No, not a pan to fry eggs in… a river… an infamous river. One of the most sought after trout fisheries in the west. The red sandstone rock walls surround this trout rich tailwater that flows out of Ruedi Reservoir, just minutes from Basalt and the roaring fork valley. Its almost as if god decided there wasn’t enough good rivers in the area (the Crystal, the Roaring Fork and the Colorado to name a few, are all neary by) and bestowed another beautiful little gift for us fisherman to utilize. One among many we are so fortunate to be blessed with here in the State of Colorado.
The first day we fished the weather was amazing, the sun was shinning and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Despite the non stop sunshine we were still forced to break ice off our guides every 5-10 casts… but that was the least of our worries because we were catching fish!
A nice brown caught while dredging an RS2
Midday bugs started to come off and fish were rising everywhere. In the hole we were fishing huge rainbows and browns were coming out of no where and slamming bugs near the surface. Grey RS2’s size 20-22 were the most productive. There were multiple times when me and my buddy Tradd were both hooked up at the same time.
Two nice browns we had to land in the same net
The non stop action continued until about 3pm when we decided to head down stream… where the action continued
I caught this little buddy just before dark.
The next day woke up to the sun shining and already 45-50 degree temperatures. After loading my car and sweating profusely I thought, damn its hot, it feels like spring! I was forced to take off a couple layers…. and never put them back on. The mid 60 temperatures were amazing… and surprisingly enough, there was hardly anyone else on the water. It was like we had this whole river to ourselves. We fished all day in the same hole catching a handful of fish. I managed to get some great video of the action. When the action died down we headed down stream.
Tradd hooked a couple fish while I filmed, then I nailed one after my video camera’s hard drive was full.
Surprisingly this fat little rainbow gave me the best fight of the weekend, immediately after I hooked him in the current he leaped up out of the water like a true wild rainbow should… I stripped line and watched him jump again and again. After a good 7 or 8 leaps all over the place he thrashed downstream into the current and pulled line out of my drag. I couldn’t believe this little fish (maybe 12″-14″) was fighting this hard. After battling him for a couple minutes I brought him in and was able to get a couple pictures.
I’ve done a fair amount of winter fishing, and I’d have to say this was the best winter fly fishing trip I’ve ever been on… great weather and no asses and elbows (large crowds where your ass almost touches the elbow of an angler next to you) you can’t ask for much more on the pan… in fact I was so stoked about the weekend that I threw together a short video teaser: