I don’t get to fish often. As with my contemporaries, work and family take priority at this time in life. To that point, when I do fish, I like to venture to spots that put the odds of success in my favor. Colorado fly fishing in the summer means Spinney Mountain Reservoir, callibaetis nymphs and a Gold Medal fishery. Timing the trip is critical, as you need to be certain that the hatch is actually coming off. If Poxybacks and Flashback Hare’s ears are being purchased in mass at local fly shops, I go ahead and schedule a day off from the job. In late June of 2015, I was told by some reliable friends who fish the lake regularly that they spotted trout rolling close to shore.
I arrived at Brad’s house at 5 am, and we immediately hit the road. It would be the first time Brad had fished this area in more than 25 years of living in Colorado. The wet weather in the Rockies during the spring and early summer made the rivers uniquely high and fast. The waters flowing into Spinney were so heavy that the entire landscape has changed. Areas that had produced in prior years were no longer accessible for wading fisherman. Weed lines that hold the hatching callibaetis nymphs weren’t visible. I started to succumb to a bit of doubt as things were not as they once were. Adapting to the situation, Brad and I worked our way along the eastern shoreline, scanning the relatively calm water for porpoising fish. While there was no visible action, Brad located a deep drop just off a point. There was milfoil present, so we decided to rig up and start fishing. It took a while, but a fish boiled about 30 yards to my left. Once in range, I laid a cast in the general vicinity of where I witnessed the feeding fish. I use an Amy’s Ant as my indicator, and hang a #10 Flashback Hare’s Ear about four feet beneath the dry. My initial twitch caused a violent strike, as the trout attacked the nymph. A weak hook-set while the fish darted at me, had me scrambling to recover line. The trout worked his way to my left, then spit the hook after an impressive acrobatic leap. Disappointed at my performance, I checked my flies then started to make casts in and around the closest weed line. It did not take long for the next fish to slam my callibaetis imitation, and move hard to my right. The fight lasted a bit longer than anticipated, as the trout was all of 23” and powerful. Fired up and ready for more action, I waded into deeper water angling toward a visible clump of weeds. Once my Ant landed I gave two slight twitches, and the Hydros HD line began screaming toward me. I stripped vigorously and pumped my rod until I felt weight on my line. She abruptly turned and sped to the north when her head grazed my Orvis River Guard Brogue boots. Having witnessed the massive fish up close, I felt real pressure to land the trout. It took another 5 minutes to successfully net the 6lb fish. She was easily the largest bow I had ever landed at Spinney.
I hooked and landed 4 more impressive trout over the next few hours. One of my last fish of the day slurped the Amy’s Ant just a few feet from my position in the water. I watched a black head subtly surface, grab and make off with the floating fly. It was the most thrilling take in my over 8 years of fly fishing. The imagery of the experience will always be emblazoned in my mind.
|Mirage||Helios 2||Silver Sonic||Hydros HD||Safe Passage||Intova|