seen rain in January in the valley - No Lion sightings this week - but Mule deer are back, so I guess the Lion(s) ranged out to the back country. Seems we are not seeing as many Bald eagles this year - but at least one sighting a day - mainly fly-byes - in the back or at the shop.
Last weekend Jesse kept bugging me "Let's go Trout Fishi'n" - I was stuck in the shop, but I agreed to go on Monday "Trout Fish'n" - his exact words - Monday morning I went to the shop to go over some stuff with Jeremy.
Headed back to the cabin and here comes Jesse up river from his cabin - we stop - agree to an 11 - 11:30 start at my cabin, then I look at his roof top snow board / rod rack holder - there sits the familiar 10 foot nymph rod - and the 8'6" ugly stick -Rigged with a bobberr and 2 flies - the "Reservoir Dog" - I look back down at Jesse - and he has that "Cheshire Cat" grin going - "What's that thhing doing up there ? - "Oh man, this is 'gonna be fun" - I guessed we were going "Trout Fish'n"
We went to a run downstream, along the road, and he starts to demonstrate - 70 - 80 foot casts, 40 - 50 foot drifts, he figured out how to mend it, tight line it, basically lay out a good drift that lasted forever - it was embarassing when cars drove by - then one stopped - it was Kerri from the Orvis shop in Denver - a good buddy of our shop - Jesse wails that thing out there and actually hooks up - Kerri just laughs and shakes his head - I was just embarrassed
Next day Jesse, puffed up with success, 'cause he out-landed me that day - wants to go again - I agreed - to the backyard - no one could see us back there - I hoped
I am mid river at FBI Johns nymphing the far bank - Jesse shows up on the near bank "Hey Danny, you're too close to the run, you're spooking them" "What?" - and he lays out a cast with that ugly stick - right to the other bank - and starts mending and all - first drift, no lie, he sets on, and lands, a 16 " beautiful 'Bow - in water I had just been thru
At that point I was wondering if I had enough vodka at the cabin to start drinking now, or should I wait another hour
When Duane was told about the "Ugly Stick" he just dropped his head and shook it - but he could not hide the grin
Go small, midge wise, red is hot, but blue, black and cream all have produced - at 40 cfs you may just want to try a dry / dropper - Amy's Aunt with 1 or 2 dropped midge patterns and micro shots - but please, no "Ugly Sticks" - Jesse already put his away - a quick phase - just wanted to see if he could do it
Check out our Winter specials (above) for "guide trip and cabin" stays, "Cast & Blast" or standard "Walk and Wade" guided trips - these are great deals - but most end this month
Fine tune your winter nymphing skills with the guides and enjoy the river front views from "Bernies"
2 anglers, 2 nights at the cabin, (Bernies) 1/2 day guide trip = $300.00 = ( $150.00 per angler ) - good thru February 28th
"Cast & Blast" - Bird hunting and Fly Fishing package- you have to try it - check week ending Dec. 29th report for details or call the shop.
1/2 day walk and wade guided trip for 2 anglers - $150.00 ( $75.00 / angler )- rate good from now until February 28th
Week ending January 24th 2013
Flow remained steady all week at 172 cfs, river looks fantastic & remains gin clear, mainly sludge and ice free, but the further you move upstream, the better it gets (that's if you do encounter sludge or ice)
Excellent guide trips this past week, boys are really getting into them - no surface action yet, but the "Big Midge" is just around the corner - I'll keep you posted
Still no reason to get here before 10 a.m., morning temps have been single digits above and below "0"- pre-sunrise - but days have been very mild, low 50's to low 60's (we get 50 - 60 degree air temp swings on a regular basis here in the valley in the winter - just depends on cloud cover and winds)
Best patterns - San Juan Worms, Rubber Legs, and any small midge - red, brown, olive, black, cream - just keep switching until you get it dialed in - proper weight, distance to indicator and drift are so very key for success - or just a pleasant winter day on the river - both are good, but hooking up is a great bonus.
These trout are so fat and healthy, colors are amazing - and the fights on a 5 wt rod are awesome
Had an Adult and Immature Bald eagle in the back yard on Saturday afternoon - looked like a training flight - baby following the adult thru the air - came within 10 yards of the porch on one swoop - you could hear the beat of thier wings in the air - at one point, about 70 feet above the river they locked talons and did a slow downward spiral, breaking off maybe 20 feet above the river - seen this a few times with adults, never this pairing, never get tired of it - the Back Yard, at times, is like the Discovery Channel - only live
Weekend looks good weather wise - but it is very dry, so just 'cause it's winter, please be careful with open flames.
Jesse has approched the river differently this past week - he calls it "Trout Fishi'n" - I will explain next week
Week ending January 17th, 2013 (covers 2 weeks from Jabuary 4th)
Sorry, got caught up with keeping the pipes at the cabin from freezing (and me too) so missed last weeks report. Flow went from 150 cfs to 200 cfs to start last week, then dropped to 172 cfs on the 7th where it now stands
Even at 172 cfs we had the first sludge hatch & even some anchor ice in the back yard on the 13th, just too cold - had more on the 14th & 15th, but not as bad
Jeremy had some awesome 1/2 day trips last week before the cold really set in. Dave went on Wednesday, Neil on Thursday & Friday - both good friends of the shop and good anglers - they crushed it - bunch of trout fooled and landed - even Jeremy was impressed
If you get to the river & find ice or the Sludge Hatch (frozen, but moving water - pretty much impossible to fish thru) just continue upstream, you will eventually find open water
San Juan Worms, Rubber Legs & small midge patterns have been the menu choice - weight and presentation are critical
Had a Grandpa, son and grandson in the shop last Sunday, wanted to look at fly line, didn't think thiers was any good - too skinny ? - I told them to bring the rod in, I'd take a look at it - Granpa went to fetch it & the dad shows me what they were using, he had his nippers tied to a length of it around his neck - it was a piece of backing - now keep in mind this was the 1st day of fly fishing for any of them - trying to get the kid into the sport - they already had him tying flies.
Granpa comes back & sure enough, someone had sold them a "Package rod" with backing on the reel - but no line - poor kid was out there trying to cast a dry fly with backing
I lined the reel for them, set up a dry / dropper rig and off they went - But Granpa had left his cocoons on the counter - when I closed I took them with me and found the trio at the first bend below the shop & returned the specs - Dad asked how on earth did I find them -"I live on the river, I know where everybody is" - they got a kick out of that
You had to be extremely addicted to the sport, or a little loony (or both) to be out on the river at the start of the week - I had overnight / pre-sunrise air temps right around 20 degrees below "0" - day time temps maybe reached 10 degrees
I was pretty much limited to wood pile trips, flushing toilets and running hot water taps to keep things flowing at the cabin - burned a lot of propane too, just keeping the crawl spaces warm - but no pipes froze or clogged
Had a big Lion in the backyard on Tuesday - called Jeremy at the shop and he blasted down with a camera to get some shots - Big Cat came within 10 yards of the lunch porch (in hindsight I realized we were only a 7 foot vertical leap with screens, really old screens, between us and a horrible death) - the Cat was not phased by our presence - at all - what a powerful animal - you could just see it in his stride
Rest of the week looks excellent - 50 degree air temps and sun (hit 55 today) - ice should not be much of a problem for most of the river, but water temps are very important for success (has to reach 38 degrees for any real activity) the further upstream you travel, the warmer the water gets, just keep dipping your thermometer.
General rule, our day time air temps usually equal Denver highs, but overnight can be 10 - 20 degrees below Denver
No sense getting here until 10 a.m. or so, but get here you should, trout have been unpressured for the last few days, should be easier to fool & the river looks soooo good
Week ending January 3rd, 2013 ( + Friday the 4th)
Flow was steady at 185 cfs, dropped on Monday to 150 cfs, then back up today ( Friday ) to 200 cfs
Some ice problems down by Scraggy View in the mornings, some bank ice up here at Deckers, but not bad and at 200 cfs it should mostly all go away - todays bump to 200 cfs put the river off color slightly in the p.m., very fishable, especially with San Juan Worms, Stones, Rubber Legs and a small midge trailing- red, blue & black seem to all work #20 to 22 - river should be gin clear and perfect for the weekend
Monday we had some very light flurries, otherwise lots of sun but pretty cold, can't remember mornings this cold so early in the season - single and double digits below "0" all week (pre-sunrise) - running the furnace alot more than I like to (prefer to heat with wood) but gotta keep the crawl spaces warm - really do not want to deal with frozen pipes - warms nicely thru the day, but no sense getting here before 10 a.m. - weekend looks really nice air temp wise - mid 40's to low 50's - ideal conditions
Water temps are now pretty key - you are looking for 38 degrees before they start to turn on, 40 - 42 and they really start to feed, anything below 38 degrees and you pretty much have to hit 'em on the nose before they will take
If you encounter ice or a sludge hatch downstream from the shop, just keep moving upstream, you will eventually find ice free, open water
Week ending December 27th, 2012
Flow was raised on Wednesday from 150 cfs to 185 cfs, not too shabby for winter, no ice problems, even though overnight, pre-sunrise temps have been pretty brutal - single digits both above and below "0"
First day of winter last Friday, shortest day of the season on Saturday - sun pops over the back yard range at 8 a.m., but days will now slowly get longer, the sun has reached its furthest travel to the south over the back range - I watch it every morning with a cup of coffee
Still no sense arriving at the river before 10 a.m. - that's when we now schedule our 1/2 day trip starts - and the ones we have done have been outstanding
Rubber legs, San Juan worms, any #20 - 22 midge (Red Pure, Black Beauty, Blue JuJu, Red JuJu, Miracle, Mercury, WD 40) - have been the choice for a 3 fraud rig - all are taking trout - and trout are being taken
Jeremy & Jesse have been getting out on thier own a lot these past weeks - and pretty much slaying them (Duane is busy most days guiding wing shooting hunts with his dogs at the "Bluffs) Woke to 5" of fresh powder on the ground Tuesday (started at 5 p.m. on Monday) - White Christmas, fun to go out after a fresh fall and look for tracks, fool a few trout, then back to the cabin and a warm fire
Wanted to thank all of you who stopped by the shop and picked up some things, went on a guide trip or spent a night or 2 at "Bernies" or "Osprey" in 2012, it all really helps - we love what we do up here, but we can't do it without your help and so THANKS !!!
With Jesse now encamped at his new cabin and I at my old one, 2 of us now live on the river full time - with the amount of time Jeremy, Duane and all the others ply the South Platte - well you have all the guardians you could ask for - we sure do love this river - and try to protect it for everyone - we pick up a lot of trash - inform poachers of thier tresspass - call authorities when required - watch for fires in the forest & those ignoring the bans in camp - or completely ignoring all in spot camps
Come on up, stop by the shop, we will point out the pure midge & a few others - then go fool a few - and enjoy the winter months on a really fine Trout River
Week ending December 20th, 2012
Flow was lowered on Wednesday from 170 cfs to 150 cfs, a very sweet winter outflow from the dam at Cheesman - no ice problems, no sludge hatch - even though the suspect outside thermometer at the cabin read minus 20 degrees (thats 20 below "0") this morning - I have the furnace set to 55 degrees, came on and woke me at 2:30 a.m. - you know it's cold out there, so you get up, raise the thermo to 68, and run some of the water taps - can't use the fire to warm the place at those temps, gotta keep the crawl spaces warm to avoid costly pipe freeze-ups - and only the furnace can do that - hate to burn the propane, hate it, but no real alternative
River looks great, water temps have been ideal, low to mid 40's, trout are feeding - any type of midge trailed behind a San Juan Worm, Egg Pattern or Rubber Leg seems to do the trick, as long as your presentation is nothing less than perfect. That's the trick to winter nymphing, correct weight, correct weight to indicator distance, correct distance from flies to weights, correct distance from lead fraud to trailing frauds - small kind midge, red, blue, black, cream - don't forget small RS2's and tiny P-Tails - and soft weight - we use it all the time - we prefer "Mojo Mud", locally produced by a great guide named John P. - he figured out the recipe
Storm came in on Wedneday morning, snow started at 5 a.m., but it was COLD and blow'in, so not much landed or stayed on the ground, started to clear around 4:30 p.m., maybe 3" max due to the winds and air temps
Jesse left his 10' nymph rod at the shop overnight this week, Jeremy saw it on the counter, told me he was gonna dress the yarn indicator with "Henry's Sinket" - we laughed, I forgot it
Jesse called me on Wednesday night, He and Eric went on a p.m. patrol, said on each drift his indicator would just plummet after the weights, sinking like a rock - had to change it out - don't leave your gear at the shop overnight - Jesse figured it out, he knows what was done
Oh Jeremy, I feel for you partner - God knows what Jesse will come up with - this has been going on for years - Jesse, Jeremy, Duane, Li'l Jon, Eric - I keep my stuff locked in the Jeep, and the keys in my pocket (even so, they managed to sneek "Thingamabobbers" into my waders - I used to use 2 pinch ons - 2 feet apart on the leader - drove them nuts - but when I started nymphing, that's pretty much all there was)
About a 1/2 dozen Eagles in the Valley this season, some stalking the back yard home hole most mornings, fun to watch with a good cup of coffee from the porch.
