Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions Bear Creek 5/3/10

5/3/10 Monday

Conditions were about perfect for Colorado Fly Fishing today. The sky at 8:45 am was that Colorado Blue with a few high clouds. Temperature was 50 degrees with a forecast into the high 60s and not much wind at Evergreen, CO until 4 pm.

Water Flow on Bear Creek was 65 to 70 CFS which should mean the water was clearing from the 90+ CFS flows of last week. On the way up C-76 Canyon to Kitteridge, the Creek was looking pretty good.

After reaching my parking lot, I geared up with my 9 ft 5 wt Orvis Clearwater II rod. There was an old leader on the reel and I was too lazy to change it out. My three nymph rig was a #14 beadhead prince top, a small Walt Mueller orange soft milking vinyl egg middle and a #18 black pheasant tail nymph bottom. The leader was 4X, 5X and 6X respectively for a total leader length of about 10 feet.

I fished the runs feeding into the Head Pool and the Head Pool for about 40 minutes without a strike. Then headed downstream to the Bar Pool where I saw my friend Tim. He and I shared the pool for an hour with Tim hooking one 12 inch fat little rainbow and missing several more fish. He was using a stimulator and a small barrs emerger on the dropper. Tim had taken 8 fish from a pool farther downstream. After Tim left, I fished the pool for another 30 minutes before heading to the Episcopal Church in Evergreen.

After lunch, I built a new leader based on what I had seen in a Czech Nymphing DVD but modified for small streams. One 5ft piece of 1X flurocarbon, a 3ft piece of 2X flurocarbon+a fly, an 18 inch piece of 4X flurocarbon off the hook bend + a fly and a 15 to 18 inch piece of flurocarbon + the tail fly. Flies used were a #14 Beadhead Prince, a small orange soft milking egg middle and an 18 black pheasant tail as a tail fly.

The advantages to this rig are it sinks fast because the flurocarbon is denser than water plus the beadhead and the egg on top of the rig. But is is like trying to cast a piece of cooked spaghetti. The river cast works ok with this setup or a lob cast. You are not going to go for distance but for accuracy. And in short line nymphing, most of the leader is off the water anyway.

I was working my way downstream from the Church parking lot east. In a small pool behind a rock, I started working the far seam. First cast with this rig, I hookedup with a small 8 inch rainbow but lost him. This rig definitely got to the bottom fast. Continuing on downstream, I hookedup with a few more small fish about 6 to 8 inches. But the fishing conditions were challanging with fast water seams only 10 to 18 inches deep in many places.

At the east end of the Church property, I started fishing a deep run and hooked several 8 and 10 inch browns on the bh prince nymph. (interesting they would eat a nymph on 2X tippet with flies tied to the hook bend and in pretty clear water). Working my way back toward the parking lot, I continued to hook up with an occasional fish. On the way, I lost my tail fly and replaced it with a #16 gray RS2 with a long white antron wing. (wing about abdomen length). I also picked up a couple of fish on this fly and on the egg along the way toward the parking lot.

Around the bend west of the Church are two bridges over the creek. Between the bridges are a deep pool with a nice tailout. I picked up a couple of small 6 inch browns out of the tailout on the prince. In the pool below the town bridge, I picked up several more 10 inch browns. Farther upstream, I hooked a scrappy 10 or 11 inch brown. Then hung my rig on a stick and I had to break off the bottom two flies. The wind had started to come up and temperature was dropping. Time to go home.

Summary:
Water Clarity clearing but slightly murky. Visibility to about 18 inches to 2 feet.

Almost all the bigger fish (those in the 10 inch class took the top fly in the 3 nymph rig. A #14 beadhead prince tied to 2X material. This was even with a piece of tippet and two more flies tied to the hook bend.)

My tests of the new nymphing leader set up were conclusive for me. For Czech or short line nymphing it should work well.

A total of 16 fish which made the day fun.

Excellent weather with lots of sun and only a few high clouds.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Marshall, Editor
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