29 June 2018

Conejos River

On Thursday, we took a break from fishing and rode the train from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO.  It was a great adventure!  We returned to fishing on Friday.  We headed back to The Meadows to try and fish some areas we didn't hit on Wednesday; Cody fished it well, while I only had one species, but I got to add to the species list with my catch.  After enjoying our packed lunch, we headed up above Platoro Reservoir and fished the headwaters.  We were amazed at how well hidden the fish were in the faster moving headwaters, and how close to us they were--9 feet or closer.  Interestingly, we caught no Rainbows.

One of Cody's Several Browns--Love the Sparkles

Another Brownie for Cody

Conejos River between The Meadows and The Pocket Water

They had my attention for about 30 minutes
Added White Mountain Sucker to the Species List!

So Carp-like

Headwaters above Platoro Reservoir

First of two Browns in the same area

Second Brown; they were almost side-by-side

27 June 2018

Conejos River Anglers

After first learning of the Conejos River and Conejos River Anglers from TroutFest 2015, we joined TWFFers in Southern Colorado and booked our day.  Our guide was K.K., and he took us into the Rio Grande National Forest to fish the Meadow and the Pocket Water sections below Platoro Village.  The morning action was grand, but due to unseasonably high temps, drought conditions, and fishing pressure, the afternoon action was slow in the public waters.  Still, we landed quality fish numbering in to the double digits, so it was an excellent day of guided, wade fishing!

Fishing The Meadows with K.K.

The Trout LOVED the foam Mayfly
Brown Trout Happiness

Brown Trout Happiness, Squared 

Cody's Rainbow Caught in Skinny Water

Fishing the Pocket Water

26 June 2018

Platoro Reservoir Conejos River, Colorado

To escape from the Texas heat, participate in TWFF's unofficial outing, and to redeem our Conejos River trip won at the Fort Worth Fly Fishers auction from the Conejos River Anglers, Cody and I headed northwest; Cody pulled the RV, and I pulled the kayaks.  We camped at the Conejos River RV Park just east of the Rio Grande National Forest for a week.  We fished on our own, with Conejos River Anglers' guide K.K., from our kayaks on Platoro Lake, and waded the Conejos River headwaters into the reservoir.  Temperatures were mild; fishing was grand; and the wildfires had not yet begun.

Deep, cool, and clear

Brown Trout

Rainbow Trout

My first Kokanee Salmon

Moon rise over Platoro Reservoir

27 April 2018

Arkansas River

Caddis Hatch on the Arkansas River

Cody and I headed northwest to Cutty's RV park on Hayden Creek in Coaldale, Colorado to fish the spring pre-runoff Caddis Hatch.  I was attending a Sisters on the Fly event, the 6th annual Caddis Hatch event hosted by Michelle Cummings, and Cody and I planned to go to Eagle's Nest, NM for Pike afterwards.  Weather prevented our trip to NM, but we certainly enjoyed fishing both the Arkansas River and the smaller but equally fun Texas Creek.  The Arkansas' cut through glaciation geology takes fly fishers through a majestic beauty backdropped by snowcapped Rocky Mountain peaks.  While not big fish, the Arkansas boasts some excellent dry fly fishing, partly due to the ongoing caddis hatch.  Not yet warm enough to move the fish to depths of the river, we casted to and caught fish in some pretty skinny water, skinny enough that we could see their flashes as they turned on to and took our flies.  Seeing the resilience of these trout was pretty amazing, especially how healthy one particular Brown Trout was seeing a bird of prey's talon had harpooned it previously.  We enjoyed our guided trip with Matt from Ark Anglers, as he put us on many trout, a total of 27 boated for the picture-perfect day.

The next day we took our very small rods and headed to two creeks, Hayden Creek at Cutty's RV Park, and then farther east to Texas Creek.  Regrettably, the slope of Hayden Creek was a little too steep, and the water flowing through it was too fast with almost no pools that would allow trout to hold in the creek.  So, we moved farther east to Texas Creek, where we learned is not at the Texas Creek Recreation Area, which is where Texas Creek confluences with the Arkansas.  Instead, we headed down Colorado State Highway 69.  Using the 4WD, we made our way down a dirt road to a nice meadow parking area.  Encompassed by shrubs meant wading in the creek, and moving upstream provided great access to small, wild trout who greedily ate size 12 Elk Hair Caddis flies.  Aggressive fish, regardless the size, offer amazing fishing on small weight rods, an experience which I always enjoy.
Hayden Creek

Upstream on the Texas Creek
Downstream on the Texas Creek

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