You often hear tales of the fertile reservoirs in South Park. I have fished up there a few times in the past, but I have never had such a rewarding and satisfying day as this Saturday. Marc was kind enough to fill me in on the current state of the area and his information was invaluable as he put me in the right place at the right time with the perfect fly.
I managed to land my best rainbow of the year and I got to tangle with the biggest rainbow trout I have ever hooked in my life. After starting the day with a nice 18 inch rainbow, I immediately hooked my second fish of the day. They are so powerful and thick bodied up here they jump and freight train you to no end. After landing him, I went to take "my fly" out of his mouth and it wasn't connected to the leader anymore. I thought, "oh, he broke off right in the net"....but wait this isn't my fly?! It was another scud.... so I find "my fly" again and remove it and throw it away to the side, thinking its attached to the leader. WRONG... it was ANOTHER earlier break off from someone else. Finally I got mine out as the third fly in his mouth. This fish was a powerful fighter and the evidence was clear as to what he had done to others in the past. I felt pretty fortunate to have landed him.
Every fish up there is deep and fat, that is how it was the entire day.. consistent deep fish. I did have my license checked when I went to the car to retreat the wind for a little break. It was nice to see the DOW out keeping an eye on things.
Towards the end of the day, I hooked, fought, and lost a complete beast. The fish looked like a giant chromed tank leaping time and time again from the surf. I did everything I could for about five minutes of battle, just trying to gain some sort of headway. It was a leaping powerful slab that seemed to have complete control of the entire situation. This was the first fish I have put on the reel all year, and it was the most drag screaming I have heard from my mid arbor ever. Finally the fly just came loose, the five weight breathed a sigh of relief, and he was gone. The whole thing was just wicked awesome. I lost the fish but still can't help but feel really satisfied from the whole experience. It was by far the largest rainbow I have ever had the luck to hook.
I ended the day with a few more healthy rainbows and then on the way out chatted with a float tuber who had been intently watching as the only other fisherman around when I was doing battle with the slab. He was a nice fellow down from Boulder.
All in all, this was one of the most satisfying days on the water I have had all year. What a tremendous resource there is existing in Colorado. I don't think many people realize what they have right there in their own backyards. I will certainly be back when circumstances allow another trip to south park.
My best of the day (and year so far)