Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Bow and Thanksgiving Brown

I am truly thankful for every fish that I catch. Big or small, any fish that thumps on the end of my line gets my heart pounding. Today I left the house in search of bass. After spending most of the day in “No-Love Warmwater town” I decided to change up. Not just change lures but change up species altogether.

Upstream was snow covered and ice-locked in many places. It was tough finding open water to cast. A few pools like the one shown below existed where sun exposure was nearly constant. These spots offered a few cast able options but these options seemed far and few between as I made the drive up the canyon. Finding open water that has active fish can be tricky this time of year.

(Above: Water movement + sun = open water on a day when active open water seemed scarce.)

Desperation was setting in. The weather was gorgeous and that seemed to encourage me onward. With icy conditions upstream I turned around and headed back downstream looking for more open water. Without waders or waterproof boots I was pretty much stuck fishing the side of water that I was on.

“Going to be another tough day.” I muttered

Running the lure through a clear water pool I get a solid hit. Within a few moments I land a near 12-inch cutbow trout. It was a gorgeous fish even if it wasn’t the largest trout you have ever seen in Colorado.

The gold patterns seemed to get the most attention and I experimented with a few. All water is different but silver patterns seem to fair better early in the year with yellow and brown colors late summer and fall. Gold patterns do well late fall and in winter tail water sections like this. Remember that lure placement and presentation is more crucial than exact color pattern in my opinion.

(Above: One quick “in the water” shot before the release. Notice the orange markings on the bottom of the jaw.)

Poking around the last open section of water near the wood bridge my line gets a heavy thump. Honestly I thought my lure had caught bottom until the line started cutting upstream. It felt like a heavy fish and a bit larger than the norm. The large yellow flash made me hold my breath until it was landed. The absence of real estate gave the fish little area to run in and the battle was over in mere seconds. A gorgeous brown trout male was in my hands and gleaming for the photo op.

(Above: Step in shot with the fish dripping and golden brown. A great holiday moment.)

I stepped in the water to make handling the fish a bit easier. The frigid water soaked into my shoes and my feet started feeling the numbing sting. My hands didn’t seem to notice as much. After releasing the fish I continued to work the rest of the fishing hole before heading out. Once my feet were out of the water it wasn’t too uncomfortable. My time was up and the rest of the day would be spent on perfecting techniques of turkey carving and cranberry sauce.

My name is Matt and I am very thankful to be living in Colorado.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Matt - Just found your blog over the Thanksgiving holiday. I must say it is a very impressive blog and I don't know why I have not came across it earlier. I signed on as a follower and plan on being a regular visitor. Many years ago I lived in Denver for a few years and enjoyed getting out on the area rivers early in the winter season. Absolutely beautiful experiences. Please drop by my blog and say hello when you get a chance. Let's share some readership with each other.