Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Friend

"The Poudre River is now right at 400cfs and is fishing outstanding. With this flow you can now access most all the river and cross in lower water areas. The water clarity and temperatures are perfect and there are lots of different hatches taking place. More importantly fish are out to feed and surface activity has been good. Hoppers are out in full force and fish have been looking up for a protein packed meal. Fish are still hanging on the edges of the fast water and along the edges making a hopper dropper rig very effective throughout the whole canyon. Other hatches consist of; PMD’s, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Red Quills, and Green Drakes. There have still been good numbers of Drakes coming off in the Upper Poudre Canyon, so make sure you have a good supply of large Mayflies."-Cache La Poudre River Report. St Peter's Fly Shop. Fort Collins, dated 8/14/2011

8/14/2011: Cache La Poudre River


As my right foot unintentionally crossed over my left, the last thought that went through my head was, "Just keep the camera dry...Bridget is going to kill me".  I should have known, the water looked thick, but there were fish on the other side. Our hands were tied. And as the thought of losing another piece of technology played itself over in my mind, my foot gained a footing and I was able to right myself. It was 7:30 in the morning, I had water in my waders, and our day had just begun.

I met Dave an hour earlier in the parking lot of Ted's Place, a common spot to gather when heading up the Poudre. Some might even say that Ted's is a landmark, however, I am in the camp that Ted's is simply just a gas station with a larger than normal parking lot. But either way you look at it, Ted's Place sits at the canyon mouth, and is the last place to get cheap gas before venturing west.

It was the first time Dave and I had met. In fact, the only interaction we have had, was through our blogs, emails, and texts. But as a wise man once wrote, "I wasn't concerned. You see, I had been reading his blog...hopefully he had been reading mine".

Dave, like me, is a non-native Coloradoan. He is a transplant from New Mexico, who has claimed Colorado his home since March of this year. A move made for reasons I didn't need to ask, the reason made clear as he watched the water tumble down the steep canyon walls. Trout. A perfectly good reason to move anywhere.


Gaining my balance, I checked the case to make sure no water had gotten through to the camera. Two steps later, I rechecked. Bridget would never need to find out about this, and I have no intention of telling her. It had been a quick three weeks since my last camera sank to its untimely demise, and I wasn't quite ready to part ways with the new camera so soon. However, if push came to shove, a camera would be a small price to pay for one of these trout.

We made our way to the top of the hill, quietly watching the hungry trout porpoise as they fed greedily on a bug we’ve yet to see. Finding our way down to the water, I re-rigged, tying on a size 14 Twenty Incher as my lead fly, trailed half-heartedly with a size 20 nondescript midge emerger. A standard searching pattern, one that has gotten me off the skunk more than a few times. Wading into position, I laid out my first cast. Then my second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on. Nothing. The fish were feeding, but not on anything we were offering. Trying a different approach, I switched gears, tying on a size 18 PMD emerger, with a size 20 zebra midge trailing behind. Working my way back upstream, I saw a fish rise confidently from behind a rock. Again the fish rose, unaware that I was ready for him. The cast hit its mark, and I was on the board. It was the only fish we took from this spot.


Dave found his fish higher up the canyon, a fish that I could tell took the pressure off. Neither one of us wanted to go home empty handed. First impressions are a funny thing. The weight had been lifted off our shoulders, both as guide and fisherman. We were content. It wasn’t a banner day by any stretch of the imagination, but a day that humbles you into respecting something that is both easy, and hard all at the same time.


When it was all said and done, we had caught only a handful of fish. Based on the river report, we had failed. The hopper action was not fast and furious, the drake hatch didn’t pan out, and I didn’t see any red quills, yellow sallies, or much of anything else. But like most things in life, you trade something to get something in return. And today, I was happy to trade a few fish for a new friend.



34 comments:

  1. Not to worry, Sanders- you secret is safe with me. I for one would not think of telling the Missus about your near-dunking of her new camera.

