Springtime in the Rockies is a great time - the weather patterns are as varied as my ex's personality, and the warmer days are outpacing the colder ones. Which translates into only one thing: more time to fish.
So with the weather slated to be in the 60s, Eva and I, once again, made a trek west to the fabled waters of the 'Canyon'. It was a great ride full of mule deer and a pair of elk, one of which was an impressive bull that was sporting a rack about as big as Larry King's ego.
Prior to this trip, I was going to tie up some RS2 patterns in various shades - but being the slothful, absent-minded knuckle-head that I am, I instead wasted a few nights killing Nazis on the Xbox and eating ice cream. Before you criticize, take a moment to think about what the world would look like if I had not been there to help the allies win WWII. Yeah, that's what I thought.
So, needless to say, we didn't have any RS2s. On top of that, having arrived at the river, we found that the flows were up, in anticipation of the spring runoff - which always takes a little while to readjust for. For five months we've been fishing low-and-slow water, and the fish have been fairly predictable. Now, the familiar runs are gone, the fish are moving about more freely, and the water temps are down. But, it's not something that we can't overcome - after all, we're talking about a guy that helped win the second world war only a few nights prior.
Plus, there were fish all over the place, and that always puts a smile on my cherubic-like countenance (provided cherubs look like Hell-spawn). Initially, the fishing was slow - they were feeding, but it was tough to peg what they were feeding on - I know, I know, seine the river, blah, blah blah. I prefer the Hatchet Jack method, in which I bang my head against a wall as I tear through every fly in my box trying to find something that would appeal to them.
And so it was, that in a tiny corner of my fly-box, I found a single RS2 pattern from years past - one that I had tied back in 2006 and that had gone unnoticed for all of these years. I put it on and the fun began.
Within fifteen minutes, I had back-to-back catches - and then a third, which subsequently took my fly in a very Madoff-like fashion (ie GREEDY) and ran. No problem. I simply rigged up with a red WD 40 pattern and had myself a good ol' time (see more pics here), turning the water in front of me into a veritable 'killing zone'. Most of the fish were average in size, falling anywhere from 14 to 18 inches, a far cry from the hogs we hooked into the last time. But catching them is fun, regardless of their size, and it was a good time.
And then I hit a wall. Not sure what it was, but it stifled my fun faster than Nancy Grace showing up at your bachelor party. Within the space of half-an-hour, I began to ache all over, and I started to feel a bit queasy. And that was pretty much the end of it for me, since I spent the rest of the day sitting along the shore, for the most part, watching Eva work the water.
Ah, speaking of Eva, it was a slow day for her. Plus, I kept throwing her rythym off by making her wade back through the river to take pictures of me, which was a little selfish. She did lose a few flies to some fish, but she never managed to close the deal this day, but not for lack of trying - especially with a nice, large fish that was exhibiting less-than-stellar brain capacity.
The 'Canyon' is tough water to fish, but with the increased flows the day before, it made fishing that much more challenging. But, Eva is making her bones on the South Platte and can now claim one more day of learning out on the water. There's always the next time. And the time after that, and the time after that....
All in all, it wasn't a bad day on the river - sure I shut down midway through, and Eva did not manage to net any, it was still a great time. But we'll be back....oh yes, rest assured that we'll be back. After all, the spawn is just a few weeks out and that marks the beginning of some fantastic fishing.