For those of you who haven't heard of this section of the South Platte, these fish have a masters degree in identifying artificial flies. They could probably tell you what materials you used to tie the fly for that matter. However, these guys can get big. Stories of 20 inch fish weighing in at nearly 5 pounds were what attracted me so much to this fishery. They feed primarily on midges from what I hear, which made me wonder if camping out up there for a week or so might be a possibility, seeing as I love to catch big fish on small patterns and tippet as thin as a strand of hair. As I began to doze off to sleep the night before, I was dreaming of catching one of these beasts, and before I knew it, early the next morning we were on our way to pick up my friend, and then to the river.
After the painstakingly long drive, we finally got to our destination, and made a quick stop at "Flies and Lies" fly shop for some tips and tricks to catching these technical trout. I needed as much advice as possible because this was an entirely new thing for me. I could tell from the instant we saw the river that this was going to be much different then the Poudre. The guys working were very kind, and after a couple of tips, they wished us luck and told us to stop back in at the end of the day to tell them how things went. We went to the car, suited up, and hit the river as my uncle went off to study.
After an hour or two with only a few hits, I was cursing at myself for letting my allowance slip out of my hands for this. Then, just like most fish stories go, my friend hollers from down river "try that seam right there!" As you probably know, I love to sight fish, so as second nature, my eyes began to scan the water. Suddenly, a movement. It was a brown that was feeding aggressively on mayfly nymphs (as later determined by stomach samples). He took on the first drift, but after one head-shake, my poor little top secret midge was bent to oblivion. I replaced the fly, and resumed looking for fish in the seam. One of the easiest ways to find a feeding trout is by the white glint of its mouth, so I began searching the water, and as clear as day came a white flash right in front of me. I knew that this was my one chance at success. I put the fly in front of him with confidence a few times, and I watched with joy as he opened his giant jaw to inhale my nymph on the fourth drift. After a long, crazy fight (including him going straight through my legs), the beautiful male rainbow came to net, and we quickly pumped his stomach, and released him with pride.
|This Fish Slammed a Golden Stone Imitation|
|As you can see, this water was insanely clear|