Sunday, July 11, 2010

South Fork, 7/10/10

Had a blast this weekend fishing for brook trout on the South Fork of the Poudre, near Pingree Park.

I hadn't really planned on fishing much, given that the outing was primarily a family get-together just for some R&R, but of course I couldn't fathom the idea of leaving the fly rod at home, especially with such a pretty little stream in close proximity to our camp.

I've never been much good on small streams.  Come to think of it, I've never been spectacular on any stream of any size, but small streams in particular require a level of finesse and patience that I haven't really mastered just yet.  I have a feeling that, like many fly fisherman, my hunger for big fish and my adequate but hardly elegant casting skills lend themselves to big waters with fewer opportunities for error (i.e. snags and overhanging trees/brush).  Imagine my satisfaction this weekend at having seemingly found my groove on a stream that was small and shallow, but surprisingly productive and exceedingly fishable.

Along with my brother-in-law, and very briefly with my 10 year-old nephew, I managed to hook-up with just about a dozen gorgeous little brook trout like the two pictured here.  We started after them with two-fly rigs, initially a para-caddis with small dropper nymphs.  After the first hook-up and a number of misses, I realized that the fish were exclusively hitting on the para-caddis, which I was more or less fishing as an indicator.  Rather than wasting any more time, I removed the trailing nymphs and replaced them with another dry-fly.  It's the first time I've ever fished two surface flies at once, and it was a bit of a challenge to keep track of both flies on the surface, but it became a really productive approach once I got used to it.

The stream itself was a dream come true.  Much of the stream winds back and forth through a meadow, providing ample turns in the river where the water grows deeper and calmer.  These natural lies were generally full of actively feeding brookies.  No other fishermen, the banks surrounded by meadows on both sides, surprisingly warm water temperatures (I didn't even bother putting my waders on, just an old pair of hiking boots), and a nice combination of sun and rain.  The only drawback was an afternoon rainstorm, which wouldn't have been a drawback at all, except that it briefly turned into a lightning storm with some nasty little hail.  Fortunately we were able to simply wait out the hail and lightning, and the rain and clouds made the dry fly fishing even better.

It was a really nice, fun change from my normal routine on the big, roaring Poudre.  I can see several return trips happening.    

No comments: