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Old 04-07-2013, 12:37 AM
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Default First trip of spring

Got out fishing today! With a new baby and a new house I was thinking it would be a bit before I was able to hit the water, but my wife actually suggested I go, so I didn't ask questions, I just went. Wasn't a long day so couldn't go beyond some front range creeks. Got to the stream about 9:30 this morning, fished till noon then switched to a different spot till 2:30 so I could get home without making her regret suggesting I go. But it was a great day.

I got to the stream, and there was only one other car in sight. Smaller car with only one bumper sticker declaring how far the person runs. I took it as a good sign that is was someone out for a walk. Ended up not seeing another angler all day, except my brother who fished with me for a bit. Rigged up my new 5wt rod and walked towards my favorite pool. It's a small, front range stream. Fish don't tend to get huge but there are a lot of browns, rainbows, some brookies. Supposedly there are also cutthroats further up from where I tend to fish it. Water level seemed fine and the logs and rocks were basically where I left them last Fall. Who knows if run-off will change that, there was still ice and snow along the banks in the shadier areas and last year's run-off rearranged things a bit. It felt great to be back there after the winter. Smelled right and sounded right.

When I got to the pool I stood watching it for a few minutes. It's a beautiful spot. The stream comes down from from my brother's favorite pool, through some rough, riffled water then spreads out and slows into multiple conflicting current lanes over a rocky bottom. Some large rocks come down the steep slope opposite me with one sitting in the middle of the pool. The water works its way over and around the stones and creates countless holding spots for trout and even the slow currents make some of them hard to fish, at least with a drag free drift. It's small but challenging.

As I drove, I figured it would be a day of nymphing, but then saw the olives flying around me and noticed trout rising in the water, I couldn't believe it. Looking in my dry fly box I grabbed an 18 parachute BWO and tied it on my 6x, got into position and started drifting over the risers. Five drifts and only one look. I should have known better. Changed the parachute to an 18 light olive sparkle dun, a stream favorite, and started fishing. For the next 40 or 50 min I averaged a strike every two drifts and a fish even 3. All beautiful little browns, up to 10". I've had a few days like this before when I have the fly pattern dialed in, and it is wonderful. After awhile the hatch slowed and I switched to a nymph and worked my way up toward the car. Caught some on the nymph and a few more on dries before climbing out of the water and switching spots. At that spot, they were rising again to olives and I got some takes on dries but focused on soft hackles, catching fish drifting it in the surface film or swinging the fly in the current. Finished the day with a couple mile walk with the family and a nice dinner.

They are calling for some more snow this week, which is fine, we need the moisture I'm sure. Even so, it felt like spring today and was great to fish dries to rising trout. My one regret is that in my haste to get out this morning, I left my new underwater camera at home. Thankfully it wasn't my reel or waders (the water was cold!), but still I would have loved to have some more pictures of the trout and the stream. I did get a couple with my cell phone. The first one is my first fish of the year, and smallest of the day. The second is the new rod with a beat-up sparkle dun on the hook keeper.

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Click the image to open in full size.

Thanks for reading.
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