Today I watched a Mule doe at full tilt run thru "FBI John's" field below my place, tear past "Dales" cabin, right thru my back yard and way past "Bernies" - somthing really spooked that Mulley - 1/2 hour later I heard another across the river - crash - silence - crash - silence - on & on thru the snow and willows, must have been 12 - 15' leaps - it was tearing ass - never saw it, just the sounds of a panic dash - I think the Big Cat is back
Sunrise at 8 a.m., sets about 4:15 p.m. here at the cabin - no sense getting here until 10 a.m.
Week ending December 13th, 2012
Flow has remained steady at 170 cfs all week, no ice problems at all, even though I woke to 3 mornings at '0" degrees or below. Woke to 5" of fresh powder on the ground Sunday, snowed off and on till noon
Feeder creeks are icing up, but still flowing
STILL finding BWO's - and risers to them, mainly at the end of the day
We are prety much down to 1/2 day guide trips now, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the optimum time to hit the river, fishable light until 4 p.m., some sections of the river do not see sun all day long now - we tend to stand in the sun and fish to the shade when we can - otherwise we do it all in the sun
All kinds of frauds are working, midge, stones, SJ worms for nymphing - river is fishing great
2 Bald eagles in a mating flight in the back on Monday, then Thursday I watched a lone big bird circle and swoop the home hole twice, then perched in a pine by Aquarium hole - 10 minutes later he came in again over the far bank, turned, headed upstream and picked off a nice trout - almost like he spooked the hole on the first passes, rested the hole for a bit, then came back for another try quite the angler
Week ending December 6th, 2012
Flow was bumped this week, as expected, up to 100 cfs on Friday (1/2 hour after I logged in last weeks report !), then to 150 cfs on Monday, then to 170 cfs on Tuesday - a sweet flow, but the abrupt pumps put a lot of junk in the flow - cleaniing flies every few drifts was mandatory - but OK, 'cause it puts a lot of water back into play
We are finding trout in all types of water - 2" riffles, deeper holes - just gotta feel it out - if it looks "Fishy", then it probably is - look before you leap is the standard - and those that do, and set on any indicator movement, hook up the most
Weight, indicator to weight distance, then fly selection are crucial - not a proper rig set up, not a good drift, results in a whole lot of casting (little roll casts) - and a lot of focus, but not much action
Gotta get it dialed in - what a difference it can make
This week junk was working best because of the flow bumps, lots of food items knocked into the drift - Rubber legs, San Juan Worms, Eggs as lead flies, small P-Tails, all midge patterns as 2nd and even 3rd flies
Tricos are done, but still finding the odd BWO hatch - just have to be lucky to find risrers - if they will not take your BWO offering, but are still rising - switch to a For-N-Aft, Snow Midge or Griffiths Gnat - if still refused, drift a Barr Emerger or RS2 in the film behind a Parachute Adams or BWO about 2 feet from the dry, otherwise go back to nymphing - I usually stay with the surface action (stubborn old man) - but one on a dry is worth 2 on a nymph - (actually 5 in winter conditions) - just my opinion
Bunch of Bucks on the property these past few weeks, escaped the 3 - 4 rifle seasons to pursue the girls - and pursue they did - fun to watch - big old boy - 5 points om a mule deer scale - HUGE neck, black nape - he had the first dances, 'couple of 4 pointers and one little guy at 2 points, one of the 4 points got lucky, culling off a few girls while #5 was "Gettin busy" - sly devil - Looks like #2 will have to wait until next year - poor little horny guy. Even had a 1 year old with 2 nubs at the garden this morning, he awaits the #2's fate - 'couple years buddy - just dodge the bullets
Not as many Bald eagles this year that I have seen in the past - one huge girl up and down the river in early a.m. - pauses at "Hole in the Wall" for a look, but usually moves on - none stalking the Home Hole lately
Pre sunrise air temps from low single digits to 20's, day time highs pretty much equal Denver's, sun now crests the back yard range at 7:55 a.m., shadows creep up the same range at sunset around 4:20 p.m. - sun has now almost reached her furthest point south over the back range- just a few weeks to go, then starts her North movement - love to watch that change in momentum - means Spring is close
Wattched Jesse and a friend hit the Home Hole this p.m. - was going to join, but a little under the weather - as expected, Jesse hooked up, repeatedly - love to watch his concentration - same as Jeremy and Duane - they make it look easy, but it is the focus that pulls it off - focus on set up, drift, fly selection, presentation - these guys are sooo good
Week ending November 29th, 2012 (missed last weeks report due to the Holiday)
We are still offering our Loft Space " Osprey" above the shop as a winter fishing rental / retreat - up to 3 anglers can go in on it - this is not a "permanent residence" - but a place to come to and relax after a day or 5 on the river - 2 BR (Queen in one, 2 singles in the other)1 full tiled bath, Sat TV system, washer/dryer, dishwasher, full kitchen, huge back deck, gas grill with propane provided, across the street from the river - fully equipped - you just need clothes, food and fishing gear
Rent is $400.00 / month + electric and propane (dropped from $450.00 / month, as long as at least 3 months booked from Dec thru March) - (get 3 together and that is $133.00 per + utes) - offer starts December 1st and runs thru March 31st, - 4 months of comfort in the winter on the South Platte - this is one sweet opportunity - call the shop at 303-647-2237 or e-mail me with questions or booking info Flow remained steady at 45 cfs since last report, but it is due to go up any day now - to what, we do not know, but a little more sure will help - no problems with ice yet, some sludge way downstream in the a.m., but at 45 cfs, it could be a problem going into late December - no snow or rain for a LONG time, valley is extremely dry, please be careful.
Morning air temps pre-sunrise have been in the single digits to teens, but we hit 50's to 60's most days (as long as the sun stays out) - we are pretty much down to 1/2 day guided trips - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - until the end of February - bankers hours - and winter nymphing sure is fun - may even find risers to tiny adult midge - we know the tricks - if we see 'em, we get 'em - if you can make the cast and manage the short drift - Boy is that fun - big trout on a #24 dry
Rule of thumb here in the valley, our overnight lows will be 20 - 30 degrees below Denver, but our day time high temp usually meets or exceeds Denver's high
BWO's were still going strong thru Thanksgiving, but have dropped off significantly this week, nary a one to be foumd - if you find rising trout, try a For-n-Aft, Griffiths Gnat or a Snow Midge (we have the right sizes at the shop) - otherwise it is dead drifting nymphs along the bottom - and it is working really good - RS2. Barr Emerger, all JUJU midges, Zebras, Nuclear Eggs, small P-Tails, Mercury, Miracle, etc.
A week ago Lil Jon and I took out Matt and a few of his buddies, 5 total, but Jeff and Matt don't really need a guide, just put 'em in the right spot, I had 3 of them spread out pretty good (Jon took the 2 less experienced with him) - Jeff hooks and lands a nice"Bow, 12 - 13", nets it and calls upstream to me "Danny, it has a stringer in it!!" - "Wha?" - so I go down and sure enough, Jeff pulls out a 3' long nylon cord from his gills with a spike on one end and a ring on the other
We check the trout and all seems OK - no blood, gill plates looked good, we spend time reviving him, and off he goes - remarkable - he ate an RS2, stringer and all - this was in the restricted water - flies and lures, 2 trout over 16" limit - we were just downstream from a campground - I was proud of that trout
Same group and Lil Jon tells me this story at the end of the day - one of his clients was struggling with drifts, mends and sets - 1st time with a fly rod - so he says to Jon "Go ahead, you try and catch him" (they were sight fishing to a nice Rainbow) - Jon does not hesitate, takes the rod, 2nd drift, fools the trout and hands the rod to the client, who proceeds to fight and land her
"Jon, do that again, I want to watch" - so Jon walks upstream a bit, lays out a few drifts and BAM, into another one - hands the rod off, trout fought and landed nicely. client says "You know what Jon, I think we may be on to somthing here" - Jon laughed, handed him the rod "Nope, it's your turn"
We are offering a new package in December that will run thru March - "Blast & Cast" - basically we have arranged for a 1/2 day wing shooting guided hunt on a 4,000 acre preserve an hour outside of Denver to the East, then drive up to the valley and spend the night at our river front cabin "Bernies", then go out the next day for a 1/2 day guided fishing trip
We can package it many ways, basic is a night at the preserve in the lodge with dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day with the 4 hr hunt, 10 birds max / gun, dogs provided, birds cleaned, then drive to Deckers, spend the night at "Bernies", wake in the morning for a 1/2 day guide trip on the river - this is for 2 anglers / shooters - total (not including guide gratuity or lic fees) = $1,250 - $625.00 each - all subject to availability
You can opt out of the Lodge stay and just go on the hunt (Duane will probably be your guide and has 2 great dogs) - you can stay an extra night at the river front cabin - we will put together and customize any package that works, and price it the best we can - we can handle up to 6 guests - but if you have more, just let us know - (3 would have to spend the night at our loft space above the shop, or we arrange other river front accomodations)
I will post full details on the site next week, but if interested, just send a mail or call the shop at 303-647-2237, we will answer any and all questions, and see if we can get you set up. Link to the preserve site is www.huntthebluffs.com - check it out, nice site
Think about it - arrive at "Bernies" in late afternoon with birds ready for the grill, uncork some wine, kick back, sleep in and meet at the shop at 10 a.m. for 4 hrs of trying to fool some wild trout - Oh yeah.
Week ending November 15th, 2012
Flow has remained steady at close to 50 cfs from Cheesman Outflow, closer to 65 cfs below the shop at Deckers when you add the feeder creeks
Try casting to risers in the riffles, 'cause the ones in spooky calm water are lookin at it, & lookin at it, & lookin at it - they even turn away from naturals, you may even see them follow your fraud 1 or 2 feet down stream - either to reject it - or take it - this is an un-nerving time - so hard not to set - the anticipation of the take - the appearance of the rising trout - gotta love it
Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:30 a.m.. drops to the West as the shadows creep up the same range at 4:30 p.m., some reaches of the river are starting to see no sun most of the day - we tend to cast to the shade, but stand in the sun - 10 degree air temp difference - speaking of air temps, we had our 1st sub zero morning of the season on Monday - minus 6 degrees - no real rush to get up here before 9 a.m. - does not really start turning on until 10 a.m. for surface action, if it happens
Just watched an angler in the home hole fool, net and release a nice Brown, all the proper steps, even the wetting of the release hand - a true sport - I stood uop and gave him a few clapping hands, which were acknowledged by a thumbs up - I enjoy watching a competent angler - I really enjoy a good release
Some of you may have been finding small trout with Parr marks, 3 to 5 inch - talked to Jeff Spohn, our area river biologist on Monday - he did not stock sub-catchable trout this year - so these are wild trout, or a product of fingerlings planted in the early spring up by cable hole - since we have fooled some as far as Last Chance, I tend to think they are wild trout - on the most part - a wild trout river on the mend - so cool, 10 years in the recovery - I had no idea it would take this long, but back we are (almost) again
Had 2 bald eagles in the back yard on Wednesday - quite the air show, saw a huge female down by Scraggy on Friday while on a guide trip - massive bird.
Had a nice Buck herding up a harem of 10 or so does and yearlings this week on the property - he seemed quite content - they really hoover up the fallen Elm tree leaves right outside the window next to my desk - wondered where they all went (those leaves) - also wonder why they like them so much - I have seen them rear up on hind legs to munch the live ones right off the tree in the summer - figured that is why both the Elms have such a uniform bottom
BWO's are starting to thin out, but still finding risers, have found that a Hackle Wing PMD # 22 works really well, along with small Sparkle Duns, Cripples and Foam tops
Jeremy has had some great days with clients nymphing with a Mercury Midge, Black Beauty, WD 40, RS2, Zebra Midge behind an Egg pattern or San Juan Worm - Duane has been doing a lot of Bird Hunts on the Bluffs with his dogs - was hoping to guide with him this Saturday but he can't make it (birds and dogs again) and Jeremy is on a full day, so I can't play with him either - Jesse is out with his brother at PGA Q School, so it will be me and Lil Jon or Eric - no matter, all are so much fun to be on the river with - and all are so good
Division of Wild Life began the annual electro-shocking survey of the trout population this week, takes a long time to get the final results, but Jeremy went down to twin bridge below the shop on Wednesday and took a look in the holding net - bunch of trout - I think all will be impressed with the counts and overall size from this years survey
Weekend weather looks great, even as far as Turkey Day - we are booking a lot of trips, but if you have guests coming into town, why not give us a call, we can get you out on the river and catch a holiday trout - it is so nice up here right now
We will be open on Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the shop - then I come back to the cabin where a whole bunch of exteneded family will feed and drink me - an annual event - a fun week - cabin full, guest cabins full, and just a lot of food (I survive on the leftovers for a week after all depart)
Week ending November 8th, 2012
Flow went from 95 cfs down to 70 cfs on Wednesday, then down to 50 cfs on Thursday afternoon - we had just gotten used to 95 cfs - trout are really spooky, but you can't miss them - just stay low and stealthy - they sure are feeding
BWO hatch has been incredible - from noon on till late (I have seen trout rising as early as 9:30 a.m.), still seeing some tricos spinning down at the same time - surface action like old times - plenty of noses to target - but they will refuse anything that is less than perfect - pattern and drift are key - both have to be spot on - we trail a Para Olive or Adams #18 or 20 with a #22 Foam top, Hackle wing, or cripple, Sparkle Dun - even a #24 for real picky trout in spooky, still water - some runs have had insane numbers of rising trout - can be humbling - gives you a real sense of how many you are missing when fishing sub-surface - goes back to drift, presentation and pattern
Nymphing or Dry / Dropper with JuJu Baetis, Barr Emerger, RS2 (Gray or Brown), Nuke Eggs, Red San Juan worm have all worked until the first nose appears, then we switch
Weekend weather really looks like a Baetis time - if the wind stays down it could be awesome
Sun Now crests the back yard range at 7:25 a.m., drops to the West at 4:45 p.m. - pre-sunrise temps at the cabin in the teens, but we hit 60+ each day this week, things don't really get going until 9 a.m. or so
Guide trips have been fantastic - such a joy to get on a river with so many big, hungry, healthy trout - and this river looks soooo good
Come on up
Week ending November 1st, 2012
Flow remained pretty steady between 90 & 95 cfs from Cheesman outflow - we are now very used to the low flow and gin clear water - and are getting into them big time
Saw a minor guide (Probably one of those"Group ons" wanna bees) in the back yard home hole doing the San Juan shuffle to try and get his client into a trout - seeing more and more of this on the river - in the back yard I either yell at them or make sure the screen door slams enough so they know I am watching - funny how quick they move when they hear the door crack - @!*holes
Get your client into trout properly, or get off the river - damage and destruction to the habitat for your ineptness is not very cool - go back to Burger King or learn the river and proper techniques.
3 - 4" of snow on Friday morning - first decent one of the year - nice to see - melted quickly and the river remained gin clear.
Had a fawn try to meet a hare this a.m. right out the front window by the TV - Little one with the BIG eyes kept nosing up to the Bunny - Bunny stayed rigid - then one hopped - took the fawn by surprise - Walt Disney all over the place - gotta love it up here.
BWO's continue to hatch, action can get going as early as 10:30 a.m., best from 12 p.m. to dark - these are small bugs, #22-24 - we have fooled trout with Cripples, Foam Tops, Sparkle Duns, and Hackle Wings - (both PMD and BWO)
Still seeing Trico mating swarms - Spinner fall co-incides with the BWO hatch - watch the rise forms for what they are taking - Spinner Fall is getting later & later - now happening around 12 p.m. - Spinners coming down, Olives going up - all at the same time - what a place, everything a trout stream should be - and the river and habitat look so good
Lots of Aquatic plants this year - most since the fire - and amongst them are small fry - tons of them - with all the vegetation this year we hope that most will make it to maturity - we think with the lack of vegetation years past - the little guys had no place to hide - and got gobbled up
Had a chance to guide with Jesse this week - 4 clients - really good guys - We had one (Darren) set up at the top of a run - I was standing with him - indicator bolts upstream and the trout was off in seconds - broke off two of the 3 flies - Jesse had set up the rig so we immediately blamed his knots - so Jesse sets it back up again. Maybe a 1/2 hour later I put Darren in the same place - hooks a good "Bow and it bolts upstream - a good thing - fight went on for a few minutes with 4 or 5 leaps, then she bolts downstream, one more leap and the flies are thrown - I told Darren it counted " 'cause it was on for more than 8 seconds - a Deckers Rodeo Ride" - I pulled his line in to check the flies - and yup, the 2 flies he lost on the other trout were attached to the new cast that Jesse had set up - he fooled the same trout twice - almost like the "Bow said "Yeah, thats right, I'm swimming free, and you can take these back too"
Next day Jesse, me and our buddy Marc M. go on a little p.m. R&D session - Me and Marc are looking for risers, Jesse has his 10 foot 5 wt TFO (this is a sweet nymphing rod - we have some at the shop) rigged for nymphs and his Guide net and a dry fly rod tucked in his back - we hit a few spots downstream that we were curious about - we all got trout, (Jesse more with the nymph rod) saw a bunch of river - then we hit a spot with a deep top run, and slick water at the tail out - bunch of trout on the bottom of the deep run, risers in the shallow tail out - had to get on your knees for the risers - so Marc did
Jesse decided to show off a little - took off the indicator - re-adjusted weight in 2 spots on the leader and tied on a single fraud - an egg pattern - kinda like a Czech rig, kinda not - hooks a nice brown that breaks him off (Knots Jesse - I love giving him the crap)
So, says Jesse "For my next act..." and he re-rigs with a single red San Juan worm this time - few drifts later he hooks a SLOB - Marc runs over and removes Jesse's net and spare rod from his back and puts them on the bank (Jesse is in for a fight with too much gear in the way), then turns with his own net to assist - looks at the trout rolling and fighting - looks at his net - then runs back to the bank, chucks his net and grabbed Jesse's big guide net (the one we sell at the shop built by Eric and the boys) - safely landed we estimate it was close to 5 lbs - it would not have fit in Marc's net - and this was miles downstream from the shop.
Sun now crests the back range at 8:20 a.m., shadows cover the same range at sunset around 5:45 p.m. - morning air temps (pre-sunrise) mid teems to low 20's - but it warms nicely - 60's - 70's - now on Sunday we change the clocks - the bugs and the trout do not know we do this - so everything will move up an hour - so look for risers as early as 9:30 a.m. (not 10:30 a.m.) etc.
We nymph 'till we see the noses (Barrs, RS2's, P-Tails, JUJU Baetis or midge, Black Beauty, Worms, Eggs, Mercuries, Miracles)), then target specific trout with surface patterns
5 and 7 day weather forcasts look great - give us a call, book a trip, we do our best to get you into trout, learn a few tricks, have quite a few laughs, and learn about the river - you just can't go wrong right now
Week ending October 25th, 2012
Flow remains at 90 cfs from Cheesman, little over 100 cfs below Deckers and the shop when you add the feeder creeks
Pre-sunrise temps ranged from low teens to a high of 40 degrees on Tuesday, the day of the wind - and man it blew - thought I was in Wyoming - sad thing is it stripped most of the last color from the trees - and it was such a fantastic Fall.
Sun crests the back range a little after 8 a.m. - pitch dark just before 7 p.m. - some minor bank ice is present some mornings - not a problem
Some days we have litterally billions of midges in the air - some a size #32 (not kidding) - Tricos are still present, but the BWO's are boiling off the water - they are small - #22-24 - small Sparkle Dun, #22 PMD or BWO Hackle Wing trailed behind a #18 - 20 para Olive or Adams does the trick - be patient, get the drift just right - no takes on the trailer - just seeing dorsals and tails - try a #22 - 24 spent Trico behind the Parachute
Prior to noses breaking the surface a WD 40 or #22 Barr Emerger have been effective as nymph patterns - let the drift lay all the way out - some strong takes are felt as the frauds rise up thru the water column
Thursday we had the 1st winter storm roll in - actually started with rain Wednesday p.m. - 1" on the ground today - then the 2nd round came in the afternoon - near whiteout at the cabin - gotta love it - fire blazing - Jesse had been in the back and got a few good ones on the surface before it got really bad - came up to the cabin, banged on the window, gave the report - then headed downstream to his cabin to set a fire and take the chill off
Risers as early as 10 a.m. - goes almost all day if you can find them - can be a little site specific - humbling if you get into a run with dozens of open mouths and trailing bubbles - "That many trout in this run?"
Guide and R&D trips have been outstanding - we are really getting into them - up & down the river
River looks so good, so many hungry trout, weekend and next week look ideal - how can you resist !!
Week ending October 18th, 2012
Flow remained steady at 90 cfs all week - we would like to see a little more, but we have definetly gotten used to it - just the numbers of trout hooked on the guide trips is proof enough - Jeremy and Duane have been crushing it - my trips have been OK - mainly teaching, but also hooking - which is always a plus and so much fun to see a new angler set on and fight the first trout on a fly rod - I really like that part
Charlie S. came out from Texas this week - usually comes with a group, either his sons and friends or buisness associates - solo this time - comes out 2-3 times a year, his Aunt Bev has a cabin here on the river they use in the summer - He and Jeremy had what Charlie said "Was the best day of my life with a fly rod" - now he is thinking of leaving the groups at home and coming solo for now on - see, Charlie always let the others go ahead - wanted them to get into it, so he fished the dirty water - water already picked over - groups and associates be warned - he e-mailed pics of huge trout to all that very night - if he smiled any bigger his ears would have split
This trip he got first dibs on the water - he liked that
Trout are real spooky - stealth is the key - but they are feeding steadily
Huge hatches of varied small midge all day long - then BWO's in the a.m. - small ones - #22 - 24 in the morning, larger #18 in the afternoon
Still some caddis around - Tricos are thinning out, but still present, spinner fall starts around 11, 11:30 a.m. if you find them
COLD mornings - 30 degrees on Wednesday was the warmest - low 20's pre-sunrise is the average - but all days warm nicely to low 60's, low 70's
Sun has now reached well past her travel to the south over the back yard range - crests the mounts at 8 a.m., drops to the west at 6 p.m.
Still a lot of Fall colors in the forest & valley, but high winds in the afternoon this week knocked a lot of the leaves off - really starting to look like winter - which really isn't a bad thing
Cabin furnace on in the morning to take the chill off and get a comfortable shower - fireplace going in the evenings - fun and pleasing now (gotta love a warming fire) - but it all gets old come February
Had 2 Bucks going at it in the back willows on Friday evening - 6 - 7 does in an adjacent field - Clack, Clack Clack - for over a 1/2 hour - never saw them - too deep in the thicket - but they were loud - and it went on - but, then again, 6 does are quite the reward
River looks soooo good - had to go to Conifer on Wednesday, so dropped down Foxton road on the way back to scout the Platte from the old hotel to the cabin - stopped at every pullout (and not quite pullouts) and spotted trout at each one - some real good ones way down stream - this place is so cool - everything a trout stream should be - now is the time - my favorite time of the year - get up here and just enjoy it - maybe fool a few.
Week ending October 11th, 2012
Flow started out and remains at 90 cfs this week - a little low for our likings, trout are easily spooked - but they seem to be all looking up, so surface action is a good trade off
Tricos are still swarming, spinners hit the water anywhere from 10:30 a.m. till after 12 p.m. - but watch the rise forms, 'cause tiny BWO's are hatching at the same time - so "sippers" are on the Tricos, "splashy" risers are on the Olives - some are eating both - split the difference and cast a #22 Para Olive trailed by a Trico spinner - about a 2 foot seperation and grease them both
Nymphing can be good before and after the Hatch / Fall - small Juju Baetis, RS 2's, Barr emergers have all worked
Pre-sunrise air temps have ranged from 10 degrees (Monday) to mid 20's, but warms quickly and nicely - 60's to 70's
Had a large Bald Eagle in the back yard on Wednesday - hunting the home hole from a Cottonwood - then he / she moved to a dead Pine acros the river and worked the aquarium hole - never did get a trout that I saw, but made a couple of big swoops from both trees - I did say the trout were spooky.
