A Day in Landon Mayer’s Gym
A day on the Dream Stream with Master Guide Landon Mayer is like a day in the gym. Landon is a big fish hunter. He prowls the stream like a cheetah running a gazelle to ground. Colorado’s Dream Stream is about 2 1/2 miles between Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir. The fish are wild fish and move around a lot depending on stream flows, food supplies, cover and other stream conditions. Landon told me because the fish move so much, you have to move to find them.
Landon believes it is better to sight fish than blind fish. In that I would concur. Landon prowled the opposite bank from where he set my partner Joan McCord and myself in our first beat. Landon stopped indicating he had spotted a large brown holding between two weed beds. He had rigged me with a small baetis emerger top and a trico spinner bottom. I had caught a small rainbow on the trico earlier. I made some 2 to 3 dozen drifts toward the big brown without any success. Finally, the brown did a bulge rise just to give us the fin. Down and Up the stream during the morning without any big success.
Just before lunch, Landon set Joan up along side a fast run between two rocks. The space was some 10 inches wide but was holding a huge brown. Joan worked this fish under Landon’s guidance for about a half hour. Then Landon went hunting upstream and set me up in a big pool – run with 3 large rocks in it. The pool dropoff held two Dream Stream monsters along with some smaller browns. (Smaller as in 15 to 18 inches).
As I watched Joan, I saw her set the rod on Big Boy. The rod bent deep into the butt section. Joan hollered for Landon but she lost the fish before he arrived at her beat. So Landon headed downstream looking for fish. About 10 minutes later, Joan hollered for help. She had caught the big guy again. Landon ran up and started giving her instructions to follow the fish downstream. Joanie and Landon disappeared around the bend. Some 15 minutes later, they came back around the bend. I knew Joanie had gotten her big trout to the net by the smile on her face.
During the lunch break I saw the picture and the fish was a Hawg. After lunch, Joan fished the pool – run I was fishing. Landon took me upstream to a run with 2 large rocks in the middle and a fast seam on the far side from me. I tied on an #18 bwo emerger I use on Bear Creek as my tail fly. Working the seam and between the rocks for over 20 minutes, I finally hooked up with a small trout and lost it. Then right in a row hooked up with two larger fish in between the rocks. Both fish pulled upstream with a heavy bend in the rod from the fish and the salad hanging from the line. I lost both fish from horsing too much.
Another 15 drifts, I had a nice fish on during the rise to the surface along with a pound of salad on the line. This was definitely a trout as it headed downstream. Landon was right there telling me how to keep the rod high and to the right of my body while staying even with the fish as it was going downstream. Over and around rocks, through a deep bankside run I followed the fish hoping it would tire soon as my arm was burning.
Finally, it looked like the fish might be ready. I got its head up and on the surface. Landon had his guide net out and was reaching for the fish when it sensed the net. Downstream again for another 100 feet before he was ready again. This time Landon got him into the net. We picked off the remaining weeds before taking some pictures and letting him go. The fish took my #18 bwo emerger.
This had been a perfect weather day, a perfect fishing day as both Joan and I had hooked a great fish and we were going home just as the weather started to blow a cold wind across the fields.
If you have not been on stream with Landon Mayer, treat your self to a trip with a Master Guide.
www.landonmayer.com 719-210-0619. Landon will cut years off your learning curve hunting big fish.
Everything you need for fly fishing
- Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions – Tomahawk Wildlife 9/2/2011
- Alaska Bans Felt Soled Wading Boots