Jeez, this happened a long time ago. Shame on me! I'm going all the way back to Thanksgiving for this post! Well, it is what it is and here we go.
Every time I go back to Colorado I schedule at least one outing on a river, and more often than not these days those outings are to the highly trafficked Denverish spots. Like Cheeseman. This time Cheeseman wasn't the destination, rather another similar spot of that same river: Eleven Mile Canyon. I didn't know anything about this spot before going other than having heard of it before and being aware it's popular. In fact I don't believe anyone going along had been there before. Pretty much all we knew was that it gets fished quite a lot and would probably be very challenging.
If I had to describe it, at least on a cold cold day in late November, it would be as prototypical winter pocket water fishing. There wasn't much water in the river so all the fish were stacked up in the deeper "wintering" holes. I have a newly found love of Czech nymphing, and that meshed perfectly with the river. None of the runs were longer than 20 feet and nothing was much deeper than a few feet, so most of the day I fished without an indicator. And there's just something about fishing by feel, something that seems to rouse the inner caveman instincts in me. It just feels right.
Fishing was a bit on the slow side, which was more or less expected given the low flow and cold temperatures. Catches were made occasionally, and a good number of them were decent sized fish. Nothing huge, but no fingerlings either. In one spot on the river we did stumble upon a hidden gem tucked away in the deeps. A school of suckers. They provided a bit of entertainment for a while as a couple of us tried to
snag catch them.
A number of hours into the day after all the warmth had been wrung out of our bodies and after 18 fish had been caught, two of us were tied in fish-count, and of course this was a no holds barred competition. It was between Brady and I at 9 each and I won't mention how many the other two guys had caught... I sat down shoulder to shoulder with Brady on the granite boulder from which he was fishing, and I started casting into his run three feet downstream of him. It was on! Things had slowed down and no one had caught much of anything for a while. But then it happened. I felt a tug on my line, set the hook, and out of the water shot a 3-inch rainbow! I had ended the competition with a resounding boom.
And off to the Pub we went!