This was my second guided trip with Tad Howard owner of www.coloradotrouthunters.com. This trip I was bringing my friend Joan McCord President of Colorado Women Flyfishers along. The weather forecast was grim with a high of 43 degrees at 3pm and a 40% chance of precipitation as rain or snow.
When we arrived at the ranch about 9am, the water flow was running 140 CFS and was a bit off color with a greenish tint. But you could still see bottom to about 2 feet. While Joanie and I were getting into our waders and boots, Tad was preping my Sage Z-Axis 6wt rod with my Stone Creek Expedition 5/6 wt reel. First thing Tad did was cut off 2/3 of my new Rio 7.5 ft 4x leader and add some 0x tippet material followed by a fly, some 1x tippet material and a fly, finished by some 2x tippet material followed by a fly. The fly sequence was an orange yarn egg, an emerger with a sparkle dub red collar, and a smaller brown emerger possibly a caddis. Since this was a guided trip, I didn’t watch or care too much about the flies. After Tad had Joan’s Helios rod ready to go, we headed toward the bridge area where 3 large drainage tunnels channeled water under the bridge.
Tad helped Joan get situated on the south side of the the river and then set me up on the north side of the stream. This side had a lot of large rocks to protect against bank erosion and getting down to the stream was a bit tricky for my old legs. Once at streamside, Tad showed me which seam he wanted me to fish. This was a slow seam only 2 feet in front of me. After working this seam for some 10 minutes, I started to work the closest edge of the fast run from the drainage tube. About 6 casts along this seam, I was fast to a nice 16 inch cutbow which Tad netted. Another 6 or 7 drifts, I was hooked up with a fat 17 inch rainbow.
I could tell by the way the 3/4 inch white thingamabobber moved and the way the line moved that there was a big rock or a ledge drop off on the bottom with slower water following. (All the while I was doing my drifting and catching, Joan had hooked up with two very nice browns.)
Another half dozen drifts, the line stopped dead. I set the hook and a very large fish took off straight across 2 fast runs straight at Joan. “Fish on!” I yelled at Joan. She saw my line coming at hers and jerked her line into the air to avoid a tangle and break off. About here the fish started to tire from pulling against an almost dead stop drag and the current. But he was still scrappy. Reeling line like crazy, I got his head turned and headed back toward me while keeping the rod tip low to control my fish. Tad had waded across into position below me to net the fish. Raising my rod tip up to bring the brownie to the surface, Tad scooped him into the large net. As Tad held him up for me to get a picture, I knew this was my biggest brown to date. About 17 inches long with a 14 inch girth which would put it about 4.75 pounds. Very nice fish. But this was only the start of more to come for Joan and myself.
Be sure to read part two of fishing the Long Meadow Ranch for more pictures and even bigger fish.
Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
- Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions St Vrain River 4/7/10
- Fly Fishing Trips Longmeadow Ranch Part Two