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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