Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold
Showing posts with label Boulder Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boulder Colorado. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Colorado Outing


Even though I've moved back to Tennessee, I still love fishing in Colorado.  Yesterday I made it out to the stream to battle the wind and hopefully find a few fish.  Initially I was thinking of hitting Boulder Creek, but at the last second I decided to make a run over the mountain so to speak and fish South Boulder Creek instead.  I'm glad I did.

When I arrived at the trailhead, I could see glimpses of the stream below and the most obvious feature was a distinct lack of snow and ice on the pools.  Looking good so far!  When I got down to the water after a short walk, I tied on a streamer to bounce around a couple of pools.  When absolutely nothing seemed interested, I quickly changed over to a two fly rig consisting of a mysis shrimp pattern and a small midge.  A little stick on indicator a couple of feet up completed the rig, and I got back to casting again.  It only took 3-4 casts before the indicator hesitated.  When I set, I saw a flash but missed the connection.  Thankful that the fish were at least interested, I worked the pool a bit more before heading on downstream to some new water.  

I came to a favorite pool that reminds me a LOT of a pool in the Smokies on Lynn Camp Prong.  The water flows through both holes in an almost identical fashion and it just so happens that it makes for some very tough drifts.  I was fishing in hiking boots so repositioning across the creek wasn't an option.  Thankfully, since it is winter, several fish were stacked in a slow back eddy on my side of the pool.  Several drifts around that eddy and 3 fish later, I was pretty happy about how things were going.




The wind was becoming increasingly annoying however.  It was blowing straight down the canyon in fits and bursts that made casting frustrating from time to time.  After another pool and another trout, I decided that it wasn't worth fighting any longer and headed back towards town.  


Stopping by Boulder Creek, I made a few half hearted casts with a streamer for old time's sake but there was very little open water.  That should be changing in the next few days thankfully with highs forecast to be in the 50s and even 60s for the next week or so.  I'm hoping to get another chance to wet a line while I'm here in Colorado, but the big news is that all my paperwork is back to the NPS for my Commercial Use permit to guide in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I'm predicting that late next week into next weekend will see some fantastic fishing in the Park.  More on that over at the fishing report on Trout Zone Anglers.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Staying Dry

We are staying as dry as can be although unfortunately that cannot be said for everyone nearby.  The last few days have seen unbelievable destruction due to flooding here in the northern Front Range.  On Friday, I got out to photograph some of the effects.  Boulder Creek was still HIGH and rolling.  You could hear big boulders being rolled along the stream bottom.  I found this one spot in particular that was interesting to me, mostly because I had photographed it before and would have a good reference point for how high the water was.  Note that this photo was after the water had dropped a lot.  At the peak of the flood event the water was up on this bridge based on the debris we saw...


And at normal low flows...



Friday, September 06, 2013

New Water

Having lived here in Colorado for more than a year now, I'm still exploring new water.  Some places are obviously way out of the way such as high alpine lakes.  Others are quite accessible, I just haven't tried them out yet.  South Boulder Creek was one such destination.  Close to Boulder, the tailwater section receives a lot of pressure.  Finding open water can be challenging.  The hatches are worth it though.

I arrived right in the middle of the day.  Sleeping in is always attractive on my days off so I had a leisurely morning.  By the time I arrived, I considered myself fortunate to grab the last open parking space.  Armed with my favorite 5 weight and ready to do combat with the anticipated crowds, I started walking downstream.

Whenever I fish tailwaters, be it here in the west or back east, I always notice people standing right in the middle of the better runs.  This day was no different.  Some of the best holes had people right on top of where they should be fishing.  So much for stealth.  Meandering down the river, I found some nice spots, but each time I was nearly ready to jump in, I would notice another angler already working the water.

A rough canyon stretch that was better left to the wild critters was finally free of any other fisher folk.  Carefully working my way down a boulder field, I pushed through the tangle of willows lining the stream only to discover that I wouldn't be wading far.  The water was deep and swift.


Very carefully I worked the edges.  Then I waded as far out as I dared and worked the far current seam.  Sure enough, tight to the boulder providing a break in the current, my first fish rose energetically.



After a few more casts, I noticed the water just upstream had been vacated.  Hating to fish used water but preferring it over swimming, I somehow slithered and stumbled my way upstream over rocks, through willows....and found a paradise.


The section I was now gazing over was a bit wider meaning I could wade all the way across if I was careful.  By this time, drakes, PMDs, rusty spinners, caddis, and a few stoneflies were all making an appearance.  I love fishing big dries and dug out a big Parachute Adams that was close in size to the drakes I was seeing.  Fish started to hammer the big dry as soon as I tossed it out.

Working the closer water first, I slowly started fanning out with my casting to cover the water meticulously.  On just the other side of the main current, I noticed a couple of rises.  Casting over, a better fish took the fly and promptly headed for fast water.  For a couple of minutes it was touch and go.  Then the fish went over the rapids below, and I just knew I had lost it.  Incredibly, the 5x tippet held, and slowly I regained control.  It wasn't until I slipped the net under the fish that I looked up and noticed several spectators giving me the thumps up.  Glad I landed that fish!



By now the hatch was getting heavier and fish were rising everywhere.  Proceeding slowly upstream, I caught fish after fish, missing as many or more than I was landing.  Most were small to medium sized rainbows and browns although every once in a while a better fish would eat.


Taking time to look at the scenery, I noticed signs of fall on the far bank and took time to take pictures. The heat is still holding on here on the plains, but it will be no time at all before the nights are cool and crisp and the browns and brookies are spawning.  The elk are already bugling up in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The best time of year has arrived!!!


Monday, April 08, 2013

Baby Bass

Boulder County is blessed, not only with some quality trout water, but with a diverse array of warm water options as well.  Last Thursday I managed an hour or so exploring a new pond.  My original goal was to look for some big bluegill, but I soon realized that there were too many small fish to be worth messing with.  Some big carp cruising inspired me to try and figure out that species as well, but in the meantime I rigged up for bass or anything else that might hit.

Then I proceeded to fish, casting again and again with only an occasional tap to remind me that I was trying to catch something.  Those taps were mostly from bluegill with appetites much larger than their small size would normally indicate.  Eventually I decided to downsize.  Apparently the bass weren't hungry, or I wasn't stealthy enough, or maybe I'm just not a bass angler yet (definitely the most likely conclusion here).  Anyway, I was now changing tactics from let's catch some bass to let's not get skunked.  Those bluegill were looking pretty interesting at this point.

Only a couple of casts with the new fly (a Simi Seal Leech of course!!!), and I hooked up.  The monster took me for a ride all over the lake..........oh, wait, that must be from another story.  I quickly landed the bass, glad to have avoided a skunk although not entirely sure if baby fish count or if that just makes me a mean fisherman



Thursday, April 04, 2013

From the Office

Not a bad view from work!!!  I must admit, however, that it does occasionally encourage daydreaming. Yesterday, a few scattered showers moved across the front range.  Late afternoon sunlight lit up the precipitation falling over the Flatirons creating an amazing display between light and shadows.  Sadly, my camera was at home but before it was too late I remembered the old point and shoot was somewhere in my car.  The pictures didn't turn out too bad...





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Hiking is one of my favorite activities, after fishing of course.  Hiking in the snow is always a blast, and with the fresh snowfall, I got out on Sunday to hike Mt. Sanitas in Boulder for the first time.  What a great hike!!!