Colorado weather seems to continually surprise me. It is February and while you might expect it to be cold it has been unseasonably warm for about a few weeks. Well, that is to say until today. We went from 60's and 70's to snowing in a matter of just 24 hours. I'm not here to bore you with a forecast of the weather though. I just make this comment here to explain and set the scene for my last week here.
Two days ago I saw a break in my busy schedule. I realized that I could take my kiddo to school and then have all morning and into the afternoon if I wanted to for a day of fishing. I could squeeze a day or so more out of my fishing license and maybe even explore a new place or two that had been tipped to me.
Friday -"The tip and good weather"
On a tip from an acquaintance, in a passing conversation, I decided to head to some water that he suggested I check out. Now I won't name the waterway out of respect to him for sharing it with me but I will tell you make sure you get exact directions when you get information like this. You see I ended up at the wrong place. That in itself isn't horrible. In that foible I actually did find myself on a stretch of that water that I hadn't covered yet.
My adventures in "the wrong place" was a pretty futile effort in the long run for actually catching fish. The water was clear and seasonably skinny. There were clearly pockets of fish-able water to be found. As I walked the mile or so downstream from the parking lot I tried to imagine what this place could provide in the spring. I tried to take mental notes of holes that would be good to visit another time. An optimist at heart, I was hopeful still for a little luck in finding a lazy brown hiding along a bank undercut. (BIG SIGH) Nope. Nothing. On now what amounts to a walk, I did see one other fisherman who felt compelled to tell me stories about 18" rainbows that he was pulling out of that stream in the early spring.
Sidebar: This is why I have mixed feelings about stream talk.
I worked my way back to my car and then headed north a bit from that parking area and found a pull off that I was new to me as well. There were other cars there but I presume they were all hikers in the area as I didn't see anyone on the water. I walked upstream and found places that I had driven by many times but never stopped at because they were, well... just too far down the hill and likely to have been fished out by the "harvesters". What I found was again thin skinny water without any signs of life. There was plenty of fishy looking water with aeration and deeper pools along with a clearly visible rocky bottom; my hopes were raised slightly. I had one fish rise to a cast. It was a small... let's say "half-strike"...and didn't take. Just a nibble, spit and dive. Well that was encouraging but the excitement of that wore off quickly.
Dennis Vander Houwen lives in Colorado with his patient and supportive wife, talented artist son, a smart dog, a new river puppy, and a very lucky cat.