Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another creek after the flood

Saturday was a very windy day here along the Front Range. Jeremy Sides and I decided we should try and target a small canyon to minimize it as much as possible so we headed to Boulder Creek. I've fished down in town before but I hadn't fished up in the canyon so I was looking forward to some new water. We got to the river around 9 and tried to find a sliver of canyon that had a bit of sun on it. This happended to be a difficult task but we found a few hundred yards that fit the bill. The riparian zone was pretty ripped up after September's flood with loose rocks, broken trees, no undergrowth, and areas where the river had badly eroded it's banks. I suppose this was to be expected though.
Post flood Boulder Creek

A mild example of the loose rocks along the creek
Somehow most of the fish seem to have survived the flood. Too bad it didn't help them grow since a big fish here is still about 10 inches! When we got to the water it was 36.5 degrees but the fish were willing within minutes. Jeremy and I mainly fished upstream with single nymphs for the day. Most patterns worked pretty well with pheasant tail/frenchie variations and hare's ear variations performing their standard duty. I think the highlight of the day was sight fishing to quite a few fish. The clear water and the light colored sediment the flood washed in made spotting fish fairly easy. Jeremy even had one fish turn downstream and follow his nymph 3-4 feet before finally eating.
The Cast

The Set

The Net

Jeremy had quite a few fish eat flies with lucent slotted pink or red beads. You can pick them up from Kevin Compton's Performance Flies.
Boulder Creek brown on a pink beaded hare's ear.

Boulder Creek brown on a red beaded pheasant tail
I think my fishing lesson for you on the day is to look for exceptions to the rule. In several of my last posts I've told you to look for slower water of medium depth or greater in cold temperatures. In general, this water type is found in pools or slower runs. This is definitely where we found most of our fish yesterday. However, there were exceptions like the two spots in the photo below in pocketwater that both produced a fish. The rocks slowed the water enough with a minimum amount of turbulence to produce cold water conditions good enough to hold at least one fish. When you're out on the water this winter. Look for places like this that other anglers pass by while they're pool hopping. You might have a shot at some fish that haven't been bothered for awhile.

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