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Old 09-22-2012, 11:27 PM
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Default What I learned on the Ark this week...

I had a great couple days on the Arkansas River near Salida this week. I got a 2 day kitchen pass from the wife to meet my uncle and fish. Here are some lessons learned....

1. Hiring a guide is worth it. We split the cost of a half day guided trip and the instruction was invaluable, not to mention the intel on where to go for the rest of the trip. I only manage to get out about a dozen times per year so like to make the most of the limited engagements.

2. Equipment really doesn't matter all that much. No rod corrects a bad cast. My guide worked to correct some flaws in my stroke...I was not stopping my front cast abruptly enough and was thus losing line speed and getting the S turns in my line. A $700 Sage One will not correct that but a 20 year old rod will work fine if loaded properly. We fished with a local gentlemen one day who was using an old rod and landed lots of nice fish. My uncle built his own rod using an inexpensive blank and it works just fine.

3. Big fish are rarely caught by accident. At least not here in Colorado's Gold Medal waters. I caught a number of nice fish including 3 substantial browns with my guide. The cast has to be delivered properly, the drift perfect, line management is critical to get the fish hooked up and getting those boys to the net takes some finesse. It is a complex sport and all the factors have to come together.

4. May as will leave the big flies at home. All fish were caught on Size 18 or smaller flies. Tiny flies are just the norm here in the CO mountains.

5. Uncoventional methods sometimes work. We tried a "soft hackle" swing, old school I guess. Two soft hackle peacock feather flies drifted downstream and allowed to pivot in an unnatural drift produced voracious strikes that bent the rod immediatly and made the reel sing. Two large browns hit within the first 5-6 drifts.

6. I also learned to focus more on upstream casts and line management. Fish don't see you that way and I had several hookups on the upstream portion of the drifts. Something I was not used to, harder to do to mend and keep the line tight as it drfits towards you.

7. Lastly, this is beautiful country out here, leaves are changing everywhere, fall is in the air, flows were lower and fish are colorful.

Overall a fun couple of days, can't wait to go back!
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: What I learned on the Ark this week...

Great post and am glad you had a good couple days out. Regarding number 4... true depending on time of year. Last August caught some nice fish on the ark with size 6 hoppers.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: What I learned on the Ark this week...

That entire watershed is a gift to fish in the fall. Glad you had a good time.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: What I learned on the Ark this week...

Hi Mike,

I used to go down there to fish from up around Texas Creek & 4 Mile Creek. I fished the little creeks of course but liked the big water of the Arkansas a lot too. Your experience sounds right on, upstream dries and swinging wets were the exact same way I fished in that river. Good report,

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Old 09-24-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: What I learned on the Ark this week...

Thanks guys, there was some hopper-dropper action but nymphing seemed the ticket on this trip. There was a big brown that exploded out of the water after my Uncle's big ugly hopper....like a Killer Whale on a baby seal. He was unable to hook it up and that was the only hit either of us had using that set-up.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: What I learned on the Ark this week...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike63 View Post

5. Uncoventional methods sometimes work. We tried a "soft hackle" swing, old school I guess. Two soft hackle peacock feather flies drifted downstream and allowed to pivot in an unnatural drift produced voracious strikes that bent the rod immediatly and made the reel sing. Two large browns hit within the first 5-6 drifts.
Nothing unconventional about one of the most effective (and under-utilized) methods of fishing the fly.
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