Friday, June 24, 2011

South Park On The Boat

I got to meet up with Scott for his birthday and the target was South Park. Our main quarry would be rainbow trout (I was secretly hoping for a pike too... even a dinky one..alas none showed themselves).
After an early morning meetup in Colorado Springs we were on our way to the land of rainbows. The boat made it a pleasurable day of fishing. It really does make a nice platform for casting, sighting fish, a cold microbrew, and flexible roaming in search of fish. We didn't have to move much however, as from the start of the day Scott was whacking 'em. The fish were decent too with a lot in the 18-21 inch range. Some dinks as well, and we got to Jimmy Houston a few of those too SON. For part of the day the rod holder had the hot hand... just put the rod in there and you were sure to get a take upon looking away.

The weather was gorgeous sun.... a light breeze here and there, but most importantly just about a perfect chop for indicator rigs the entire time. Flies were what you would think, PTs, callies, midges, and stillwater nymphs. All indicator fishing the entire day as there was no reason to change.

Scott mixed in a few wily browns as well, which was fun to see. One was a decent slab of germanity.

Add in a dash of the local south park lake characters including one swarthy elderly boat check lady, and it was a complete day of relaxing trout fishing on the fly with all the necessary miscellaneous elements to make it a trip to remember. I wish I had got the camera out a bit more but we were having too much fun most of the time pounding on the bows or cracking wise about something or other.

Thanks again Scott for the boat hospitality and happy birthday man.

Lake with the mountains keeping an eye on us

Scott into an early morning trout

Rainbows kept finding Scott's flies

Casting to a likely drop off

A better bow towards the end of the day

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Massive Callibaetis Hatch

Hit the lake this morning with the float tube to search for big rainbows. I was into a fish in the first five minutes on the midges.

Thinking I could be in for a good day must have swamped my luck afterward as I only managed another two hits over the next two hours. The wind finally came up a bit too much to stand the whitecaps in the tube and I headed in and called it a day. While I was out in it, the Callibaetis started coming off and lasted for about an hour. It was the first hatch of them I had seen this year. The trout weren't rising at all but had to be gulping them down subsurface. The birds had a field day. Seagulls, nighthawks, red winged blackbirds, were swarming over the water on the north side of the lake sucking down wind blown mayflies like no tomorrow. Gulls were taking them right off the surface with delicate beak plucks. It was really enjoyable to watch and then as the hatch died off, the birds disappeared as fast as they had materialized.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Warmwater Quick Trip

I had the chance to take a break and fish some warm water species for a change today. It was nice to throw flies with the hopes of seeing a few different new species for the year. A storm blew through, just missing the lake, thankfully sparing me from the lightning. I didn't want to be standing in the water waving around a nine foot rod.

Fish seemed to be in very shallow on the flats of the lake and I got most of my strikes in 1-3 feet of water. The hot head leech was the fly of choice and it took yellow perch a plenty along with a largemouth bass and one pumpkinseed. Most of the perch were tiny and striking but too small to even hook. A few though were worth catching and made up for all the phantom strikes. A great two hour getaway fishing for some species that are not readily available in my area due to the altitude. It has definitely been a few years since I was able to find any largemouth bass to chase. I need to get out and target them more often.

First largemouth in a very long time

Beautiful Pumpkinseed

After the storm passed, blue skies and afternoon moon

Yellow perch

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Drift Boat On The Lake

After overnighting in the vehicle for quick camp efficiency, I got up and had a small breakfast and coffee with ZackDog and Dave and headed for the lake. Starting off in the float tube, I managed to hook up with a nice rainbow that leaped into sky, filled with Arizona fire haze. He came unbuttoned but it was nice to see him rocketing for the heavens. The low viewing angle in the float tube always makes a leaping trout that much better. ZD and Dave soon joined me in their pontoons with the morning bite a bit slow except for ZD. He is so dialed in he just continues to catch them when the rest of us were bobbing around and daydreaming. Adam pulled up with the drift boat sometime in the 9 o'clock hour. I kicked in and joined him and the midges were suffocating in thick in clouds on shore.

We launched the boat without incident. He has serious backing skills with that trailer. From the boat, we found a few fish throughout the day but it wasn't as red hot as the evening before. We both were glad to have the suntan lotion on as the direct sun persisted most of the day and avoiding the sunburn with a few cold beers was a big win in itself. I had a fairly decent cuttbow on the day and Adam managed to get into his first fish of the year. We found some smaller rainbows later in the day but eventually the sun wore us down and we decided to pack it in and head back across the border for home.

Adam took an action shot of my loud yellow shirt


Adam's first fish of the year

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Browns At Dusk

After a day of stocking brook trout in the high country with our local TU chapter and Wyoming Game & Fish, I decided to pack up the vehicle and head south of the border to meet up with Zackdog and see if we could dial in some Colorado trout that he has been onto pretty heavily in North Park. I arrived a little after 7:30pm and as I was setting up the float tube ZD was off shore in his pontoon hooking up with fish.

I kicked out to join him and sure enough, on the first cast, I was into a nice brown to start the evening.

We both continued to hook them along with his friend Dave, who also got in on the action.

Fishing right into the darkness, we called it quits around 9:30 and headed back to camp to have a couple beers and get some sleep for the next morning where hopefully the trout would be cooperative.

My best fish of the evening

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quiet Evening Of Rise Forms

I had almost two hours for a quick round trip out to the plains lakes to search out some active trout. When I arrived the lake was covered in rings from rising fish. Midges were everywhere and the fish were clearly taking advantage of the plentiful food. The majority of risers appeared to be smaller recently stocked rainbow trout but every so often you would see a larger fish participating in the gluttony. I threw dries, nymphs, and streamers and couldn't get any interest in my offerings. The naturals were so thick that I was completely ignored. I did have a larger fish make an attempt at engulfing my strike indicator. That was a bit startling and fun, but ended up being the only attention I received from the midge focused rainbows. I watched the sun fade away to dusk and headed home. I'll be back to try another day.