South Platte Outfitters

Weekly Fishing Report

Deckers, Colorado

The weekly fishing report is Updated Every Thursday

To Hear the Flow Report which is Updated Every 4 hours Dial 303-831-7135 Push 1 Then 40#






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1 br, 1 ba, fully equipped River Front Cabin. Bedroom equipped with 2 doubles, sectional sofa in l/r (large air bed available for 4th guest) - w/d, d/w, microwave, Sat TV, Gas grill, Gas Stove, Hardwood floors - extremely clean

Large decks directly over the river with incredible views, fully re-fitted, in Trumbull, 1 mile north of Flies & Lies, 2 mile drive to Gill Trailhead & Cheesman Canyon, adjacent to the owners property - this is one sweet cabin, fully winterized.

Call us for deals on Guide / Cabin packages

Season Rates

March 1st to October 31st

# Guests -------------------------- / night ----------------------------------- / week (7 nights)

1 =================== $125.00==================== $750.00

2=================== $150.00==================== $850.00

3=================== $170.00==================== $950.00

4=================== $190.00================== $ 1,050.00

Check our "Rates & Lodging" page for our 2 BR Loft Space above the shop "Osprey"









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Week ending July 26th, 2012

Flow started out at 330 cfs, dropped to 305 cfs on Tuesday, down to 250 cfs on Wednesday (we were getting excited), then back up to 300 cfs today - we liked the 250 cfs - 300 is OK, but it is kind of a "tweener" - too much for dry / dropper rigs to be really effective in most of the river, a lot of water flow for consistent rising trout - you can find them, but you have to move and hunt

They are rising to Trico spinners in the a.m. (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.) - if you find a spinner fall (slowly moving upstream) - we have also found PMD's #18 in the late mornings, Green Drakes #14, still seeing that Mahogony Dun (had another on the porch screen today #18), and Caddis from #14 to # 20 - Taking Amy's Aunt for a walk can also produce here and there (seeing more and more hoppers), and Jeremy found some late afternoon BWO,s

We are still extremely dry up here - fire danger is very high, so please be careful

Lots of new born fawns around (please keep dogs on a leash - so easy for mom and baby to get separated at this critical time from a curious pup) - happens every year, some get adopted , most do not

Monday afternoon Jeremy was stuck in jail (the fly shop), I had to do the weekly run to town) - Pat Dorsey came in pretty lathered up - turns out he found a camper at the Family Hole in the Canyon fishing bait, killing fish and a whole camp set up with tent and all

Well Jeremy got on the horn - Douglas County Sheriff Tim responded, then Jeffco County Sheriff Mike got in on it, they went in thru the Wig Wam Club - guy saw them and bolted - Mike went out of Wig Wam and up to the Trail Head parking lot - (Pat had taken a picture of the a##holes plate and truck) - sure enough, out of the trail he appears - busted

Jeremy shuts the shop and meets Tim, then Mike - Tim goes back into the Canyon via Wig Wam, Jeremy, at Mikes request, rides his mountain bike in on Gill trail to look for "anything" - Jeremy told me in the morning "It was such an awesome night"

Guy got a bunch of fines & lost all of his equipment, including his shoes and a brand new tent - Yeah Team!!!

River is fishing good, looks even better - get on up here and fool a few

Week ending July 19th, 2012

Flows stared out at 275 cfs, then bumped up to 330 cfs on Monday - kinda high for this time of year, must be calls for water out East - Cheesman is well down from the spillway - never know what the Denver Water guys will come up with - they (the boys at the dam) call us in the morning when they will adjust (either up or down), just to give us a heads up, but we never get a long time forcast - the boys in the flat lands plug in a series of calculations each morning - that determines the flows required - they call the dam, they call us, and the valves are adjusted

Not many bugs on the wind seine this week (porch screens) - mainly due to all the new born bug eating birds - Mom & Pop are never ending bug catchers feeding the new borns - amazing to watch them snag a Caddis in full flight - right in front of your eyes - you can even hear the little bill snap shut on a new kill - we have a Wood PeeWee that nests under the porch every year, along with a few House Wrens in the trees and the ever present Swallows - they devour bugs of all kinds - feed the babies, and do it again.

Quite a few new born fawns this year - have twins with the Mom laying up every night in the thicket below the cabin - little ones get really going around sunrise - bouncing and hopping all over the place - then back to Mom's belly for a nudge and a drink.

Sun now crests the back yard range at 6:30 a.m. - amazingly, it has started its slow traverse back to the South, having reached the farthest point North - just means, to me, winter is on the way - still many months of fine times ahead (actually my favorite time of the year approaches), but when the sun makes that turn from North to South, it gets you thinking

Have had a Great Blue Heron hanging around the past few days - up at Deckers 3 days ago, then in the back yard on Wednesday - pretty cool bird - but a big time small fish eater

Had a trip last Friday, Father and I'm guesing a 7 yr old son, flow was up and they had never had a fly rod in thier hands - Uh Oh - took them to a section that holds trout, but would not lose the little one in the current (almost happened in the spot we started out at - we met downstream by request from the patron booking the trip - some kind of corporate gig - the 2 get guided, the patron goes out on his own)

So we work the run as the 2 get used to Fly Rods, roll casting and getting a good drift - they were both doing good, Dad actually hooked a good Brown but horsed him and lost the rig - little one started to get bored - missed a few, but he didn't know "cause he didn't "Feel Them"

This was a section that Duane, Jesse, Eric and I had guided on last week with a big group - a big fun group from Texas - all family members - I spotted a black headed rainbow in the run - showed it to the boys, the clients tried to make it take, but no joy - Duane named it "Black Betty" - we never tried for it (the guides) - but we all wondered what the hell was up with the black head

Anyway, the Tyke had to take a pee, so I sent him and Dad back into the willows after Dad tried to lay out a cast that would fool an old wise trout like "Black Betty"- and now I'm standing in the river with a rigged rod, and "Black Betty" fins in front of me - so I look around, lay out a nice roll cast, do a proper mend - BANG - the trout is fooled - almost too easy - so I yell over my shoulder "Zip up and get back here" - the kid comes crashing thru the willows, falls twice - and I hand him the rod - he fights it like a champ - in the end it was a solid 17" Buck 'Bow - now renamed "Black Bart" by Duane - trout was healthy as far as I could tell - just has a dark head as seen from above.

No real changes from last week, nymphing is the best bet, Tricos have still not made it to Deckers in any numbers, but if you get into them downstream it is a blast - with the higher flows, work the banks with a dry or dry / dropper, otherwise get weight and indicators on - fish the whole river - you will be surprised wher you will find one

Week ending July 12th, 2012

Flows were all over the place this week, started out at 335 cfs, dropped on Saturday to 230 cfs, down to 120 cfs on Sunday, up to 200 cfs on Tueasday, 250 on Wednesday and 275 on Thursday - one has to wonder - one has to wonder what goes on with the water callers at Denver Water - I reckon if it had been left at 225 cfs all week, the same amount of water would have flowed thru the drainage, with no fluctuation - but that is just me

Good rains on Friday, Saturday & Sunday night - Sat. night rains flooded 6 mile creek up on Rt 126, had the river a little off Sunday morning (and I mean just a tinge), but all was fine by afternoon - all the other feeder creeks were gin clear - a nice sign of continued recovery - the river looks fantastic.

Got into a great Trico Spinner fall on Tuesday when the flow was still at 120 cfs - downstream from Deckers - huge mating swarms and trout boiling on the surface - starts at 9 a.m., done by 11 a.m., but what a couple of hours - just like old times (Pre-Hayman)

Bugs seen, small BWO's, Caddis from #14 to #20, PMD's and a lone May Fly I have never seen - maybe a Mahogony Dun - big wings, #18, found on the porch screens on Tuesday - and the Tricos, that are slowly making there way upstream as the hatch and mating swarms build. Above 200 cfs we pretty much nymph, but get below that and dry / dropper comes back into play

Rubber legs, Brown / tan San Juan worms, Juju PMD, stones, Rainbow warriors, RS2's (black in the morning) have all produced on the nymph rigs

Cool mornings, nice to hot afternoons, water temps are good - guide trips have been good - no slay fests (although Jeremy had one that really qualified today) - with the flow fluctuations you really have to work for them - look for the spinner falls - if you don't find risers, barely sink a spinner imitation - also works for an hour or so after the tricos are done

Week ending July 5th, 2012

Flows went from 280 cfs, up to 300 cfs on Sunday, then up again to 330 cfs today - fairly high for this time of year - we think calls for water out in the plains have sparked the increases - the farmers and ranchers are getting hit really hard with the drought out on the Eastern part of the State - We wish them well & rain - a whole bunch of it.

We have had a little rain in the valley but not enough to make any kind of difference in conditions - monsoon rain flows are predicted to start this weekend, we shall see - it is so dry.

Most afternoons have been HOT - 90's have been the average, feels good to be in the river - so much cooler - mornings have been (pre-sunrise) in the 40's - you leave all the cabin windows open thru the night, then shut everything tight at sunrise - keeps it nice and cool

Had a #22 BWO on the Porch Screen this afternoon - could have been a #24 - tiny little bug - smallest I have seen for quite a while

Dry / Dropper is now a mixed bag - OK close to the banks - not so good mid-stream - but it will work - mainly nymphing in these flows

Fires around the state have had no affect on the valley - we really feel for those who have been impacted - just plain sucks - really sucks if it was some idiot and not lightning

We have had to work for our trout this week - we are getting into them, but you really have to focus - Tricos have still not made it up to Deckers in numbers, Caddis are still a go to - had some success with a Para-Hopper - when we find the Tricos a #20 Para-adams trailing the spinner has been deadly

Nymphs range from rubber legs, SJ worms, Juju Baetis and PMD, RS2's and Barr Emergers - P-Tails, Rubber leg Copper Johns and Caddis

We have some friends in Alaska, trying to stop a mining operation that will potentially (probably, most definetly) impact the incredible fisheries of Bristol Bay - you can send a message to the Senate thru the following link - I did it - - you will get responses from our Senators thanking you for contacting them - Hell - worth a shot - never been to Bristol Bay - but if I ever decided to go, sure would be nice if it still fished as well as I have seen on TV or heard from trusted anglers.

Weekend should be sweet - get on up here - as much to cool off and cast a rod - you might get into them - or not - nice way to spend a morning or eveneing - big trout exist - we get a few every day - fat, healthy, wild - way too much fun.

Week ending June 28th, 2012

Wow, missed a few weeks there, sorry about that, just got slammed - both in the shop and on the river - so here we go again.

Flows have been pretty much all over the place - from a low of 125 cfs a few weeks ago to a high of 300 cfs - today it was dropped to 250 cfs (from 300) - the 300 helped knock a lot of junk down the river - somthing we call "rock snot" - prettu nasty stuff that gets all over leader knots, wieghts and nuymphs - even gets caught up in surface patterns - but it is pretty much gone now

Tricos continue to swarm in the a.m. - have not reached Bridge Crossing yet, but it is slowly moving upstream - I got out for a little R&D late this morning - missed the main spinner fall but found a few bank sippers - I had a Para-Hopper tied on (the one we carry at the shop - a good imitation of the big Green Drakes we occasionally spot)

!st trout inhaled it on the 1st good drift - nice 14" Brown, real acrobat - walked upstream a bit and found another - good upstream cast - he moved 6" to the left and sucked it in - almost a twin of the 1st - walked a few more feet and spotted another - little tougher spot, but managed to sneak a decent drift in there under the willows - feisty 7" Brown - rare to find a smaller trout with the best lie.

Saw a lone Bald Eagle last week flying downstream in the morning - rare sight this late in the year - day after the Lake George fire started (which is now 100% contained) - I don't know if 11 mile Canyon is open yet, but if not, it will not be long

The does have started to drop fawns this week - one of my favorite sights - cute little spotted critters hopping all around

Now about fires - our thoughts are with all those affected - some real tragedies out there, so sad

The closest one to us is the Waldo Canyon fire, just West of Colorado Springs, started on Sunday the 24th - leading edge on the north west side is about 30 miles from the valley - with a lot of the old Hayman burn area between us and it - smoke in the valley on Monday morning, but none since, you wake up pre-sunrise and it's the first thing your senses pick up - scares the crap out of you

Highway 24 frrom the Springs to Woodland Park is still closed - but all other roads into the valley remain open, but no one seems to be coming - the river has been pretty empty of anglers - which means the fishing (and catching) will greatly improve over the next few days, with the little pressure it is getting now

Nice cool mornings, but some very hot afternoons - water temps remain good - 40's to 60's depending on where you are, daytime sun and heat

Sreen porch bugs (our wind sein) these past few weeks = Caddis in all sizes from #16 to #20 - PMD's in #18, BWO's in #18 - #20, Geen Darkes in #12

Feeder creeks are as low as I have ever seen them - even during the Hayman year of 2002 - some are just trickles, some springs have dried up - good news is we had some rain on Wednesday and again this afternoon - we will take anything at this time, it can only help

Week ending June 7th 2012(covers 2 weeks from May 24th)

First of all I wanted to welcome new partners at Flies & Lies - Jeremy Hyatt and his dad Charlie have joined us - got rid of some dead wood and now an influx of new blood - most of you know Jeremy as the Chief guide at the shop (and a HUGE help to me over the years) - his Dad Charlie is a great guy (our new CFO) and has been helping at the shop - learning the ropes and freeing all of us up to do more guiding - we are all very excited about the new partnership - this is gonna be good

Flows have remained steady at 225 cfs - no run-off this year - river is gin clear and looks great

Jeremy got into some good afternoon BWO hatchs this past week - both he and Duane have found early Tricos down river - I had one PMD and one BIG Green Drake on the porch screens in the past few days - Caddis have been sporadic, nothing like the last few years, but still a bunch of them around - range from # 16 to # 20 - we have some great patterns at the shop

Morning temps Have finally risen above freezing - fishable light by 5:45 a.m., sun crests the back range at 6:15 a.m. and drops over the west range at 7:30 p.m. with fishable light until 8:30 p.m.

We have heard from the boys at the dam that Cheesman Reservoir will open to the public on July 1st - been closed for a few years, bank fishing only - no boats or float tubes alowed.

The Geese, Mallards and Mergansers have all started hatching newborns this past week - I really like watching the Mergansers - man, can they move over water - and when the chicks get tired they jump on mom's back for a free ride - very important that if you bring the dogs along you keep them on a leash and under control - not only is it the law in the valley, we hate to see orphaned game when adults have been chased off trying to protect the young ones - same thing next month when the deer start to drop fawns - every year we find abondoned young ones - some get adopted by other adults, but never get fully weened - never reach full adult size.

Latest nasty storms have had no affect on the valley - passed right over us - we sure could have used some moisture - really dry up here - pretty scary to see the condition of the lawn - did not need 1/2 foot of 1" hail, but a good steady afternoon shower would do wonders - so please be careful with fire - even driving on dry grass can set off a blaze in these conditions

Week ending May 24th, 2012

Flow started out at 250 cfs, down to 210 cfs on Sunday, then back up to 225 cfs on Tuesday - lower than normal - good nymphing flow, little high for dry / droppers - finding rising trout as early as 9 a.m., but you really have to work for them - BWO's and Caddis are on the surface menu.

Saturday we had some rain - actually woke to thunder and showers - pretty rare up here for that kind of activity - normally an afternoon event -- then another good soaking on Wednesday night - really helped with the dry conditions - but 2 days of sun and some wind and we will be right back to scary.

I actually asked someone to "Like Us" on facebook this week at the shop - Duane insisted that I put that in the weekly report - so I did, but in my defense, she was very pretty, so I broke down.

Nymphing with soft hackle p-tails, GB caddis, Graphic caddis, rs2, san juan worms and stones along with juju baetis are all working

Stream born caddis, peacock elk hair caddis (I fish a tandem, # 16 & # 20 about 2 feet apart) for sloppy risers, BWO's in #18 - #20 for the sippers

Have not seen the lion and cub this week - I think they abandoned the kill in the back - but you never know

Sun now crests the back yard range at 6:25 a.m. -almost reaching its maximum slow track to the north - sometime in June it will max out, then slowly start its track to the south - months seem to be flying by

River looks fantastic, trout are fat and healthy

Week ending May 17th, 2012

Flow started out at 75 cfs, bumped to 100 cfs on Tuesday, then up to 150 cfs on Wednesday - this is a great springtime flow & what we were waiting / hoping for. Cheesman inflow is about 200 cfs with the water level about 6 feet down from the spillway. (quick update, flow was bumped on Friday, May 18th to 250 cfs)

Had a good rain soaking on Saturday evening, snowed in Conifer and Bailey at Jeremy's and Duanes homes, then some lite rain on Sunday afternoon - we really need it

Caddis are starting to really get going and the trout are really liking them - but it moves around (the hatch) so you just have to be in the right spot, & that takes some searching and some luck - other bugs are starting to appear - Jeremy and Duane got into some PMD look-alikes this week - still not too sure what they are and they both spotted a green Drake this week - just a single bug each (Lil Jon saw a few too) - but a good sign - Still some BWO's in the early afternoon.

With the new flows, we have been able to present "junk" on nymphing trips - big stuff like san juan worms, stones, candy canes - but also caddis emergers, Ju Ju Baetis and rs2's have worked as a back-up - dry / dropper is now a stretch

Lion and cub appeared almost every morning and evening this week - one of our clients and friend, Chris, got some good pics from the porch on Monday evening as our other guest and friend Charlie was trying to get his phone and sat TV system turned on (after the winter shut down) at his cabin just upstream from my place - He was also out with his 2 sons - hope to have the pics up on facebook soon - Chris and his 2 sons were staying at "Bernies" - they all come out once or twice a year from Texas to get with the guides and relax - great bunch of people - we really enjoy having them - even though I have to cook my Mountain Ranch Beans for Charlie (I think Jeremy puts him up to it - at least eggs him on)

Getting lunch ready on Tuesday for the group trip and saw 2 buzzards circlig the back yard - focusing on an area between the well and pump house, one even landed on the woodpecker tree for a few minutes - so I started to think "kill" - that's why the Cats return each evening

After lunch, Jeremy decided to go down and take a look - as he was walking down the path Duane yelled out "Can I have your rods?" - I yelled "Can I have your truck and bicycles ?" - then Duane shot back after a pause "Can I trade with Danny ?"

Well sure 'nuf - Jeremy found a 1/2 burried deer carcass in the willows between the well and pump house - waiting to see if they come back for dinner tonight - these animals are so cool - but I have to admit, when I head out to the porch after dark, I turn on the outside light, wait a sec - then open and close the door quickly - give 'em a chance to get going - just walking out un-announced could spur an attack if they are up on the deck licking the Bar-B-Q

Weekend could be excellent - cloudy, cool, some rain - nice.

Week ending May 10th, 2012

Flow started out at 105 cfs, then dropped to 75 cfs on Monday, Cheesman reservoir is about 11 feet down from the spillway, and filling very slowly, we do not think we will see much, if any, run off this year - now I admit, I get fooled by run off most every year - but we just do not see it coming - ie high flows in May and June probably won't happen

Sunday into Monday we had a decent soaking with rain here in the valley and lite snow on the surrounding ranges, but fire bans are still in effect, so please be careful.

Caddis really started to hatch this week, it can be sporadic, but if it is thick enough where you happen to be, the trout really get on them - on Tuesday, Jeremy and I watched a riffle exploding with splashy risers at 1 p.m., even saw one brown launch a foot into the air to nail one - it was a beautiful thing to witness - after Jeremy headed back to the shop I really nailed 'em - but unlike a trout sipping adult May Flies, you have to wait a sec before pulling the trigger - else you will be looking at a lot of limp leaders with no frauds attached

BWO's are also still around, so watch the rise forms and you will be able to decide on what to present - splashy whacks = Caddis, slow rise with mouth agape and a bubble in the wake = BWO adults, dorsal and tail = emerging caddis or BWO (most likely a BWO in the, or just below, the film)

GB Caddis, Grafic Caddis, Prince and Bead Caddis for nymphing, along with Barr Emergers, Stones, RS2 & San Juan Worms - Peacock Elk Hair Caddis, Streamborns & Goddard for the Adult or egg laying Caddis - Hackle Wing, Para's, Foam tops , Sparkle Duns & Cripples for the BWO's

BIG Lion in the backyard this a.m. - early morning light - an hour before true sunrise - having a cup of coffee on the porch - thought I saw a coyote - which I have never seen this side of the river - couple of packs on the far range (north pack & south pack) - then I saw a big ass long tail - in front of the suspected coyote - that was Mom - the other was her cub - they worked up the bank, crossed over to the island (where I had a real good look at Mom's size - this cat is HUGE - looked like an African lion) - then they both disapeared into the island willows.

Last year Jeremy and Duane found a Lion kill on the island - that deer was shredded - as Jeremy said "Oh man, lots of gore, it was awsome"- after further investigation, looked like the initial strike was just below the cabin - the meal finished off on the island - then dragged across the river for leftovers - what power these animals have

Well, this a.m. I went to the shop being covered by Duane - he was out on a full day yesterday - I told him about the cat - his eyes got real big - he had worked the backyard on the trip - fishing the aquarium hole, he told the clients about the lion kill last year "right behind us" - on the hike out across FBI Jons, Duane got a chill (Duane spends a lot of time in the forest, hunting, fishing, tracking - his perceptions are very keen) - somthimg, he felt, was eyeing him - this is fair dinkum - he even told the clients - we both got the chills

I don't know much about Lion habits - have heard they have a hunting range of 200 square miles - but with a young cub ? - maybe just the back yard - gonna have to wait another year before I can go out at 1 a.m. with a mouse pattern hunting for big browns - at least in the backyard

Week ending May 3rd, 2012

Flow started the week out at 100 cfs, dropped to 75 cfs on Saturday, then back up to 105 cfs on Monday. We are told Cheesman is about 11 feet down from the spillway with about 150 cfs coming in.

Had a little moisture on Thursday into Friday of last week, had no affect on the river, and very little effect on the arid conditions we are facing in the valley and all the surrounding areas - fire bans are still in affect

Seeing more Caddis, Stll decent BWO hatch. Fooled a nice Brown today with a Goddard Caddis just fishing the water - had a bunch chase a streamer (Olive Slumpbuster) but none would eat it

At 100 cfs dry dropper rigs come into play - we have even had a few eat an Amy's Aunt this week

Surface action is better as the day progresses

River is gin clear, trout are big and healthy - and colorful - these have to be some of the most beautiful trout in the country

Week ending April 26th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from Apr 12th)

On 4/13 the flow was at 120 cfs, dropped that day to 70 cfs, then down to 50 cfs on that Sunday - don't think it has been that low since 2002, stayed at 50 cfs for 3 days - back up to 70 cfs, then up to 100 cfs last Friday - not a bad flow, but low for this time of year - feeder creeks are clear, river looks great.

First Swallows appeared this week, along with a lone Humming bird - Bald Eagles have departed, a few Ospreys have moved in. BWO's continue to hatch, but it can be sporadic - find some rising here, but none over there - the boys have been nymphing on the guide trips and really getting into them, I continue to try and force feed dry flies, I get a few to take (especially if they are already up and feeding - dead meat) - but mainly I'm just out looking at the river, the bugs and the change of seasons - I have spotted a few adult Caddis (main hatch due next month, if it happens) and some small dark adult stones

Couple of different size midge adults - from #20 to # 26

4" of snow last Sunday into Monday (15th / 16th), but dry since and fire bans are still in affect.

Lots of signs and sounds of Spring - woodpeckers on stove pipes (and the side of the cabin) hammering away looking for a date - House Wrens singing away, Blue birds looking for nest sites, Geese getting protective, the Elms in the front are leafing out, so are the lilacs, Cottonwoods not far behind

Few weeks ago, shop friends Donny & Bridgette were in town from Oklahoma - Jesse had spotted a HUGE Rainbow near the shop, showed it to me, then Jeremy spotted him - none of us fished to him, it was just fun watching the beast every day - but one day Bridgette was out there with Donny, I went over and waved her down to the spot - first good drift and he took - and proceeded to run right at her, like a drag racer - no way she could retrieve line fast enough, then he did a 180 and blasted down and out - snapped her clean off, then tried to jump, so big he could only get 1/2 way out of the water - and at least a foot was in the air, more than that was still submerged - looked like a breaching Grey Whale in the Pacific- then I heard her - " OH MY GOD", as she stood with a limp rod in her hand and mouth gaping - that was fun.

I've found a lot of big trout doing that - set, put a little pressure and they run right towards it (and you) then do the 180 - if you are prepared, and let them have that first run after the 180, you can usually get them to hand - but you have to be quick !

Mornings are still chilly for the most part - teens to 30's, but it warms nicely into hi 60's, low 70's

We (the shop) now have a Face Book page - Alain & Jeremy set it up - I had pretty much nothing to do with it - I am technically challenged, badly challenged - so they did it - I don't do the social network stuff, don't have a cell phone either (mainly 'cause they don't work up here), hell, the cabin is still on dial up for the internet (drives my friends crazy) - have been told broadband will never reach the valley - I could get a sat dish, we have one at the shop - at $950.00 / year - ain't gonna happen at the cabin.

Anyway, try or go to facebook and type in flies&lies - you should be able to find it - I probably could not, but then I don't have a Face Book account and I guess you need one - I'll just have to use Jeremy's if the need arises - I don't see it risen - but they are doing a good job with it so take a look

Weekend looks cloudy and a little rainy - could be fantastic

Week ending April 12th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from March 29th)

Got really slammed at the shop and on the river so was not able to get last weeks report out - this is a good thing (for us at the shop) and not such a good thing for those wanting the report, so apologies are extended

2 weeks ago the flow was at 80 cfs, bumped to 130 cfs, then down to 90 cfs, up to 140 cfs this Monday, down to 120 cfs this Wednesday - nice spring flow

Friday the 6th we had a fire scare in the valley - Jeremy was out on a full day trip and ran across it near Platte River Campground on his way back to the cabin for a B-B-Q lunch with our guests - stopped to try and stomp it out, then noticed the down and live wire that had sparked it - drove to Doug's house (Sway Back ranch Manager) and had him call it in, then stopped at Sheriff Mikes house across the street - woke him from a nap, apologized, but "Man Mike, It's moving fast"

Amazingly, it was in the almost exact location of the Oxyoke fire a few years back - same cause too - downed power wire in high winds

Jeremy arrived at the cabin as I was reporting a power outage to IREA (from the downed power line), I hung up and called it in too, can't have too many calls on a fire in the valley

They got it under control pretty quick - maybe a 6 acre perimiter, but just spot fires within the circle, 100% contained by the next day

BWO's continue to hatch, #18 para Olive, Hackle Wing, Cripple or Foam top all worked, even had a nice "Bow take a PMD Hackle Wing (I use it 'cause it is easier to see)

Baetis and midge patterns for nymphing if you can't find risers - they start hatching (and rising) as early as 11:30 a.m. - just depends on where you are, cloud cover and wind

I even took a 7" rainbow on Amy's Aunt this week just screwing arond

Snow last Tuesday into Wednesday left a total of 4 - 6", but it was all gone in 24 hrs - really had no effect on the dry conditions - Overnight Thunderstorms this Wednesday gave a little more moisture, but not enough - Fire bans are still in effect for Douglas, Jeffco and Pike National Forest - no open flames, propane camp stoves are OK - just please be careful

Got a bunch of Temple Fork rods in this week - really sweet - from 7'6" 3 wghts to 10" 5 wghts - all 4 piece with lifetime guarantees - start at $150.00 - you just can't beat these rods - got a bunch of Temple Fork reels in too.

Season is really starting to kick in - guide trips have been outstanding to "This was a slay fest" - trout are healthy, beautiful in color and bigger than past years - just a good time on the Platte at Deckers

Week ending March 29th, 2012 (covers 2 weeks from March 15th)

Flow is steady at 80 cfs, down from a high of 185 cfs from 2 weeks ago - last dropped on Tuesday the 27th. River is gin clear, so trout are spooky, but they continue to feed

BWO's started to hatch this week, Jeremy called it last week, kind of uncanny - we were all in the shop and he said "I predict...." - sure enough, the first ones showed up on Monday. These are big bugs for the Platte - size 18 - trout are slowly keying on the emergers and adults in the film and on the surface, just keep your eyes peeled for noses - and be stealthy

Guide trips have been outstanding - the boys are really getting on them

License reminder - your last year license expires Saturday night, Sunday you will need a new one - if you buy it at the shop, bring cash, we don't run cc's or take checks for license purchase

Fire danger in the valley is extremely high, please be careful, Jefferson County has issued a fire ban, Douglas will not be far behind

Hatch starts as early as 12 p.m. and last off and on for the rest of the day, should really get into full swing the next few weeks - we nymph in the a.m. until bugs and noses appear, then switch out - Hackle wings, Foam tops, Cripples, parachutes and Sparkle wings cover the surface action, Barr emerger, black beauty, stones, RS 2, P-Tails & nuclear eggs cover the nymphing

Week ending March 15th, 2012

Flow started out at 165 cfs, bumped to 220 cfs on Friday, then down to 185 cfs on Tuesday - this is a very sweet flow for March - trout will rise in a sub 200 flow this time of year to the big midge - you have to hunt them out, but they can be found - patience and exploration are the key

Duane has his book "The Fly Fishers Playbook" on a web site - it is a good read, well worth the cost - you can find it at - give it a try, we also sell them at the shop - hell, buy one, bring it by and get Duane to sign it (call first to make sure he is here - He is still doing a lot of Pheasant hunts out East, but that is winding down)

Had some flurries on Sunday - surprised us, but it cleared out quickly - kinda cool to see, projections were for sun & 60's - otherwise the mornings have been chilly - single digits to low 20's, but warms up nicely - high 60's most of the week, some wind but really not a problem.

