I left for Deckers yesterday at 5:30am figuring the river would be jammed with people if I didn’t get a jump on them. Thankfully no one was at Mark’s Run when I pulled up. Right as I finished gearing up some other anglers arrived and made a claim on Cable Hole, which was unfortunate because I wanted to see if some of the big Kamloop rainbows have started making their way down out of the private water of the Wigwam Club to some of the spawning grounds immediately downstream of Mark’s Run. Oh well, I still got rewarded for an early start.
The morning air was fresh but cool—normally it doesn’t bother me but the chill on my fingers stung. Occasional ice on the guides—I wished the sun would hurry up and make it to my side of the river.
The best fishing was in the first 45 mins when I landed two really nice browns—the first on a size 20 Medallion Midge and the second on a size 26 Black Beauty. Both fish were in about a foot and a half of water, although I didn’t spot them. An old rainbow came to hand about an hour later.
After fishing the entire run with no other bites I packed it up and headed to Rays Run. Lots of anglers....I managed to squeeze in to a good spot but only got one rainbow. An old guy in the best part of the run got into some good action and had a couple of fish lost that were probably pushing 18+ inches. With the crowds getting worse I gave up at 12:15, eat a sandwich and headed home.
My confidence in small midges has improved.....and getting there before the crowds and fishing in lower light is a smart move.
My oldest son and I hit Deckers this morning. Our feet got cold but we powered through. He caught 3 and I got 2–all browns. I lost a huge rainbow in an epic run down stream. Stalcups, Mercer Glint Nymph, and Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger all did well. I did get one grab on a Nancy P. streamer—I’m surprised that was it, I figured the fish would be pissed too...
Today was a tough day. Solo trip to the river, got there early and had a lot of water to myself. The usual holes didn't produce anything. Made my way down to Bend Hole and spotted 5-6 fish, a few were 18+" but they were very sporadically feeding and i couldn't get them to take anything for quite some time no matter what I tried. Eventually I changed sides of the river (again) and one of those little (big?) jerks stole a Slumpbusters from me (it might have been one of Darrell's, but I'm not sure--I think it was mine). I got one grab off a Nancy P (again, where's the anger??) but no hook up. After "wasting" about an hour and a half there, I moved upstream again to a side channel and finally hooked up and landed a brown--nearly 4 hours after I started fishing. This guy was in a foot of water and nearly lost him a couple of times on the undercut bank with 7X.
Strange to me, but maybe not other locals that I've noticed over the last year or two. Fish here have no problem "holding" in a foot or less of water, in front of a rock, 15 feet from an entry point into the river. I think they've seen so many anglers, they don't see them as threat. There is no other cover around for them. Often fish will let you get to within 2-3 feet of them before they will even move out of the way. Today, I saw 5-6 fish in this fashion, only sporadically feeding and not taking small nymphs or tiny dry flies....It made for difficult fishing for sure.
PS, I also did some Euro nymphing early in the morning with no luck. I'm still trying it now and then, but it's just not as effective as short line nymphing for me.....and I'm not enjoying it either! Haha...
I’ve seen the completely untroubled trout thing a few times, as you said mostly at popular access points where people will even feed them. They’re also exceedingly smart, and in my experience completely uncatchable.
Yeah unless they start feeding more regularly they can be almost impossible to catch. If they see you it’s all over. I’ve had fish follow me around due to the “San Juan shuffle” that occurs when you wade.
Went yesterday. It was 15F when I started, the lower portions of the river completely frozen.
Water temp was a balmy 34F, then a few hours later was about 37. The fish were lethargic and not doing much. I hooked two and lost both at my feet. The later was during a mild midge hatch (I saw like 4 of them flying haha) about 1pm in a nice, glass smooth run. Blasted 7X snapped on me short of the net when I got a little anxious. Fish was caught on hankinsfly’s “Juju Adult”.
JP, you sure are lucky! I truly miss the heck out of living in Colorado. Sure wish I was there, even in those conditions. Agree with you in every way about "still enjoying the day." I always liked my drive from Denver out to Sedalia and then over to Deckers. With a couple of large cups of gas station coffee, a breakfast burrito, and a bag of hostess chocolate or powdered donuts, I was ready for anything! After a day of fishing I would get a beer and burger at Buck Snort before heading home. Just made for many a great day!
For sure I am lucky—from my house to Deckers is an hour. I enjoy the drive as well and have occasionally wondered what the conditions on Nighthawk Hill would be. They keep the road in good shape most of the time.
We need more snow. The flows are really low right now at 67cfs. When I went last Thursday they were 58. Denver water plans to keep the flows low for a while AFAIK.