The ice-off season has been teasing Colorado Anglers for about a month now. Lakes would start to melt out, only to get recovered by ice a few weeks later. With the beginning of March, Front Range rivers and lakes are finally starting to thaw out.
Yesterday, Boulder Creek hit 42 degrees during the warmest part of the afternoon, and I had my first super productive day of fishing during our spring window. I've learned the last few years to keep an eye on the water during this time. After the ice melts out, and before it really gets warm (before run off), there are a few weeks where the trout come out of their deep winter hiding spots and start to distribute themselves better throughout the creek. During this time they are ravenous, and will eat a wider range of flies and presentations as they wait for the real hatches to get going. I lost count yesterday, especially as the storm drains started to flow and visibility started to decrease. A #18 blue poison took at least a dozen fish from the same hole in about an hour. The rest were taken on #20 blood midge, #24 snow midge, #20 Pheasant tail, and even got a solid strike on a cream colored bunny bugger. Hanging nymphs under a small caddis dry got the most strikes; indicators and larger terrestrials used for floatation spooked too many fish. The #16 caddis took no hits this early, but allowed me multiple casts into the same pod without spooking the fish away while serving as a good strike indicator for the ultra soft eats.
A few pics from the last few weeks, top two were yesterdays best looking fish.
A decent medium sized Brown from BC:
A similarly sized bow:
Cut-Bow or just a pretty pre-spawn bow? Taken last week on a streamer:
Nice Splake from mid February ice off conditions (cream bunny bugger in mouth!):