Changed the clocks ahead on Sunday - the trout and the bugs don't know we do this - so the main hatch of the Big Midge is at 1 p.m. or so, if it happens - just depends on where you are - but I have found rising (sporadic) trout as early as 10 a.m. this week - and they looked easy - if you want to fish the surface, you just have to hunt & move - look for noses or swirls - even if you don't see any, but locate a likely spot, throw a few casts - you never know

Had our first Full day guide trip today, another on Friday, today's was a slay fest with Jeremy taking out 2 guests - she never had a rod in her hand prior to today - first trout was a fat 19" "Bow (Jeremy was thinkinging "How am I gonna keep this up ?) - well, he did, not in average size (but all trout were respectable) but in numbers - and one on a dry by Jason just before the lunch break at the cabin

Canadian Geese have arrived (one notable pair by the shop that meet each year), Mergansers are sorting out the dominate males, Prairie Dogs have emerged from winter dens - more songbirds are evident at sunrise (8 a.m. it pops up over the east range in the backyard - sets to the west at 6:40 p.m.)

Weekend looks good, mild winter weather Monday into Tuesday (which could be really good for risers), then back to Spring

Same patterns as mentioned in last few reports - add JuJu Baetis, RS2's - No BWO's on the surface yet but the nymphs are very active - any day now - we will keep you posted

If you havn't checked out friend Eric's YouTube slide show, you should - I watched it again today at the shop - good pictures of nice trout and a great sound track "South Platte Chuck Ragan" is what you are searching for - some of the guides, others of some good old local trout bums that just love this river - all good friends, you get a good feeling about the river, and us, just by the smiles

Week ending March 8th, 2012

Flows started out at 195 cfs, bumped up to 265 cfs on Friday, down to 185 cfs on Monday, and down to 165 cfs on Wednesday - no idea why it jumped around so much, boys at the dam say the reservoir is way down, we really don't know what runoff will be like later in the spring, usually starts mid-may thru mid June

Horse creek and the other feeders are melting off gradually, and not really affecting the rivers clarity at all

Light flurries Friday, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, but no accumulation. Most of the snow in the valley is pretty much gone

Big midge continues to hatch, at the lower flow we should find more risers - I have seen trout rise as early as 10 a.m. in some spots

Same patterns are still producing (see last 2 weeks reports)

Bald eagles are still around, had one in the back yard today, he made one swoop at the home hole but came up empty

Jeremy had some good trips this week and weekend weather looks great

First week this year I have not had at least one morning below "0" - still single digits all the way up to low 20's pre-sunrise, but it tends to warm up quickly most days - we are still only running 1/2 day trips - normally 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

River looks so good - gin clear, great flow, longer days - its getti'n good up here

Week ending March 1st, 2012

Yup, March, tried to come in like a lion around 1 p.m., kinda peetered out in the valley - maybe a 1/2 " - then sun, some gusts, but pretty mild - litte chilly - if you were here you probably had an excellent day - roads should be fine, no more accumulation overnight Thursday into Friday a.m. & the weekend weather and air temps look great

Flow started out at 165 cfs, then bumped up to 195 cfs on Wednesday - a great winter / spring flow

Big midge is still getting stronger in numbers - late afternoons are best for surface action - shuck midge, Roy Palms emerger, Foam tops, "Stuck in da shuck" (our special secret) - all work for the risers

Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:20 a.m. - still cold mornings, but I think we have turned the tide on winter temps - March can be the biggest snow month of the year, but it melts fasr and can really turn the river on

Eric is still running his slide show on "youttube" - (noted in las weeks report "south platte chuck ragan" check it out)

We usually dead drift nymphs in the morning and start looking for rising trout after noon, 1 p.m. - San Juan Worms (red, brown & pink), Nuclear eggs, black beauties, WD 40's, Juju midge, small pheasant tails, stones & scuds

Horse Creek has not been a problem with discolored water this week, on the Monday town rum I was surprised how much ice was still present, but the creeks were all running clear.

Some of the river stretches that did not have any sun thru the winter months are now seeing quite a bit - at some time during the day, the whole river is out of the shade.

Lil Jon had 2 great (productive) trips this week (Jeremy took the family to the desert for a well earned break, Duane has been guiding pheasant hunts and Jesse was out on tour) - Jon managed to get all clients into surface action on each trip - nice for the last week of February

Shop winter hours 9 - 3 p.m. 7 days / week will run thru March 9th, then we will return to normal hours

Week ending February 23rd, 2012

Flow was dropped last Friday to 162 cfs from 210 cfs - this is a great winter flow. River remains ice free from the dam to the confluence of the North Fork

Saturday was nice, hit mid 50's in the afternoon, but then clouds and wind moved in starting Sunday - wind was bad on Wednesday, but not as bad as most areas reported - it did blow me off the river by 1 p.m., then lulls and gusts for the remainder of the day - still managed to get a few on Stones and a Black Beauty - air temp hit high 50's in the afternoon

We have been trailing midge Pupa behind the Stones or Rubber Legs - WD 40's, Miracles, Top Secrets have all produced along with small P-Tails, Nuclear Eggs and Scuds

Our friend Eric put a slide show together on UTube - you can find it under the heading "South Platte Chuck Ragan" - You will see Jesse, Lil Jon (2 of Flies & Lies notorious guides) - Eric, his friend Ashley and a few other buddies - a few of the trout were caught in Cheesman Canyon, but most were fooled downstream from Deckers - gives you an idea of the Browns and Rainbows & Cut 'Bows we have been getting into - either on R&D outings or our full and 1/2 day guide trips (has a good sound track too) - No pics of Jeremy - he was stuck in jail (the shop) or guiding, when the others were out

Woke to about an inch of snow on the ground today, kept up till about 9 a.m., then sun, but wind - roads were pretty much clear by 10 a.m., no more than 2" overall and most had melted by 5 p.m.

Seeing more and more of the Big Midge hatching - along with some smaller ones - when the wind abates we have seen a few risers - as long as the hatch continues and more bugs appear, at this flow, the surface action could really pick up

Weekend weather looks good - mid 50's Saturday, mid 40's Sunday with a chance of flurries - which, if the wind stays down, can really get the trout up for some reason.

We are still running the special on the 2 BR loft (Osprey) above the shop for March - 2 anglers, 2 nights and a 1/2 day guide trip for $290.00 ($145.00 / angler) - or you can take the place for the whole month for $500.00 (it can be split up between 3 anglers - comes out to about $160.00 a head) - nice way to start the season off - call the shop at 303-647-2237 for more info if interested.

Jeremy got out on an R&D session after he closed the shop at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. - 2 hours, maybe 20 trout - "This wasn't winter nymphing, this was Spring nymphing !!!" - he was really stoked - said he was so jazzed, he almost dropped by the cabin to tell me how good it was (which, after 5 p.m. is a no-no, even for good friends, so he was really excited) - 3 trout out of many were over 20" - same day that the wind blew me off the river - but he dodged the gusts and cast in the lulls - Stone, Nuke Egg and a Black Beauty was the cast.

One of my favorite pics on the slide show has Jesse, Eric & a friend with a triple - I remember that day, had to go to Denver for my neice's graduation, May something, storm came in, I headed home, good snow storm at Conifer, so I dropped down Foxton Road, thinking I would get below the snow - nope, heavy snow to Scraggy View - then rain - 2 miles more and I ran into the boys - all excited and flagging me down - rain was still pretty steady - Eric pulled out the camera to show me the shot - He ran to the bank, placed the camera in the bush, set the shot, hit a timer, then ran back to the guys - 1, 2, 3 LIFT - they did, what a classic shot - you can see the raindrops on the river.

The Platte is back

Week ending February 16th, 2012 + Friday the 17th

Flows started out at 160 cfs, up to 183 cfs on Monday, up again on Wednesday to 210 cfs, then back down to 160 cfs today, Friday.

River can go off a little in the warmer afternoons from runoff with Horse Creek - lots of black bank ice breaking down and leaching into the river.

Big midge has started to hatch - early this year - some trout are feeding on the adults in the afternoon - should be more at 160 cfs - the main hatch has yet to start, but Jeremy found a few at the start of the week on a guide trip, I found more on Thursday - bugs that is, only a few rising trout - next few weeks should see more bugs and more noses

Still have cold a.m.'s, but day time temps have been warmer than Denver - low 40's & 50's, just depends on how heavy the cloud cover is - blue bird sky and it warms quickly

Running a special on Osprey in March - 2 anglers, 2 nights, 1/2 day guided trip for $290.00 ($145.00 / angler) - Osprey is our 2 bd, 1 bath loft above the shop - sat TV, w/d, d/w, really clean, really nice - across the street from the river - this is a great deal

Jeremy has had success this week with Stone Flies, scuds, nuclear eggs, WD 40's, Juju's, & small P-Tails - last Friday he had a trip with our long time client and friend Bob B. - Bob said it was one of the best days he has had with Jeremy - and I got to tell you, they have had some great trips over the years

Weekend weather looks great - river is ice free and really fishing well in the afternoon - little slow in the mornings, just depends on overnight air temps - finding feeding trout everywhere - riffles, runs, pools, shelves - lot of fun - the boys have been getting out almost every day and pretty much whacking 'em

Week ending February 9th 2012 (covers 2 weeks from January 27th)

Flows have been all over the place - from 100 cfs to 125 cfs, back to 100 cfs, down to 75 cfs, up to 125 cfs, up to 175 cfs, down to 110 cfs, then back up to 160 cfs yesterday the 8th - we have no idea why

Not such a bad thing if you catch it right - leaches in a lot of new bugs - stones, scuds and the ever present midge - a whole bunch of midges

Overnight lows have ranged from minus 18 degrees to mid teens, but daytime highs have reached or surpassed Denver highs - all depends on cloud cover

No sense getting on the river before 10 a.m., but stay until you are too cold or can't see the indicator (or if you are lucky, the dry midge imitation)

Did not get out much these past few weeks, but I got one session in with Jesse - he found me downstream - I found a riser - Jesse broke thru the willows about 50 yards downstream - I motion with the hand up, then dunk down - that got his attention

We both cast to the nose, but no action - then we moved downstream to a known dry fly spot - no noses, but I am a stubborn old Coot, so I stayed with the dry cast - missed 2 that were not really interested - then we moved up to the riffle

I have not had the chance to fish with Jeremy or Duane or Jon in a while - just the way things work out - but I got to watch an artist today - just like my other 3 friends - on knees, little roll casts up into a 1.5' riffle - thing about Jesse is he talks out loud - not much so from Jeremey & Duane - little more from Jon - but Jesse takes you all the way thru the operation - me standing back in the bare willows - I swear, if I was not there, the willows would have been talked to

"OK, I, need a littler more weight - I see that Huckleberry" - and more mojo goes on "OK I need a little more depth" so the indicator moves up - then wham, take, Jesse on his feet, get the trout out of the run, nice 15" 'Bow " what a little rascall"

Admired, released, then back on the knees - little further up in the run - now keep in mind this is a 1 to 2 foot deep riffle, maybe 2 feet wide by 20 feet long - an island seam - maybe 6 feet wide when you count the outside slack water

He whacked 2 more

Weight, indicator, drift - stealth

Snow fall last Friday into Saturday the 2nd & 3rd left 18" on the ground - a good one - another 2" on Tuesday - major sludge hatch yesterday at 110 cfs in the backyard - but all is clear today - river is ice free - but if you do find a sludge hatch, just move upstream, you will find clear water, feeding trout above 38 degre water temps - then check the prior paragraph.

Week ending January 26th, 2012

Flow was dropped on Friday from 130 cfs to 100 cfs - river remains ice free, but could develop some sludge hatch and bank ice early this weekend - just move upstream early, then move downstream as the day warms - and it will this weekend - that is just an observation of overnight low temps predicted, combined with the forcast of daytime high air temps - should not be an issue by Sunday

Nice trout fooled and landed this week - not on guide trips, just fishing the water - surprised more anglers are not taking advantage of the 2 night stay at "Bernies" (our nicest river front cabin) and 1/2 day guide special - only good thru Feb.

January - usually the last 2 weeks of this month and the first 2 weeks of February are bitter cold - not this year - unusually warm - some windy days, but not bad - if you are going to venture out this time of year - well, this is the river

No real football this weekend, so come on up, grab a few patterns and enjoy a sweet day on the river - it all looks sooooo good

Week ending January 19th, 2012

Wanted to thank everyone that stopped by the shop or went on a guide trip - or both - in 2011 - we really appreciate the buisness - keeps us floating and we really want to continue this project - we ain't getting rich, but sure are having a lot of fun showing the river off and helping anglers be more productive on the tough waters of the South Platte - keep on coming, we are on the river to help as much as we can - both for anglers & the river

Flow went from 120 cfs to 100 cfs last Thursday, then back up to 130 cfs on Sunday, river is ice free from the Canyon to the confluence with the North Fork

Saturday was incredible, hit low 60's with sun all day - rest of the week has seen some wind, but not as bad as some reports for the North & West - very fishable. Gusts to 60 mph+ were reported in the high country, bet here in the valley we most times get skipped over, so don't rely on the general weather reports - if in doubt, just call the shop.

Most productive times still remain from 10 - 11 a.m. til dark - big attractors trailing a couple of small midge patterns, with weight and indicator placement very critical - we have a diagram in the shop to assist in a proper rig.

Jeremy had one trip this week thet went very well , but mostly the boys have been going out on thier own and really getting into them, I did not get out this week, but scouted the river a few times - looks sooo good

130 cfs is a great winter flow & with air temps hitting from mid 40's to up to 60 degrees, just a very pleasant winter so far.

Great midge hatches - from tiny # 26 early to nice # 20's in the late afternoon - got to hunt out the few risers - mainly late in the day - but you can find a couple

Weekend weather looks great - so does most of next week

Week ending January 12th, 2012

Report covers 2 weeks from December 29th, 2011

Flows have remained very steady, started out the new year at 130 cfs, dropped to 120 cfs on Saturday the 7th where it remains

Morning air temps have ranged from just below "0" to 35 degrees on Saturday the 31st of Dec, but then I woke to minus 20 degrees this morning and a major sludge hatch (frozen, but moving water, pretty impossible to fish through) and bank ice in the backyard - same thing above Deckers bridge, Canyon should not be as bad, and most of the river should be ice free by the weekend with the predicted air temps - if you do run into ice, just keep moving upstream & you should find open water - river in back was sludge free by 2 p.m.

