Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions – Bear Creek 5/29/09

Friday 5/29 was an interesting day on Bear Creek. The flow had come down to around 65 CFS from 80+ due to rains in the area earlier in the week. Water color of light coffee and I could not see bottom at 2 feet depth.

Air temp was in high 70s and sky clear much of the day. No hatch activity in the morning. Light caddis hatchs in the afternoon around 2 pm. I started at bar pool in O’Fallon park. There was work going on and the pool yielded no strikes on my czech nymph rig. I had a Vladi woven brown nymph on bottom and a 16 beadhead, goldribbed, flashback hares ear on dropper. The hares ear is one of my favorite flies about anywhere in Colorado. It can represent a caddis, a mayfly or a stonefly depending on color and how it is tied.

Fish it rolling along the bottom and let the current bring it to the surface, then swing gently in to the bank for a stone fly. Same process but hold the fly on the surface and twitch the rod tip gently for motion before pick up. This will often cause an impluse strike. Same drift and to let current bring to surface. Hold momentarily then a lob cast upstream. The abrupt pickup can imitate a caddis taking off and cause a strike.

In any case O’Fallon only yielded 4 dinks during the morning. So I moved upstream to fish the Episcopal Church property on east edge of Evergreen. With the water up, there are some interesting holes and runs on this stretch. I had changed out my Vladi nymph for a green caddis with a black head. The hole by the bridge which leads to the tunnel gave up a dozen fish in the 4 to 10 inch class. Then I wrapped my flies around two branches with an errant cast.

During my fishing here, I had started adding a slight rod tremble during the drift and rise. For me this is starting to come naturally. The result was a bit more action to the flies and more fish. After losing my flies, I rerigged with a pink body and a gray throax czech nymph on bottom and another 16 GBGRFB hares ear on top. So far the hares ear was producing about 3 to 1 for the czech nymph.

Downstream, I fished some fast runs catching a few small bows and browns before losing my bottom nymph in the rocks. Another $2.50 down the stream. I rerigged with a #14 ugly commercial gold ribbed purple flashback hares ear with white goose biot tails and weight above and below the dropper. The purple flashback is a really weird fly. But it started producing fish the rest of the day. I have never had it work well anyplace but Bear Creek.

Then I moved back to the pool by the bridge where I lost my flies. After a few casts, I looked across at the bush to spot the place I had lost my flies. Sure enough with my new Smith Optics sunglasses, I spotted the gold bead on the 16 GB hares ear among the leaves. So I put my gear in the car and went to retrieve my flies.

Moving around a couple of bends into Evergreen, I fished some holes that have always produced for me. Wading out to water over my knees, I started dropping casts into a near seam. The weighted nymph rig sank quickly to the bottom. Some six casts later, I was fast to a good fish. One of the head shaking kind. After a nice fight, a fat 15 inch brown emerged on the surface. I was able to hold him for 3 quick pictures before removing the hook. I revived him using my upstream leg as a water break which was pretty cool.

Over the course of the next hour and a half, I hooked and released 5 more fish between 10 and 13 inches. All fat and healthy.  Then I drove down to Little Park in Idledale to finish my day. Caught a few more small fish before heading home. Tired, sweaty and happy. A great day on stream with some 20+ fish and some ideas for a new fly to try out.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Marshall, Editor
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