Friday, March 11, 2011

The Big Thompson - March 19th TU Fishing Trip


The object in life is to satisfy as many appentencies as possible.  A small stream satisfies one of these appetites for the fly angler, providing a unique winter opportunity to site cast to holding fish moving out onto sunny flats, inviting delicate presentations offered with tender tippets, small rods and tiny flies.

Tailwater rivers are an essential, a food group for the winter fly angler.  Yet while the virtues of consistent unfrozen water in February cannot be argued by the fly fishing addict, there's only so much yarn watching, weight plunking and short line mending one can do.  Casting is the grace and calculated measure of fly fishing, the cadence of life and the counterweight to the heavy burden that comes with responsibility.

The Big Thompson is unique in its winter presentation.  Steady flows, clear water, and reliable hatches throughout the winter offer a taste of something different, and a whisper of what's around the corner as the earth trims its sails and tacks toward spring and summer.

If you own a lightly weighted short rod (6.5'-8.5' #3), this is the place to use it - bamboo would be even better.  We'll be concentrating our efforts beneath the dam and down through the canyon on through to Drake.  There is plenty of open water throughout this stretch and an abundance of public access to fish.  The river is small though.  Consequently, we'll likely spread out in pairs a bit to work holes and pockets together, taking turns to fish likely holding spots.  This is my favorite way to fish!  We'll schedule a rendezvous at mid-day to share a roadside lunch and fishing news.

You'll want to bring some nymphing equipment and small flies for the initial start of the day, but keep an eye out for midges as the sun moves in to warm the canyon.  As the water temperature comes up, midges will hatch and fish will begin looking up.  Some emerging midges are good options, but it's hard to go wrong with a small Griffith's Gnat.  Make sure to bring plenty of BWO's both nymph and dry.  If cloud cover settles in, you can bet we'll see some given the time of year.

We'll meet as always at the Board of Realtors parking lot.  Plan to leave at 7:30 a.m.  It will take about two hours to get to the river.  This is the season of heavy snowstorms.  Be sure to watch the weather and check back here for cancellation notices on Friday 18th.

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