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  1. Default 11 Mile Canyon 23/12/2010

    Thanks to this oddball Indian Summer we're experiencing here along the front range, I was able to get out to South Park and 11 Mile Canyon before Christmas. Wow. The week before I fished one of my favorite spot at Deckers a couple miles down from the bridge and ended up walking and wading nearly a mile before I managed to spot and land a nice 15" rainbow, but 11 Mile was absolutely packed with fish.

    There were two strong midge hatches, although only sporadic rising (I missed the only rise I had to my Fore n' Aft Midge after a long, difficult cast), but black beauties and WD-40s took the majority of the fish.

    (Warning, any purist in the room avert your eyes, the next part is about a "trash fly")

    So I tied some Y2K bugs for my Mom (she's new to fly fishing and lives in SW Missouri). If you haven't heard of it, it's basically a gold tungsten bead with a couple wraps of lead wire on a scud hook with two, contrasting pieces of bright egg yarn tied and cut to form a tapered body. I thought they were awful looking, but I read in multiple locations how guides on the White tail waters in MO and ARK will tie one on if their clients aren't catching fish, so I brought one out with me to the canyon to try it out and I noticed something pretty interesting--- with the current winter conditions (extremely low flows and crystal clear water), when I had the Y2K tied on with a black beauty dropped on about 12" of fluro, I was able to track my flies through the water visually and even catch a few takes by knowing exactly where my flies were and seeing a corresponding flash or the pearl white mouth of a trout opening. It basically acted as an underwater indicator, which was awesome because I don't typically fish an indicator in flows this low. It even took a couple of fish, including a nice slab of a rainbow at the end of the day. Anyway, if you're not adversed to so-called "trash flies" this is definitely one you may want to check out.

    Tomorrow it's going to be near 50's, so I'm headed to Cheeseman!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: 11 Mile Canyon 23/12/2010

    I have used Glo Bug Yarn eggs to catch trout and salmon so I'm not gonna get all bent over a Y2K fly. I stopped the egg business about 5 years ago because I tie so many fancy salmon and trout flies that to tie them and then use a glo egg when fishing just didn't add up. Now if you told me you were using the Y2K on a bobber well..................

    I use a permanent butt section on all my salmon / steelhead lines of about 16" of chartreuse Amnesia and it is basically an indicator for my wet flies. When I can see that butt section I know my fly is 6' behind and often this is a great help when I use dark color flies and can see a fish but not the fly so................. Seeing is a good thing,


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Parker CO
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: 11 Mile Canyon 23/12/2010

    Trash flies? Okay. Whatever. I am heading out tomorrow and have a clown egg as my point fly. Last time I checked, trout ate eggs just like they eat worms and hoppers and mayfly duns. If you tied it and it is legal, I am glad you caught fish with it. I am also glad to hear about 11 mile. You are the second poster that has had good success there recently. Well done.

    I know that the Cheesman parking lot was closed and was scheduled to open on Dec. 31 according the the Flies and Lies report on Friday. Do you have a ride into Gill Trail?


  4. Default Re: 11 Mile Canyon 23/12/2010

    11 Mile Canyon is a great winter fishery ain't it! I love that place. As far as your trash fly, I agree with Gary.
    Are you going to hike in from the top of Cheesman tomorrow? If so be very careful on that trail, ice and steep is a bad combo. If not let us know where you park, since the Gill Trail lot is still closed.

  5. Default Re: 11 Mile Canyon 23/12/2010

    Thanks for the concern, gents. Once again thanks to this crazy weather, the trail is perfectly dry, if still a heart pumping start and end to the day.

    I did park up top, ran into one fella coming back after he made it up the switchbacks and took a look at the trail across the draw and decided to turn around. The only other guy in the canyon was fishing the closest pools, so I hiked down river about a mile. Wish I could say it was a better day, but I fished hard for three fish all day---all on Mercury Black Beauties. There were heavy midge hatches twice during the day, but I saw all of maybe six rises, as per usual during winter conditions.

    I lost the charger to my outdoor camera and the wife won't let me take the Nikon, so I'm low on pictures until after the holidays and I have the spare cash for a new charger. I did take on picture with the phone, though, on the hike out: The river is down in the heart of that shadow, for those of you unfamiliar with the area.

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