Colorado Fishing Conditions – Big Thompson 8/13/10

August 13th, the day after my birthday and two days from being handed a diagnosis of squamous cell skin cancer on my right shoulder. Definitely time to go fishing. Weather was beautiful all day today. Temperatures in the low eighties most of the day. Sky was clear all day. Definitely a fishing day. The Big T had been running about 124 steady for a couple of weeks and fishing should be good.

I headed for the Big Thompson below the lake. Before fishing I stopped at Kirk’s fly shop to pick up a river map and talk to Gary for some river info. Highly suggest you get a map of the lower river. It contains some good information about the area and for five dollars, you can afford it.

I started in the water upstream from old public service company property. After an hour with only 1 – dink, I headed back upstream to Caddis Flats. (This is why you need a map). There were a ton of flat landers there. One younger gentleman throwing metal had caught a couple of 12 inch fish. I headed upstream. I was rigged up with a No. 16 plain goldribbed hares ear on top and a small 18 or 20 gray RSII on bottom. Had absolutly no strikes at Caddis Flats even though I worked the stream hard for a good quarter mile upstream. Varied the weight until I was on the bottom, in the middle of the water column and barely under the surface. Nothing.

Upstream at No Name Parking Lot, I carefully climbed down the rocks to the stream. At 124 there are a few wadable areas here. Fishing one small hole behind a rock in a fast run, I had a fish hit three times in a row before stopping. Another dozen drifts and he was on. The current was about 3 to 4 feet deep in the hole and this was a reasonable fish. Finally got him to the surface to see a nice fat 14 inch rainbow. But to the net was not to be. Along the river across from No Name, I hooked 1-nine inch bow, 1-8inch brown, 1-12 inch brown besides the bow I had lost upstream.

Upstream, below Green Bridge, I hooked a fat healthy 12 inch brown below the little waterfall across from private property. Getting down to release the fish, I slipped on wet grass and sat down hard on a flat rock. Fortunately, only hurt my pride and bent my wading staff a bit. Could have been worse. Did not get any more fish after that brown. This was again on a plain goldribbed hares ear.

This is a simple fly to tie and works well. I tie it sizes 16 and 18 mostly.

  1. Hook – Dai-Riki #60 hooks or TMC equivalent. Mash Barbs down flat
  2. Thread – Black
  3. Ribbing – Ultra Small or Lagartun X-Fine gold wire about a 6 inch piece will do a half dozen flies
  4. Tail – Several fibers from a dark brownish mottled hen cape feather or a small clump of hare from a rabbit skin or hares mask
  5. Abdomen – Hares Ear dubbing with guard hairs preferably
  6. Thorax – Hares Ear dubbing with guard hairs
  7. Wing case – Cinnamon brown turkey slip from a tail feather or a off white with mottled dark spots
  • Tie on one hook eye width back from the hook eye
  • Wrap a smooth thread base to 90% point on the hook. This is about two hook eye widths from the hook bend
  • Tie in your wire ribbing with two turns of thread and wrap to the hook bend
  • Tie in the tail material with two turns of thread
  • Dub a small tapered abdomen with the big part of the abdomen toward the hook eye
  • Counterwrap the wire rib forward and tie off with two turns of thread. Clip the excess wire from the fly.
  • Tie in the wing case with two turns of thread and leave it standing upright
  • Dub a small neat thorax just in front of the wing case
  • Pull the wing case over the middle of the thorax and tie off with two to five turns of thread.
  • Whip finish a three turn head or use three half hitches
  • Use a dubbing brush or your bodkin to pick out guard hairs along the sides of the thorax for legs and to impart motion in the water

Go fishing with it.

Tight Lines,

Marshall, Editor
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