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Born To Wander (CO)

Started by Dougfish, June 20, 2021, 21:20:09 PM

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Dougfish

June 20, 2021, 21:20:09 PM Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 11:08:03 AM by Dougfish

#25

We have two daughters in Colorado. One went out to school at UC Boulder 15 years ago and announced she was not moving back to VA. The youngest moved out 11 years ago.

So my wife and I have made more than a few trips out there. And have gotten to explore quite a bit. Covid meant no vacations last year. For nobody in the family.

My wife schemed up a big throwdown for everyone after we got vaccinated.

She and I are finishing off two weeks out here. We came out 5 days ahead of eldest daughter, son in law and their kidz.

Flew into Denver, spent the night at the daughter's and new son in law's house.

Got up Thursday, and we stole one of their vehicles and headed north to Fort Collins for 2 days. I had not been there before and I loved it. College town, breweries out the wazoo, lots of grub options, clean, lots of city maintained flowers, a river right through town and a kick butt fly shop. I got some good intel and supplies from St. Peters Fly Shop and we headed up river to fish for an hour or so. Road construction jammed us up, so I only fished for 45 min while Anne read a book under a shade tree. The Cache de Poudre (The Poohder) flows out of northern RMNP, through a 30+ mile canyon, then through FOCO before joining the North Platte. And it was really pumping! We were only 5 miles or so up the canyon and turned right to fish the North Fork. Much better flows below a reservoir.

On about the fifth cast a big head came up and crushed the big Hippie Stomper I was mainly using as an indicator.

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A nice witches broom on a pine.

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Off to a good start! I fished about a hundred feet, caught 3 more browns and hiked back down. We needed to get some lunch!

One of our neighbors spent 7 years in FOCO going to grad school and working. We hit up his old watering hole and hoisted a few Odells 90 Schillings in his honor.

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We stayed in a boutique hotel for the night. The Elizabeth has record players in each room and a large vintage LP collection in the lobby. One of our finds was Rare Earth, Ecology from 1970. See the song ^^^ above. Dinner on a restaurant rooftop. Bison carpaccio, FTW.

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I left sleeping beauty in bed and snuck out early in the morning to fish the raging  Poohder in town. Nice park and river walk/ride. It was like stadium fishing.

So I proceeded to catch 3 browns in a back eddy, quit and headed back to take sweetie to breakfast.

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Back to Denver after some shopping and lunch. I spent the next 3 days being a handyman and painter at their house. I did sneak out to go with the newly arrived grand kids to the Denver Zoo one morning and the Natural Sciences Museum the next morning.

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The nine of us loaded way too much luggage, food and beverages into two vehicles and headed to Steamboat Springs for 6 days. Our rental was a relatively new $2.5 million 5 bedroom house at the bottom of the slopes.  :o

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Because I am such a good husband and handyman, I was told I could fish as much as I wanted. Now, of course I recognized that as a trap, so I "limited" it to up and gone by 6:30, back by 12-1:00ish. Steamboat sits at 6700'. The Yampa flows right thorough town.

A week before we left the river was high and cloudy. Temps were low 80's for highs, low 40's for lows. We get here, and its dropping fast and clear. 90's and 50's. It was cooler at home! The river closer to town is bigger, lower gradient and out of my comfort zone.

I went high on my first morning to a state wildlife refuge. Reminded me of a Smith/SF Holston hybrid. They said it was 300 cfs, but they must calibrate their gauges different than we do. Easy to wade. About the 10th cast, an 18" brown was on the fly.

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Starting seeing bugs and risers. Caddis, yellow sally, PMD's, drakes. Quite the smorgasbord. I fooled some fish, but not the majority. I could not hit on the right emerger.

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Down on the big water, I expect to be a bit closer to the next fisherman than I am used to. But up here, I was expecting a wee bit more etiquette. But no, a couple walked right past me, right beside the stream, went up a 100 feet and high holed me.  n!n

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So I promptly went around them, giving them some distance and hopped in a better run then they had. I caught a few more and headed back into town to hit up the fly shop.

Steamboat Flyfisher is first class.

Co-owed by Johnny Spillane, Olympic Nordic Combined 3X silver medalist.

