Monday, June 24, 2013

The Grand Mesa

As many of you know, I have been dying to get up on the Grand Mesa.  I can die a happy man now.  This was exactly the trip I needed.  Reader's long.

I wanted to check on one of the first species I ever caught in Colorado....the Arctic Grayling.

This is really the pristine time of year to hunt grayling.  I did a little homework, received a few tips, and was off.  I started at a stream with the fly rod.

Ah, success.  It was a fun little stream to throw flies on, but my 9' 5wt proved a little too cumbersome for the small overgrown stream.  I actually ended up using the spinning rod like a fly rod.  Not the prettiest sight, but it worked.

I love the turquoise and purple tones of these fish.  It was a fun little creek to play on.  Plus not all fish caught were grayling.

Not a monster, but my first brookie of the year.

I moved on to a lake that I heard held good fish in the past. I actually planned on going to another lake that was farther along the trail, but my curiosity and eagerness got the better of me.  I gambled on stopping here.

I started to toss the good ol' marabou jig and was surprised by what hit it first.

Hmmm what a pleasant surprise.  Didn't think they were in here...

I started to see the cutts cruising the shore line and was immediately satisfied with my decision to stop at this lake.  Although catching them would prove more difficult.

A couple small things like this came first.

More cutts would come later.  However, I was pleased to find my main target for this lake.

The brook trout were chubby.  

Still not the tank I was looking for, but healthy.  It was such great looking brookie water though.

As I worked my way around near the inlet and found more and more cutts willing to play.

The inlet creek was jammed packed full of cutthroat doing their fling in the spring.  They paid absolutely no attention to me whatsoever.  I took a video of them and was amazed to see them biting each other.  Must be fighting for dominance or something. Beautiful fish.

The inlet was dammed up a few yards above the lake and made a BIG shallow pool.

Surprisingly, it was crawling with fish.  They were a little more willing to play.


These guys were in here too!

Poor guy had a deformed gill plate.

I hung around here quite a while.  The fish weren't too shy and let me sneak up on them for a shot or two.

As daylight was dwindling I made my way back to the lake.  I wanted to get back to the car before dark and that required a stroll through the woods.

I was straight up giddy about the trip thus far, but really wanted a bigger brook trout to finish the day.

I began throwing my jig near fallen trees and big boulders as I trekked around the lake.  

The good Lord smiled on me...

What a fight, and what a way to finish the day.  Not the biggest brook of my life, but it had some shoulders.  One of the best fights I've had with a fish in a long while.

The Grand grand

Life is short, live it well.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week of the Rainbow

I hit up some of the local rivers after work last week.  First was an evening in the Black Canyon.  This National Park is seriously one of the coolest places I have ever been to.  It was so green down at the bottom.

There's some awesome fishing as well :)  Usually my catch is 80 percent browns, but today I could only find a couple.

Instead I was blessed to find the awesome bows that the black canyon has to offer!  

Usually rainbows are my least favorite trout to catch.  They're usually planters, maxing out around 10".  They attract power bait lovers, and they love to turn belly up even with the best handling and release.

However, when one finds bows pushing 17-18+ mine.  They fight hard, and often give an arial display.

There are some real tanks in this river.  I didn't find any true monsters, but the ones I did catch fought amazingly.  They peeled line from my reel and went airborne a number of times.  I actually had one break me off and another spit my jig while doing some acrobatic jumps for me.

This next guy had a gnarly wound on the gill plate and hardly any fat on him.  He was strong though :)

VERY beautiful place to spend a couple hours.

I found a couple more hours the next day and headed down to good ol' Paco.  I didn't catch a brown or cutt all day.  The bows were so aggressive.  I couldn't get my jigs down to the cutts or browns fast enough!

They all fought just like the bows from black canyon.  Ah bows can be fun when they have a little shoulder behind em'.

Spunky little guys...

The rainbows at Paco are very healthy and seem to be putting on the feed bag.  There is a lot of potential for some big trout to start showing up here.  I'm talking 25+ inches :)

 It ended up being a fun little mini trip to the river.  The roads are opening up on the Grand Mesa.  It's calling my name next week :)

Until then, life is it well

Monday, June 3, 2013

I get by with a little help from my friends....

Sometimes you just need a little fish to hold you over.  I feel like most of my recent fishing has been hold over trips.  Still waiting for some of my lakes to become accessible.  In the meantime I had the river to keep me company.  Marabou boys and girls...all day.  

Bring the pics :)

This guy's nose was so worn down.  

Saw a local pond and wondered what I'd find casting a jig.  Lot's and lot's of these guys :)  Pretty colors...

Aggressive runts

Some small...

Others big...

...and one chubby bullhead to round out the mix.  First for me on a jig though :)

Life is short, live it well