One run, downstream from the cabin, holds a ton of fish - end of the pool is very still water - from 50 feet away you can find 20 risers - get within 30 feet and they stop - from any direction - make a nice 40 foot cast and you have a chance, unless you line it, then, again, they stop - challenging - I like that run
This is it - the time of year you want to be up here - even with spooky trout, gin clear water - we can get you into them - I wish this lasted for months - but maybe 4 weeks are left (with the colors, warm days, hatching and spinning bugs) - then we move into that great winter nymphing mode (with Bankers hours)
So come on up - even if you spook them all - it is still a great day.
Week ending October 4th, 2012
Flow started out at 100 cfs, then dropped to 90 cfs on Wednesday - river is gin clear and looking fantastic - just what a trout stream should resemble - riffles, pockets, runs and that good old "spooky" water - where they rise to dry flies consistently, only to spook at an aproach of 30' - so if you can't make a 40' cast without lining them or splashing them - you might get a take - that is pure enjoyment - the take - with a cast of that distance - if you are hesitant to try that cast - staying low - on the knees, casting upstream - then move up to the riffles - broken water makes it easier to approach without spooking them - but you still have to be stealthy
Trico spinner falls have been like old times - pre - Hayman days, but not so good the last few days - weather changes, too many fronts, seem to have put them off - but that could change as early as next week
We had some great guided trips this week - nymph rigs, dry / dropper & surface patterns all worked - Jeremy had a client get into 'The biggest trout on a line this year" - solid 24" 'Bow on Monday - downstream from the shop - did not land it, but got some good looks - Jeremy does not exaggerate - so it was probably 25" + - A river getting healthy and back in shape
Duane and I also had some good trips this week - got to love that hour or so between 10 a.m. and noon - when they start to rise, it is a thing of beauty - and also humbling - so mant trout in a run and you only fooled a few on nymphs - makes you wonder how many "takes" you really missed - like Jeremy says before each trip "He who sets the most, hooks the most trout" - or Duane, when a lone angler stops to watch trout after trout being hooked "what are you using?" - Duane consistently replies "A really good drift" - so key to a catching day
But just being on the river right now is a real treat - colors on the banks are peaking - blue bird skies, puffy white clouds - COLD mornings (low 20's to low 30's pre-sunrise) - but warm nicely to low 70's
Reports of a Moose on the river this week - from people I trust as knowing - 2 different sightings, 2 different sources - whole bunch of Turkeys in the backyard past couple of days - and up and down the river - sometimes I'm not too sure if it is someone trying to call them in, or the real thing - then you spot the flock - some guys are real good with the calls
Brown, grey, black RS2's, p-tails (small) Barr emergers (small) - Para-adams, para-BWO's, foam tops, cripples, Trico spinners - even good old Amy's - have all produced this week - but things could be changing - like I said - the Tricos did not appear today, the Olives did - just stop by the shop - we will do our best to dial you in
Week ending September 27th, 2012
Flow started out at 150 cfs last Friday, then bumped on Saturday to 200 (the 1st day of fall), Tuesday it was cut back to 100 cfs - river is gin clear, despite some major storms on Wednesday & Thursday
Lighting strikes all over the back yard range on Wednesday evening - one big bastard set a tree on fire - I called it in, but it went out (the flames) after a few hours - North Fork Fire responded quickly - but we agreed it was too risky to head up there - forest service went up on Thursday morning to check it out - just the one tree, still smoldering and smoking the next morning at 7 a.m.- about 3/4 mile East of the cabin, across the river, they made sure it was out.
Thursday afternoon we had a hail storm that really dumped - pea size, but a bunch of it, 'couple of inches - tinged the river for a while with road run-off, but not bad and not for long, then the sun came out and it was perfect - BWO's really boiled off.
Trees are peaking this week in the valley - colors are awesome - my favorite time of year - cold mornings (mid 20's, low 30's) - then before you know it, 60 - 70 degrees and you are discarding layers.
Tricos & BWO's are the surface action - I have seen trout rising as early as 8:30 a.m. to BWO's # 20 - 22 - Trico Spinner action best between 10 a.m. and noon - some major spinner falls
Dry / Dropper is in play before and after risers - Amy with a dropped caste of RS2's, Barr Emergers, small P-Tails, Juju Baetis, Caddis Larva - all produced this week - but with all your casts a perfect drift is a must - surface or sub-surface - all else will be rejected - after the spinner fall, try lightly weighting a Parachute or Spinner imitation - can be deadly
This is the time of year I talk about at the shop all year - get your butt up here - it does not get any better than this
Week ending September 20th 2012
Flow started out at 145 cfs last Friday, dropped to a scary 90 cfs that afternoon, back up to 150 on Sunday, up to 200 on Monday, then back down to 150 cfs on Wednesday - one has to wonder - if we stayed, at say, 130 cfs all week, would not the same amount of water reached Denver?
Cheesman Reservoir is down about 35 feet from the Spillway, can't recall it ever being that low
Swallows and Hummingbirds have long departed - here one day, then - poof - gone - takes a few days to realize the departure - after a summer season you take them for granted, then one day you realize " I ain't seen them birds for a few days"
My awareness was sparked by the first Bald Eagle hunting the back yard Tuesday & Wednesday - focused on stalking the aquarium pool from the dead pine tree across the river - this was one big bird - amazing wing span - could be a winter resident - could just be passing thru for parts south - little early for the winter resident Eagles
Jeremy and I did a full day trip together today - Rob Province (a true trout bum who does not need a guide) and his 2 brothers - they stayed at the guest cabin for 3 nights for a reunion - and fished with us - we hooked trout on South Platte nymph rigs, single dries and dry / droppers - quite the day, Jeremy and I had such a good time - such great guests - it was our pleasure to guide them.
Trico Spinner falls have been close to epic - just like the old days - at 150 cfs more trout are getting on them - at the same time we are seeing a BWO hatch - small guys - #20 - #22 - watching the rise form gives you the clue - but some will sip a few spinners, take a dun, then splash at a caddis - Oh man, I love this time of year.
Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:30 a.m. - drops to the West at 6:25 p.m. - the travel of the orange orb to the south has reached about 1/2 way thru its migration, mid winter it will pop up way to the south at 8 a.m., drop to the west at 4 p.m. - but then it turns and moves back to the North - I like that turn.
Mornings have been - Cold - 6 of the last 7 mornings (pre-sunrise) have been in the 20's - had to scrape ice off the jeep windshield on my way in most mornings (wiper fluid is out - one of those things that get by you until you hit the button and the pump just whines) - but we have hit low 70's to low 80's by afternoon - had to fire up the furnace today for a few minutes to warm up the front bathroom - indoor cabin temp was 58 degrees - forgot to close one window - one of the windows on the South side, would have been worse if it was any on the North side
Mule Deer are starting to herd up again - the fawns are really maturing - they lose the spots so fast - and here come the Bucks !!!
You need to get up here, trees are turning in the Valley, along with bankside willows - gin clear river, bunch of hungry trout - this is the time of year I talk about when I am in the shop when asked "when's a good time" - well, this is it.
Week ending September 13th, 2012
Valve tests for Cheesman are completed - reached a high flow of 719 cfs on Tuesday - tests ended on Wednesday afternoon - flow is set to go back to 200 cfs by Thursday - how sweet is that !!! - actually dropped to 145 cfs today
Looked like most trout moved to the banks during the tests - hopefully they stay there - fun fishing strait upstream with a single dry, river bank on your left shoulder, 20 foot casts, 6" volleys from right at the bank to 3 feet out, then move 3 feet and repeat - I can spend all day doing that, with not a care in the world - just me, the cast, the wade (note, do not obseve the area around you, until feet are firmly planted - I have almost lost it a few times trying to identify a bird, fawn & mom, vista, colors or beaver/muskrat)
Try black RS 2 in a.m., Trico Sinners at 9:30 a.m. if you find risers, small BWO's #20-22 later in the day - Stones, RS2, Soft Hackle, Buckskin, Juju baetis, San Juan worms - the list goes on for nymphing
Jesse and Jon have been hitting the reservoir (Cheesman) pretty hard - catch Perch in the weed beds with small Prince Nymphs on fly rods, hook them into bait hooks (Jesse even has a battery operated aerator for the bait bucket) and cast an ugly stick way out there with a bobber (they have it all worked out - fishing science)- yeah, wierd for a fly fishing guide, but he and Jon have been hanging Smallies at record size and Pike up to 30" - they also did a cast and blast for Doves on opening day - Jesse, Shane (his brother the golfer) and Jon - got birds and trout at FBI John's - in the back yard on dry flies - after dropping some good birds - I love this valley - most birds were dropped right out of Jesse's front door - He just lives a 1/2 mile downstream on the other side of the river.
So, I ventured to the Lake (Cheesman) on Friday morning - on my own - Jon's tales of large cruising trout got my attetion
Got to the lake around 7:15 a.m. - Had an Amy's and a dropped Stone - second long cast and "somthing" whacked Amy - not sure what it was, flat light, never had a look, really never had it on - walked the banks looking for cruisers - no real sites, few blind casts, went back to the first cove - 2nd cast - whack - on Amy once again - had it on for a few secs - threw the hook - no idea what it was (Smallie, Pike, Trout ?)
Clipped off the Stone and tied on a red Copper Jon - second cast - Amy sank, and I was taken to the backing - 2 other good runs and netted a nice 20"+ Rainbow - Lake closes on Sept 30th - so we will offer guided 1/2 day trips for fly fishing for the next 2 weeks - 2 hours at the res - then finish the day at the river for risers - if it happens - otherwise just fish the river with nymphs - that would be a great day - if interested, just call the shop to set up a day
After the flow fluctuations, we will have to see what happens, but Tricos in the a.m. (spinner falls), then a small #20 BWO for surface action should do it - Nymph with Stones, Juju Baetis, RS2's - or just stop by the shop - we can hook you up - then it is up to you ....
We avoided metioning this for a while, over a year, but we are getting so many complaints at the shop, regarding these "Guided Trips" we could not ignore the situation any longer
A few outfitters have been offering a "Groupon" trip for 3 anglers for a full day at an extremely discounted rate - these are outfitters with no true morals - they just want to make money - don't care about the quality of the trip - the "guides" on these trips are at or near a novice angler's skills - trust me, we know - they are paid a fee equal to what a proffesional guide gets for a 1/2 day - not a full day rate - no real guide would even look at a day with these rouges
On top of the 1/2 day pay, guides have to pay for lunch for all clients out of the charged fee - his/her own pocket ( we at South Platte Outfitters buy lunch for all clients and the guide), out of that 1/2 day wage = not a good or competent guide, not happy about pay (or happy 'cause they just wants to brag that threy are a Professional Fly Fishing Guide) and chasing 3 anglers all over the river - no one has a good day - again, trust me - I watch it from the porch - so sad
Had 4 anglers in the shop on Saturday - said they were with a group trip - the guide told them to "Go to the shop in Deckers and ask what they were biting on" - no Joke - true story - then they picked up 3x leaders - they said that was what the "Guide" told them to get - I switched them out to a 7.5' 5x - who are these guys ???
So be forewarned - book one of these trips and be ripped off - that is all we can say - they really hope you do not book in time and the ticket expires - that is the only way they (the outfitter) makes money - otherwise they may make a $30.00 cap (after guide pay and "Groupon's cut")- not even worth it - they stall you on booking dates 'cause they can't find guides - I have known most of my life there are 2 types of CLASS - - ( "First & No" )- - you can book a real guide trip or opt for "No" - They are putting a bad name on the legitimate outfitters and the industry as a whole - 'nuff said
So get on up here - think about it - the Canyon & most of the river have remained untouched for 3 - 4 days - we had great rain all day on Wednesday - kept most away - it was a good soaking rain all morning - really helped with the fire dangers - still an issue, but a North West Coast soaking like that really helps
Jeremy got in some great trips before the flow changes, actually snuck one in before the Monday start - - this, guy, my partner, is good - and smart - savvy to the river and flows - downstream early, upstream later, behind the push of water- Duane had a couple of good trips before the test - then went on a guided Elk Hunt - saw a bunch, just would not answer the calls - Duane was the guide - what a treat to work with such skilled outdoorsmen
Trout will be a little less spooky = easier - gotta love that
At this new 145cfs flow, Dry / Dropper comes back into play big time, until you find some risers - easier with the dropper rig to switch out to the right imitation for rising trout
Week ending September 6th, 2012
Flow was steady all week at 245 cfs, then was bumped up today to 305 cfs.
