Colorado may 11 - 14th

mike doughty

Honorary Member
I got on the road heading for pueblo west, co. to visit my kids and get in some fishing with them. i was going to leave wednesday morning, but was sitting around tuesday night, already packed and bored so i decided i would take off and get a head start, plus that allowed me to get to the south platte river while the kids were still in school. i spent about an hour and a half on the middle fork by the town of harstel and caught the river in a low flow condition, but according to the guy who sold me my license, the fishing was still pretty good. i tossed a variety of midges, nymphs and soft hackles and hooked into approximately 20 fish, give or take, landing a few. most of the fish were in the usual, for me, 14 to 15" range with a few smaller ones. i would have fished it longer but forgot to take my phone out of the car when i walked down to the river and wasn't sure of the time. my daughter didn't have school thursday or friday so we fished while my son was in school. before i drove down my daughter, who is 8, asked me if she could catch her own fish this time instead of me hooking them, getting the line on the reel and handing the rod to her to fight the fish. thursday morning i took my daughter onto the lawn and did my best at teaching an 8 year old how to cast, mend and perform a slip set. after this brief lesson we headed down to the arkansas river below the pueblo res. ( 5 minutes from their house) to see if she grasped anything i showed her. well the casting was shitty, and the mending took a lot of work but what could i really expect. by the end of the day she hooked 4 and landed 1 nice rainbow in the 15-16 inch range, i ended up with 2 fish. it was exciting to watch her do everything on her own, other then my verbal coaching, and land her first fish. friday my son went to school and me and my daughter headed back to the same spot on the arkansas, this spot is the same spot my son caught a 20" brown posted in my gallery, so we were hoping to find more fish in that size range. it took only about 5 minutes before my daughter yells, dad i got one. i was standing about 15 feet below her putting on some new flies and out of the corner of my eye i saw a fish jump[ and was going to ask my daughter if she saw that, it just so happened that that was her fish jumping. right away this fish is hauling ass across the pool and downriver, the reel screaming and the line flying through the guides, followed quickly by probably 75 yards or so of backing. at this point my daughter is starting to panic and asking me to help her, but i told her it was her fish and she had to fight it. just watching this was awesome for me and funny because while the reel is going 100 miles an hour my daughter has got the death grip from hell with both hands on the cork. now she is starting to panic almost to the point of tears because she said she was afraid the fish was going to pull the rod from her hands. as i am try to hurry and put my rod down i saw it jump and could not believe the size of this fish, i didn't think there were fish in there that big. she begged me to take the rod and help her, but i know she could have finished it because when i started to fight the fish it was exhausted and didn't put up much fight after that. i pulled the fish in so she could tail it and to be honest it looked like a small steelhead, i've never caught a trout that big before. it only measured 22 1/2" but was extremely fat which is what made it look so big. i hooked 6 and lost everyone. after the 6th one i lost, i hung my head and made some sort of verbal disgust and my daughter asked me what was wrong, i told her i lost another one, she replied, don't worry daddy, the fishing king will help you (referring to herself), she had jokes. saturday the kids and i headed down to the same spot, my son was in trouble with his mother so he could not fish just watch. after 2 hours of no hookups for either my daughter or i we decided to locate farther down river. i walked my daughter acrossed to the shore and went back to carry my son who had no waders, put him on my back and to make a long story short, for the first time i took a spill in a river and water logged a cell phone, camcorder and another digital camera, i was pissed, that finished the day. i really wanted to head about an hour upstream to where the caddis were thick and the stones were hatching pretty good as well, but due to different circumstances never made it, oh well, next year. writers cramp, i'm done.

mike doughty

Honorary Member
I forgot to mention that we stopped at a fly shop in pueblo and i was asking about fish sizes below the res. and talking about my daughters fish, they wanted to see a picture of it so i made copies at wal mart from my camera and they put the picture of shayne and her fish on there trophy wall. she, we are really excited about that. not only has she caught a trout bigger then any i have caught, nut i am not hanging on some fly shop wall.
Great story! That's one fishing trip you'll remember forever. I bet you were more excited you're daughter caught that piggie. Good thing you would have probably lost it... :clown:

Hey Mike,

I wish that it was that good on the Arkansas all the time. Heck, I wish that it was that good anywhere even some of the time! That experience will be hard to top. If I had seen the pics Saturday night, I probably would have gone down there yesterday. Instead, I fished 11 Mile Canyon (South Platte). I'll head down to Pueblo on my next trip, for sure.


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