Friday, September 24, 2010
Birdless... the final chapter
With an empty bird bag, worn out puppy and wounded pride in the truck, I decided to enjoy my journey between hunting spots with a few leisurely stops along the way to tag a few trout. I follow one simple rule that has served me well over the years.... never go anywhere without a fly rod.
Willow Creek is a small stream that winds along highway 125, just west and then north of Granby, CO. It's not a classic piece of water but rather a non-descriptive stretch that most folks don't give a second thought to. However, upon close inspection you'll quickly discover this river has everything, beaver ponds, oxbows, pocket water, and slow technical pools. It also has more than it's fair share of riffle water where fish feed ravenously on dry flies during the heat of the autumn afternoons.
About the only thing it doesn't have; a Gortex hatch. Without giving this beautiful piece of water a glance, the crowds race by to fight for a spot to fish along the upper Colorado units or Williams Fork river. In fact, I didn't see a single angler on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon along the thirty miles of river I enjoyed, which was just fine with me.
I'm at a point in my life where I very seldom count fish, but it's fair to say the Hardy LRH was being put through it's paces. By the way, if you haven't had a chance to try the new Hardy Classic LRH glass hybrid rods, you're really missing out. These rods cast effortlessly and are so sensitive you'll feel every single head thump on the bottom of the stream when you're hooked up. There's nothing like the feel of glass!
After I got him safely returned, it was time to make my way on down the road and get over to Leadville to set camp for the next day's Ptarmigan fiasco. Along the way, I stopped off to fish the head waters of the Arkansas River and a Brookie pond at Fremont Pass. Although the fish weren't as big as at Willow creek, it was equally rewarding dry fly fishing. I caught most of the fish here on cinnamon ant patterns and a crazy little dark colored midge cluster imitation called a Crackleback.
This is pretty much representative of all the fish I caught in this little gem.
Good holding spot.
Blue Grouse tomorrow I guess.