We are told that it will probably increase thru the weekend
Then on Monday, the 10th, the valve testing operation will begin - take note - Cheesman Canyon will be closed for the duration of the tests - Monday thru Thursday - no access on Gill trail - both upper and lower - Water Board has deemed it to dangerous
Now, we at the shop agree - that if you crossed the river at 300 cfs in the Canyon (which ain't easy) and it suddenly went to 720 cfs - you ain't gonna get back to the trail - or your truck
That said, as long as you don't cross the lower (Deckers section) during the tests you will be fine - just a little river sense and all should be good to go
We don't know what to expect - river could turn off, or our feelings are, it could really turn on
Max flows will be maybe 750 cfs - I have seen and fished the river at well over 2,000 cfs - just be smart and aware of what is happening around you - start to see pine needles, pine cones, sticks, more vegetation in the drift - then move back to your safe bank - the one where your truck is parked
Guide trips this week have been outstanding - bunch of healthy trout hooked, alot landed both on top and subsurface - river looks so good
Tricos continue to swarm - spinner fall starts at about 9:30 a.m., can last well past 11 - then PMD's, BWO's and I think some small red quills - have not caught one yet, so not sure
Caddis patterns work almost all day - things can shut down mid-day depending on clouds or no clouds - we want clouds, then picks up as the sun wanes off the water - I seem to be able to cover most risers with a Parachute BWO in #20 - they get particular, I switch to the one they want, or find another riser - rise forms are a real key - sippers = trico spinners, full mouth with a trailing air bubble = Duns, Splashy = Caddis - I have watched a single trout at the Deckers Bridge perform all 3 - it was a good trout, I was just about to rig up, hang the "Fishing at the Bridge - Honk Twice, be right back" sign, but the phone started to ring & anglers walked in
I've got tomorrow off
We have fired up a new website for the shop - www.flies-n-lies.com - check it out - Jeremy's wife, Danielle, put it together - input from Jeremy and Duane - good stuff - pics of the whole operation from cabins to shop to guide trips
Nymphing with soft hackles, RS2's, Barrs, Stones, San Juan Worms - P-Tails all work
When the flows go up, fish "Junk" - Crane Fly Larvae, Stones, San Juans - trail Juju PMD's, and all the above
Sun now crests the back range at 7:20 a.m., drops to the west at 6:50 p.m. - air temps pre-sunrise low 30's to low 40's, but warms nicely - hit 85 degrees today - started out right at 30 degrees - my favorite time of year is here - should last another 8 weeks, maybe more - trees are starting to turn, early this year - so dry, no rain and it is well needed - please be careful with any fires - from camp to ciggs to stogies
Week ending August 30th 2012
Just below (in Itallics) you will see how far I had gotten on my last attempt to update the report - the page froze up at "but no rain this week'
That was it, I could no longer enter any data - that page was full & I, being tragically inept with all this stuff, was dead in the water - had to haul the computor to a tech guy in Woodland Park and he did a great job - good people - now we have all reports archived thru the years, so to read reports prior to 2012, you will have to go back to the home page and select a year - so now, drop dowm below the Itallics and we are back on line
Week ending August 9th 2012 (covers 2 weeks from July 26th)
Flow has been all over the place started out at 310 cfs 2 weeks ago, reached a low of 220 cfs last Monday - then up and down in the 200's finally settling Wednesday at 300 cfs - all over the place - that can make things a little tough.
Tricos have made it to Deckers - no major mating swarms yet, but some trout are up on the Spinners by 9:30 a.m., with the high flows, it takes some hunting to find a nose or two, you just have to hit it right - PMD's, small BWO's in the afternoon & Caddis from late a.m. to dark
The Guide trips have mainly been nymphing,
River looks great, feeder creeks are all clear - Horse Creek went off some, but quickly recovered from some heavy storms last week, but no rain this week
Week ending August 30th 2012
The Tricos have made it to Deckers and the Canyon - depending on flows, the trout are "on em" or not - lower the flow, the more noses you will see - in Deckers we have a masking hatch of # 20 BWO's - trout can be on both spinners and duns - watch the rise form - Para Adams #20 trailing a true #22 spinner can cover both
Flow today is 280 cfs - we are told that September 9 thru 12 the dam will be conducting trials on the new valves - flows will hit up to 900 cfs - these will be radical ups & downs - so be warned - especially if you are in the Canyon - a crossing in the a.m., might not be available in the p.m. - actually applies to the whole river - look for pine needles, pine cones, grass in the drift - then get back to the safe side - 'cause hear it comes"
PMD hatch in the Canyon, I have been told, is epic - make sure you have # 16 - 18 duns to be prepared
In Deckers we nymph until we see noses or dorsal fins & tails - then we switch - to Trico spinners or # 22 BWO's
Jeremy, Jesse, Eric and I had a trip together today - rare and fun - was to be 8 guests, only 7 showed - we had a blast - slay fest on hook-ups - not that many in the net, but lots of action - so much fun to guide together like that - Duane was out on a single full day - we missed him - that would have been an all-star group - not a team of guides would have been better on the Platte - then Jeremy put on a gourmet lunch (it was only a half day trip with the big group, but included lunch here at the cabin) - pork loins, potatoes, grilled corn on the cob & salad - sweet ! !
Now entering my favorite time of the year - Fall has arrived a little early - not in air temps, but tree changing - too dry and the trees are turning early in the valley - crisp mornings - have had close to 32 degrees air temp pre-sunrise - but hits 80+ on some afternoons. One problem I have found since I retrieved the mother ship (my computor) is that I can't change colors or find the thing that does that (it used to be in the upper right corner) - I will call the techno guy and figure that out) - so this will be a lttle out of whack
Now to the retail side - Eric and some of the boys have started buiding nets - wood right off his property and surrounding areas - ghost basket - hand made - www.nativenets.com - we have some at the shop - all of us now carry them - these nets are so beautiful and at a great price
Also have some great rods from TFO - a real neat 10 foot for nymphing - 9 foot 4 & 5 wts - some really nice 7'6" 3 wts rods have a life time guantee - start at $149.00
So get up here - it is on fire, best we have seen in 10 yeras (since Hayman) - stop by the shop, we will get you rigged up - it is just so nice up here right now
Lastly, I thank those that worried about my condition - those that called, emailed (or text to Jeremy) - (I don't do that) - not capable - don't own a cell phone - (they don't work up here) - or mailed, concerned with my status - I am good - and you will be too, when you come and cast a rod
Week ending July 26th, 2012
Flow started out at 330 cfs, dropped to 305 cfs on Tuesday, down to 250 cfs on Wednesday (we were getting excited), then back up to 300 cfs today - we liked the 250 cfs - 300 is OK, but it is kind of a "tweener" - too much for dry / dropper rigs to be really effective in most of the river, a lot of water flow for consistent rising trout - you can find them, but you have to move and hunt
They are rising to Trico spinners in the a.m. (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.) - if you find a spinner fall (slowly moving upstream) - we have also found PMD's #18 in the late mornings, Green Drakes #14, still seeing that Mahogony Dun (had another on the porch screen today #18), and Caddis from #14 to # 20 - Taking Amy's Aunt for a walk can also produce here and there (seeing more and more hoppers), and Jeremy found some late afternoon BWO,s
We are still extremely dry up here - fire danger is very high, so please be careful
Lots of new born fawns around (please keep dogs on a leash - so easy for mom and baby to get separated at this critical time from a curious pup) - happens every year, some get adopted , most do not
Monday afternoon Jeremy was stuck in jail (the fly shop), I had to do the weekly run to town) - Pat Dorsey came in pretty lathered up - turns out he found a camper at the Family Hole in the Canyon fishing bait, killing fish and a whole camp set up with tent and all
Well Jeremy got on the horn - Douglas County Sheriff Tim responded, then Jeffco County Sheriff Mike got in on it, they went in thru the Wig Wam Club - guy saw them and bolted - Mike went out of Wig Wam and up to the Trail Head parking lot - (Pat had taken a picture of the a##holes plate and truck) - sure enough, out of the trail he appears - busted
Jeremy shuts the shop and meets Tim, then Mike - Tim goes back into the Canyon via Wig Wam, Jeremy, at Mikes request, rides his mountain bike in on Gill trail to look for "anything" - Jeremy told me in the morning "It was such an awesome night"
Guy got a bunch of fines & lost all of his equipment, including his shoes and a brand new tent - Yeah Team!!!
River is fishing good, looks even better - get on up here and fool a few
Week ending July 19th, 2012
Flows stared out at 275 cfs, then bumped up to 330 cfs on Monday - kinda high for this time of year, must be calls for water out East - Cheesman is well down from the spillway - never know what the Denver Water guys will come up with - they (the boys at the dam) call us in the morning when they will adjust (either up or down), just to give us a heads up, but we never get a long time forcast - the boys in the flat lands plug in a series of calculations each morning - that determines the flows required - they call the dam, they call us, and the valves are adjusted
Not many bugs on the wind seine this week (porch screens) - mainly due to all the new born bug eating birds - Mom & Pop are never ending bug catchers feeding the new borns - amazing to watch them snag a Caddis in full flight - right in front of your eyes - you can even hear the little bill snap shut on a new kill - we have a Wood PeeWee that nests under the porch every year, along with a few House Wrens in the trees and the ever present Swallows - they devour bugs of all kinds - feed the babies, and do it again.
Quite a few new born fawns this year - have twins with the Mom laying up every night in the thicket below the cabin - little ones get really going around sunrise - bouncing and hopping all over the place - then back to Mom's belly for a nudge and a drink.
Sun now crests the back yard range at 6:30 a.m. - amazingly, it has started its slow traverse back to the South, having reached the farthest point North - just means, to me, winter is on the way - still many months of fine times ahead (actually my favorite time of the year approaches), but when the sun makes that turn from North to South, it gets you thinking
Have had a Great Blue Heron hanging around the past few days - up at Deckers 3 days ago, then in the back yard on Wednesday - pretty cool bird - but a big time small fish eater
Had a trip last Friday, Father and I'm guesing a 7 yr old son, flow was up and they had never had a fly rod in thier hands - Uh Oh - took them to a section that holds trout, but would not lose the little one in the current (almost happened in the spot we started out at - we met downstream by request from the patron booking the trip - some kind of corporate gig - the 2 get guided, the patron goes out on his own)
So we work the run as the 2 get used to Fly Rods, roll casting and getting a good drift - they were both doing good, Dad actually hooked a good Brown but horsed him and lost the rig - little one started to get bored - missed a few, but he didn't know "cause he didn't "Feel Them"
This was a section that Duane, Jesse, Eric and I had guided on last week with a big group - a big fun group from Texas - all family members - I spotted a black headed rainbow in the run - showed it to the boys, the clients tried to make it take, but no joy - Duane named it "Black Betty" - we never tried for it (the guides) - but we all wondered what the hell was up with the black head
Anyway, the Tyke had to take a pee, so I sent him and Dad back into the willows after Dad tried to lay out a cast that would fool an old wise trout like "Black Betty"- and now I'm standing in the river with a rigged rod, and "Black Betty" fins in front of me - so I look around, lay out a nice roll cast, do a proper mend - BANG - the trout is fooled - almost too easy - so I yell over my shoulder "Zip up and get back here" - the kid comes crashing thru the willows, falls twice - and I hand him the rod - he fights it like a champ - in the end it was a solid 17" Buck 'Bow - now renamed "Black Bart" by Duane - trout was healthy as far as I could tell - just has a dark head as seen from above.
No real changes from last week, nymphing is the best bet, Tricos have still not made it to Deckers in any numbers, but if you get into them downstream it is a blast - with the higher flows, work the banks with a dry or dry / dropper, otherwise get weight and indicators on - fish the whole river - you will be surprised wher you will find one
Week ending July 12th, 2012
Flows were all over the place this week, started out at 335 cfs, dropped on Saturday to 230 cfs, down to 120 cfs on Sunday, up to 200 cfs on Tueasday, 250 on Wednesday and 275 on Thursday - one has to wonder - one has to wonder what goes on with the water callers at Denver Water - I reckon if it had been left at 225 cfs all week, the same amount of water would have flowed thru the drainage, with no fluctuation - but that is just me
Good rains on Friday, Saturday & Sunday night - Sat. night rains flooded 6 mile creek up on Rt 126, had the river a little off Sunday morning (and I mean just a tinge), but all was fine by afternoon - all the other feeder creeks were gin clear - a nice sign of continued recovery - the river looks fantastic.