Generally, action has been slow in the mornings, but picks up in the afternoons, gets better, sooner, the further upstream you are - So start up around Deckers and follow the action downstream as the day progresses.

Wanted to thank all of you who spent a few (and sometimes a lot more thann a few) dollars at the shop and / or went on a guide trip - we really love what we do here in Deckers & do not ask for much - but it all helps keep the doors open, and that is what we want.

Small midge patterns trailed behind a Stone, San Juan Worm or egg pattern seem to be the ticket - get the weight right and indicator placement spot on - and watch it like a hawk - some takes are just slight nudges

Couple of Duck Hunters I know came by the shop on Sunday to show me a Merganser with a 5" rainbow 1/2 way dow his gullet - looked like he would have choked on it, if they had not put him down - ever seen a Merganser after a trout ? - relentless pursuit - amazing speed and direction control - faster than a fish

Week ending December 29th, 2011

This report cover 2 weeks from Friday, December 16th, 2011, when the flow was at 140 cfs, dropped to 115 cfs on Wednesday, 21st, then today, the 29th back up to 130 cfs - nice winter flow as long as the overnight temps don't drop below minus 10 degrees - but they did a few - well, more than a few times over the last few weeks - 7 times out of 14 days, 9 times below "0".

That said we had some sludge amd icing up that started last Friday - made things tough, especially the further downstream you went, that plus 3" of snow last Monday into Tuesday and another foot Wednesday into Thursday - most of which is still around, but we had some major melting today with air temps in the mid 50's, some wind, few big gusts, but nothing that was predicted for the mountains (calls for 80 mph gusts in some areas)

No sense in arriving until 10 a.m., but fish until it's too dark or you get too cold.

Some days this week we really had to work for some takes and landed trout, some days they came to you like little Lab pups.

Went out with Tim today, got a few in the back, went downstream, got a few more, then Tim spotted some risers (lots of midges hatching and I even saw a few BWO's) - Tim re-rigged and got 2 on the surface - only risers we saw all day, but it can still be done, even this late in the year

Jesse worked the shop yesterday, he and his brother Shane went out after closing at 3 p.m. - got a few with nymphs, then Shane hung a hog that broke him off above the indicator (very rare) - they both watched as the indicator travelled upstream - then Jesse took off in pursuit - hooked the leader twice below the indicator, but the trout shook loose - got him on the 3rd try - got the trout and whole rig back in, gingerly playing the indicator, attached to the leader, attached to the trout - quick blood knot and Shane was casting again

Water temps are still key - 38 degrees and above the trout will be active, below 38 they will be sluggish to lock-jawed

Our overnight air temps are typically 30 degrees below Denvers low, but day time temps normally equal Denvers high temp - 50 to 60 degree air temp swings are not uncommon in the valley on a daily basis in the winter

Weekend looks good - actually well into next week - with todays melt off a whole lot more river has opened up - come give it a try

Last Wednesday the 21st was the shortest day of the year, Spring is just around the corner. (felt like it today)

Week ending December 15th, 2011

Flow started out at 220 cfs this week, down to 180 on Sunday, then down again to 140 cfs on Monday - I have only seen minor sludge in Trumbull on the coldest mornings, otherwise the river remains ice free - if you do encounter ice or sludge, just move upstream, you will eventually find open water - 140 cfs is a nice winter flow.

Only a few guide trips out this week, but those who went had great success - with fewer trips and shorter hours at the shop, Jeremy has gotten out on his own and has been really slaying them in the afternoon

Duane has been guiding on the river and also guiding pheasant shoots out on the eastern plains - Jack got a job offer in Texas that was too good to pass on - so Duane is taking over his duties with dogs and 12 gauges this year.

Jesse and Jon have been out experimenting with all kinds of patterns - had a "scud competition" on Tuesday - only scud patterns allowed - they didn't do so good - but they got some - the rules were pretty strict, but gray areas were encountered - one of Jon's patterns looked more like a Crane Fly Larva - disqualifications were discussed - next time we are going to limit hook size

At 140 cfs dry / dropper came back into play - Jesse tried an Amy - had a few looks, but all were on the dropped nymphs - first Amy eater this year was in February - side bets are going now to see who can fool one in December & January - the only 2 months of the year that Amy hasn't got one

No sense in getting on the river before 9 a.m. these days - coldest December morning temps I can remember - range from minus 10 to 10 above pre-sunrise - which now pops over the range in the backyard at 8 a.m. - drops to the west a little after 4 p.m.

Prime times are between 10 a.m. & 3:30 - 4 p.m. - our trips are now all 1/2 days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - you oughta try one, hone those winter nymphing skills with the boys

Not as many Bald Eagles on the river this winter, but I watched one in the back try to flush a couple of Mallards this week - kept swooping and diving at them - they stayed tight to an undercut bank and quacked away - guess he wanted to take them on the wing - never did get them to flush - flow was at 220 cfs - high flow for scooping up trout, so I figure ducks enter the menu

Morning snow flurries on Wednesday, but sun by noon - river looks fantastic, weekend looks as good - high 40's, low 50's air temps predicted in the valley

At 38 degree water temp the action picks up, so keep the stream thermometer handy --- and get up here - you can even watch the Football game at the Deckers Cafe (big screen TV) - you can fish until the 4th quater then grab a beer and watch the last few minutes - lately, that's all you need to see.

That time of year - Football & Fly Fishing (and warm fires at the cabin) - sweet.

Week ending December 8th, 2011

Flow was bumped a few times this past week, from 100 to 145 last Thursday, up to 185 on Friday the 2nd of Dec, and up to 220 cfs on Wednesday - all in anticipation of the predicted bitter cold air temps - gotta keep water flowing into Strontia Springs & with Roberts Tunnel pretty much shut down on the North Fork, well, Cheesman has to supply the flow - for this we are thankful

See, at 175 + cfs, we don't see much ice or sludge on this Tailwater section (I heard Spinney Ranch & 11 mile canyon were pretty iced up)

We had 1 trip go out this week, Jeremy took out a nice guy named Jan on Sunday - never got above 25 degrees air temp - but they hooked up a bunch - enough that Jan booked again for Tuesday (he was from Minnesota - a good winter angler - out to Denver for meetings))

Well, I woke to minus 30 degrees at the cabin on Tuesday - saw the temps in a radical drop throughout the evening hours - every time I got up thru the night to take a pee, get some water, or just plain woke up - I ran a water tap for a while - just to make sure the pipes didn't freeze - I got up a lot - kept the furnace going pretty much full blast all night to keep the crawl spaces warm - hate to do that - rather heat the place with wood, but that doesn't help the spaces below the cabin

At 7 a.m. all was still good (had already been up for a few hours) - went to do some dishes at 7:30 a.m. - no water !

Had to heat some of my emergency water from 2 x 5 gallon jugs I keep in the cabin - boiled some up, filled a 2 gallon jug, and ventured into the crawl space where the water system lives

Poured it over all the pipes - bitching and moaning all the way - nasty place the crawl space - but it worked

Then got a call from Jeremy - we decided that a trip was a death notice - way too cold (even though we are now strictly on 1/2 day trips from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Jan had already broken his sweet Sage rod tip on Sunday trying to free some guide ice - so Jeremy called him and cancelled before he left from Denver - we both hated to do it - but this was stupid cold (if you do angle in these conditions - and we all do - try some chapstick on the guides before you wet the line - easy, cheap trick)

Now the good news, only a few anglers have been on the river in days - the river never froze up - the trout are eating and getting less cautious at 220 cfs - weekend looks like high 40's to mid 50's air temps - pretty ideal for an outing

Rule of thumb in the valley - our overnight air temps can be 20 - 30 degrees below Denver's overnight low - but we normally equal or exceed the Denver daytime high

Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:50 a.m. - some sections of the river now see no sun all day - we suggest you find some sun and cast to the shade - or just stay and fish in the sun - big difference in comfort

As the sun trackcs to the south out back, it has nearly reached the point that it starts to turn back to the north - Dec 21st I think - these air temps are early for this time of year - more like late January / early February - but the Almanac is just about right - nasty December, mild January / February - wet (snow) March / April

I like that prediction

Small stuff on a nymph rig - get the weight right and indicator placement - keep a sharp eye for risers - still got them on a small midge ( #20 ) - that will be tougher at 220 cfs, but to the keen eye .....

Week ending December 1st - 2011

Flow was bumped to 100 cfs on Wednesday the 29th of Nov - just in time for the brutal cold conditions predicted

Woke this a.m. ( Dec 1st ) to near total white out at the cabin - snow day - really sweet - gives the trout a break = a little dumber = easier to fool = at 100 cfs, more hook-ups

Last week ( the week I missed reporting on ) was outstanding - weather wise - wind was a bother, but mainly in gusts - day before" T" day and "T" day itself - mid 60's - so beautiful

Week before I went out on a Friday, fooled 3 nice trout downstream on foam tops - not rising - then came up to the shop - had Jesse and Gill (his Aussie Pup ) spot from the dirt road - fooled 3 more - it was fun - "Danny, up in the riffle" - OK - go up to the riffle - blam !!

"Danny, down in the spooky water - 2 feet off that little bush" - Wham - good trout, Gill starts to dance, Jesse just hoots

We have been finding rising trout from 11:30 a.m. on thru the afternoon - most on a good size midge - # 20 - may change a little at 100 cfs, but should still be on.

On "T" day 4 of us found a "Pod ?" of trout rising in a 20 foot stretch of water - all 3 of us started to lay out casts - the 4th walked off in disgust -- all 3 of us hooked each others lines - all 3 of us eventually hooked a trout - really stupid stuff, cuss words were very original - gotta love Thanksgiving

We all worked down to a favorite bend, then Marc and I spotted some feeding trout on the gravel just outside some good rocky habitat - trout on the gravel are feeding - he had on a dry cast (from the riffle above) - he started to change out to a nymph rig (3 drifts over them proved they were not interested in poking up a nose) - Marc is good - I started to give him the crap "Hurry up, they are gonna spook out of there" "c'mon, hurry, theyr are gonna run" and so on - he got the job done in good time, "guide time" - and laid out a decent presentation - nice 14 inch brown was the reward - then we spotted a hog - 1st drift - Wow, it took - actually hammered the fraud - easy 22" Buck rainbow - faught and landed well (He kept it from running downstream by staying just below him)

Tim asked "what did it eat ? - "Little bead head Barr Emerger - they are just hammering it"! - Tim starts to re-rig - Marc decides to be the guide - sets Tim up in the same run, but on the outside of the bubble line (Tim does not need a guide, but we tend to do that with each other) - first drift, bam ! - nice trout - Me "is he on the Barr's?" - "Nope. tied on an RS2" says Tim.

Weekend is looking like a bitch - air temp wise - should be fantastic - flow up to 100 cfs - may ice up a little downstream, but should be OK by afternoon past Night Hawk hill,, those that "rough it" can expect few anglers and eager trout - probably a little lazy, easy trout rising - no reason to arrive before 10 a.m. - off the river by 4 p.m. - wear Watch Caps, long johns, fingerless gloves and chap stick - some for your lips, most for your rod guides - helps them from gathering ice - but once they do, and they will, just dip the rod in the river - clears the ice for a few drifts

This is a nice time of year - for those that hunt rising trouit - but better for those who ply the water with the proper nymph rig - both Jeremy & Jesse have had outstanding trips these past 2 weeks - sub and surface - too many to really count - but all in double digits

Week ending November 17th, 2011

Flow was dropped from 75 cfs to 50 cfs on Monday - we are not sure why, thought it was heading the other way.

Wind has been an issue all week, but between the lulls, I managed to drag a few up with small para-chutes & foam tops - and they were not rising, just casting to fishy spots.

Work continues on West Creek & Horse Creek bank stabilization, so if you find the water off around Deckers / Trumbul, just head above the bridge or a few miles downstream

Thursday I woke to "0" degrees air temp and had reports of ice downstream - once again, if you encounter ice just keep moving upstream - you will eventually find open water.

Nymphing has been very productive on the guide trips, lots of quality trout being fooled - nuclear eggs, scuds, miracles, pheasant tails, mercury midge RS 2's - standard small stuff

The Osprey deal mentiond above is still available - place is fully equipped, just need food, clothes & fishing gear - has a microwave, dishwasher, washer / dryer, full tiled bath, 2 bedroom, views of the river, large deck, fully eqipped kitchen, all linens - perfect winter hold up

Week ending November 10th, 2012

Flow was bumped today up to 75 cfs, hoping it will hit 100 cfs by the weekend

Pretty chilly week (this a.m. I read "0" degrees on the outside thermo, but hit mid 50's by noon) & the weekend looks even warmer - mid 60's predicted. No snow this week, storm due Monday into Tuesday went south - still some snow on the north facing slopes from last week, but not enough to cause any discoloration to the river when it melts

What is causing Horse Creek to go a little off is bank stabilization on West Creek, Douglas County is placing granite boulders along some of the washed out areas from the summer storms along Rt 67 - and as they place them, some debris ends up in the creek - if you find dirty water below Deckers, just go upstream of the bridge, or head a few miles downstream - it should be clear & I know they will not be working on the creek this weekend

Still finding rising trout after noon to small midge & BWO's - gotta hunt them out, but they can be found - don't even have to be rising to work them up with the right patterns - foam top, parachute and cripple can all work if you cast to the right water

Should be a nice weekend - not many anglers on the river all week - makes the trout a little easier, but they are still spooky with this low flow, so be stealthy and you will hook up with the right patterns and drift - nymphing in the a.m., look for noses in the afternoon

Sun now crests the backyard range at 7:20 a.m. - drops over the West Range at 4:35 p.m. - no reason to really be here before 9 a.m. - starting to get into "Bankers Hours" - only a few days left for full day guide trips - now moving to 1/2 day 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. mode for the winter - shop hours are changing on Monday - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Week ending November 3rd, 2011

Flow started out at 75 cfs, then dropped to 45 cfs on Monday for the DOW (now Colorado Parks & Recreation) trout population shocking survey this week

Cheesman is 7 feet from the spillway - predicted flows for the rest of the winter will be 100 - 150 cfs - flows should go up this weekend, which is a goosd thing, 'cause we had a foot of snow in the valley Wednesday morning and as it slowly melts, Horse Creek has been off in the afternoons & with the main river at 45 cfs, it has gone a little chocolate in the p.m. hours

Ran a real Rocky Mountain weather gammut this week - mid 60's and beautiful days to start, then the the storm and minus 5 degreess air temp at the cabin on this a.m. - that's COLD - but it kept most anglers away - trout got a good break

Weekend looks good though - some flurries Saturday morning, then mid 50's - still finding some afternoon risers to BWO's and small midge - best to fish a dead drifted, high sticked, nymph rig until the noses show

Still a lot of snow on the ground, fun to go out and track the game that shares this special spot with we anglers - not too many Bald Eagles this year that I have seen (had an Osprey on the electric pole next to the cabin on Tuesday) - but a whole bunch of Mule Deer - one little 4 pronger has assembled a little harem of a 1/2 dozen does & fawns here at the cabin - hang around most all day long

Clocks change on Sunday morning, sun will rise at 7:15 a.m. over the back range, but set over the West at around 5 p.m. - the bugs and the trout don't know we do this (they don't care and I'm still not sure why we do it), so adjust your hatch watch accordingly

Not many trips this week, but the ones that went out had outstanding results - small stuff now - millions of midge larva in the river.

Week ending October 27th, 2011

Sun now crests the back range at 8:05 a.m.

Overnight air temps have been chilly to down right cold - 5 degrees on Thursday, most in teens or low 20's, but the weekend should be really nice - 60's predicted - river can fish well starting at 9 a.m., turns on as the water warms and the bugs appear - still some small BWO's & a ton of midges

Storm hit Tuesday night into Wednesday - only agout 4 - 5" on the ground in the valley, but surrounding ranges got a foot or more

Good thing is, nobody fished for 2 days (Thursday was dead too), so the trout got a break and should be eager to take over the next few days

We have gone back to nymphing with small stuff (Mercuries, Miracles, Jujus, Black Beauties have all produced), then switch out to a small parachute trailing a foam top emerger when/if you start to see some noses - worked really well for me on a trip this past Monday

Horse Creek went off a little on Thursday due to some rapid snow melt, but should not affect the river this weekend

Flow is at 75 cfs - little low for this time of year, but it looks really sweet.

Week ending October 20th, 2011 (covers 2 weeks from October 7th)

Flow started out at 105 cfs, then bumped up to 140 cfs on Oct 14th, dropped down to 105 cfs on that Saturday the 15th, then down to 80 cfs on Oct 19th - guess they are trying to fill the reservoir, 'cause it is way down

This is not a bad flow, really good for dry/droppers - but the trout are spooky - real spooky - so stay low and stealthy - that's the key these days - you would be amazed at how many trout you freak out by just looking at the water from a point you think is a safe distance

Tricos are pretty much done for the year - but I found a small swarm at noon today - still some small BWO's here & there, and some trout rising to them today - but a terrestrial with a dropped nymph can be deadly - tons of hatching midge all day

A few calls on the "Osprey" Winter special (see above), Think it will go soon, too good a deal, so don't wait to get in on it, great place to set up shop for winter nymphing - 2 miles from Gill Trailhead & Cheesman Canyon

River looks great, lots of habitat, but you have to be willing to move from good runs to good runs at these low flows - that's what the trout do - gotta think "fishy"

So re-cap - COLD a.m.'s - anywhere from mid teens to low 30's pre-sunrise - highs in low 70's by afternoon - Love the Rockies - Not much consistant surface action, but you can drag some up - nymphs are back to the small kind to cover the midge population - but keep an eye out for the Mayflies - gotta cover all bets.

Some work has started this week on Westcreek by Douglas County - will be stabilizing the banks with large granite - this could put Horse Creek off a little as it enters the Platte at Deckers - but it should not be bad - and anything anyone does will be welcomed.

Still some color up here in the trees, but most have lost the Fall foilage - now the shrubs kick in - I was out on a 1/2 day trip today - spectacular visuals - and some good trout - this is the perfect time of year.

Week ending October 6th, 2011 (covers 2 weeks from Sept 22nd)

Ok, back on track - first day of this report was the 1st day of Fall - September 23rd & it hit 70 degrees air temp - hit 80 the next day - flow went up to 300 cfs, then up to 325 cfs - the Marsten Diversion Canal had to be opened for water rights long ago grandfathered in - and the level of Strontia Springs had to be kept constant to allow the dredging barge to hold position - so the flow stayed high for this time of year

Now, the diversion ditch has been closed, so the release from Cheesman was dropped - down to 280 cfs on Saturday the 1st of October, down to 185 on the 2nd, down to 110 on the 3rd and down to 105 cfs on the 4th - nice Winter / Fall flow

Check out our "Osprey" Winter rental deal (see above) great chance to have a winter haven on the river

BWO's - the small kind - continue to hatc - # 22 - small guys, but you have to hunt out the risers - Tricos are pretty much done, but it was great to see them back in such large swarms - pre-Hayman stuff - flows were just a little too high to get most trout on the spinners, but that can be a good thing for next year - more egg laying females made the complete cycle - more bugs next year !

We are going mostly to dry / dropper rigs on guide trips - I just cast the dry hoping for a hungry trout - but when I see a riser I switch to the small BWO patterns I carry n in the shirt and send a target cast - works about every time - this is good stuff

Fall colors seemed to be nore proninate this year - just electric - shedding pine needles seemed to be more than most years - don't know what it means, but it means somthing - Farmers Almanac calls for a wet December, mild January & February (+6 degrees above normal) then a wet March into April - pretty ideal if it holds

Next week looks great - except for this Saturday - snow and nasty ( that can also be a good thing - fewer anglers - more rising trout) but then back in the 70's - gotta love October and 100 cfs

High 20's, low 30's pre-sunrise - mid 70's by afternoon - just too good to not call in sick

Week ending September 22nd, 2011

Quick report, real busy

Flow was bumped from 195 cfs to 250 cfs on Monday (we do not know why, pretty high for this time of year)

Trico spinner swarms have been impressive all week - like pre-Hayman fire days - but with that much water, not all the trout are getting on the spinners

BWO's - the tiny Fall series - are improving each day

River is gin clear and looks fantastic

Elk bugleing in the backyard range pre-sunrise - really cool - trees are just getting ready to peak in color - couple more weeks and then they go barren

Mornings are getting colder - but day time temps are great - looks like a fantastic weekend - come on up, stop by the shop for the latest info and get out there

Week ending September 15th, 2011

Flow started out at 150 cfs, bumped up to 315 cfs on Tueasday (we don't know why), then dropped on Wednesday to 250 cfs and again today down to 200 cfs

Heavy rains on Wednesday put Horse Creek off, but it wasn't bad below the bridge at Deckers this morning and is clearing pretty quickly thru today - clarity on the whole river should be fine by the weekend and air temps look great - mid to high 70's

Morning air temps still range low 30's to low 40's - swallows and hummingbirds have departed the valley for points south & we spotted the first Bald Eagle this morning - in a little early this year

Water temps are reaching low to mid 60's on bright sunny days, but are generally good - the scare we had this summer seems to have passed

Seeing Tricos, BWO's (in size 18 and size 22), crane flies and the odd caddis - still have to hunt out rising trout, but it can be done - as early as 9 a.m. and can last off and on all day - I took a beautiful Buck 'Bow on an Amy's on Tuesday just fishing the water - turned on the fraud and inhaled it 2 feet down stream from his holding spot - then I switched back to a small foam top and fooled a few more that were rising - they were not steady risers, but you stop and watch, focus on a good stretch - Oh yeah, there goes one.

Fishable light by 6:30 a.m., sun now crests the back yard range at 7:25 a.m.

Some good solid afternoon showers today again put the river off, but I am sure all will be clear by the weekend

Trees are going into color - just the perfect time of year to walk along ( and through ) a mountain trout stream & maybe fool a few - but don't forget to stop and take in the sights - only happens once a year.

Week ending September 8th, 2011

Really starting to feel like Fall this week - pre-sunrise air temps in the mid 30's to low 40's, really helps with cooling down the river & we have not had any problems with water temps all week - on Saturday morning I had to scrape ice for the Jeep's windshield before heading to the shop

Trico Spinner falls continue, same program, just have to hunt them out - and the risers, but it is happening

BWO's also started this week - as early as 11 a.m. - another size 22 rusty May Fly has appeared - first time I have seen it, so really don't know what it is & all kinds of Caddis in all kinds of sizes and colors - sporadic but present

Gotta study the rise forms to figure out what bug is being eaten or just fish the water with a hopper type pattern in the afternoons, maybe drop a few nymphs - all kinds of fun

Flow started out at 200 cfs, dropped to 150 cfs on Wednesday - pretty ideal conditions. No, I take that back - ideal conditions

River is off color just slightly below Deckers, lots of rain in the Horse Creek drainage on Tuesday & Wednesday, and the new swamp about 4 miles from the shop is not looking very nice, despite some work done by CDOT last week - they didn't really do much - still looks nasty, but West Creek, before it enters the damaged area is gin clear, by the weekend all should be fine - you would not really notice the clarity until you get above Deckers where the water is truly crystal clear

Major marijuana plantation bust on Tuesday - all kinds of law enforcement, SWAT teams and 2 helicopters - Jesse, his brother Shane, Jon and I watched from the porch as net full after net full of plants were air lifted out of the farm from over the back ridge. These are sophisticated operations in the National Forest - drip irrigation, the works - and some pretty scary farm hands tending the crops - not somthing you want to stumble upon during Elk & Deer season - so we are glad they are gone, but we were all hoping to see one of the nets bust open near the home hole

So this is it, the absolute best time of the year (allthough it is always really good up here) but this is my favorite, low clear flows, hungry trout, lots of surface action and perfect air temps - some of the Cottonwoods are already turning, along with the 2 Elms out front - yup, you oughta be up here, Hell, rent "Bernie's" or "Osprey" for a couple of nights, do a 1/2 day trip so the boys can get you into the rhythm of the river, then just explore on you own - nothing could be finer - trust me

Week ending September 1st, 2011

Flows started out at 325 cfs, dropped to 270 on Monday, down to 225 on Wednesday and down to 200 cfs on Thursday - great fall flow, river is really turning on & looks fantastic - lots of habitat and trout are looking up - some real good ones

Trico's continue to hatch, mate and spin down - it is sporadic - some swarms are massive, some not so much - you gotta hunt them out - the risers too, starts as early as 8 a.m. and continues to 10 a.m. or so

Jeremy, Duane, Jon, Jack & Jesse (back from the tour for a few weeks) have all had good to amazing trips this week, lots of trout fooled, some of them even brought to hand.

Dry / Drpper has come back into play - the river changes (ie. trout feeding patterns and food sources) throughout the day, so you have to observe and adjust - which we do & it works - even a little anticipation of what is gonna happen gives you a real edge, or what just happened and how to take advantage of it (OK, drowned Trico Spinners)

Now into my favorite time of year on the Platte (after this weekend !!!) - next 2 - 21/2 months will be lights out & if you want to fish with us and really learn the river, now is the time.

CDOT started working on the new swamp created a few weeks ago in Westcreek about 4 miles from the shop - not sure what they are trying to accomplish, but the work is making the Creek ugly below (gin clear above) - so Horse Creek is off as it enters the Platte across the street from the shop - not bad enough to discolor the river at all - but I hope they get this one right - at present the jury is still out (from my observations)

A few weeks ago, Jeremy got his client Jay into a Brookie downstream from the shop, this week Jon got his client into another - solid 12" and picture perfect - in all my years on the river I only fooled one, about 10" - on a streamer - the wonders of the river and the trout in the drainage.

Get up here, now is the time.

Week ending August 25th, 2011

Flow remained consistent at 325 cfs, river is gin clear from dam to confluence with the North Fork

Tricos continue to hatch & swarm - best surface action from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. on Spinners, but it all depends on where you are - just gotta hunt them out. Drowned Spinners can work for up to an hour or so after the fall

Have had up to 5 adult males in the morning on the porch screens, then some mornings none - swarm at Deckers was huge on Tuesday, not as good on Wednesday

Water temps are still a real concern - best bet is to get up here early (6:30 - 7 a.m.,) hit the Tricos and quit around noon, 1 p.m.

Hoppers are really starting to turn on - hit the banks and pockets with the right patterns

Week ending August 18th, 2011

Flow started out at 400 cfs, dropped to 360 cfs last Friday, down to 295 cfs on Monday & the river looks fantastic - all the feeder creeks have dropped in volume and the river is gin clear from Cheesman dam to the confluence with the North Fork

Trico spinner falls have been massive to skinny, just depends on where you are - and more importantly - where it occurs, but more and more trout are getting on the spinners - this is fun stuff - you just have to hunt it out

Air and water temps have been a concern all week, we have had nice cool nights in the valley (avg about 40 degrees pre-sunrise), but high 80's by the afternoon - water temps have hit 70 degrees downstream from the shop, as stated before, we quit fishing at 67 degrees water temp., we hope you do too.

Hoppers are starting to come into play, more so in the meadow sections downstream from the shop, but I picked up a nice rainbow above the bridge on a Crystal stimmie today, so they (the trout) are looking up - saw him splash, must have been a caddis or moth, only thing I had close in the hat brim was the stimmie, tied it on and 2nd drift, subtle take, delicate set and a nice reward - easy 18 inches

Worked the shop this past weekend, typical parking lot zoo (can kinda drive you crazy - people have no common sense), went out the door to have a smoke, stood on the 1st wading boot wiping mat (we have 3) looked down, and on the 3rd mat out were 2 dog turds, out on the boardwalk was another, that one had already been walked thru (it tracked towards the General Store - sad for them, happy for us at the shop)

I got rid of the 2 on the mat, Alaine ( from the store) & I washed the "walk thru" off the deck - these kind of actions dictate why we don't keep firearms in the shop on summer weekends - just the short aluminum bat and a 3 pound sledge - that way, I can only be accused of a good beating, not thinning out the gene pool (which it sorely needs) - what do people think? - this group probably had left the buckets of worms my buddy Tim found down in Trumble by the bridge. Some people just have no respect, no clue.

If I had caught them, they would have had a shit shampoo (washes off my hands a lot easier than hair) - Boy, I miss January on days like that.

Thought I had a new concept on directing people downstream, instead of telling them to walk over to the bridge, throw a stick in the water and follow it, I tried this rendition- "Don't go left out of the parking lot, don't cross the little bridge on the dirt road across from the shop, don't cross the big bridge over the river, just bare right and follow the river" - 'So, I go that way?", as they point to the way to Woodland Park - (a left out of the lot).

Nope, tell you what, walk over to that bridge, pick up a stick .............

