Friday, October 29, 2010

Yampa Day 1

On my way out to Rochester NY for work this week, I stopped over in Denver for an extended weekend fishing trip with a few friends.  We didn't have a destination in mind originally, but eventually settled on the Yampa river near Steamboat Springs.  It was the closest of the rivers we discussed and some outside advice said it was a great spot, although maybe a little busy.  A quick check of the weather forecast suggested that the weather would be bad enough to keep the fair weather anglers away, but not so bad that it would be a totally miserable experience.  Hopefully, at least.

I flew into Denver late Thursday night, got a few hours of sleep, and then we were off to the river at 5:30 in the morning.  It was a surprisingly short drive of just over 3 hours, and it was right around 9:00 with we got there.  The sun was up but not out.  The clouds were covering the sky and threatening rain but so far it had been pretty dry on the drive, although it was a chilly 40deg or so.  There were five of us, and we all geared up and peeled of one by one as we were ready and headed to the river.

I started out with Kevin who has never done any fly fishing before and hasn't caught a fish since moving to Colorado.  It didn't take him too long to figure it out...

After Kevin proved his worth he was on his own and I moved upstream to some flat, slow-moving water that Jonathan was fishing from the other bank.  It looked like a great spot because there were fish all over feeding on the surface, and there were at least a dozen nice fish in sight that didn't seem to care about me being there. I asked Jonathan what he was having luck with and tied on my closest dry: some sort of small BWO dry.  I didn't have a lot of luck, which was a little frustrating.  I floated my dry-dropper right over quite a few fish, at least two dozen times with no luck.  I tried out a few different variations and eventually sort of figured it out and was rewarded with a decent brown.  Sorry for the rotated picture.  Blogger doesn't give me the ability to rotate and always loads this picture at this angle.

The reason I say I sort of figured it out is because I caught a few fish in this hole, but the majority of them avoided my flies.  Some of the bigger and apparently smarter ones would even move away when my flies were about to drift over.  They must have been able to see my leader or the hook because the fly line didn't bother them and the fly was getting a good dead drift.  Smart fish!

After a while I grew tired of being outsmarted so I moved on.  The rest of the day was fairly uneventful.  I caught a few more fish here and there including one very nice rainbow.

I got to do a little nice hiking up and over a ridge after catching a few fish in the pocket waters pictured below.

All in all it was a reasonable day.  I saw way more fish than I caught and my overall total was around 7 fish, a few of which were pretty nice.  I snapped one more picture near the end of the day of the river, surroundings, and the cloudy/rainy sky we had to deal with all day.

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