Got into a great Trico Spinner fall on Tuesday when the flow was still at 120 cfs - downstream from Deckers - huge mating swarms and trout boiling on the surface - starts at 9 a.m., done by 11 a.m., but what a couple of hours - just like old times (Pre-Hayman)
Bugs seen, small BWO's, Caddis from #14 to #20, PMD's and a lone May Fly I have never seen - maybe a Mahogony Dun - big wings, #18, found on the porch screens on Tuesday - and the Tricos, that are slowly making there way upstream as the hatch and mating swarms build. Above 200 cfs we pretty much nymph, but get below that and dry / dropper comes back into play
Rubber legs, Brown / tan
Cool mornings, nice to hot afternoons, water temps are good - guide trips have been good - no slay fests (although Jeremy had one that really qualified today) - with the flow fluctuations you really have to work for them - look for the spinner falls - if you don't find risers, barely sink a spinner imitation - also works for an hour or so after the tricos are done
Week ending July 5th, 2012
Flows went from 280 cfs, up to 300 cfs on Sunday, then up again to 330 cfs today - fairly high for this time of year - we think calls for water out in the plains have sparked the increases - the farmers and ranchers are getting hit really hard with the drought out on the Eastern part of the State - We wish them well & rain - a whole bunch of it.
We have had a little rain in the valley but not enough to make any kind of difference in conditions - monsoon rain flows are predicted to start this weekend, we shall see - it is so dry.
Most afternoons have been HOT - 90's have been the average, feels good to be in the river - so much cooler - mornings have been (pre-sunrise) in the 40's - you leave all the cabin windows open thru the night, then shut everything tight at sunrise - keeps it nice and cool
Had a #22 BWO on the Porch Screen this afternoon - could have been a #24 - tiny little bug - smallest I have seen for quite a while
Dry / Dropper is now a mixed bag - OK close to the banks - not so good mid-stream - but it will work - mainly nymphing in these flows
Fires around the state have had no affect on the valley - we really feel for those who have been impacted - just plain sucks - really sucks if it was some idiot and not lightning
We have had to work for our trout this week - we are getting into them, but you really have to focus - Tricos have still not made it up to Deckers in numbers, Caddis are still a go to - had some success with a Para-Hopper - when we find the Tricos a #20 Para-adams trailing the spinner has been deadly
Nymphs range from rubber legs, SJ worms, Juju Baetis and PMD, RS2's and Barr Emergers - P-Tails, Rubber leg Copper Johns and Caddis
We have some friends in Alaska, trying to stop a mining operation that will potentially (probably, most definetly) impact the incredible fisheries of Bristol Bay - you can send a message to the Senate thru the following link - I did it - www.savebristolbay.org/takeaction - you will get responses from our Senators thanking you for contacting them - Hell - worth a shot - never been to Bristol Bay - but if I ever decided to go, sure would be nice if it still fished as well as I have seen on TV or heard from trusted anglers.
Weekend should be sweet - get on up here - as much to cool off and cast a rod - you might get into them - or not - nice way to spend a morning or eveneing - big trout exist - we get a few every day - fat, healthy, wild - way too much fun.
Week ending June 28th, 2012
Wow, missed a few weeks there, sorry about that, just got slammed - both in the shop and on the river - so here we go again.
Flows have been pretty much all over the place - from a low of 125 cfs a few weeks ago to a high of 300 cfs - today it was dropped to 250 cfs (from 300) - the 300 helped knock a lot of junk down the river - somthing we call "rock snot" - prettu nasty stuff that gets all over leader knots, wieghts and nuymphs - even gets caught up in surface patterns - but it is pretty much gone now
Tricos continue to swarm in the a.m. - have not reached Bridge Crossing yet, but it is slowly moving upstream - I got out for a little R&D late this morning - missed the main spinner fall but found a few bank sippers - I had a Para-Hopper tied on (the one we carry at the shop - a good imitation of the big Green Drakes we occasionally spot)
!st trout inhaled it on the 1st good drift - nice 14" Brown, real acrobat - walked upstream a bit and found another - good upstream cast - he moved 6" to the left and sucked it in - almost a twin of the 1st - walked a few more feet and spotted another - little tougher spot, but managed to sneak a decent drift in there under the willows - feisty 7" Brown - rare to find a smaller trout with the best lie.
Saw a lone Bald Eagle last week flying downstream in the morning - rare sight this late in the year - day after the Lake George fire started (which is now 100% contained) - I don't know if 11 mile Canyon is open yet, but if not, it will not be long
The does have started to drop fawns this week - one of my favorite sights - cute little spotted critters hopping all around
Now about fires - our thoughts are with all those affected - some real tragedies out there, so sad
The closest one to us is the Waldo Canyon fire, just West of Colorado Springs, started on Sunday the 24th - leading edge on the north west side is about 30 miles from the valley - with a lot of the old Hayman burn area between us and it - smoke in the valley on Monday morning, but none since, you wake up pre-sunrise and it's the first thing your senses pick up - scares the crap out of you
Highway 24 frrom the Springs to Woodland Park is still closed - but all other roads into the valley remain open, but no one seems to be coming - the river has been pretty empty of anglers - which means the fishing (and catching) will greatly improve over the next few days, with the little pressure it is getting now
Nice cool mornings, but some very hot afternoons - water temps remain good - 40's to 60's depending on where you are, daytime sun and heat
Sreen porch bugs (our wind sein) these past few weeks = Caddis in all sizes from #16 to #20 - PMD's in #18, BWO's in #18 - #20, Geen Darkes in #12
Feeder creeks are as low as I have ever seen them - even during the Hayman year of 2002 - some are just trickles, some springs have dried up - good news is we had some rain on Wednesday and again this afternoon - we will take anything at this time, it can only help
Week ending June 7th 2012(covers 2 weeks from May 24th)
First of all I wanted to welcome new partners at Flies & Lies - Jeremy Hyatt and his dad Charlie have joined us - got rid of some dead wood and now an influx of new blood - most of you know Jeremy as the Chief guide at the shop (and a HUGE help to me over the years) - his Dad Charlie is a great guy (our new CFO) and has been helping at the shop - learning the ropes and freeing all of us up to do more guiding - we are all very excited about the new partnership - this is gonna be good
Flows have remained steady at 225 cfs - no run-off this year - river is gin clear and looks great
Jeremy got into some good afternoon BWO hatchs this past week - both he and Duane have found early Tricos down river - I had one PMD and one BIG Green Drake on the porch screens in the past few days - Caddis have been sporadic, nothing like the last few years, but still a bunch of them around - range from # 16 to # 20 - we have some great patterns at the shop
Morning temps Have finally risen above freezing - fishable light by 5:45 a.m., sun crests the back range at 6:15 a.m. and drops over the west range at 7:30 p.m. with fishable light until 8:30 p.m.
We have heard from the boys at the dam that Cheesman Reservoir will open to the public on July 1st - been closed for a few years, bank fishing only - no boats or float tubes alowed.
The Geese, Mallards and Mergansers have all started hatching newborns this past week - I really like watching the Mergansers - man, can they move over water - and when the chicks get tired they jump on mom's back for a free ride - very important that if you bring the dogs along you keep them on a leash and under control - not only is it the law in the valley, we hate to see orphaned game when adults have been chased off trying to protect the young ones - same thing next month when the deer start to drop fawns - every year we find abondoned young ones - some get adopted by other adults, but never get fully weened - never reach full adult size.
Latest nasty storms have had no affect on the valley - passed right over us - we sure could have used some moisture - really dry up here - pretty scary to see the condition of the lawn - did not need 1/2 foot of 1" hail, but a good steady afternoon shower would do wonders - so please be careful with fire - even driving on dry grass can set off a blaze in these conditions
Week ending May 24th, 2012
Flow started out at 250 cfs, down to 210 cfs on Sunday, then back up to 225 cfs on Tuesday - lower than normal - good nymphing flow, little high for dry / droppers - finding rising trout as early as 9 a.m., but you really have to work for them - BWO's and Caddis are on the surface menu.
Saturday we had some rain - actually woke to thunder and showers - pretty rare up here for that kind of activity - normally an afternoon event -- then another good soaking on Wednesday night - really helped with the dry conditions - but 2 days of sun and some wind and we will be right back to scary.
I actually asked someone to "Like Us" on facebook this week at the shop - Duane insisted that I put that in the weekly report - so I did, but in my defense, she was very pretty, so I broke down.
Nymphing with soft hackle p-tails, GB caddis, Graphic caddis, rs2, san juan worms and stones along with juju baetis are all working
Stream born caddis, peacock elk hair caddis (I fish a tandem, # 16 & # 20 about 2 feet apart) for sloppy risers, BWO's in #18 - #20 for the sippers
Have not seen the lion and cub this week - I think they abandoned the kill in the back - but you never know
Sun now crests the back yard range at 6:25 a.m. -almost reaching its maximum slow track to the north - sometime in June it will max out, then slowly start its track to the south - months seem to be flying by
River looks fantastic, trout are fat and healthy
Week ending May 17th, 2012
Flow started out at 75 cfs, bumped to 100 cfs on Tuesday, then up to 150 cfs on Wednesday - this is a great springtime flow & what we were waiting / hoping for. Cheesman inflow is about 200 cfs with the water level about 6 feet down from the spillway. (quick update, flow was bumped on Friday, May 18th to 250 cfs)
Had a good rain soaking on Saturday evening, snowed in Conifer and Bailey at Jeremy's and Duanes homes, then some lite rain on Sunday afternoon - we really need it
Caddis are starting to really get going and the trout are really liking them - but it moves around (the hatch) so you just have to be in the right spot, & that takes some searching and some luck - other bugs are starting to appear - Jeremy and Duane got into some PMD look-alikes this week - still not too sure what they are and they both spotted a green Drake this week - just a single bug each (Lil Jon saw a few too) - but a good sign - Still some BWO's in the early afternoon.
With the new flows, we have been able to present "junk" on nymphing trips - big stuff like san juan worms, stones, candy canes - but also caddis emergers, Ju Ju Baetis and rs2's have worked as a back-up - dry / dropper is now a stretch
Lion and cub appeared almost every morning and evening this week - one of our clients and friend, Chris, got some good pics from the porch on Monday evening as our other guest and friend Charlie was trying to get his phone and sat TV system turned on (after the winter shut down) at his cabin just upstream from my place - He was also out with his 2 sons - hope to have the pics up on facebook soon - Chris and his 2 sons were staying at "Bernies" - they all come out once or twice a year from Texas to get with the guides and relax - great bunch of people - we really enjoy having them - even though I have to cook my Mountain Ranch Beans for Charlie (I think Jeremy puts him up to it - at least eggs him on)
Getting lunch ready on Tuesday for the group trip and saw 2 buzzards circlig the back yard - focusing on an area between the well and pump house, one even landed on the woodpecker tree for a few minutes - so I started to think "kill" - that's why the Cats return each evening
After lunch, Jeremy decided to go down and take a look - as he was walking down the path Duane yelled out "Can I have your rods?" - I yelled "Can I have your truck and bicycles ?" - then Duane shot back after a pause "Can I trade with Danny ?"
Well sure 'nuf - Jeremy found a 1/2 burried deer carcass in the willows between the well and pump house - waiting to see if they come back for dinner tonight - these animals are so cool - but I have to admit, when I head out to the porch after dark, I turn on the outside light, wait a sec - then open and close the door quickly - give 'em a chance to get going - just walking out un-announced could spur an attack if they are up on the deck licking the Bar-B-Q
Weekend could be excellent - cloudy, cool, some rain - nice.
Week ending May 10th, 2012
Flow started out at 105 cfs, then dropped to 75 cfs on Monday, Cheesman reservoir is about 11 feet down from the spillway, and filling very slowly, we do not think we will see much, if any, run off this year - now I admit, I get fooled by run off most every year - but we just do not see it coming - ie high flows in May and June probably won't happen
Sunday into Monday we had a decent soaking with rain here in the valley and lite snow on the surrounding ranges, but fire bans are still in effect, so please be careful.
Caddis really started to hatch this week, it can be sporadic, but if it is thick enough where you happen to be, the trout really get on them - on Tuesday, Jeremy and I watched a riffle exploding with splashy risers at 1 p.m., even saw one brown launch a foot into the air to nail one - it was a beautiful thing to witness - after Jeremy headed back to the shop I really nailed 'em - but unlike a trout sipping adult May Flies, you have to wait a sec before pulling the trigger - else you will be looking at a lot of limp leaders with no frauds attached
BWO's are also still around, so watch the rise forms and you will be able to decide on what to present - splashy whacks = Caddis, slow rise with mouth agape and a bubble in the wake = BWO adults, dorsal and tail = emerging caddis or BWO (most likely a BWO in the, or just below, the film)
GB Caddis, Grafic Caddis, Prince and Bead Caddis for nymphing, along with Barr Emergers, Stones, RS2 & San Juan Worms - Peacock Elk Hair Caddis, Streamborns & Goddard for the Adult or egg laying Caddis - Hackle Wing, Para's, Foam tops , Sparkle Duns & Cripples for the BWO's
BIG Lion in the backyard this a.m. - early morning light - an hour before true sunrise - having a cup of coffee on the porch - thought I saw a coyote - which I have never seen this side of the river - couple of packs on the far range (north pack & south pack) - then I saw a big ass long tail - in front of the suspected coyote - that was Mom - the other was her cub - they worked up the bank, crossed over to the island (where I had a real good look at Mom's size - this cat is HUGE - looked like an African lion) - then they both disapeared into the island willows.
