Rio Grande Club Day Three

Sunday 10/18/09

Morning was a repeat of Sat. Cold at 8 am and warmed up by 10 am when we were to meet at the fishing lodge with guide Joel Condren, owner of South Fork Anglers. I was slow getting focused and ready to fish. Too much low protein scotch coupled with good pinot noir wine at dinner.

Finally I was ready and the group set off down the cart path to the second bridge. Tucker and friend stopped to fish the pool below the first bridge.

tucker and dog

Tucker and friend fishing the big pool below the bridge at the Rio Grande Club

 

The rest of us went to the second bridge to work back up stream. Joel started Sabrina in a deep run just upstream from the bridge. Michael was upstream from her and I was farther upstream.

Anglers at Rio Grand Club fishing the Rio Grand River

Anglers at Rio Grand Club fishing the Rio Grand River

 

Joel took me farther upstream to where a gravel bar split the river into a fast section and a slower section. He explained the water structure and how it made for a deep bucket at the base of the riffle feeding the run. Then this type of water will often cause a high ridge with slower water and the faster water of the run itself. Joel called this water over the deeper run “Hard or Nervous” water and the water over the slower section “Soft” water.

Joel Condren explaining hard water to Marshall

Joel Condren explaining hard water to Marshall

 

After Joel explained the water and bottom structure and put on a Rio Grande AP in size 14, he went upstream with Sabrina and I fished the run hard. See the wavelets from where my line hits the water to the far shore. This is “Hard” water that offers great overhead concealment for trout. Joel said this run holds a lot of trout.

Marshall fishing a deep "hard water" run at the Rio Grande Club

Marshall fishing a deep “hard water” run at the Rio Grande Club

 

After some 20 drifts, I hooked a scrappy little 11 inch rainbow. Another 30 casts and I had a much larger fish on. Got a good look at him on the surface before he practiced self release. I fished the hole for another 40 minutes with only one good strike.  I am sure there were others but quite subtle and I missed the set. During this 40 minutes, the wind was coming up and gusting which made drift control and casting difficult.

I headed upstream toward pump hole. On the way, I passed Sabrina and Joel in another riffile – deep run structure similar to where I had been fishing. Joel was showing Sabrina about this typical Rio Grande water and bottom structure.

sabrina-joel2

Joel showing Sabrina how to fish the Rio Grande riffle-run structure

Sabrina pays close attention and is a good student as can be seen with a nice 15 inch brown. After more instruction, she caught several more nice browns about the same size.

Sabrina with nice 15 inch Rio Grande Brown

Sabrina with nice 15 inch Rio Grande Brown

Sabrina Resting after a hard days fishing

Sabrina Resting after a hard days fishing

 

Sabrina resting after catching trout.

Vik and Joel rounded up the crew at the Fishing Lodge for lunch at the Riverside Grill at the Club.

The crew ready for lunch

The crew ready for lunch

 

Next we headed to the Rio Grande Club for lunch. Waders and all on the outdoor patio. Weather was beautiful and lunch on the patio was a great end to a day on the water. The pizza was generous with toppings. Mine was a soft rising crust and provided 4 other meals for me.

Pizza for lunch

Pizza for lunch

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Marshall, Editor
www.fly-fishing-colorado.com