But the summer is ending, just a few more weeks and we get the river back from the abusers, and I have a real gut feeling this is going to be an epic Fall season - it is just all adding up - big trout, low, clear water, fall colors (a few of the Cottonwoods are already starting to color on the tips) & plenty of surface action - 2 weeks away from my favorite season on the South Platte - and that runs all the way to Thanksgiving (and beyond)

Week ending August 11th, 2011

OK, Back on track with the weekly report

Lets start with flows - Last Saturday (7/30) we were at 400 cfs, the river was pretty much unfishable due to clarity below Deckers bridge, we figure the flash flood came in at 60 - 70 cfs from Horse Creek. Sunday the flow was bumped up to 430 cfs, Monday to 490 cfs, Wednesday up to 555 cfs, Monday (8/8) down to 505 cfs, And yesterday down to 450 cfs, today, Aug 11th, down to 400 cfs

We were thankful for the push to 555 cfs, helped wash out debris that came down in the flash flood (s) - yup, had another bad spell last week- right now the river looks great - gin clear above Deckers and into the Canyon, 9 out of 10 in clarity below Deckers - a remarkable recovery considering the damage done from the heavy storms in the Horse Creek drainage - we are very impressed, 'cause it was real ugly. The new 'Swamp" - 4 miles from the shop is pretty nasty looking, but on Tuesday, West Creek went into it clear and came out of it clear.

Trico mating & spinner falls have been very impressive - like pre-Hayman times - but unusually high flows for Mid August have not seen too many trout getting on the spinners - just a matter of time - had 3 male tricos on the porch screens this a.m., watched them go thru a final molt at sunlight, flew off as soon as the sun crested the back range and hit the screens at 7 a.m. - pretty remarkable stuff - meet up with the hatching females - have a bit of fun, then expire to the river surface - the girls lay the eggs for next years hatch - guess the boys have a smoke - why not, gonna die anyhow

Surprised not more of you are taking advantage of our "Osprey & Guide " special - scroll up above the report to see the details.

As the flows continue to drop, the river should really start to produce, seeing lots of hoppers, caddis are still around, Pale Morning Duns were a little dissapointing this summer (compared to last year) and even though trout are not rising consistently to Trico spinners, they are gobbling up the drowned ones. We have had great success with certain weighted nymph combinations.

Water temps are still a major concern, so please heed the last report and put away the rods at a water temp of 67 degrees

Had 2 Golden Eagles in the Backyard on Tuesday the 2nd, rare sight - did not hang around - only witnessed one other in the valley all these years.

Had a fawn last year that broke her left forleg - not surprised the way they hop around like bunnies when so young - lots of ankle snapping holes - even for humans who don't pay attention - She hung around the cabin alot last fall, then dissapeared, thought the Lions got her - last week she re-appeared, had to be the same girl - pretty amazing she survived the winter and the Big Cats - then 3 days ago she was back - with twins - what a fighter - kinda like the South Platte here in Deckers

Week ending July 28th, (+ Friday the 29th, and Saturday morning)

Flow started out at 600 cfs last Friday, was dropped to 535 on Tuesday, 430 on Wednesday, and down to 400 cfs on Thursday.

P.M. rains started Tuesday, the river would go brown from road run off after 4 or 5 p.m., but cleared by the next day - these were pretty intense cells, but the river did great

Then Friday afternoon we got slammed in the Horse Creek drainage - one of those nasty cells (blocked the sat signal at the shop for internet & TV)

Went out this morning (Saturday) to check - Wig Wam creek was clear, 4 mile (Y camp creek) was off but low, Horse creek was a mess - river was chocolate downstream from Deckers Bridge, clear above

Drove Horse Creek to the confluence of West & Trout creeks (that make up Horse Creek) - they were both chocolate - can't follow trout creek because of private property, so no idea how far up the washouts affected her, so I follwed West Creek to Mile Marker 94 (6 miles from the shop) and she was clear - but the washouts I found between MM 97 & 94 were pretty bad - some new swamps had re-channeled the creeks - so it will take a day or 2 to get things cleared out - this is a big test of the drainage - how soon it clears.

WATER TEMPS - they are getting critical in the river - we, along with a few other reputable Outfitters, have agreed to stop fishing at 67 degree water temps on guided trips - we have seen some dead trout and it is all temperature related - the expired trout were probably faught too long, mis-handled upon landing, or just not revived properly.


If you missed it, scroll back up to just above the weekly report, we are running a great special in August on a lodging and guide package

Got a good one - last week a father & son from Mid West came in, kid really wanted "to try this Fly Fish'in" - they were a little odd, but I rented them some rods"Dun't need no waders, weese just gonna fish from the bank" - I rigged up 2 rods with big dries and gave them some basic instruction, sold them 2 backups just in case. They were back within 45 minutes and all was a mess - kid "how you s'pose to catch a fish with these" - he lacked the fly I had tied on, the dad "Dun't mean to complain, but this here pole broke raht here, I think you need to re-glue it" - he was pointing at the ferrull of a 2 piece 9 foot rod.

I asked them how hard they were casting, he demonstrated with 2 hands gripping an imaginary rod "we wanted to get out in the middle whar the big'uns are, but the line jus wudn't come off the reel" He put the 2 backups in the cup on the counter and they departed, dad remarkig "I jus' dun't thank this is ahr thang"

So, to re-cap, the river above Deckers Bridge thru the Canyon to Cheesman dam is gin clear, be a day, maybe 2 before it clears below Deckers

Week ending July 21st, 2011

Busy week on the river and in the shop - so this weeks report is short, but pretty sweet

Flow was dropped from 800 cfs to 600 cfs on Monday - we will now see outflows matching inflows at Cheesman, run aff has peaked, so the outflow will gradually come down thru the next weeks.

Cheesman is currently about 1 foot down from the spillway with about 625 cfs coming in ( a little less)

No significant rain this week in the valley - river is pretty much gin clear

No real surface action (though nice Trico Spinner falls have occured) - justy too much water to even drag them up - dry / dropper can work in some sections, but nymphing has been excellent & the choice this past week on the guided trips

Week ending July 14th, 2011

Flow was raised last Friday from 750 cfs to 800 cfs - even with all the major monsoon rains this week, the river remains clear from Cheesman down to the confluence with the North Fork

That's not to say that some afternoons it wemt brown from "road run-off" - these were heavy downfalls - one on Monday really blew out Horse Creek, but it had little effect on the river overall & Horse Creek looks good now

Sad thing is, that little beaver pond I fished last week has silted in badly, good thing is the dam held and the beaver will just move on and build another one - and he (she) is quite the engineer

Jeremy, Duane, Jack & L'il John have all had good trips this week, despite the high water (have to approach it a little differently) - one admirer of trout being fooled (not part of the trip) asked Duane "What are they taking?" - says Duane "A real good drift"

We are really happy with how the river has maintained this week - few years ago these storms would have had it running chocolate milk for weeks

A few Tricos on the Porch screens this week - was a little worried about the lack of bugs clinging to the screens, but figured it out - Pair of Western Wood Pee-Wees have a nest under the porch - babies just hatched - these things are bug slayers - all day long - and they pick Caddis and Mayflies off the screens the second they land - so adept, they don't even touch the mesh, just pluck them in mid flight, kiting, sometimes you can hear the little beeks clack together

Week ending July 7th + some of Friday July 8th

Flow was bumped from 550 cfs up to 600, then 650 cfs last Friday (2 bumps in one day), went to 750 cfs on Saturday, than 800 cfs Friday (today) - the reservoir level was dropping at 750 cfs, but we got hit with some good & well needed rain Thursday night, started to fill Cheesman again - that was the reason for the bump - we do not expect it to stay at 800 cfs for long

Many are calling to hear about the conditions and whether it is worth the drive - I always say "Yes" - but then some come by and complain - I look at it this way - the trout never stop eating, somtimes they eat different bugs, but they never stop, no matter what the flow or clarity - so you figure it out and cast the rod - and you hook up - so my response will always be "Yes" - it may not be what you are looking for - but this is Fly Fishing - so as long as you don't drown, it's worth the drive.

Waited to file this until Friday p.m. to see what the latest storms would do - the river browned up pretty good Thursday evening (mainly road run off) , had me a little concerned, but on the porch, Friday morning with a cup of coffee as the sun rose, I could again see the sand bars in the back yard - so she cleared herself out nicely over night, Friday morning the feeder creeks were all gin clear.

So come on up and throw some casts - river clarity is great - may look a little off from the road, but step on in, you will see what I mean.

First Fawns of the year started to appear this week - a single with Mom on Thursday, pair of twins this morning (Please keep your dogs close and leashed, or better yet, leave them at home - every year I find orphans that were separated from moms by curiose pets - I love dogs, fish with Gill when I can, but please keep it in mind)

DOW stocked 140,000 1 inch Tasmanian Hoffer Rainbows this week - from Cable Hole to Scraggy View - no telling how they will fair, but fingers crossed.

Fished a Beaver Pond that I found in the area on Tuesday, one of the feeder creeks (private property, but the rancher let me on) - don't think any trout had been in that creek since the Hayman Fire - found 2 suckers, a good size Dace, fooled a good Brown and 6 Rainbows - no Brookies, which surprised me - but it was fun - gotta love them Beavers.

Week ending June 30th, 2011

Flow started out at 150 cfs this week, bumped up to 200 on Friday morning, up again to 250 cfs on Monday, 325 on Tuesday, 450 on Wednesday and 550 cfs today.

E-Mail from Dave at the Water Board on Tuesday said we could see 700 cfs this weekend - 500 cfs from the river out of 11 mile and 200 + out of Tarryall - I honestly did not think we would see these flows this season, but I am happy we are.

Good news, the river looks good (after the initial push of new water) - she clears right up, & you are basically looking at 3 rivers - river right, river left & the middle - forget about the middle and concentrate on the banks, that's where a lot if the trout migrate to in high flows.

Had the following on the porch this past week - Tricos, Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns and a few types of Caddis - just a bunch of bugs - along with tons of morning midges - healthy river.

Bad ass hail storm on Monday night at 7 p.m., dinged the crap out of the Jeep - came in too fast for me to re-act and move the Jeep under the elm tree out front - these were true "Golf Balls" - even if I did run out, I probably would have had my clock cleaned - Jeremy and the guys would have found me in the a.m. - beaten to death by ice - made the river look like a Rambo Movie - as the hail hit, 3 - 4 foot plumes of water went skyward - just like an AK 47 would produce - never have seen hail like this up here - ever

Watched an Osprey take a nice trout in the back yard on Monday afternoon, quite the angler - then a Sparrow Hawk (book says an American Kestral - Falcon family) perched in the Wood Pecker tree for a while (which does not get used as much as parts of the cabin - little rascals) - and the Goofy Sea Gull continues his / her wandering up and down the river

I like to fish these high flows upstream with a dry or dry / dropper rig - just step into the river along the bank - river bank to your left, lay out about 20 feet of line, place the first cast tight to the bank, next 6" out - and continue in a fan pattern out about 3 - 4' from the first cast along the bank, then slowly move up 3' and start again - very realxing, extremely rewarding at times.

Still, probably one of the most "Fishable" rivers in the stste - just approach it with a new attitude (and tactics)

Week ending June 23rd, 2011

Flow started out at 100 cfs, bumped up to 150 cfs on Wednesday - we are told by Dave at the Water Board that the flow will gradually increase thru the weekend into early next week to about 300 - 400 cfs, matching the inflow.

Cheesman is almost full, due mainly to the run-off from Tarryall Creek, so we should expect the outflow to match the inflow - We do not expect 300+ flows for long - and they will do some good - already have - Pale Morning Duns and Tricos have become very active last few days. I was amid a swarm of mating Tricos on Wednesday - looked like old times, even fooled a sipper with a #22 Para Adams around 10 a.m. (did not have any spinners in the fishing shirt, won't make that mistake again)

Still finding the odd big Green Drake - not so much around Deckers, but further downstream - some are #12, some about a #16 - we don't carry true Drake patterns, but we improvise with what we have and they work really well - probably 'cause they just don't appear in numbers, so anything close will fool them - Caddis, odd BWO - bunch of tiny midges in the morning - just tons of bugs

Goofy Sea Gull is still roaming up and down the river - Swallow family groups are present at Deckers & Trumbull, but the ones that usually hung out at the cabin never returned - along with the annoying House Wren - the book says "A prolific songster" - I just found the consatnt "song" annoying (mainly during naps) - but I do miss it in a way.

If I catch one more #@!hole fishing "Power Bait" in the restricted water, '"cause it says arttificial" on the jar, I am going to go Postal - some know they are breaking the game laws - some are so ignorant, they truly believe they are OK - See, the rules dictate "Artificial Flys and Lures Only", so, since the jar says "Artificial Bait", they think it is OK - I always ask them to read the whole label - then stop them at "Bait"

Jeremy participated in a 100 mile mountain bike race this past weekend - that's right, 100 miles - I have not DRIVEN 100 miles in the last 2 weeks - 100 miles, and he finished - pretty cool (although he stopped 20 yards short of the line, little woozy, "til the crowd cheered him on, then he crossed gotta hydrate Jeremy) - we are very proud of his effort and accomplishment - 100 MILES, in one day.

Fishable light at 5:30 a.m., sunrise at 6:15 a.m., the longest days of the year are upon us, the sun has reached it's morning apex to the North over the Back Yard Range, and will slowly, but gradually start the march to the South

Had a Physics Prof in college, actually diving school, but we all got an A.S. if we finished - it was a real college, just a different program, any way, his first intro to us (50 young divers, mostly surfers, a few good swimmers, couple of engineers, some cowboys & a few bull riders) was this - he tossed a tennis ball into the air and asked "When does it stop moving?" - well, in chorus, we all replied "when it stops going up" - "wrong, it never stops" comes the Profs reply (he wore a Bow Tie, a real one) - he lost us at thet point, and that was the first day, and we had to take the course.

He had a remote slide show button, and would show us bridges collapsing and real gas laws, (which is all we were interseted in - Partial Pressure of gas was crucial to our survival) while he faced us, the screen rolling down on command, the slides appearing behind his back, One time we snuck in and scrolled down the screen, taped on some "Pin Ups" and scrolled it back up - when the screen was scrolled down during class, he got a standing ovation - until he turned around - as I recall we stole the final exam and cheated - but not on the gas laws

One thing I will always remmeber about that class - one formula - M=FA - mass equals force times accelleration - came in handy in bar fights + the gas laws - See, I'm still alive., so I took away some good data.

But he was right, the sun does not stop moving North in the a.m. of June 21st, it just starts moving South - it did not stop - so I apologize - not for the "Pin Ups" - but for the "What ?, it has to stop" also I apologize (along with a few others) for stealing the final.

Storms (Some heavy Boomers and rain) overnight Sunday into Monday had no real effect on the river, Horse Creek was a little off and higher, but looking at all the washouts along Rt 126 anf Rt 67, pretty impressive - river looks good - sun now crests the Back yard Range at 6:15 a.m., fishable light at 5:30 a.m., lasts well into the 9 p.m. range.

I fooled trout this week that made my arm hurt - fat, so strong, incredible colors - browwn, rainbows and "Cut Bows" - all on the surface - a dropper would have produced more, but it was good enough for who it was for.

