Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Late evening dash on the St. Vrain

(Above: Upstream shot with light fading fast. This is as much water as I have seen in the St. Vrain. The locals might be a bit optimistic when they call this a “river”.)

The morning chores seemed to take on lives of their own this Saturday. Getting out of the house and up into the hills was looking more and more like a “no-go” as precious time ticked away. With each red light and endless long line my travel time and daylight slipped through my grasp like too much sand held in my fingers.

“I better start re-thinking plans right now.” the words of realization started sinking in. “Maybe a quick trip over to St. Vrain before dark?”

(Above: Borrowed the map from the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District that shows the full 214 square miles of drainage that produces roughly 114,000 acre feet of water annually. This is almost entirely from runoff from snowmelt as where most rivers typically have a few springs feeding them.)

St. Vrain is a very small slip of water that runs from the Rocky Mountains through Longmont and into the Platte. Called the St. Vrain River, this really looks and fishes more like a creek or small stream. In water strained years the St. Vrain has boiled down to a mere trickle. His has caused a few anglers to mark it off their list entirely. This year the water volume is on the high side and flows are great for the river’s usual size. There are a handful of pullouts on public accessible sections along Hwy 36. With gear in tow, I tried to make a few casts pay off with only an or hour of daylight to fish.

At first bites were tough to come by. Flashes and follows were nil as well. With so much water I expected the fish to be far more active and well…at least there. Off to another pull out and bushwack my way in, sunlight was vanishing quickly. Casting into a small but deep pool I see the line streak upstream. Battle the fish through a few small riffles and then land. Quality small water brown trout in the 12’er size range.

(Above: Nice “In the hand” shot with the fish mostly in the water. From here it is a quick “plink” and release using needle nose pliers.)

The minnow pattern in the final gasps of dusk produced the fish above and got a few more swipes in the small pool just below this small flat section. Not the easiest water to fish and covered with heavy brush and rocks. Challenging is not the word. Some people refer to this section as “Lost Wallet Bend” or Sprained Ankle Gulch”. After three trips over the last few years I have decided to go with “something just bit me”.

St. Vrain is not a prime fishing destination by any means. If you fish this water please make sure you do so in the public access sections and be aware of fences and posted signs. I fish here more or less to soak up some of the mountain scenery between above Lyons Colorado.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Murphyfish said...

Hey Matt,
Ok so you got me curious so I've just taken a peek - great blog my good fellow, I'll tag along if don't mind to much?

Coloradocasters said...

I would be greatly honored if you did. Feel free to comment and rate at your leisure.

James C. said...

Looks like an Eastern mountain Stream! I've read about the St. Vrain in Gierach's books. I would LOVE to go!

The Average Joe Fisherman said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I decided to check yours out. I like it so much I liksted it my blog list.

A few years back, I fished the South Platte in Colorado... the Miracle Mile and Cheesman Canyon. Unbelievable!

troutrageous1 said...

James is right, reminds me of home. Looks a lot different than a lot of the pics you see of western water. Looks like "traffic" is down, so something like that would be just my style - smaller stream and smaller fish.

Bill Bush said...

What an outing, wish I was there! Great report, great read as always! Can't wait for the next post!