With the temperature in the Jeep reading -17 when we drove through Hartsell, you know the weather reports that you had read the night before were wrong, but the reports of large, spawn run fish out of Elevenmile were enough to keep us determined. Literally the coldest I have been in my entire life, even all the layers I had bundled on were not enough to keep out the absolutely brutal cold in South Park. The wait for fish able water was excruciating, with hard time frames when both of us had to be back in Denver for commitments. Hour after hour went by with nothing but ice floating down the river, and with the sun getting higher, all we could hope for was a little fishing before we had to head out.
Finally the ice dissipated, and we were able to start working the nice pool that we had camped out at for the last three and half hours. Within minutes, all of us were into fish. I landed the first first, which was an absolutely gorgeous Cutthroat, all colored up for the spawn. It was sad to see a mess of flies stuck in its jaw, but was glad I was able to get them all pulled out, and get the fish back into the river. We kept watching the clock as it neared closer to quitting time, but were optimistic that we would get what we came for. My buddy hooked into the hog that we were looking for, and played it perfectly into the net. An absolutely perfect Spinney Mountain spawn run rainbow with a fat belly and huge hook jaw. Even though the fish was not mine, I was glad that I was able to be a part of it, and take in the moment and excitement that the Dream Stream brings to anglers every year. It truly was a day to remember, not only for the monster fish but the bitter cold that we endured to have our chance.
I've fished the fall run on the Dream Stream for big Browns and Kokanee, but this was my first experience on the river in the Spring. Was stunned to see the amount of anglers on the river despite the bitter cold, but I think everyone that was out could feel the camaraderie between anglers, with everyone after the same thing, a shot at a fish of a lifetime.
|Beautful Spinney Buck Rainbow|
|Nearly 30 cars in the lot|