2006 August Colorado Fishing Report Rocky Mtn National Park We were given some bad information. One of the gents at the Great Western fly shop in Loveland said that the fishing was great up there. He outlined some rivers and sold me some flies and the next morning we got up early and made the drive to the park. We paid our $20 to get into the park and dropped into the moraine park. This is where the Thompson comes out of a canyon into a moraine and splits into a half-dozen small creeks across the big moraine field. We tried to be stealthy as we fished but it was tough because the wind was blowing and there was a lot of stuff to get your fly caught on. I put my rod down and just looked around and realized that the only things in these little creeks were little 6 in fish. Disgusted, we packed up to leave and I talked with some anglers who were stringing up their 2 wts in the parking area. The guy said he fished there a lot and that 20# or smaller flies were required for these smart, smart fish. He must have seen the look on my face because he said something like "yeah they're all small fish but who cares?" Well, I care, but I didn't say anything. Just wished him good luck. Anglers were starting to show up all over the moraine now -- all stalking scared little 6" fish. So we drove to another little creek and found the same kind of situation. I managed to raise a 4" fish and then just plain quit. We were walking back to the truck again when an angler appeared out of the woods on the other side of the meadow. He motioned for me to come over but I was pretty pissed off by this point so I just stood there and let him huff over to me. Turns out he was a guide and wanted to know how I'd done. I told him we were only able to raise one fish and he said Really? You should have had several. Why myself I've had a great morning. I landed a couple of nice browns and some brookies. "How big?" I queried. Well the browns were about this big he said and he held his fingers about 7 inches apart, and the brooks about this far apart (5 inches). Again, I don't think I could hide the expression on my face. I wanted to shake him and say "I fish with FLIES bigger than that!" But I just wished him good luck and we drove back to Loveland, discouraged. Cache La Poudre The next morning we drove to Fort Collins and stopped at St. Pete's fly shop. Delightful place. The proprietor told us that fishing was pretty much limited to mornings and evenings this time of year and we were running late but what can you do. So we bought some flies and and a hat and drove up to the first fly-fishing only section. We fished that beautiful river for a couple of hours. I hooked a 10" fish on my first cast but then nothing after that for a while. Eventually I was able to get a couple of grabs on a hopper but the fish didn't get hooked. So we were skunked there too, but we had only fished a couple of hours at the wrong time of the day so I didn't feel too badly about it. I know I'll be fishing it again in the future and now I know where some nice runs are. Next time I might fish the upper selective gear water because its by the hatchery. Delaney Butte Lakes After that we drove on to Walden and stopped at the fly shop there. They gave us the skinny on the North Platte river as it enters the Routt national forest (gold medal water). We decided we'd fish that water next morning and the delaney butte lakes this afternoon. I bought some more flies (note: I had now spent $200 at 3 different flyshops and still not caught any fish). We spent about three hours pounding the shores of North Delaney butte, which is Gold Medal water where they have browns and rainbows that are larger than small children. Of course, we didn't see them. Eventually, we decided to take a break from the gold medal water and drove 1 minute away to the South Delaney butte lake. We could see fish rising so we waded out into the lake. The bed of the lake turned out to be some kind of black muck that, when you stepped into it bubbled up some horrifically stinky gas. It was like fishing in an outhouse. But there were fish rising so we stayed for a bit. I landed two rainbows, one was about 8" and the other 13" on a ratty old BWO that I had tied myself over the winter. There is some irony there somewhere about spending all that money on local flies and then catching your fish with your own tried and true piece of s... flies. Amy was skunked and none too happy about it. We stayed that night at the "Roundup motel" which featured a sign out front that said "bikers welcome." So there were a lot of bikers there. We actually had dinner with one of them at the Antler Inn (the nice place in town). He looked pretty scruffy but after we got to talking to him it turned out that he was a quite worldly. Of course, he was a CPA. He had recently married a spanish girl and they had taken a 7 month bike tour through 31 countries of Europe (every country except Bulgaria I think) for their honeymoon. This time he had shipped his bike to Alaska and had driven it to Sturgiss and after that he was taking a detour through Colorado on his way home. He ordered a vodka martini "up" and "dirty" and I had to ask him what those meant. Isn't it funny the images that bikers project -- its almost completely opposite of who they really are these days. North Platte The next morning we got up at 4:30 and got to the North Platte around 6:00. We hiked a half mile in and started fishing the river as it neared the canyon. To make a long story slightly less long, we only found one pool that had fish in it. I got a couple of taps on a dry and Amy nymphed through it with no success. She was about to take off her nymphing gear when I said let's just trade rods, so we did. I nymped through the pool and picked up a 13" brown. And then a 14" brown on a snow cone. Pretty fish. We fished all the way down into the canyon and then back again and I only picked up one more fish, in that same hole. Amy saw a brown that she swears was 24" and she fished to it for a while. She said it was in surprisingly shallow water. By the end of that day Amy was ready to break her rod over her knee. She even yelled at me for a few minutes. She was skunked the entire trip. But then she was over it. You know, sometimes when you hit new water you have to rely on luck because you don't know what you are doing yet. Me? In three days I landed only 5 fish, none over 14". That's tough fishin. Because I accidentally dunked our digital camera, the only picture I have is me zipping up after pissing the moraine.