This river is really doing well - lets go over the bugs again (just 'cause I like the range of them) Caddis, Gren Drakes, Tricos, BWO's and Pale Morning Duns - through in the odd Beetle and Flying Ant - sweet.

Week ending June 16th, 2011

Flow remained steady at 100 cfs, Cheesman is still about 10' down from the spillway, filling slowly - big concern is that the outflow water is coming from the mid-pipes - only 60' deep, so that means warm water to start with - the lower pipes are being worked on, maybe all summer - so keep an eye on water temps, when they get over 65 degrees, try to put the rods away and walk the banks working on sight fishing skills - this will really help the trout.

River is gin clear and looks beautiful.

We have had "0" precipitation, so things are again dangerously dry, please be careful, We understand the National Forest has enacted a fire ban - we sure hope it is true. I know it puts a damper on camping, but the sacrifice is worth it, trust me.

We are offering a NEW accommodation to the operation - "Osprey" is a 2 br, 1 bath loft space above the shop, really nice and across the street from the river - starts at $75.00 / night - check our rates and lodging page for more details - really clean and economical

How close is the river, well this week a guy called in asking that same question, Jeremy replied "If I hawk up a real good loogy, and the wind is from the east, I can hit the water"The caller & everyone in the shop cracked up - or as the late (and missed) Charlie Meyers once described it "an easy double haul cast away"

Guide trips this week were excellent to outstanding - for everyone - Jeremy, Jesse, Duane, Jack & Li'l Jon.

Jeremy had a real character for a full day on Thursday (Duane had the same client the day before on an afternoon trip) - Jay, from Lohng Eyeland - Jeremy said "He could flat out fish", so the guiding was easy, and get this, they took a Brookie, a nice one, downstream (only the 2nd or 3rd I have ever known to be in the river - and one of them I caught) - They must have come in from Sugar or Pine Creek - Jay is the President of a company back east, but tells everyone he is the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) like I said, just a character, most of the trout were taken on surface attractors - we think Jay will be back - he fooled some real good ones.

Jesse, on the same day (back from the PGA Tour for the week) took out Mike, who he met on a golf course in Denver this week - they did a half day, slayed them, then ran down to Shining Mountain Golf Course (20 minutes from Deckers) and got in 18 holes - Jesse said it was one of the best days ever - guiding on the water, then guiding on the grass.

All kinds of bugs around - Caddis, Big Green Drakes (my best fly today was an Olive Para Hopper # 14 with the legs cut off), Tricos (yup, tricos in mid June) - still some BWO's and the Pale Morning Duns are just starting up.

We have a goofy Sea Gull hanging around - flies up and down the river every day - seems genuinley lost, and the bears are starting to move into the valley - had one on Bernies porch last week, knocked over the grill, and a few spotted during the day - if you are camping be careful with food and garbage.

Poachers are also becoming a problem (taking undersize trout or fishing with bait in the restricted water) - if you see it happening, come to the shop if you are not comfortable approaching the offenders, we will help - happened this week with me, regular client came in concerned about a group up at Cable Hole - I went up and sure enough - salmon eggs, powewr bait and one gutted 13" rainbow - they left pretty quickly - without the trout

I had a great morning session today - big, fat, strong, beautiful trout - Browns, Rainbows & Cut 'Bows

It's get'in real fun

Week ending June 10th, 2011

OK - we are not in "Run Off" in Deckers - flow was bumped up to 125 cfs on Wednesday from 80 cfs - we would normally be at 250 - 300 - 500 cfs + - this time of year - but we did not get the snow pack in this drainage like the rest of the state - this is Friday afternoon as I sit at the key board and just got the word from the boys at the dam that we are going back down to 100 cfs

All feeder Creeks are low & gin clear as they flow into the Platte here in Deckers.

Now the North Fork is a different story - 600 + cfs and real ugly coming out of Grant & Bailey- as, I understand, are most of the rivers & creeks in the state of Colorado - but not us.

The river flowing past the shop is gin clear and looks sweet & if the guide trips (Jeremy, Duane, Jack & Li'l John) are any indication - fishing great.

So. when you call the shop to ask for conditions, and we say "125 cfs (or now 100 cfs) & gin clear" - please try to refrain from saying "REALLY" - we know the name of the shop is "Flies & Lies" but we only lie about girls & stuff - not about the river and fly fishing. - You may hear me say "If you know what you're doing, it's great! - but that is the truth & nothing but - this is a tough river, low & clear, with wary trout and plenty of bugs in the drift - so, basically, most days, you gotta "know what you're doi'n"

I have had the following on the porch screens this week (and under the porch light that I leave on to see what night bugs are around) - Blue Wing Olives, Pale Morning Duns, a huge Green Drake (#12 or 14) and I swea,r a Trico - Caddis under the light (until the nesting birds come by at sunlight and start whacking them off the log siding - easy, early breakfast, along with assorted moths and other night bugs)

Tim & I got an hour in the backyard on Thursday morning - quick trip up for Tim - and were buzzed by a big bat - only the second time I have seen a bat during daylight here on the river - came close to me so I tried to deter him with my rod - then he went after Tim, who did the same - now we are both gigglig, swearing and swatting away as the vile flier ping ponged between the 2 of us - @%$*^!@ bat !!

But we both got a few trout - me & Tim - not the bat

Week ending June 2nd, 2011

Flow was dropped on Friday to 100 cfs, work was completed on the tunnel, and with run-off from all the feeder creeks on the North Fork, water was not needed from our side - Cheesman Reservoir is still about 17 feet down from the spillway and we just don't see any major run-off hitting our side - which is good news - 'cause it sounds like the rest of the state is pretty well blown out, and those conditions are due to continue for a few weeks

Flow was dropped today to 80 cfs - River here is gin clear and looks awfully good - plenty of trout and some real good ones too.

Still seeing BWO's on the porch screens & a lone Pale Morning Dun today - Caddis are around, but not like the last few years in numbers, it could still happen & plying the river blind with the right patterns can still produce. Finding lots of hoppers downstream, and today a loan adult stone on the water - a good 2 inches long - big ugly bug - Also found a lone flying ant on the porch - about a #16

Dry / Dropper is definetely in play with the low clear flow.

Winds today were a bitch - Started at 9 a.m. right after my first cast - blew me off the river by noon, but they are due to die down overnight so the weekend should be great. Be sneaky, stay low - have fun

Week ending May 26th, 2011

Once again, this report covers 2 weeks starting May 13th, 2011 - just "couldn't get er dun" - at least not in time - I had waited to write it on Friday, after the predicted storms, to see how the river & creeks would fair - next thing I know it is Sunday - just too late, so here it is.

The Creeks and the river faired well - Caddis started last Friday, but to date, not too many trout re-acting to the surface activity.

We have had some well needed moisture in the valley - rain, snow & hail, but no "gully washers" just a nice steady soaking

Now to the flows - Friday May 13th we were at 110 cfs, with a good amount of moss and aquatic vegetation in the drift - flow was up to 120 cfs by Wednesday the 18th, then bumped to 170 cfs on Thursday the 19th - On Sunday it was bumped to 230 cfs in the a.m., then again that evening to 300 cfs (got the message from the boys at the dam, when I opened on Monday) - within an hour of opening, I got the call again "Hey Danny, going up to 390 cfs"

This is why - Roberts Tunnel had to be shut down for repair work on a newly installed valve - Strontia Springs reservoir has to maintain a constant level due to the ongoing barge and dredging work - with the North Fork shut down, the water had to come from our side - so if you were out on Sunday afternoon or any time Monday, the conditions were - well, pretty unfishable - mainly due to all the bank fluff and loose vegetation ending up in the drift

Good news, once the repair work is done on the tunnel, that flow will go up & our flow will go back down (in theory) - Cheesman is now over 17 feet down from the spillway - the huge bump up to almost 400 cfs knocked all the loose vegetation off the bottom of the river (it was not coming from Cheesman reservoir as some thought) - so - at lower flows, not much (if any) will end up in the drift - should be a great weekend.

Yesterday, the flow was dropped to 300 cfs, And down to 150 cfs today - so we think the tunnel work is completed

One note - on Sunday thru Monday's increased flows, Horse Creek was actually clearer than the river - has not happened in 9 years since the Hayman Fire.

One of our favorite guides (works for another shop, but a good guy) had lost 3 rods and reels at the Gill Trail parking lot on Monday - just a slight oversight as he was bidding his clients farewell - realized it a few miles out, went back, but they were gone - came to the shop and told me - this was very sad.

Tuesday morning I get a call at the cabin "Hey, I found some equipment at the trailhead" - me, immediately "3 rods and reels?" "Yup" - Oh man you are a hero - they belong to ******* - call the ***** they can help you return them - that was so cool of the gentleman - probably $3,000 - $4,000 - worth of gear - guides, any guides, can't afford that loss - so, even though it was not us, we thank the man - true honesty.

Then on Wednesday I get an e-mail from a guy who comes into the shop on a regular basis - found a fly box this week, wanted to get it back to the owner - so if you lost a box, send a mail, I will put you in touch with the finder - I am getting very impressed by true sportsmen.

Look for risers to caddis from late a.m. 'till you can'y see your flies - some BWO's still around - with the 150 flow, dry / dropper comes back into play - trout should have plenty of time to settle out by the weekend

Sun now breaks over the East Range in the back at 6:15 a.m. - mornings are still generally chilly - mid to high 30's - but warms up nicely thru the day

Week ending May 12th, 2011

Flow remained steady all week, 110 - 115 cfs - storms on Wednesday into Thursday brought snow, rain & some light hail - but had no effect on the river - which remains gin clear from the dam to the confluence with the North Fork.

Week started out in the low 70's mid days, but we are in the Rockies, so it changes quickly in Spring & Fall (even winter & summer)- ie Wednesday & Thursday - Wednesday barely into the 30's

Great trips this week, lots of action - mainly sub-surface - but enough with a dry / dropper rig to keep it interesting - good o'le Amy

Caddis have not yet gotten into full swing, but it is starting - late afternoons are best - BWO's still hatching - but a little thin - all depends on where you are - and that just seems to be dumb luck - allthough we know of a few sections that have been pretty consistent.

Sun now pops over the East Range in the back yard at 6:45 a.m. - fishable light from 6 a.m. to almost 8 p.m.

We do not expect any great increases in flow - Cheesman is still about 16 feet below the spillway, most of the water for the flat lands is coming out of Roberts Tunnel down the North Fork - so things could get really good to incredible - especially if the Caddis start to pop.

Cottonwoods, Aspens, Lilacs & the 2 old Elm trees in the front yard - all starting to bud out - song birds are getting active - my morning tunes - some of the plumage really starting to show on the displaying (horny) males - reminds me of old bar scenes - the boys trying thier best, the girls pretty much ignoring them - but eventually they do hook up - what girl could resist a mostly drab olive/brown mountain finch displaying, with wings spread and tail in the air, an underlying bright red tuxedo - that'l do it.

Low water, crystal clear, trout looking up ( mainly 'cause the water is so low ) and the possibility of dancing, enticing, good size, egg laying caddis - Oh Yeah.

Week ending May 5th, 2011

Sad news to start the week - Dick Johnson - friend and founder (1992) of "Flies & Lies" has passed away

Dick, as some of you know - was a 30 year veteran of "Special Forces" - Then known as the "Green Berets" - 2 wars (Korea & Viet Nam) - 3 tours in Viet Nam - Sergeant Major when retired - one of those men you thought would always be around - I used to kidd with clients that came in asking about him 'Yeah, he lives down in the Springs now, probably 80 years old - and He could still kick my ass"

Well Dick, We wish you sweet travels and peace - you will be missed but never forgotten at "Flies & Lies" (He came up with the name over cocktails at the old Deckers restaurant - wrote it on a napkin so He would not forget - I will always remember that story Dick, and many others) - not only a priveledge, but an honor to have known you.

Flow was dropped to 110 cfs today from 165 - We still do not think we will see a major run-off in the Deckers section - but you never know, most of the water is now coming out of Roberts Tunnel through the North Fork

BWO hatch has thinned a bit - but the Caddis have started to pop - nothing heavy yet - but should improve this weekend - could really go off.

Last thoughts on Dick - I would not be the Fly Fisher I am today, or the owner of "Flies & Lies" if not for Him - Lord only knows how many other lives he positively affected, but never knew - That's just how he was, no pretensions, no bravado - just Dick - Thanks.

Week ending April 28th, 2011

Flow went up from 150 to 215 cfs on Saturday, then back down to 165 cfs on Wedeneasday - Cheesman reservoir is 15 feet down from the spillway - gonna take a huge inflow of water to fill her to capacity - has to go 15 feet up, and untold feet OUT - lots of acreage feet - run-off has not started in the high country yet, but we do not think enough snow pack remains in our drainage to impact the Platte through Deckers much this year - lower elevation (all the feeder creeks below Cheesman) have completed run-off.

That said, no telling what the Water Board has in mind - we think most of the water for Denver will be diverted thru Roberts Tunnel from lake Dillon down the North Fork - but just an assumption. Right now the river looks sooo good - best since the Hayman Fire & resulting floods.

Went out today, nicest day of the year so far, high 60's, wind not too bad. Rigged up with a tandem dry fly cast and found 6 noses in about an hour of looking - and proceeded to fool 6 trout - All were healthy and really strong, the standout was a beautiful 18" Buck Cutbow, hookd jaw and all, magnificent colors - and FAT - took some agility to bring him to hand - did I say strong - just so much fun & that one in front of Rusty, the mail man - really wanted to hook up in front of UPS Sam - but I blew the cast (he always honks and yells "Get a real job" when he sees me on the river) - a few of the others were also car fish - cars driving along Rt 67 (the river road) that stop to watch you land a "Good One"

This was not a blanket hatch, far from it - it can be sporadic - noses here, none there - and you really have to hunt them out.

One lone Bald Eagle still stalks the river - swallows continue to arrive, then depart - the nesting family groups that set up shop in Deckers and the cabin are late this year - first Hummingbirds of the season arrived today - have had 2 or 3 BWO duns every day on the porch screens all week & another odd Pale Morning Dun - a few caddis are starting to appear - and today I found a whole bunch of hoppers in the grass.

Had some moisture in the valley this week - mini brief blizzard on Tuesday - but we never got that one (or three ) time 2' - 3' snow storm - probably only had 4' total all winter season - so fire bans are still in effect for the valley (no campfires, charcoal grills - open flames of any kind - you can even get in trouble for smoking in grassy areas) so please BE CAREFUL.

Jeremy and Duane had outstanding trips this week (Jesse is at the PGA tourny in NOLA - gold on the golf course!).

Jeremy's client today had 25 trout to the net on a full day trip (the client was counting) - nothing on the surface, all nymphing - Jeremy said it was "Stupid Good".