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  2. It is not a secret that this would be a great day for UA...and saving the camera was definitely a bonus! You almost had me packing my bags after reading that report...now how am I supposed to wait 6 more wks??? Hmmm?

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  3. You two are great. To hell with river reports. ;)

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  4. Two words: waterproof camera.

    It's either that or constantly stress about wading

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  5. Another option to a waterproof camera is a fully submersible pack in which to carry a non-waterproof camera. This gives you a certain peace of mind should you stumble, so long as the camera is securely within it's waterproof haven. You obviously still have to remove the camera to snap photos, which involves a certain mount of recklessness should you be standing in the river. I have both a waterproof pack (for keeping things dry that absolutely must stay dry, like my wallet, phone and TP)and a waterproof camera.

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  6. Kirk- Thanks...the less she knows, the better :-)

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  7. RD- Get out here! The water is perfect, the hopper hatches are epic, bugs everywhere, and more importantly...big eager fish...ha!

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  8. Erin- Thanks...I think I got the wrong report anyway :-)

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  9. Tom- No doubt. It will be the next purchase made...right after a wading staff (apparently, I have taken a liking to taking some swims).

    Thanks for dropping in!

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  10. Kirk- I've already proven my recklessness :-) So this pack might be a good addition along with a waterproof camera...I suppose I could always go camera-less...might start improving the size of fish I'm catching.

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  11. Nice to hear your home water is getting back to normal fisheable conditions again. New friends on the water and a few fish to boot , that sounds like good trip to me!
    Jeff

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  12. That's some river.
    Great variety of flies to bring the fish in.

    And...... you know how much I love that brookie.

    Thanks

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  13. Jeff- It was a great day on the water, made better by a few fish.

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  14. Brk Trt- The Poudre is a fantastic river. I'm lucky to have it in my backyard.

    Glad you enjoyed the brookie!

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  15. Sounds like a very equitable trade.

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  16. waterproof cameras are the ticket. i went fishing with my dad today. he brought his non-waterproof camera along. it was a source of much stress for the entire day.

    also, new fishing friends are always welcome. sounds like it was a good day.

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  17. Agreed with T-rageuos,..."a few fish for a new friend...." Right on.

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  18. T!- a very equitable trade indeed.

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  19. Ivan- i need a waterproof camera in a bad way...maybe this weekend. I get stressed carrying mine, it would help a ton.

    it was a really fun day.

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  20. Herringbone- For sure. A few fish is a very small price to pay

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  21. As usual, you've got your priorities in the right place...well done.

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  22. Dave- Absolutely, it was a great day!

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  23. Dean- Thanks. As you know, it's not always about catching fish.

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  24. It took me two days to read all of these comments...all to say I'm ready to fish with you guys

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  25. Great post and report. Thank goodness the camera didn't take a dip in the Poudre. Some nice looking fish too. Glad to hear the River is runnning smooth. Great pics. Tight lines.

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  26. Trout - the best reason for a move anywhere. Lovely looking little brookie. I'm also having a look at a few waterproof cameras - taking underwater shots will be a nice bonus too.

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  27. Great read on a Saturday morning. Sounds like an enjoyable time out on the water, it's not always about the number of fish caught.

    Got a good chuckle out of the "just keep the camera dry" line as I've had the exact same thought many a time when I thought I was about to take 'the plunge'.

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  28. Cofisher- I'm ready when you are! Let's get after it :-)

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  29. Trout- Thanks! River is running smooth...a contradiction to my wading ability...ha! The fish were stingy, but it's always nice when a couple take the time to get their picture taken.

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  30. Justin- Thanks! and I agree, trout are the best reason to move anywhere :-)

    I'm looking into a waterproof camera right now...the underwater shots will definitely be a bonus.

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  31. Bill- Thanks. We had a great time on the water. Even with some near disasterous moments.

    Glad I could provide a good chuckle :-)

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  32. Whow, I like what you've done with the place.

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