Last year Jeremy and Duane found a Lion kill on the island - that deer was shredded - as Jeremy said "Oh man, lots of gore, it was awsome"- after further investigation, looked like the initial strike was just below the cabin - the meal finished off on the island - then dragged across the river for leftovers - what power these animals have
Well, this a.m. I went to the shop being covered by Duane - he was out on a full day yesterday - I told him about the cat - his eyes got real big - he had worked the backyard on the trip - fishing the aquarium hole, he told the clients about the lion kill last year "right behind us" - on the hike out across FBI Jons, Duane got a chill (Duane spends a lot of time in the forest, hunting, fishing, tracking - his perceptions are very keen) - somthimg, he felt, was eyeing him - this is fair dinkum - he even told the clients - we both got the chills
I don't know much about Lion habits - have heard they have a hunting range of 200 square miles - but with a young cub ? - maybe just the back yard - gonna have to wait another year before I can go out at 1 a.m. with a mouse pattern hunting for big browns - at least in the backyard
Week ending May 3rd, 2012
Flow started the week out at 100 cfs, dropped to 75 cfs on Saturday, then back up to 105 cfs on Monday. We are told Cheesman is about 11 feet down from the spillway with about 150 cfs coming in.
Had a little moisture on Thursday into Friday of last week, had no affect on the river, and very little effect on the arid conditions we are facing in the valley and all the surrounding areas - fire bans are still in affect
Seeing more Caddis, Stll decent BWO hatch. Fooled a nice Brown today with a Goddard Caddis just fishing the water - had a bunch chase a streamer (Olive Slumpbuster) but none would eat it
At 100 cfs dry dropper rigs come into play - we have even had a few eat an Amy's Aunt this week
Surface action is better as the day progresses
River is gin clear, trout are big and healthy - and colorful - these have to be some of the most beautiful trout in the country
Week ending April 26th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from Apr 12th)
On 4/13 the flow was at 120 cfs, dropped that day to 70 cfs, then down to 50 cfs on that Sunday - don't think it has been that low since 2002, stayed at 50 cfs for 3 days - back up to 70 cfs, then up to 100 cfs last Friday - not a bad flow, but low for this time of year - feeder creeks are clear, river looks great.
First Swallows appeared this week, along with a lone Humming bird - Bald Eagles have departed, a few Ospreys have moved in. BWO's continue to hatch, but it can be sporadic - find some rising here, but none over there - the boys have been nymphing on the guide trips and really getting into them, I continue to try and force feed dry flies, I get a few to take (especially if they are already up and feeding - dead meat) - but mainly I'm just out looking at the river, the bugs and the change of seasons - I have spotted a few adult Caddis (main hatch due next month, if it happens) and some small dark adult stones
Couple of different size midge adults - from #20 to # 26
4" of snow last Sunday into Monday (15th / 16th), but dry since and fire bans are still in affect.
Lots of signs and sounds of Spring - woodpeckers on stove pipes (and the side of the cabin) hammering away looking for a date - House Wrens singing away, Blue birds looking for nest sites, Geese getting protective, the Elms in the front are leafing out, so are the lilacs, Cottonwoods not far behind
Few weeks ago, shop friends Donny & Bridgette were in town from Oklahoma - Jesse had spotted a HUGE Rainbow near the shop, showed it to me, then Jeremy spotted him - none of us fished to him, it was just fun watching the beast every day - but one day Bridgette was out there with Donny, I went over and waved her down to the spot - first good drift and he took - and proceeded to run right at her, like a drag racer - no way she could retrieve line fast enough, then he did a 180 and blasted down and out - snapped her clean off, then tried to jump, so big he could only get 1/2 way out of the water - and at least a foot was in the air, more than that was still submerged - looked like a breaching Grey Whale in the Pacific- then I heard her - " OH MY GOD", as she stood with a limp rod in her hand and mouth gaping - that was fun.
I've found a lot of big trout doing that - set, put a little pressure and they run right towards it (and you) then do the 180 - if you are prepared, and let them have that first run after the 180, you can usually get them to hand - but you have to be quick !
Mornings are still chilly for the most part - teens to 30's, but it warms nicely into hi 60's, low 70's
We (the shop) now have a Face Book page - Alain & Jeremy set it up - I had pretty much nothing to do with it - I am technically challenged, badly challenged - so they did it - I don't do the social network stuff, don't have a cell phone either (mainly 'cause they don't work up here), hell, the cabin is still on dial up for the internet (drives my friends crazy) - have been told broadband will never reach the valley - I could get a sat dish, we have one at the shop - at $950.00 / year - ain't gonna happen at the cabin.
Anyway, try www.facebook.com/Flies.and.Lies or go to facebook and type in flies&lies - you should be able to find it - I probably could not, but then I don't have a Face Book account and I guess you need one - I'll just have to use Jeremy's if the need arises - I don't see it risen - but they are doing a good job with it so take a look
Weekend looks cloudy and a little rainy - could be fantastic
Week ending April 12th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from March 29th)
Got really slammed at the shop and on the river so was not able to get last weeks report out - this is a good thing (for us at the shop) and not such a good thing for those wanting the report, so apologies are extended
2 weeks ago the flow was at 80 cfs, bumped to 130 cfs, then down to 90 cfs, up to 140 cfs this Monday, down to 120 cfs this Wednesday - nice spring flow
Friday the 6th we had a fire scare in the valley - Jeremy was out on a full day trip and ran across it near Platte River Campground on his way back to the cabin for a B-B-Q lunch with our guests - stopped to try and stomp it out, then noticed the down and live wire that had sparked it - drove to Doug's house (Sway Back ranch Manager) and had him call it in, then stopped at Sheriff Mikes house across the street - woke him from a nap, apologized, but "Man Mike, It's moving fast"
Amazingly, it was in the almost exact location of the Oxyoke fire a few years back - same cause too - downed power wire in high winds
Jeremy arrived at the cabin as I was reporting a power outage to IREA (from the downed power line), I hung up and called it in too, can't have too many calls on a fire in the valley
They got it under control pretty quick - maybe a 6 acre perimiter, but just spot fires within the circle, 100% contained by the next day
BWO's continue to hatch, #18 para Olive, Hackle Wing, Cripple or Foam top all worked, even had a nice "Bow take a PMD Hackle Wing (I use it 'cause it is easier to see)
Baetis and midge patterns for nymphing if you can't find risers - they start hatching (and rising) as early as 11:30 a.m. - just depends on where you are, cloud cover and wind
I even took a 7" rainbow on Amy's Aunt this week just screwing arond
Snow last Tuesday into Wednesday left a total of 4 - 6", but it was all gone in 24 hrs - really had no effect on the dry conditions - Overnight Thunderstorms this Wednesday gave a little more moisture, but not enough - Fire bans are still in effect for Douglas, Jeffco and Pike National Forest - no open flames, propane camp stoves are OK - just please be careful
Got a bunch of Temple Fork rods in this week - really sweet - from 7'6" 3 wghts to 10" 5 wghts - all 4 piece with lifetime guarantees - start at $150.00 - you just can't beat these rods - got a bunch of Temple Fork reels in too.
Season is really starting to kick in - guide trips have been outstanding to "This was a slay fest" - trout are healthy, beautiful in color and bigger than past years - just a good time on the Platte at Deckers
Week ending March 29th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from March 15th)
Flow is steady at 80 cfs, down from a high of 185 cfs from 2 weeks ago - last dropped on Tuesday the 27th. River is gin clear, so trout are spooky, but they continue to feed
BWO's started to hatch this week, Jeremy called it last week, kind of uncanny - we were all in the shop and he said "I predict...." - sure enough, the first ones showed up on Monday. These are big bugs for the Platte - size 18 - trout are slowly keying on the emergers and adults in the film and on the surface, just keep your eyes peeled for noses - and be stealthy
Guide trips have been outstanding - the boys are really getting on them
License reminder - your last year license expires Saturday night, Sunday you will need a new one - if you buy it at the shop, bring cash, we don't run cc's or take checks for license purchase
Fire danger in the valley is extremely high, please be careful, Jefferson County has issued a fire ban, Douglas will not be far behind
Hatch starts as early as 12 p.m. and last off and on for the rest of the day, should really get into full swing the next few weeks - we nymph in the a.m. until bugs and noses appear, then switch out - Hackle wings, Foam tops, Cripples, parachutes and Sparkle wings cover the surface action, Barr emerger, black beauty, stones, RS 2, P-Tails & nuclear eggs cover the nymphing
Week ending March 15th, 2012
Flow started out at 165 cfs, bumped to 220 cfs on Friday, then down to 185 cfs on Tuesday - this is a very sweet flow for March - trout will rise in a sub 200 flow this time of year to the big midge - you have to hunt them out, but they can be found - patience and exploration are the key
Duane has his book "The Fly Fishers Playbook" on a web site - it is a good read, well worth the cost - you can find it at www.flyfishersplaybook.com - give it a try, we also sell them at the shop - hell, buy one, bring it by and get Duane to sign it (call first to make sure he is here - He is still doing a lot of Pheasant hunts out East, but that is winding down)
Had some flurries on Sunday - surprised us, but it cleared out quickly - kinda cool to see, projections were for sun & 60's - otherwise the mornings have been chilly - single digits to low 20's, but warms up nicely - high 60's most of the week, some wind but really not a problem.
Changed the clocks ahead on Sunday - the trout and the bugs don't know we do this - so the main hatch of the Big Midge is at 1 p.m. or so, if it happens - just depends on where you are - but I have found rising (sporadic) trout as early as 10 a.m. this week - and they looked easy - if you want to fish the surface, you just have to hunt & move - look for noses or swirls - even if you don't see any, but locate a likely spot, throw a few casts - you never know
Had our first Full day guide trip today, another on Friday, today's was a slay fest with Jeremy taking out 2 guests - she never had a rod in her hand prior to today - first trout was a fat 19" "Bow (Jeremy was thinkinging "How am I gonna keep this up ?) - well, he did, not in average size (but all trout were respectable) but in numbers - and one on a dry by Jason just before the lunch break at the cabin
Canadian Geese have arrived (one notable pair by the shop that meet each year), Mergansers are sorting out the dominate males, Prairie Dogs have emerged from winter dens - more songbirds are evident at sunrise (8 a.m. it pops up over the east range in the backyard - sets to the west at 6:40 p.m.)
Weekend looks good, mild winter weather Monday into Tuesday (which could be really good for risers), then back to Spring
Same patterns as mentioned in last few reports - add JuJu Baetis, RS2's - No BWO's on the surface yet but the nymphs are very active - any day now - we will keep you posted
If you havn't checked out friend Eric's YouTube slide show, you should - I watched it again today at the shop - good pictures of nice trout and a great sound track "South Platte Chuck Ragan" is what you are searching for - some of the guides, others of some good old local trout bums that just love this river - all good friends, you get a good feeling about the river, and us, just by the smiles
Week ending March 8th, 2012
Flows started out at 195 cfs, bumped up to 265 cfs on Friday, down to 185 cfs on Monday, and down to 165 cfs on Wednesday - no idea why it jumped around so much, boys at the dam say the reservoir is way down, we really don't know what runoff will be like later in the spring, usually starts mid-may thru mid June
Horse creek and the other feeders are melting off gradually, and not really affecting the rivers clarity at all
Light flurries Friday, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, but no accumulation. Most of the snow in the valley is pretty much gone
Big midge continues to hatch, at the lower flow we should find more risers - I have seen trout rise as early as 10 a.m. in some spots
Same patterns are still producing (see last 2 weeks reports)
Bald eagles are still around, had one in the back yard today, he made one swoop at the home hole but came up empty
Jeremy had some good trips this week and weekend weather looks great
First week this year I have not had at least one morning below "0" - still single digits all the way up to low 20's pre-sunrise, but it tends to warm up quickly most days - we are still only running 1/2 day trips - normally 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
River looks so good - gin clear, great flow, longer days - its getti'n good up here
Week ending March 1st, 2012
Yup, March, tried to come in like a lion around 1 p.m., kinda peetered out in the valley - maybe a 1/2 " - then sun, some gusts, but pretty mild - litte chilly - if you were here you probably had an excellent day - roads should be fine, no more accumulation overnight Thursday into Friday a.m. & the weekend weather and air temps look great
Flow started out at 165 cfs, then bumped up to 195 cfs on Wednesday - a great winter / spring flow
Big midge is still getting stronger in numbers - late afternoons are best for surface action - shuck midge, Roy Palms emerger, Foam tops, "Stuck in da shuck" (our special secret) - all work for the risers
Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:20 a.m. - still cold mornings, but I think we have turned the tide on winter temps - March can be the biggest snow month of the year, but it melts fasr and can really turn the river on
Eric is still running his slide show on "youttube" - (noted in las weeks report "south platte chuck ragan" check it out)
We usually dead drift nymphs in the morning and start looking for rising trout after noon, 1 p.m. - San Juan Worms (red, brown & pink), Nuclear eggs, black beauties, WD 40's, Juju midge, small pheasant tails, stones & scuds
Horse Creek has not been a problem with discolored water this week, on the Monday town rum I was surprised how much ice was still present, but the creeks were all running clear.
