So I have not been posting because I am a bad traveler. I went to Colorado and remembered every possible fly fishing related item but forgot my cameras photo download cord. While actually I forgot the battery charger, toothpaste, and warm enough clothes for a winter blizzard in September.
The day after my wife, child and I arrived in Colorado my dad and I headed up to 11 Mile Canyon on the South Platte which is west of Colorado Springs. It’s a beautiful small river that tumbles through a narrow rocky canyon. Some of the huge rocks that have come loose from the surrounding rocks have found there way into the river and make for amazing pocket water fishing. In front of a fifty foot boulder that was blocking the entire width of the river I found this beauty on a #16 Red Copper John.
The next day my parents and the wife and kid headed up to Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, CO because the owner Jim, a really great guy, does a free basics of fly fishing class on Saturday through the summer months. My wife and mom had a one hour guide to knots and fly selection and an hour on casting with practice in the field on the side of the building. A two hour lesson for free! While, not really free as two hours in a fly shop is a dangerous place for a dad and son who both fly fish. My dad ended up leaving with a new Sage 3 weight Launch rod and a Ross reel. Mostly, I think, because I never shut up about how much I love my Sage VT2 3 weight 7’6″ rod and my Bauer Mackenzie Superlight size 2 reel (btw – Blue Quill will put a free fly line on most of the nicer reels they sell. That’s where I got my reel).
The next day my dad and I headed out with his fishing buddy to 11 Mile again. I only had one really nice fish on early in the morning but I learned quickly why 7lb tippet sucks. Also the fish was on a size 26 Parachute Adams and I didn’t feel like putting something that small on again which was probably my mistake. Of course I find it a little amusing that a few days after I was back in OR the only fly the fish on the McKenzie would take was a size 8 or 10 Parachute Adams—bit of a difference in size there. The Trico fall in the morning was amazing and the fact that no one else around seemed to be getting into the dozens of fish slurping the drowned Tricos made me feel a little better. (that’s me in the Photo, thanks CJ)
Then the snow kicked in. It’s really hard to get motivated to go fly fishing in snow that is coming down in September. Especially when all the clothes I brought along were for 50ish degree weather.
A few days later I got out of my slump when we headed up to Vail, CO. My dad was going to a business conference and we got to stay in a fancy condo that just happened to look right out on this:
Gore Creek flows right through the middle of Vail and is really beautiful and full of fish. I went down from the seventh floor condo and peered in the water directly behind the building and saw several ten to twelve inch fish rising. I couldn’t wait for the elevator back up so I ran back up the stairs and tried to be helpful getting all the bags in the right rooms so I could bust out of there. I headed back down and got two hours of fishing in and caught three fish. I feel like that is pretty good considering that there is a path running along the creek and it is right through the main part of Vail and these fish are cast to constantly.
The next morning I went out on the creek before the wife and baby woke up and was surprised when my mom came along also. She would point out fish to me and I would try my hardest to show her what a great fly fisherman her son was but of course I got nothing. On the way back to the condo I told her we had to stop and see these large twelve to fourteen inch fish that were resting in a deep hole. We were standing on a rock edge about five feet high and looking down at these five beautiful fish in five feet or so of water just resting on the bottom. “Catch one” my mom said. I told her that resting fish are not eating fish but after much coaxing I dropped a line down in front of the fish. And wouldn’t you know it, I see a head flash to the side and the fish is off. Now I am trying to figure out what to do as there is a five foot ledge between me and the water. So I bring the fish thirty feet down river and I hop down the boulders and let him go. The whole time my mom is whooping and hollering and running along after me and the fish. OK, I was wrong. This sleeping fish does like to eat. Hey fish, Thanks for making a son look good!