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FlyFlinger2421 03-10-2012 10:13 AM

Yampa tailwater
Hiked the two miles into the Yampa tailwater here in CO. Lots of fish, not much action. I landed 3 bows, 15-18". My buddy landed 5 up to 18". He also foul hooked 7 and I foul hooked a bow of over 20". So many fish you couldn't help it!! Water temperature was 38 degrees and lots of snow. I got one of mine on a pheasant tail and all the rest of the fish were on chenille eggs.
Things should start hopping next month but the road opens April 1, so the crowds will be incredible.

mcnerney 03-10-2012 10:48 AM

Re: Yampa tailwater
Congrats on the fishing! I agree, once that road opens it will be combat style fishing, way too crowded for my tastes, unless you get some nice cold nasty wx that will keep most people away.

FlyFlinger2421 03-10-2012 07:40 PM

Re: Yampa tailwater
Would you believe we were the only ones there yesterday and it was a sunny 50 degrees? Folks just don't want to walk anymore I guess!

mcnerney 03-10-2012 10:22 PM

Re: Yampa tailwater

Originally Posted by FlyFlinger2421 (Post 411798)
Would you believe we were the only ones there yesterday and it was a sunny 50 degrees? Folks just don't want to walk anymore I guess!

Exactly!!!! I couldn't agree more.

vitesse304 03-12-2012 10:17 AM

Re: Yampa tailwater
I'm surprised to hear that it was slow for you.

I've fished it twice this year, and the last time was 2 weeks ago.

I've got more info in my blog, but fish are still keyed in on midges. Egg patterns work great, but step down a size, look for a 5 or 6 mm egg pattern rather than a larger egg. Stick to orange or peach and pinks for color. you'll nail a lot more fish if the eggs are a realistic size...even if the color isn't a match.

As for midges, a size 20 zebra midge tied with various colors of wrap work great. (copper, chartreuse, red, etc...) A super easy tie as well, nice to have a box full of these since you will lose a few to snags and big fish!!!

After April 1, it will get busy, but not too's the summer crowd that makes that place combat fishing...

FlyFlinger2421 03-12-2012 10:43 AM

Re: Yampa tailwater
We tried zebra midges first but no luck. Black, red, green, none worked. The fish were not feeding, no movement from side to side and no flashes of white from open mouths. We saw quite a few pairs, chasing, and white areas in the gravel so I think spawning activity is beginning to pick up.
Your tip about egg sizes is on the money. I was using a larger egg size than my friend and he did better.

vitesse304 03-12-2012 11:25 AM

Re: Yampa tailwater
Size is more important than color there. A size 20 or 22 is a perfect match for the midges in there. Obviously smaller would work too, but no need to go smaller when they are willing to take a 20.

Also, I tie mine a bit sparser than some sold at stores. A lot of store ties are tied fatter at the head, I only have a slight taper and I use the smallest bead I can for the head to keep the fly slim.

I've even got a super simple black thread midge that kills it there. Slim to win!

It is frustrating throwing everything you've got a some big fish that are just ignoring flies!

Glad to hear the spawn is on! I'm trying to get up there again before April 1, but I'm not sure if I have time. It's totally worth the hike in, and even on a "busy" day in the winter, there's still plenty of water to fish, and not that many people!

---------- Post added at 11:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 AM ----------

One more thing...indicators and weight.

What did you use? These fish are very indicator and weight shy. Use a small clear thingamabobber or nothing at all. And use flies that are tied with weight rather than pinch on weight. That should help improve your catch rate and is a great last ditch effort to catch fish! I've seen many a fish move out of the way of indicators and weights!

FlyFlinger2421 03-12-2012 08:40 PM

Re: Yampa tailwater
Size 20 and 22 thread body midges with brass wire. No weight used as the water was very low and clear (40cfs). I started out with an indicator (1/4" foam ball) and caught two of my fish, then took it off and caught one more.
My feeling is they had other things on their mind than feeding!
We both saw good size (11-14") Brookies also! I've never seen brookies in there before although I did catch an 11" one down below in the wildlife area last fall.

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