Andy and I just finished our 4th annual Colorado fly fishing whirl-wind tour this past week. Traditionally the Arkansas River has a CFS around 1600 where we can wade the banks and throw big ugly bugs to voracious trout…but not the past two years. Colorado has had wet/cold spring causing delayed runoff. No despair…we Wayment brothers know how to prevail in the face of a challenge.
The first day we found ourselves on the west side of the Sangre de Cristos (note to self…saw lots of good looking blue grouse country near Poncha Pass) on our way to the Gunnison region to fish a couple very nice wild trout creeks we’ve fished the year previous. The runoff was still underway but we found plenty of pocket water. The trout were pretty selective even though we were in the midst of a killer bug hatch…green drakes, PMDs, sallies and a plethora of larger stone flies. Our saving grace were green drake patterns that Andy had brought from Idaho. The fish in these creeks are very nice for the size of the water. Andy has really gotten into Tenkara (HA GAY!) and has proven to me the effectiveness of this simple way of fly fishing. He spanked my butt! Andy landed 3 to 4 fish to each one that I hooked. Couple highlights of the first day were a little reservoir we fished above one of the creeks that we caught fish after fish and kept a few for the smoker. Another one for the memory bank is when we were fishing in a beaver pond and the weather turned south and we decided it wasn’t the smartest idea to be standing in water while lightening was striking all around us. We got pummeled by a hail storm. Finally…nothing tastes better than a Boylan’s root beer after a phenomenal bug hatch.
Andy and I finished the day at a Colorado SWA creek that is loaded with nice wild but very selective trout. These trout kicked my rear last year…and we found that the most effective fly was a good ol’ Renegade. Renegades would be our go to fly for the remainder of the weekend.
The next two days we fished a bunch of local creeks around Campo Dulce (my cabin and sanctuary in the Wet Mountains). Tyler Sessions graciously tied us up some Renegades and met us at Barry’s Den at Texas Creek Junction for our traditional yummy pre-fishing breakfast. We had a phenomenal time fishing two local creeks with great top water and nympning action.
That evening Andy and I ventured into Westcliffe to view the local fare and get some more Boylan’s to restock the icebox. Andy and I had our tradition archery shootout and smoked trout on the little chief while our best friend Matt Lucia made us a spectacular AK salmon dinner.
Our final day was special! We met Josh Houchin at Berry’s Den for breakfast. We hiked down to the Arkansas to see if she was fish able but the banks weren’t wade able due to the 2500 CFS. We decided to chase beautiful greenbacks at 9 to 10,000 feet in the Sangre de Cristos in Can’t Tell Ya Creek. What an incredible way to finish out our weekend. Andy and I really dig True Saddness, the Avett Brothers new record and our song of the trip was Smithsonian. Can’t wait till next year cause I’m gonna kick Tenkara’s butt!!