He answered my emails early in the AM and his staff was great. Picked Eleanor's brain , bought some flies and merch and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Headed to a section of bigger water south of town. I further struggled to dial it in.

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I picked up some fish, meh. I was hot as balls and I was out of beer. Tomorrow, bitches.

I took 3 rods and reels, but I fished the Smith River special the whole time. 9' 4wt.

Because it had gotten little use, I forgot how bad the first 4-5' of the line had gotten.

Clip off and double nail knot a new loop that night.

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I hit the road north on Friday to investigate some 8-9000' streams.

Rut roh, the Elk was really pumping! With fingers crossed, I drove further up.

But they were still pumping as the roads ended. I waded two branches and threw about 30 futile casts before I headed back down. Drat!

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Ended up on Thursday's Yampa water. It was late morning and it was getting hot.

But a series of hatches started coming off and had found the right fly. 12' leader, 6x tippet.

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21" load of a rainbow. Nobody up or down the river was catching.

I got into four more nice fish before it ended. I was feeling pretty good.

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Money fly. Caddis emerger. Grease it up.

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Saturday was a scheduled trip to Strawberry Park hot springs. Me and the kids with their kids. Got my sulfur water on (pretty mild), and got some sunburn on my shoulders. Yeah, the wader and pack straps felt good the next day.  :laugh:

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We got back early enough to test some new stretches. Marginal success.

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Headed back up to where I started this AM. First in the lot at 6:40.

Not much happening, bug wise. Took a couple on the soft hackle.

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I got to a run that had to have a good un in it.

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Helleborine, for Fin.

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And like that, I was end the end of the property. A fence across the water, a western staple. 15 cars in the lot at 10:30.

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New wading staff that will stay in Denver.

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Stopped on the way back to see if bugs were coming off in my big un's stretch.

Nada. Nothing. Drank a beer, ate a snack. Swung some soft hackles for grins. Called it quits at 1:30.

The river has dropped 6-9" in 5 days in that section. Not looking good for the rest of the summer. Smoke is rolling in from fires in Wyoming. It's gonna be like that.

Peace, out. Back to Denver in the AM, fly Tuesday.

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:cheers

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Woolly Bugger

June 21, 2021, 06:09:47 AM #1 Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 07:50:23 AM by Woolly Bugger

 :Dance the west is the best

Looks like you got in a lot more fishing than you thought you would!

Doug's most excellent adventure!  d:b

one of the new PFF guys has a homestead on the Yampa and tossed out the idea of a Western PFF in the coming year(s)

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Big J

Nicely done Doug.  Nicely done.  :Dance


brownhunter

 :cheers Very well done Sir! Excellent report and really enjoyed reading and taking in those sights with you!

"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me

itieuglyflies

Sounds like a very productive trip for sure, plus some nice fishes. Well played Doug.


Phil

Most excellent reportage, sir. Well done! 'c;


Al

What Phil said "Good one Doug".  'c;  'c;  'c;


Stone-Man

Thanks Doug  !!  Great photography  !! And a helluva bunch of damn nice trout. The flower flicks were damn nice also. Appreciate your sharing with us  !!

JT


troutrus

Well done. 👍 Thanks for sharing.

One of those special places where if one is so inclined,  "You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply" - JD '72


Dougfish

Thanks, all.

Now if American Airlines could keep a flight reservation....

Canceled flight after getting to the airport at 5:30 am.

Trying again tomorrow. Back to the hotel. n!n

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Big J

Quote from: Dougfish on June 22, 2021, 08:59:47 AM

Thanks, all.

Now if American Airlines could keep a flight reservation....

Canceled flight after getting to the airport at 5:30 am.

Trying again tomorrow. Back to the hotel. n!n

:o   So no float tomorrow evening? haha.  Catch another brown for me Doug.


Fishbug

Nice trouts! Airlines suck


Onslow

Rare Earth rocks.

You suck for being allowed to fish on family getaways. That shit don't fly with my woman. I'm sneaking a flyrod to TX in the spare tire hole next month, lol.

Looks like a well executed trip.  Thanks for the ride!


Trout Maharishi

I wish you would show less photos of your ugly ass and more old LP's, wild flowers with names, flies, and fish.

There's more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot.

Lefty Kreh

Yallerhammer

Hell yeah! Looks like a great trip all around.  'c;

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff


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