Salmon in the South Platte Redux

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Dan, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Thursday, November 9, same river, 364 days later. Kokanee run was even better than the previous year. Browns were still spawning, but it was pretty much over.

    I had made a quick scouting trip the previous Sunday in anticipation of an old Army buddy visiting from Kansas over the Veteran's Day weekend. Caught 10 or so kokanee on egg patterns and one nice 22" rainbow. My daughter still has my Pentax Optio, so I have no way to prove it. Just trust me.

    Fast forward four days. For this trip, my wife offered me her Casio, so I took it along, though I doubted that lightning would strike twice. Arrived at the river at 8:30 am with temperatures around 34 degrees, but rising quickly. Geared up as fast as I could to get the jump on a couple of guided trips. Headed directly to the same hole that I had taken the rainbow in previously. Some fresh fish had squirted up the river in the interim and I hooked a hot hen kokanee on the first cast on a micro san juan worm. I hooked and brought to hand at least 10 more hens from the same slot, but no trout. I started to get tired of it, so I invited an older fellow over that was fishing the tailout without success. He was a vet, having served in Germany in the 60's in a Field Artillery unit. He said that he had gotten some frost bite in Graf and was having a hard time tying on all these years later. I fixed him up with a strike indicator and showed him how to get a dead drift by high sticking his rod. The rod was actually one of those spinning/fly fishing combo deals with spinning guides. He said that it had cost him $40, but he thought that he had purchased too hastily. He missed a couple of strikes, but finally started to get the hang of it. I wished him well, thanked him for his service to our country, and drifted off downstream.

    By 3:00 pm, the kokanee had pretty well worn me out. I was fishing a 9 1/2 foot Sage XP 6 weight, but the big male kokanee put quite a bend in it. My shoulders were aching. I was getting hungry and dehydrated from the hike back to the car. I decided to stop at the same spot that I had begun the day with and was surprised to find it open. LDR'd another hot hen on my first cast. On the third cast, the stike indicator went down with authority and the fish hung low in the hole, shaking it's head. Trout on! I finally got the fish to move a little and I realized that I was into a really nice fish. I hollered at a couple of guys down below me for help netting the fish. The first pass with the net missed. I nearly panicked, but the fish was netted on the second swipe. We released the fish quickly after a picture, so I didn't get the tape on it. I'm guessing 24". It's nice to see rainbows like that around despite whirling disease. I think that this one will be hard to beat!
     
  2. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    Nice! That fish in the pic has been eating well. Sounds like a good time.
     
  3. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    Dan, is that the miracle mile? i fished it briefly with my kids a couple of weeks ago, but it was exteremely cold and my daughter was not enjoying herself at all so we left. i would have liked to have gotten my son into some kokes, but oh well. great fish by the way
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Hey Mike,

    Yes, it's the stretch below Spinney. The kokanne don't go above the wier, though, so you have to fish the lower end of the river that flows into 11 Mile. Wind is always a problem up there. How you been?
     
  5. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Very health bow. Sounds like you had a great time. I think any trip that I end up with aches and pains afterward must have been a good one.
     
  6. Bill Reed

    Bill Reed New Member

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    Nice bow Dan!! It's that dream stream thing ain't it?
    Mike, Miracle Mile is a North Platte, Wyoming, wind tunnel from hell that's far from the balmy place Dan was fishing;) . I don't blame your daughter for wanting to leave.
    Dream Stream where Dan was fishing is roughly a mile of water between Spinny Mountain Res and 11 Mile Res-due west of Colo. Springs.
     
  7. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    my bad! i got them mixed up.
     
  8. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    dan, i'm doing good. we fished briefly above the little bridge that crosses the river, did not see or touch a fish. after we left we drove up by copper mnt. and fished the ponds on 10 mile creek instead. i heard there are some nice brookies in there and it looks like some nice water. my son caught a decent brown on his first cast and then that was it. i didn't touch a fish there either. my favorite section on the arkansas was high and muddy cause they were doing some work on the dam so i didn't get to fish there like i had planned. next time maybe we can hook up again
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Mike,

    This run seems to be getting better and better. Park by the corral just before the bridge in the fenced in parking lot. Walk downstream. The run starts in mid-September, but two or three weeks before Veteran's Day seems to be the peak. I haven't quite got it dialed in yet, but I'm getting there. Red San Juan worms seem to be the ticket, but egg patterns or red copper johns are good, too. I like getting up there before 8:00 am. It seems that the guides tell there clients to meet them there at that time, so you can beat the crowds if you are on the water before 8:30 am. Alternately, you can go late and usually have the place to yourself, but wind is often a problem later in the day. Tight lines.
     
  10. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    that's where we parked and when my daughter saw how far we would have had to walk and in the snow, it wasn't happening
     

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