Getting My Fix

After only getting one trip to the river during the month of April, I was long overdue to get my line wet and hook some fish. So, after cramming a weekend's worth of responsibilities into Saturday, I was free to head up to the river Sunday.

The weather forecast was calling for cooler temps, and rainy conditions - but this wasn't going to stop me - I needed a fix, and I needed it badly. It's the perfect way to unplug and steer clear of all of the spoon-fed ideals of the material world, and is just the thing to keep me from winding up naked, in a bell tower, with a high-powered rifle.

Loss of sanity aside, Sunday turned out to be quite the perfect day (for the most part), with mild temps, partly cloudy skies and plenty of fish in the river. What more could you ask for? Flows in Cheeseman Canyon were up quite a bit - the water was off-color, cold and deep, making sight-fishing a bit more challenging, especially when the clouds rolled in. Time to break out the long-cast.

Right out of the gates, I hooked a nice sized fish - which subsequently broke my line and stole my fly. I know better - I should change out my line before I start a new day of fishing, but I don't. I end up using the same line from the last outing, which more than likely has enough nicks and scratches to make a Sadist smile in approval.

So I rigged up again at the edge of the water, and went at it, hooking myself a nice rainbow that was brilliantly colored. The run that I pulled him out of had several fish stacked up in it, and I went back to that well one more time in the hopes of pulling another out - but it was slow going. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I managed to hook myself a nice brown. Yeah, that feels good.

Moving up a few paces, I began fishing another seam of deep, fast water - there were fish parked low and they were active, moving all over like a bunch of preschoolers on a sugar high. Running my line through this run, I managed to foul-hook one, which left a bad taste in my mouth. I hate doing that. Foul-hooking fish, that is....not preschoolers.

For the next few hours, the fishing was slow for me - I could not buy a hit. Fortunately, about this time, a guy came down river and we started talking about the canyon, fish, flies etc. and it helped pass the time. Pulling his line in the riffles on the other side of the river, he hooked into a nice fish which was easily 20+ inches. Even if I'm not catching anything, it's just as exciting to watch others hook some pigs, especially someone as nice as this guy was. Just wish I would have got his name and the URL of his blog.

After a bit, the fishing picked up again, and I wound up hooking five more before the day was out. One snapped my line, but the others weren't so lucky.

Out of the four that I netted, one rainbow in particular put up one helluva fight - taking out quite a bit of my line and refusing to give in. He was average, but he sure fought like he was a behemoth, pulling me first down the river, then back up, and finally settling low in a run on the opposite side of the river where I had to work to get him out. And by work, I mean I had to get out into the river and coax this guy out. In high, fast water, that's a chore. Plus, I had left my net on shore next to my gear - yeah, I'm a TOOL.

Around 2:30 in the afternoon, the weather started to turn for the worse and, having netted 6 fish (7 if you count the foul-hook), I decided to call it a day. A very good day and one that was well worth the wait.


Anonymous said...

Didn't fish this spot with a fella named Troy?

Colorado Angler said...

The name is not familiar. Sorry.

Dario said...

I was down getting the serenade by the frogs on Friday. The day after it jumped up to 500 cfs. It dipped down to around 350 cfs on Sunday. In the past that would really put the fish down for a day or so. But Friday the fish were pretty active, especially around 1pm when the BWO started to come off. Most of the action I had was up in the ice box though. Did have a ton of luck in the water below.

Dario said...

Did not have a ton of luck I mean.

Colorado Angler said...

Thanks for the comment Dario - yeah, the frogs were out in force - it was kinda cool listening to them throughout the day. 350 cfs on Sunday? Sure felt like it was more - especially when I had to work my way through the water to pull that Bow out of the far-side of the river.

A lot of the smaller stuff didn't appeal to them on Sunday - aside from 2 on a #20 Zebra, the others were caught on a #14 Bead Head Hares Ear and Prince Nymph.

I'm already chomping at the bit for the next chance I get...

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Unknown said...

Looks like a good day! I'm planning on hitting Cheeseman on Sat. the 16th. If you're around I may see you there. I wear a filson chest pack (not many people do) so I'm pretty easy to find.

It's been a while since I've been to Cheeseman. I'm quite excited and your pictures and video aren't helping the matter!

Just put up some new posts on the Black Canyon.

Dario said...

Cheeseman flows are wacky right now. 500 cfs to 45 cfs. Now it looks like water is still coming over the dam but the water going in to cheeseman is still really low. So if you look at the North fork you can see flows are still pretty low so they must be keeping the Tunnel shut off "for repairs". However, the Blue isn't pushing out a lot of water so they must still be trying to top of Dillon. Hard to predict when the flows are going to spike. The way it's setting up they might spike pretty high. If the Canyon goes to 1000 I might hike in just to see what it looks like.

Colorado Angler said...

Dario - yeah, this is the time of year where the flows are unpredictable. But it seems like this year is a little more erratic than in the past.

Dillion's been hit hard the past couple of seasons, so you're probably right: they're still trying to top it off, which means it might be a good time to hit the Blue below the spillway.

A few years back, I remember being on the Platte in the March/April timeframe - in the morning, the flows were low, and by the afternoon they were up. By the time we were ready to go, the flows were down again - it made for a tough day of fishing. Just hope it's not like that next Saturday!

Unknown said...

So what's the deal with the flows there? I've been watching them and is seems like someone with a split personality is running the show????

Does it affect the fish much when it goes from 500 to 49 CFS in about 3 days? Is there a level that it is not fishable?

Also, being a sight nympher myself, any suggestion on where to hit the river? I've always fished it from the lower boundary to about the first canyon (maybe 3/4 of a mile) and found that the sight fishing is not as good further up (I've gone about as far as 2 miles), but are there any other good sighting sections up further near the dam?

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail at jeff@theallenbrothers.com for a response, then I can get you some longer info about the Black Canyon too without leaving a huge comment.


Colorado Angler said...

HA! Yeah, every so often the flows get a little out of whack - it actually looks worse on paper than it is in real life. Although, when you couple that with the constantly changing barometric pressure, huge swings in water temps and the late-winter weather we're having this year, it makes for an interesting ride.

Keep your orbs peeled - I'll be shooting you off an email shortly....