Who let the word out on the hot tip? Maybe it is just seasonal traffic but typically I have to share this section of water with hikers rather than anglers. Not that I am opposed to sharing the water…this was not at all what I expected.
8AM arrival and the parking lot were full. Fishing spot #1 was taken by Billy Bobber and his buddy in a wife-beater\vest style shirt. Fishing spot #2 was occupied by a couple having a picnic on one of the few flat sandy areas near the water.
“Just head straight up and work our way back…maybe this will be open on the way back.”
The hike up is a little over a mile with the morning sun bringing air temperatures even with my frustration in regards to the unusual level of traffic. Reaching the top of the section it is evident that I only have a few anglers to shuffle around. Grab a small slice of water and go to work. Second cast through and a small brown trout comes to the hand.
Climb up the steep bank and my feet are once again on the main road. Move up about a hundred feet and have the sweet spot all to myself. Cast, cast, nothing. Clearly the sweet spot has already been worked. No time to despair even though I want to. Nothing to do but move on to the next spot.
The area is green from summer rains and the wildflowers are still busting out all over the place. As much as I try to stay frustrated with the crowds the beautiful splendor can’t help but sweep my anger away. Of course people are out enjoying the wild in droves. I would be foolish not to take advantage of open spaces and lesser-known waters.
Water clarity was good but not perfect and can vary by the day right now. Heavy rains can make the water murky in an instant so clear skies were a welcome sign. The extra light helped with the photo quality, which is rare for me. Flows are strong so the fish tend to hide on the edges, behind rocks and wait for those slack water pools to form later in the year.
No love on the minnow spin pattern. I flipped a few fly casts with the ant pattern but the current would rip the presentation past me at high speeds. Switch to a beaded nymph and spent the next few minutes digging it out of rocks or picking off moss. Most of the fish today came on a no name, low down and dirty spin pattern.
Talking with the ranger he stated that no one has EVER suggested this area be AFLO\C&R. This was surprising, as I have sent several e-mails, a few phone calls and made my usual half-assed attempt at changing bureaucracy. This is the second time in a month that a ranger has told me this. Either management is trying to stifle attempts to change regulations where we fish or anglers are not being nearly vocal enough. According to a lot of wildlife officials…80% of Colorado fishing license holders are bait and take. Waters will continue to be managed as such if this perception continues. Where is your voice?
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.