Sunday, September 29, 2013

San Juan River- Sept. 2013

I don't know what to say about the San Juan river that I haven't said before.  I could talk about the breathtaking beauty of this northern New Mexico river, or about the giant trout that reside in its waters. I could try to describe the peacefulness of the sun rising over the braids, slowly filling up the river with golden rays, but it just wouldn't be the same as being in the river yourself.  There are just so many things that I love about the San Juan, that it is impossible to convey just how much I enjoy fishing this river.

My uncle and his buddy joined us from Michigan for our annual trip to the San Juan this year, and we did our best to convert two more "Fishheads" that share our deep love of this mythical water.  The fishing was absolutely outstanding this year, with literally tons of fat and willing trout in every pool.  I have fished this river many times in the last few years, and I can honestly say this was the best the river has looked.  All of the trout that have been stocked in the last few years have grown fat beyond belief on those little midges, creating a haven for anglers to come and test their skills, with numerous chances at a trophy.  Countless times we had fish peel line off our reels after feeling the sting of the hook, that beautiful sound of screaming reel filling the ear.  The usual assortment of flies did the trick, but the battle tested combination of a red annelid and cream UFO midge still were top producers.  There was also some outstanding midge dry fishing to be had as well.  Nothing like watching large fish rise to size 24 midges on the surface. Wow!

I was very fortunate to hook and land some of the bigger fish that I ever have anywhere, with many 20"+ fish coming to the net.  The entire river is stuffed full of large trout, from Cable Hole down to Crusher Hole, making it a certainty that you'll have a chance to land a fish of a lifetime.  When the fish are this big, the angler truly is at the mercy of the fish.  The only chance of landing them is to allow them to make powerful runs and slowly follow down river, hoping that the small tippet and hooks hold.  Such an adrenaline rush when it finally gets in the net!

Always a let down when the Jeep turns back north, and heads back to Denver, but the memories of the trip will get us through until the next trip south.  This one will go down in the books as one of the best ever.

26" slab from Cable Hole
Brothers on the Juan

Like son, like father??

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gore Creek- 9/21/13

It's that magical time of the year in the Rockies when the leaves start changing, and you can sense the changing of the season in the air.  Headed up to the Vail valley yesterday to fish the Gold Medal water of Gore Creek, and try to land the Colorado grand slam.  While most of the waters we fish are far away from the nearest town, it is such a different feeling to fish right through town, especially a town like Vail that is so famous for its winter sports.  A gorgeous, Colorado fall day, not another angler on the river, and beautiful wild trout make for a perfect day on the water, and even being just a brookie away from the slam cannot ruin that.  Seeing the leaves changing on the passes makes me excited for the Colorado fall!

Fishing under the Lionshead gondola

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

T-Minus One Week

One week from that beautiful northern New Mexico river and those fat, San Juan trout!  So excited for our annual trip, with some new members from the Midwest to show around!  Getting ready to fish the little guys!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Addition to the Bench

With all of my recent traveling and starting a new job, I really wasn't tying that much, and my boxes showed it.  In the last couple weeks, I've been tying more and more, filling up boxes for upcoming trips.  One thing that has been a very nice addition to the bench has been a Carson LED Magnifier.  I haven't felt that I needed a magnifier to help me tie, but it has been just the thing to help me tie those small San Juan midge patterns that I love to tie.  The extra magnification and light really help reduce the strain on my eyes, and I can really feel a difference after I've spent a couple hours at the vise.  I highly recommend a magnifier to any tier out there, as it really does help tie a better bug.

Thanks Dad for ordering two!!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blue River- 9/7/13

I've only done it a few times, but night fishing is something that I really enjoy doing.  We headed up to Silverthorne to fish the Blue last night, and enjoyed a beautiful star lit night, chasing those legendary, monster trout.  Fishing the Blue at night is literally night and day from fishing during the sunlight hours.  This tailwater gets absolutely hammered by day, but the crowds disperse at night, giving you nothing but cold water and solitude.  Just because there is no one fishing, these trout are no less hard to hook.  Even though you can see fish everywhere, your flies and presentation still need to be perfect.  Looking out into each pool, it's a crazy sight to see glowing eyes everywhere,  trout still feeding on all those small shrimp and midges throughout the night.  I hooked a hog on the first couple of drifts that I tried to chase downstream, but he was too big and the current was too strong, and he came unbuttoned after a brief fight.  Landed a series of smaller fish the remainder of the night, but not the monsters we were after.  Started raining after midnight which sent us back to Denver, but it was a very nice couple hours on the river.