Some of the river stretches that did not have any sun thru the winter months are now seeing quite a bit - at some time during the day, the whole river is out of the shade.
Lil Jon had 2 great (productive) trips this week (Jeremy took the family to the desert for a well earned break, Duane has been guiding pheasant hunts and Jesse was out on tour) - Jon managed to get all clients into surface action on each trip - nice for the last week of February
Shop winter hours 9 - 3 p.m. 7 days / week will run thru March 9th, then we will return to normal hours
Week ending February 23rd, 2012
Flow was dropped last Friday to 162 cfs from 210 cfs - this is a great winter flow. River remains ice free from the dam to the confluence of the North Fork
Saturday was nice, hit mid 50's in the afternoon, but then clouds and wind moved in starting Sunday - wind was bad on Wednesday, but not as bad as most areas reported - it did blow me off the river by 1 p.m., then lulls and gusts for the remainder of the day - still managed to get a few on Stones and a Black Beauty - air temp hit high 50's in the afternoon
We have been trailing midge Pupa behind the Stones or Rubber Legs - WD 40's, Miracles, Top Secrets have all produced along with small P-Tails, Nuclear Eggs and Scuds
Our friend Eric put a slide show together on UTube - you can find it under the heading "South Platte Chuck Ragan" - You will see Jesse, Lil Jon (2 of Flies & Lies notorious guides) - Eric, his friend Ashley and a few other buddies - a few of the trout were caught in Cheesman Canyon, but most were fooled downstream from Deckers - gives you an idea of the Browns and Rainbows & Cut 'Bows we have been getting into - either on R&D outings or our full and 1/2 day guide trips (has a good sound track too) - No pics of Jeremy - he was stuck in jail (the shop) or guiding, when the others were out
Woke to about an inch of snow on the ground today, kept up till about 9 a.m., then sun, but wind - roads were pretty much clear by 10 a.m., no more than 2" overall and most had melted by 5 p.m.
Seeing more and more of the Big Midge hatching - along with some smaller ones - when the wind abates we have seen a few risers - as long as the hatch continues and more bugs appear, at this flow, the surface action could really pick up
Weekend weather looks good - mid 50's Saturday, mid 40's Sunday with a chance of flurries - which, if the wind stays down, can really get the trout up for some reason.
We are still running the special on the 2 BR loft (Osprey) above the shop for March - 2 anglers, 2 nights and a 1/2 day guide trip for $290.00 ($145.00 / angler) - or you can take the place for the whole month for $500.00 (it can be split up between 3 anglers - comes out to about $160.00 a head) - nice way to start the season off - call the shop at 303-647-2237 for more info if interested.
Jeremy got out on an R&D session after he closed the shop at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. - 2 hours, maybe 20 trout - "This wasn't winter nymphing, this was Spring nymphing !!!" - he was really stoked - said he was so jazzed, he almost dropped by the cabin to tell me how good it was (which, after 5 p.m. is a no-no, even for good friends, so he was really excited) - 3 trout out of many were over 20" - same day that the wind blew me off the river - but he dodged the gusts and cast in the lulls - Stone, Nuke Egg and a Black Beauty was the cast.
One of my favorite pics on the slide show has Jesse, Eric & a friend with a triple - I remember that day, had to go to Denver for my neice's graduation, May something, storm came in, I headed home, good snow storm at Conifer, so I dropped down Foxton Road, thinking I would get below the snow - nope, heavy snow to Scraggy View - then rain - 2 miles more and I ran into the boys - all excited and flagging me down - rain was still pretty steady - Eric pulled out the camera to show me the shot - He ran to the bank, placed the camera in the bush, set the shot, hit a timer, then ran back to the guys - 1, 2, 3 LIFT - they did, what a classic shot - you can see the raindrops on the river.
The Platte is back
Week ending February 16th, 2012 + Friday the 17th
Flows started out at 160 cfs, up to 183 cfs on Monday, up again on Wednesday to 210 cfs, then back down to 160 cfs today, Friday.
River can go off a little in the warmer afternoons from runoff with Horse Creek - lots of black bank ice breaking down and leaching into the river.
Big midge has started to hatch - early this year - some trout are feeding on the adults in the afternoon - should be more at 160 cfs - the main hatch has yet to start, but Jeremy found a few at the start of the week on a guide trip, I found more on Thursday - bugs that is, only a few rising trout - next few weeks should see more bugs and more noses
Still have cold a.m.'s, but day time temps have been warmer than Denver - low 40's & 50's, just depends on how heavy the cloud cover is - blue bird sky and it warms quickly
Running a special on Osprey in March - 2 anglers, 2 nights, 1/2 day guided trip for $290.00 ($145.00 / angler) - Osprey is our 2 bd, 1 bath loft above the shop - sat TV, w/d, d/w, really clean, really nice - across the street from the river - this is a great deal
Jeremy has had success this week with Stone Flies, scuds, nuclear eggs, WD 40's, Juju's, & small P-Tails - last Friday he had a trip with our long time client and friend Bob B. - Bob said it was one of the best days he has had with Jeremy - and I got to tell you, they have had some great trips over the years
Weekend weather looks great - river is ice free and really fishing well in the afternoon - little slow in the mornings, just depends on overnight air temps - finding feeding trout everywhere - riffles, runs, pools, shelves - lot of fun - the boys have been getting out almost every day and pretty much whacking 'em
Week ending February 9th 2012 (covers 2 weeks from January 27th)
Flows have been all over the place - from 100 cfs to 125 cfs, back to 100 cfs, down to 75 cfs, up to 125 cfs, up to 175 cfs, down to 110 cfs, then back up to 160 cfs yesterday the 8th - we have no idea why
Not such a bad thing if you catch it right - leaches in a lot of new bugs - stones, scuds and the ever present midge - a whole bunch of midges
Overnight lows have ranged from minus 18 degrees
to mid teens, but daytime highs have reached or surpassed
No sense getting on the river before 10 a.m., but stay until you are too cold or can't see the indicator (or if you are lucky, the dry midge imitation)
Did not get out much these past few weeks, but I got one session in with Jesse - he found me downstream - I found a riser - Jesse broke thru the willows about 50 yards downstream - I motion with the hand up, then dunk down - that got his attention
We both cast to the nose, but no action - then we moved downstream to a known dry fly spot - no noses, but I am a stubborn old Coot, so I stayed with the dry cast - missed 2 that were not really interested - then we moved up to the riffle
I have not had the chance to fish with Jeremy or Duane or Jon in a while - just the way things work out - but I got to watch an artist today - just like my other 3 friends - on knees, little roll casts up into a 1.5' riffle - thing about Jesse is he talks out loud - not much so from Jeremey & Duane - little more from Jon - but Jesse takes you all the way thru the operation - me standing back in the bare willows - I swear, if I was not there, the willows would have been talked to
"OK, I, need a littler more weight - I see that Huckleberry" - and more mojo goes on "OK I need a little more depth" so the indicator moves up - then wham, take, Jesse on his feet, get the trout out of the run, nice 15" 'Bow " what a little rascall"
Admired, released, then back on the knees - little further up in the run - now keep in mind this is a 1 to 2 foot deep riffle, maybe 2 feet wide by 20 feet long - an island seam - maybe 6 feet wide when you count the outside slack water
He whacked 2 more
Weight, indicator, drift - stealth
Snow fall last Friday into Saturday the 2nd & 3rd left 18" on the ground - a good one - another 2" on Tuesday - major sludge hatch yesterday at 110 cfs in the backyard - but all is clear today - river is ice free - but if you do find a sludge hatch, just move upstream, you will find clear water, feeding trout above 38 degre water temps - then check the prior paragraph.
Week ending January 26th, 2012
Flow was dropped on Friday from 130 cfs to 100 cfs - river remains ice free, but could develop some sludge hatch and bank ice early this weekend - just move upstream early, then move downstream as the day warms - and it will this weekend - that is just an observation of overnight low temps predicted, combined with the forcast of daytime high air temps - should not be an issue by Sunday
Nice trout fooled and landed this week - not on guide trips, just fishing the water - surprised more anglers are not taking advantage of the 2 night stay at "Bernies" (our nicest river front cabin) and 1/2 day guide special - only good thru Feb.
January - usually the last 2 weeks of this month and the first 2 weeks of February are bitter cold - not this year - unusually warm - some windy days, but not bad - if you are going to venture out this time of year - well, this is the river
No real football this weekend, so come on up, grab a few patterns and enjoy a sweet day on the river - it all looks sooooo good
Week ending January 19th, 2012
Wanted to thank everyone that stopped by the shop or went on a guide trip - or both - in 2011 - we really appreciate the buisness - keeps us floating and we really want to continue this project - we ain't getting rich, but sure are having a lot of fun showing the river off and helping anglers be more productive on the tough waters of the South Platte - keep on coming, we are on the river to help as much as we can - both for anglers & the river
Flow went from 120 cfs to 100 cfs last Thursday,
then back up to 130 cfs on Sunday, river is ice free from the Canyon to the
confluence with the
Saturday was incredible, hit low 60's with sun all day - rest of the week has seen some wind, but not as bad as some reports for the North & West - very fishable. Gusts to 60 mph+ were reported in the high country, bet here in the valley we most times get skipped over, so don't rely on the general weather reports - if in doubt, just call the shop.
Most productive times still remain from 10 - 11 a.m. til dark - big attractors trailing a couple of small midge patterns, with weight and indicator placement very critical - we have a diagram in the shop to assist in a proper rig.
Jeremy had one trip this week thet went very well , but mostly the boys have been going out on thier own and really getting into them, I did not get out this week, but scouted the river a few times - looks sooo good
130 cfs is a great winter flow & with air temps hitting from mid 40's to up to 60 degrees, just a very pleasant winter so far.
Great midge hatches - from tiny # 26 early to nice # 20's in the late afternoon - got to hunt out the few risers - mainly late in the day - but you can find a couple
Weekend weather looks great - so does most of next week
Week ending January 12th, 2012
Report covers 2 weeks from December 29th, 2011
Flows have remained very steady, started out the new year at 130 cfs, dropped to 120 cfs on Saturday the 7th where it remains
Morning air temps have ranged from just below "0" to 35 degrees on Saturday the 31st of Dec, but then I woke to minus 20 degrees this morning and a major sludge hatch (frozen, but moving water, pretty impossible to fish through) and bank ice in the backyard - same thing above Deckers bridge, Canyon should not be as bad, and most of the river should be ice free by the weekend with the predicted air temps - if you do run into ice, just keep moving upstream & you should find open water - river in back was sludge free by 2 p.m.
Generally, action has been slow in the mornings, but picks up in the afternoons, gets better, sooner, the further upstream you are - So start up around Deckers and follow the action downstream as the day progresses.
Wanted to thank all of you who spent a few (and sometimes a lot more thann a few) dollars at the shop and / or went on a guide trip - we really love what we do here in Deckers & do not ask for much - but it all helps keep the doors open, and that is what we want.
Small midge patterns trailed behind a Stone, San Juan Worm or egg pattern seem to be the ticket - get the weight right and indicator placement spot on - and watch it like a hawk - some takes are just slight nudges
Couple of Duck Hunters I know came by the shop on Sunday to show me a Merganser with a 5" rainbow 1/2 way dow his gullet - looked like he would have choked on it, if they had not put him down - ever seen a Merganser after a trout ? - relentless pursuit - amazing speed and direction control - faster than a fish