Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Breath Of Fresh Water Part 2

Pat's Rubber leg photo by Jon Kleis
Large stoneflies are in the river system year around and good nymph imitations are Prince nymphs or a Pat's Rubber Leg nymph.  Again when Im fishing these patterns it is usually during the warmer months or higher flows and Im typically looking for actively feeding fish in faster pocket water or I am dredging the bottom of deeper pools with a lot of weight on my leader in order to get down to bigger fish.  I haven't personally seen an actual stonefly hatch but it doesn't hurt to have adult imitations of the bug.  Good Patterns for adult "stone's" are Amy's Ants or Stimulator's.
Yellow Stimulator photo by Jon Kleis

The warmer months are great for wet wading.  Waders are awesome for keeping you warm and dry, but when the high temperature for the day is in the nineties it feels great to walk around in a pair of shorts with an old pair of tennis shoes or a good pair of wet wading shoes and stand in the river to keep cool.  When your wading be careful during higher flows.  Last year during spring run-off Deckers got well over a thousand c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) which is a very dangerous flow to wade and makes fishing a lot tougher as well.  Fish tend to stay close to the banks or they hang out in front of boulders where there is breaking water during high flows and playing a fish in fast water under those conditions with light leaders and tippet and small flies doesn't usually spell success.

Cheesman Canyon above Decker's photo by Daniel Zimmerman
Ideal flows for this region are from 150 c.f.s. to 250 c.f.s.  For stream flow reports go to the Colorado Division of Water Resources at  As for gear during chilly conditions when its important to stay dry Simms sells quality breathable waders made with layered Gore-Tex that come with a great warranty and are extremely durable.  Orvis also has a new boot foot wader that has a cleated Bog boot that will keep winter anglers warm and dry.  Bring a 9 ft. 5 weight fly rod and 9 ft. 5x and 6x leaders and tippet and some split shot.

Flies to have in your box are: Elk Hair caddis size 14-18, Barr's Graphic caddis size 16-18, Buckskin's size 18-20, Pat's rubber leg size 10, various Stimulator's, Prince nymphs size 12-16, Apricot eggs size 16-18, San juan worms size12-16, Pheasant tail's size 18-22,  RS-2's in black and gray size 20-24, South Platte Brassie's size 20-24, Murphy's Bubbleback Midge size 22, Kleis's Mojo midge size 22, Parachute adam's size 20-26, Olive and Black Slumpbusters.

If you have any questions on this stretch of river or you need directions email me at jonkleisflyfishing@yahoo or go to or stop by the Anglers Covey fly shop and talk to myself (Jon Kleis) or any one of our knowledgeable staff.  We are located on the corner of highway 24 and 21st street on the right hand side if your heading towards the mountain.  Tight lines!  

Jon Kleis



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