Late November 2017
Note: Please read this article in tandem with my earlier blog on late fall fishing (December 6) that contains more detailed information on essential gear, flies, and technique.
I ease into the crystal clear pool where Beaver Creek cascades up against a big cliff. True to the inside scoop from a Colorado Springs fly shop, I have already caught a couple of beautiful small browns. The skinny is that lots of 4-to-11 inch trout inhabit this pristine little stream near Canon City. Nothing much bigger. But then I catch sight of a silver blue form undulating deep in the hole.
Then it’s gone. Maybe a rainbow trout? I gently loft my two-fly rig—a Royal Trude dry on top trailed by my old reliable green hotwire caddis nymph—into the cascade and watch it drift down gracefully, enticingly up against the cliff then bounce downstream. How could any fish resist? I try again…and again. Nobody home? I am just about ready to move on, when a small swirling back eddy above the craggy rocks catches my eye. I reach out with my rod, using my 36-inch long arms to maximum advantage, and flip the dry/dropper against the rock wall into the foam of the eddy, which is swirling slowly upstream in reverse. The dry twists and turns, then disappears. I reflexively set the hook and feel the bottom. Grrrr! But then it begins to move, and I see the light-colored back of a big rainbow. He knows his home territory and dives under the rocks, but my stout 5-weight rod is up to the task and slowly he comes my way. Then he jets downstream into shallower water, a fatal mistake—I can more easily play him out in the open. In a minute he is sliding into my net for a quick measure and photo. I am astonished to find he is a tad over 15-inches!! So much for Lilliputian trout!! And just a couple of days before December! Another legend of the late fall.