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Old 02-06-2009, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Fishing new water...do I have the right plan?

Trip Report: 2/5 Big Thompson Tailwater (Estes Park, CO)

Summary
4 hours in brutal wind. No fish and no hook ups. Water was low and clear. Learned a lot (I think), started a fishing log, and despite no fish I am anxious to head back out again.

Detail
-Went to Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop (Longmont, CO) on 2/5. Very helpful. Recommended bead head hare's ear (#18) for lead and black poison tung (#20) or midge larva (#20) for second fly. 6x leader with 7x tippet. Bought flies and left. Their last advice to me was not to get too discouraged as current conditions were challenging--I would come to appreciate those last words at the end of my day.
-Checked weather report. Supposed to be upper 40s to low 50s, wind 7 mph.
-Arrived at 10 am. Air temp was fine. Wind, however, was brutal and definitely >7mph, but I don't know exact speed. Holding rod vertical, the line was often parallel to ground and perpendicular to rod. Never really let up the whole time I was there.
-I walked a stretch of the water. Low and extremely clear. Saw 5 fish in various locations. Picked a good location near dam and started high sticking across and down stream. Worked my way downstream. I have a feeling I could have dealt with water conditions alone, but the wind just pushed me around. I suspect it was not just an issue with my 7.5' 3wt as I saw others struggling with 9' 5wt.
-Whole area looked slow and I did not see anyone take any fish. Talked to one guy who did catch two. He was using a midge larva #20, so at least I was using a potentially correct fly. Talked to several others that packed it up before noon due to wind.
-I finally packed it in by 2 pm. No fish and no hookups. Fought the wind every minute I was out there. Pretty frustrating.
-Stopped by fly shop back into town and described trip. They were helpful and provided me with modified techniques (e.g. strike indicator location, etc). They commented that any day with that wind could be extremely difficult.
-In the end I tried a new water (my first tailwater), found a new fly shop, learned some new nymph patters, started a fishing log, had a good lunch, and didn't go to work. I was a little suprised how anxious I am to head back out despite the lack of fish--probably b/c I focused on learning as much as I could, fish or no fish. Hopefully next outing will be a little more productive.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Fishing new water...do I have the right plan?

Sounds like really tough conditions-- and the wind sounds like it was a lot more than 7 mph-- perhaps a funnel effect if you had high walls on either side, causing the wind to roar down the river while the wind speed was a lot slower on more open ground where it might be recorded as "only" 7mph.

It really sounds like you're well on your way and are making all the right moves-- and definitely have the right attitude. No doubt the fishing will pick up as it starts to warm and more hatches start to kick in, and the weather is more cooperative. It may be frustrating at first, but keep at it and it will pay off.

It also sounds like you're getting some great info from the shop, and it's great to cultivate a relationship with them. I'm sure they'll be able to help dial you in.

Good luck and keep us posted on your trips,

peregrines
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Fishing new water...do I have the right plan?

hi pl4a,

sorry you didn't do well on the bt. don't get discouraged. the conditions were awful and the tail waters get a ton of pressure this time of the year so fishing gets spotty and technical. when the bite is on it can be a blast! i was up there on tuesday the 3rd and did very well on 18 jujubes as well as swinging 14 sparkle soft hackles. most takes were on the wiggle just before take out. seems nothing was happening til noon and it stopped around 3pm. as was mentioned earlier, there is quite a bit of open water down the road a piece, so you might give it a go. since you're keeping a journal you might jot down the mile markers of the "good" spots for future reference. also, if it is not too far out of the way, the poudre is doing real well right now, so you might give it a shot

Good Luck

Steve
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