Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall returns to the Creek

A taste of fall and another run on the creek. This time I checked out the section around Lawson and Dumont. This is a park and cast scene with a lot of rugged rock hopping along the way. Having fished a good deal of this 50-mile creek, this one small section for some reason was left untouched in regards to my creek excursions. Gear in tow I headed up looking for the right exits and a place to fish.

(Above: Quick little map shot. Red arrows mark the exits and the road turns to dirt from there. You can drive a short distance but most of this area is traveled by foot only.)

Traffic was relatively good on the way up. Ski season has not gotten underway so I-70 still looks like an interstate as opposed to a parking lot. Make the exit near Lawson and look for the dirt road leading to a small walk-in park sponsored by the Colorado Lottery funds.

(Above: The road\foot trail along the one of the newer walk-in sections of the creek. Foot access is easy with a handful of water pockets along the way.)

Walking down the road and looking at the creek two things stood out more than anything else. Fall colors were kicking in and the creek was low. Very low. One element would put things in my favor. The other would take all of that advantage away. Right away it was tough going just finding fish.

I managed to plink a few fish, nothing outrageous or spectacular but just enough reason to wet the hands and keep moving forward.

(Above: Little brown trout from the upper stretch going back into the wet stuff.)

The Dumont section offers a few secluded parking spots but you are fishing right next to the interstate. You would think that would be annoying but the sound of rushing water drowns most of it out. Once you start casting everything fades into the background.

Fall colors can be exceptional in Colorado but as the branches begin to shed, the leaf debris in the water becomes my nemesis and foe bringing challenge and frustration. A fair percentage of my casts would get fouled up with the deciduous fallout. When I would get positioned perfectly to cast into the spot, a gust of wind would hit dusting the entire area with leaves. Nothing to do but battle it out and then move on. There seemed to always be a spot worth casting into up ahead. This is the siren song of moving trout water.

(Above: Crystal clear pools of emerald and transparent. Some spots look so good you know they have to fish in them.)

Eventually I fell into the groove and found a pattern that the fish seemed to like. It wasn’t easy as the fish were so much more wary in the low and very clear water. Luckily I dialed something in before reaching the few less pressured spots with more promise. Cast, plink! Cast, Plink! Cast Plink and then move further upstream.

(Above: Chubby brown and fall colors. Sometimes I work way too hard for smaller fish. Must fish.)

Browns ruled the day with the cutbows giving a rise then a scoff. More than a few fish would seem to chase or follow the presentations rather than commit on anything I threw. However it was nice to see a few fish take something. Sporting their fall colors is a nice touch as well.

Many of the male browns were staging for spawn and I pondered trying to capture some of this on film. But with the fish so wary it would be nearly impossible and decided to move on and keep fishing. With a foot or more depth it might have been worth a shot and not so intrusive.

(Above: Release shot of another brownie in shallow water. A few of these areas were mere inches in depth. An ominous sign this time of year.)

As the afternoon settled the smell of smoke started to mix with that of fallen leaves and pine. The sun became orange and hazy in the sky signaling that a forest fire may be burning on a mountain ridge not too far off (The Grand County fire to be exact).

“Better head out before the road down turns into a real mess.” I said hopping over rock after rock to reach the truck to leave.

Pulling off the exit I am met with a mass of automobiles. Jostling for position one person let’s me in and I give a thank you wave. Slowly crawling down the eastbound lane a large sign flashes “Fire Operations in Progress-Expect Delays”.

“Oh great.” I exclaimed. “This could take some time.”

However, as soon as everyone passed the sign, traffic picked up and speeds returned to the white knuckle, foot to the floor, mountain race that typically ensues on I-70. People were simply slowing down and bunching up just to read the sign.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

12 comments:

blake said...

I hate hooking leaves also. Looks like you did pretty good considering the conditions!

Cofisher said...

Nice report Matt. You've also given me a (hopefully) not well-known place to fish. I love the looks of this place.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

"Must fish. Must fish. Must fish." I believe that you even whisper this in your sleep! Nice post.

Gorges Smythe said...

I've never been a trout fisherman, but I love where they hang out!

Bill said...

That is some beautiful scenery and beautiful fish as well!

troutrageous1 said...

Cool post. Some beautiful brownies and your scenery is gorgeous this time of year. Makes one really fall in love with autumn.

BTW - Glad you didn't take pics of the spawn. There's enough "fish porn" on the web already :)

Shoreman said...

Awesome day. Great colors on the Browns. Fall is a wonderful time for fish color.

Mark

Bill Trussell said...

Some beautiful places and even better looking brookies, the country out that way is worth every picture taken. Great Post.

Mel said...

Thanks, Matt, for taking me with you on your trip to the creek, although, in words and pictures only. Some pretty county and sweet looking fish. Be you fly fishing?

Jason said...

Very Awesome pics....

Coloradocasters said...

Thank you for the comments, folks. This was a lot tougher day than explained in the post. many many many pictures were taken but only had time to post a few.

@Mel: I carried both spin and fly on this day expecting the fly to rule. However, the minnow pattern run sidewways across the trough picked up fish. "Lowdown, dirty POS of spin guys going for trout..." I can hear the chides already. ha ha

THE OLD GEEZER said...

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God Bless You :-)

~Ron