Sunday, February 23, 2014

South Platte- 2/22/14

It had been a depressing start to the 2014 fishing season, with only one fruitless day spent on the Pueblo Tailwater before heading up to fish the Deckers area yesterday.  I have fished the Pueblo section of the Arkansas a few times this winter, but have only managed to fool a few fish, despite trying everything in my boxes.  It's extremely humbling to fish a water for multiple days with nothing to show for it.  The 2nd day in Pueblo was the one of the first skunkings I've taken since I first picked up a fly rod nearly 4 years ago.  I appreciate that catching fish is only part of the awesome adventure of fly fishing, but bringing fish to the net help to validate that we actually have it somewhat figured out on the water.

Headed up to Deckers with a new fishing buddy yesterday, with the hopes of getting the first fish of 2014 under our belt, and the South Platte did not disappoint.  We started fishing above the Deckers bridge, and the first couple holes gave us what we were looking for, giving us both fish in both Midge Hole and Bend Hole. It seems like the fish are finally starting to appear from their winter holes, with active fish in every hole we fished.  We headed down to fish some our favorite holes below Trumbull, where more fish were caught.  Ended up in Duck Run, where some nice Browns were fooled.  Flies of the day were eggs and the normal assortment of South Platte midge patterns, with the Top Secret Midge taking the most fish. We eventually surrendered to the blistering wind, calling it a day, and deciding to drive the back way to 285 following the South Fork down to its confluence with the North Fork.  The ice is starting to recede on the North Fork, meaning spring is just around the corner and the fishing will really heat up.

A day to forget in Pueblo
Radar fishing Turn Hole

Duck Run

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Carp Box- DSP Style

The start of 2014 has been depressing so far in terms of fishing time.  With all of the arctic weather in our state and starting a new project at work, more time has been spent in front of the fire and computer at home, leaving only time to tie flies and dream of the upcoming spring fishing.  Don't get me wrong, I love the solitude of winter fishing, but I am not going to freeze my butt off in sub-zero temps for a 1 or 2 fish day.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to chase different species more this year, with the hope that I will be a much better all-around fisherman by the end of the year.  The water that I am planning on spending the most time fishing is the Denver South Platte, chasing around all those monster carp that call it home.  Having this river in our back yard is so awesome, and I am looking forward to warmer water and feeding fish, exploring the concrete playground that is the DSP.

In anticipation of the year, I have been tying a #*$& load of carp flies, stuffing them into a bunch of different fly boxes, eagerly awaiting the day when I can unleash them.  It is so fun tying them, with all of the different materials that I normally don't use very much.  Being able to use large amounts of marabou, zonker strips, soft hackle, and rubber crazy legs allows for lots of fly tying self-expression, taking old patterns and adding your own twist to them that make them fish better in  your local waters.  It's this room for improvisation that really helps to create some super cool fly patterns.

But there is always room in the box for those patterns that just work, that always seem to find a way to be tied to the end of the line.  Below is a peek into my favorite carp patterns for carp along the Front Range, but more specifically, the Denver South Platte.  I find that these flies always seem to fool tough carp, and they deserve a special spot in the carp box.