Thursday, May 15, 2014

Birthday Tenkara

I think I am getting wiser the older I get. I finally realized that I probably shouldn't work on my birthday and instead take the day off and go fishing. Life is too short to let such a opportunity go unused.

We have had some really odd weather around here lately. Spring has been slow to come and I measured this last Monday 10" of new wet sloppy SNOW in my backyard. Needless to say all of it was gone Wednesday. 

Again, I kept scratching my head where to fish. The South Platte around Deckers dropped flows down to 200cfs but I really didn't feel like fishing the "big" river. Bear Creek was too high and probably muddy from last night's rain. Clear Creek - forget it, it's in run-off mode. South Boulder Creek looked great, about 80cfs. Of course, halfway through the day the boys at the dam opened the valves to 101cfs... 

Got there around 9am (hey, I am not getting out of bed at 5am on my birthday!), first car in the parking lot (yeah!) got ready and hiked down to the river. Flows looked good, water was pretty clear. This time I hiked in for a while, about 1.6 miles as per my phones GPS. It was pretty hard to walk by all that great looking water but my plan is to hike-in and fish-out. 

Fishing started out pretty slow, but once it warmed-up a bit things changed. Not a big number fish day but they kept me entertained throughout the day. After lunch-time I started bumping into other anglers, more showed-up the closer I got to trail that leads out of the canyon. Glad I got here early; I was surprised how many folks were out fishing on a week-day. Don't they have to work???

Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's runoff time

Yesterday's dilemma was not that I couldn't go fishing but I needed to figure out where. It's late April and most creeks are in runoff mode. We have had a pretty good snow year with the snow pack being at 127% of of median. The way things look, we will have an extended runoff possibly into mid to late July. Early summer fishing will be challenging but it should pay off for the fish having enough cold water.

My usual creeks that close by were high and muddy and I didn't want to hit the ponds - I truly dislike fishing ponds and avoid them if I can. Looking at flows up and down the Front Range it looked like South Boulder Creek below Gross Reservoir would be the ticket. I never fished there so I asked in the Colorado Tenkara Anglers group for some help. 

Getting to South Boulder Creek was an easy drive and faster then I anticipated. The drive took my through an area that reminded me a lot of the landscape in Switzerland I grew up. 

Finally at the creek, I was glad flows were not higher. There were manageable, but much higher would have made things much more difficult. The water was running at 100cfs and was almost gin clear (Bear Creek and Clear Creek were very muddy as I found out on my way home that day). Fishing a tailwater definitively pays off during runoff time.

The creek reminded me a lot of the North St. Vrain in RMNP, just wider with more granite gravel substrate. The scenery was beautiful and the weather cooperated, at least in the morning.

The day turned out not to be super productive, but I am not going to complain catching 4 nice trout (with another LDR), but they were healthy and beautiful fish. 

One thing that surprised me though was that although access to South Boulder Creek is more difficult than to Boulder Creek, I never ran into so many other fisherman on Boulder Creek - ever. I wonder whether everybody realized that it's the only reasonably fishable river close by.

I will definitively be back, it's nice to add another river to my list choices.

do they try to keep fishermen out of the canyon? 

THAT's the only runoff I like!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday Trout Hunt

After a very early Easter scavenger hunt at 6.15am (our daughter couldn't stand staying in bed any longer) that was over by 6.30am, I was able to head out to fish for a few hours before my wife had to go to work.

I fished Bear Creek today for the first time this year, and I still can't get used to the new look of the river after last year's floods. This is a familiar but also a foreign river to me at the same time.

The river was a wee bit high (60cfs) and something between off-color and muddy from last nights rain. I thought I would start nymphing with a San Ron Worm (that gaudy squiggly pink worm) but didn't have any takers. I noticed a fish rising in an eddy to something in the foam and thought I would throw at him something small and green. On the third cast I got my first Bear Creek brown trout of the year. I moved a bit around and noticed that I got a few splashes when my fly started dragging across the current when I was distracted talking to a hiker.

I immediately changed my approach and started presenting the fly downstream and across and immediately got much more interest in my offering. I ended up landing 5 brown trout and 2 long distance releases.

It was a great outing if I disregard the leaky waders...

This is my first attempt at putting together a video, hope you like it!

Tight lines, -K

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Surf and Turf

Well maybe not really surf and turf but ski and tenkara. Last week I was able to get off work for a day during the week and head out for a good and full morning of skiing in Keystone. I got my 25,000 vertical feet by noon and changed from my ski boots, pants and jackets into wading boots, waders and a warm windproof fleece.

Heading down the hill to Dillon, I started to get mentally ready for high flows of the Blue River - it was at 450cfs, quite a significant higher flow than the average of about 70cfs during this time of year. Apparently the folks at Denver Water who manage the reservoir are making room to accommodate what should be a stellar run-off this year (the Colorado River Drainage snow pack is at about 125% of median at this time of year).

The high flows were a bummer but I haven't really been out fishing since November last year other than one quick venture to the South Platte a month ago. I started fishing the seems and few pockets that that were not "ripping" and I quickly hooked-up with my first fish and landed, surprisingly, a nice brown. Not a river monster of a rainbow the river is known for but still, my fist trout of the year.

I headed up towards the dam and hooked another fish, bigger this time, but I lost her before I could get her to the surface. I fished for another hour or so but didn't get any more action. I packed-up and headed happy and tired back home.

I am looking forward to this year's fishing, there should be plenty of water and run-off could last well into July.

Tight Lines, -K