Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Monday, September 30, 2013

11 Mile Canyon Fishing Report 9-30-2013

Recent photo of a client 11 Mile Canyon.

11 Mile Canyon is fishing fairly well. Flows have been in the low 60 c.f.s. and dropping. Cooling water temps mean that all of that awesome grass you nymph fisherman love is dying off and floating down river making it difficult to keep clean flies for more than a couple drifts. Good news, on days where it hasn't rained the night before we have excellent dry fly action.

From sunrise until about noon tricos are on the menu; on cooler days they will last as late as 1 p.m. Make sure to downsize during fly selection. As the days get shorter and the water gets cooler the tricos get smaller. From late July-August they are size 22, from September until the first freeze they are a 24.

From the end of the trico hatch (noon-ish) until about 4 p.m. look for those tiny blue winged olive mayflies otherwise known as pseudocloeons. They're also close to a size 24. A Parachute Adams will do the trick.  Midges erupted during this time frame so a good trick to try if you aren't getting looks at your Adams is to clip the tail to shorten it's profile and imitate a midge. The last hour of sunrise you should start to see tricos again, and a size 24 Barr's Vis a dun behind a hopper or caddis fished tight against the bank can be deadly. Be sure to move a lot!

I didn't see much evidence that the browns have begun spawning other than a migrating fish or two and a few landed small ones starting to show color. If you see any circular spots on the river bottom where all of the moss is missing and it looks like there is a depression in the gravel do not wade on top of it. There's potential that a fish has spawned there, and we need to protect future generations. Tight Lines!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pretty Photo Of A Kokanee Salmon

Jim Browning took a recent photo of a Kokanee that we shot and made it pop with an app he uses to add wavy effects and color. We took it a step further, even though his rendering is beautiful, and since I keep seeing photos on social networks of dudes holding fish where only the fish was in color, I decided to try my hand at it. Here is Kristen's, Jim's, and my teamwork in action!

Windy Defeat On The Dream Stream

Here is a short clip of a day spent battling the wind chasing a particularly big cutbow followed by heartbreak, crying like a big baby, and pitching a fit in frustration. Like everyone keeps saying though, "it keeps us coming back". Very true... Sorry that the video quality isn't up to our standards, I had missed a few chances at this fish and nobody expected for an opportunity at strike 3. We just wanted to show everyone that these things happen, even to guys with a photo library of big fish who have been fishing for a long time. The river humbles all!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gunnison and Taylor River Trip - Mid Sept.

For anyone who may have missed all of the photos and short clips we have posted on our fb page we decided to share these on CFFM -including a few we didn't get around to posting. We had an amazing first trip to the Gunnison river valley this year and look forward to a few more visits as it's only going to get better! Unlike many of Colorado's rivers the East, Taylor, and the Gunnison from the confluence down did not get devastated by flooding.

They still have the blockade in place on the East river at the Roaring Judy fish hatchery, and they are again not letting fish get up stream from that point so don't bother with the East if you're looking for salmon. Flows on the East averaged anywhere from 200-300 c.f.s. but expect that to come down to it's usual fall levels if we can avoid getting another 16 inches of rain in a single day... The Taylor river coming out of the dam was running around 198 c.f.s. the entire second week of Sept. which is an excellent flow, and the crowds were aware of this also. The parking area was full by 8 a.m. both days we fished it.

It was the typical Taylor river experience. There were dry fly purists, guys deliberately foul hooking fish, and we didn't see a whole lot of rods bent most of the day. I did lose several fish in the 10lb class in and just above the Avalanche hole, and managed several 12-18 inch colorful browns to the net as we moved around the C and R. We still had a ton of fun despite these things! The Taylor river is always a challenging break from salmon slaying on the Gunni.

Salmon fishing on the Gunnison started slow for us. Flows were kind of high compared to previous Septembers and locating fish was difficult, combined with the fact that it took adding 5-6 BB sized shot on our leaders to get down low enough and quick enough with our egg patterns to catch fish. Once we figured all of this out we were in salmon and having a blast. It was obvious we were still early because the numbers of fish were low, and the fight in these Kokes was impressive! As the days get shorter and the water gets lower and colder look for more salmon to be there from the confluence down.

This was a family experience as most of our fishing trips are, and the fun we had really shows in the photos. Our little family drastically needed this vacay! Kristen has been working her tail off in her full time job as a NICU nurse taking care of sick babies, and this was by far my busiest year as a full time guide, writer, tyer, and photo/videographer. Things don't seem to be getting any less busy so being sure to take some time to have these little adventures together has been important to us.

It's so rewarding to see other anglers reactions to Bree being on the water while we fish! The typical reaction being "starting her young?! I like that!" For those of you who we haven't told this story, Bree's inaugural trip was on Antero Reservoir in early April during a cold windy day two months after she was born! She's no stranger to the outdoors. It's also cool to see how excited Bree is to play with other anglers fishing companions a.k.a. puppies. We don't have enough space at home yet to own a dog so Bree loves playing fetch and having fun with them. And -knock on wood- Bree hasn't shown to much of her dark toddler side yet, not that she has too much of a dark toddler side to begin with...

The best thing that anyone can do who is trying to get someone into fishing is put them in a spot where they can catch fish, and salmon fishing on the East river before they put the blockade up is exactly how I got Kristen turned into a true troutbum. She looks forward all year to Kokanee salmon fishing like I look forward to carp fishing or throwing size 24 Tricos in 11 Mile Canyon, and I can't say that I blame her. These fish pull hard and are beautiful. Here's a few photos from this Sept. on the Gunni...

Kristen with big fish of the trip!
My first Gunni river rainbow and man are they colorful!

This first short video clip above is a blooper reel that I thought was awesome! Kristen was a head dodge away from getting some face jewelry as this salmon jumped and spit the hook at her while I was recording in slow motion! Quick reflexes indeed... Check it out in HD!

This clip is me hooking up with a dry fly on the Taylor. We had to share it because Bree was playing in the background and being adorable. Thankyou again fellow anglers and readers for your support!

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