Sun now crests the range in back at 7 a.m. - weekend weather looks borderline miserable - could be a great hatch - just like last Sunday - Marc came out for an afternoon session, I got out of the shop at 2 p.m. ( Duane finished the day) and found Marc downstream - giggling and fooling trout - on the surface - I stayed for a bit to watch - freezing rain, clouds, wind, 35 degrees - just plain raw - I yell out "I'm going back to the cabin and start a fire" - "OK, - Hey - I got another one!"

He showed up at the back door a little later "Can I come in?" - now he is still in waders - a strict no-no at the cabin - but he was frozen, so I said OK - came in, went straight to the kitchen sink and ran hot water over his hands (now I have to wash the kitchen floor - sometime this week) - the fire was blazing - a cozy fishing cabin - then I found out the real reason for the pit stop "Hey, got anymore of those Hackle Wings?"

I pulled out 4 from my cabin stash and handed them over - he ran (not walked) down the path in the backyard to the river - back in an hour - we measured his last trout landed from markings on the net - 21 1/2" Rainbow - on the surface - on my Hackle Wing.

He warmed himself by the fire (waders now gone) - &, as he was exiting through the front door, it dawned on me "Hey, where are my other stash flies?" - "Oh yeah, 'bout that - they're in my vest" as the front door closed.

He (and the trout) really like those Hackle Wings.

Week ending April 21st, 2011

Flow was dropped last Thursday from 320 cfs to 150 cfs (They opened up Roberts Tunnel on the North Fork) - dropped to 135 cfs on Friday, up to 165 cfs on Monday then down to 150 cfs on Wednesday - river is gin clear and looks fantastic - lots of habitat, lots of nice trout - if you know where to go and what to present - and oh yeah - how to present it.

BWO's continue to hatch - multiple duns on the porch screen all week - and an odd Pale Morning Dun on Tuesday morning - early for that May Fly, but a good sign.

First Turkey Vultures and an Osprey sighted this week - and one lone Bald Eagle on Wednesday - this one was headed North, stopped in the backyard, soared for altitude, then went back South toward Cheesman Reservoir - might be a resident - we get maybe one each year - probably a lot like me - why go anywhere ?- trout are right in the back yard.

This week became "Gold Mining" for Jesse and Jon & Gill - "Trout Mining" for Duane and Jeremy - who both had great trips this week.

We had a guy from Texas with a home built wood camper on the back of a small pick-up - panning the river - came into the shop and showed us some "color" - a few flakes and dust - said it was about " a good $200.00 worth" - I saw about $25.00 at best - and that is the gold quote at $1,500.00 / ounce this week- and that was for a 9 hour work period - but now the boys are hookeed

Pans were found - some with handles - shovels were produced and chairs borrowed from the General Store - holes were dug bank side - Gill showed some interest in the first one - it did not contain trout - so he gave up and laid in the grass - Jesse and Jon dug - looked like ice fishers - Jesse explained later - "I'll dig a bit, but if I don't feel it, I dig a new hole"

Well, they got some "color" - a minor flake - after 6 hours - it was fun to see the enthusiasm - the local Sheriff, Mike, a Plains miner - went and got his metal detector - he lives across the road from my place - the flake would not show up as anything - we think it was too small - then, when displaying it at the shop later with a weak pair of forceps - it popped out and disappeared.

We mined for trout on Wednesday - it was much more producitve.

Gold Miming has since been suspended - but it was fun - they camped out in Jesse's RV in my driveway - Gold miners - Trout Miners - it was all good - and Gill just enjoys any adventure with Jesse - but trust me - it ain't worth the effort - $ to time wise.

Back to the fishing - the hatch can be sporadic - great some stretches - non existent in others - good risers - no risers - I have had no less than 3 head on collisions on the river road looking for noses this week - no one honked though - either other anglers who understood, or tourist too afraid to confront the guy driving England style - this is not a recommeded practice - remember, I live here.

Fire Ban is still in place - no camp-fires or open flames - please be mindful and careful

Bunch of Mule Deer on the move early morning and late evening - be warned - drive slow when you can't see the next bend - let alone the loss of the game (which is always tragic to a car) - they put a hell of a dent in your day.

With the low flow and gin clear water you have to be sneaky - stay low, cast lightly - work midge and May Fly nymphs in the mornig - switch to May Fly Cripples or Duns if you see some noses in the afternoon - Weekend weather looks great for risers - light snow, drizzle, rain - mid 50's air temp - Oh Yeah.

Week ending April 14th 2011

Flow started out at 220 cfs, up to 255 cfs on Monday, bumped again on Wednesday to 320 cfs - then way back down to 150 cfs today - increases caused some debris to end up in the drift, some off coloring, but it wasn't bad at all and it didn't last long -, they turned the tunnel on at the North Fork, shut it down, then re-opened today - that is why we had the big increase, then large decrease - Cheesman is currently about 12 feet down from the spillway - gonna need a lot of water to fill that puppy up.

BWO's continue to hatch, Jeremy thinks it is the best May Fly hatch in years - really got into them on Wednesday with his client Nate - they had a ball, non stop surface action in the afternoon, that was preceded by subsurface action until the noses started to appear

I have hit it & missed it, but when you hit it, well, it feels like old times on the South Platte - starts as early as 11 a.m., but usually 12 or 1 p.m. sees the most bugs & surface lips. You really get a feel as to how many trout are in a run on good hatch days - and it also humbles you - yeah, you got a few good ones on that stretch, but had no idea you missed that many when all of them start to rise.

First swallows of the year passed thru the valley on Sunday - the family groups that stay and nest are due any day now - had another Bald Eagle flying North over the river on Tuesday morning

We received some much needed moisture on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, rain in the valley, but snow on the surrounding ranges, it helped some, but not enough - Fire Bans are still in effect, so PLEASE be careful with cigs & cigars - no open fires are permitted - puts a damper on the campers, but it beats the alternative.

Winds have been off and on all week - mainly ON - so you just have to deal with it. Morning air temps are still cold - still in the teens mostly, but a few odd ball pre-sunrise temps above freezing - highs in the 50's to 60's

Week ending April 7th, 2011

This weeks report covers 2 weeks (from March 25th) We got busy, I got to fishing, and before I knew it, I woke up on Sunday March 27th and failed to file the report - and this is just the beginning of the season - uh-oh - I could have filed one on Momday, but that would have put the whole cycle off - would have screwed me up & I am a creature of (kinda) habit - so I just waited a week.

But, what a 2 weeks it has been - BWO's stared to hatch - on Monday (April 4th) I got out - wasn't gonna, , after a few hours at the shop, did the weekly town run then back to the shop after unloading and stowing - then a poacher drive above the bridge (Please, if you find bait fishers in the flies & lures section or poachers taking undersized fish, come to the shop - we will take care of it, 'cause it is getting real ugly)

So, I stop at a nice run, watched it all unfold before me - light was just right, watching an aquariun - first they are nailed to the bottom, then a few, then more start banging emergers mid water - then one nose, then another - all on the duns - no way to really describe it - unless you are just sitting on the bank and watching it happen, rising trout, big ones, just slurping duns - so beautiful.

On the way back to the cabin, I saw that Jack had pulled up at Flies & Lies - Duane had the shop for the day - told Jack where and how - "No one is in there, you gotta crush it, Duns & Cripple BWO's # 18".

I hear he did

I continued down stream just checking things, got to a nice bend and saw more risers, turned around and found more!! - that was it, went directly back to the cabin, still in street clotthes, pulled on a fishing shirt with a selection of BWO's already stocked in the pockets, draped on my lanyard, pulled on my waders (always hung over the porch rail) and mis-laced my boots - but did not stop - this was important !!!

Got to the run, rigged a dun with a trailing cripple - started whacking them - swapped out the dun with an Elk Hair Caddis - fooled 2 more, then broke off on an airborne Rainbow (forgot to check my knots again !!)

That was a #18 Caddis - all I had left in the shirt was a #16, but tied it on just to keep the leader from dangling in the air.

Then, on the way back to the Jeep, underneath a bridge, I saw a nice pocket - laid in a decent cast, saw a trout rise to the fly, but the current pulled it away - 2 more casts - boom! - swallowed it - a # 16 Caddis !!!

Flow staretd out last Friday (March 25th) at 160 cfs, raised to 200 cfs on Wednesday (March 30th), then up again to 220 cfs on Thursday (March 31st) where it now holds

Pretty perfect flow, gin clear, river just looks great - as I said, the BWO's have started to hatch - depends on wind and cloud cover and where you happen to be - but on last Monday I found them - it looked like the Trans-Pac Yacht race to Hawaii - on steroids - Sailboats everywhere - allmost too good - then slower on Tuesday, then Jeremy got his clients into them big time on Wednesday - said it was one of the best hatches for May Flies since the fire - not bad today (Jesse, Lil John, Gill and I did a little R&D way downstream), but the wind came up at the wrong time - could be a magical weekend though.

These are big bugs - #18 - seems to start anywhere from 11:30 a.m. up to past 2:30 p.m. - but like I said, depends on where you are and wind - sun does not seem to have too much of an effect, but clouds would be nice - lite snow fall even better, but no wind

We tend to nymph or go with a dry dropper system until we see some noses - then switch - we even got a few to eat good ole Amy with the dry dropper rig - in April !!

Thought the Bald Eagles had departed a week or so ago, but saw 2 this morning, looked like one was chasing the other - both heading north at a high rate of speed - did a little aerial display above Trumbull, then just kept going - Swallows are due soon - usually arrive in time for the BWO hatch.

Week ending March 24th, 2011

Flow was raised on Wednesday from 120 cfs to 160 cfs - river looks fantastic, gin clear& ice free - really great flow.

Had 2" of snow overnight last Thursday into Friday, otherwise mild days with mostly sun - but the wind continued to be "irritating to a real pain in the ass" most of the week - the "Big Midge" continued to hatch, but rising trout were few - bugs are just getting blown around too much.

Jeremy & Duane had some good trips this week, despite the wind, all nymphing, except for the last fish of the day on a full day trip for Jeremy and his long time client Neil - tied on an Amy and took the rainbow on the surface - Neil could not believe it would work, but it did.

Jesse had been back in town for a few days and took 2 nice 'Bows the same way one late afternoon - we actually have already found some hoppers on the warmer days.

Last license reminder - your 2010/2011 lic. expires March 31st - you can now purchase your 2011/2012 lic 3 ways - via phone at 1-800-244-5613, on line at, or at the shop (cash only please - no checks or cc's for lic transactions at Flies & Lies) - This year you have to buy 2 habitat stamps right off the bat, so resident annuals are now $36.00 (up from $31.00)

First day of Spring on Sunday - and this week we saw the first Canadien Geese arrive, all the ducks are starting to pair up, bunch of Western Blue Birds around the cabin & the 3rd or 4th cup of coffee on the porch is now greated by song birds (once daylight breaks), instead of the winter quiet. The Bald eagles are slowly departing for Northern Territories and Salmon runs - gotta love the seasons, all the subtle changes & radical ones - sitting on the screened porch is like watching the discovery channel - (sometimes in in slow motion).

DOW stocked 30,000 sub-catchable rainbows (3" to 5") this week between the Cable Hole and Scraggy View - this is the start of a plan to really get the population up - we will keep you posted.

Another reminder - this valley is BONE DRY - fire danger is EXTREMELY HIGH - both Douglas and Jefferson Counties have imposed fire bans (the county lines run right down the middle of the river) - you can even get busted for smoking in a grassy area - so please be careful. We reckon that about 2 feet of snow has fallen in the valley - all winter - we usually get that in one storm in March, but not this season

Sun now crests the backyard range at 7:45 a.m., drops over the West Range at 7:00 p.m.

We are taking some real quality trout these days on R&D outings - Saturday I got out with my buddies Tim & Marc - Tim had 3 trout in the 18" to 20" + range (and we were not in the Canyon - not even above Deckers Bridge) - 2 were landed - the 3rd thru the fly in an upstream, reel screaming, locomotive run - it was pretty cool - Marc almost matched him in size, think he passed him in numbers, but we were not really counting, just enjoying.

This weekend weather looks like great BWO stuff - we have seen a few of the little angels - but very sporadic - light snow, clouds, 40's in the air, 40's on the water - could be the start.

Week ending March 17th, 2011

Flow was dropped from 140 cfs to 120 cfs today - river is gin clear and ice free from the dam to the confluence with the North Fork.

We still are finding the "BIG MIDGE" hatching, starts about noon, last a few hours - I was using an Elk Hair Caddis as a lead fly and a big midge trailing - actually got a few on the caddis - very cool.

Last Saturday I went back to the spot with the lone rising trout - slot was about 2 feet long, maybe a foot wide, tight to the bank with a bunch of overhanging willows and a fast current on the near side. He was in there again, slurping adult midge off the surface, tried from 3 different positions, got him to look twice, but the rip current pulled the flies out just as he was about to take.

Got to the point where I was considering going up on the bank, rip the willows out, and come back the next day - but that is cheating - not allowed to remove an impediment.

So I kept at it, finally went back upstream and managed to get a drift down in the slot - and he took - great trout, bitch of a spot - at least 45 minutes this time - but a solid 17 inch buck Brown - it was worth it.

Wind was a bitch most of the time this week, but morning temps are getting better, no single digits - 40 degrees this morning - 20 is the norm these days, but we hit 70 degrees on Wednesday afternoon.

Nice time of year - nymph in the morning, some mid-day surface action (if you hit it right) - then back to nymphs to finish the day.

Sunrises at 7:55 a.m. over the range in the backyard - fishable light till past 6:30 p.m.

Week ending March 10th, 2011

Flow remained steady all week at 140 cfs, more like 160 cfs below Deckers. River is gin clear and ice free - looks fantastic.

Minor snow flurries this past week, but no accumlation - air temps started out chilly, but have gradually warmed this week and today hit mid 60's, but mornings are still cold.

The "Big Midge" started to hatch this week. Jeremy got into rising trout on Tuesday during an R&D outing - I found the bugs on Wednesday, but no risers - that changed today when I found the bugs and a few noses - fooled most that I found - could not get to one that I spotted - little eddy tight to the far bank with a ripping current between me and the target - hooked the overhanging willow once too many times and put the trout down - really wanted that one - but I know where he lives now.

This "Big Midge" is about a size 18 - looks like a BWO in flight & fools a lot of anglers - cloudy days are better for rising trout and the hatch just started this week, so most fish are not keying in on the surface strugglers, but that will gradually change.

Upcoming week looks great weather and temperature wise - could really go off.

The Hatch starts around noon and last till 2 p.m. or so, but that will change next week when the clocks get moved ahead - the bugs don't know we do this, so start looking for them after Saturday at 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. - the bugs don't wear watches so that time slot could slip + or - on any given day

We have some great patterns at the shop to cover this bug - put them in specifically for this hatch - and a few tricks to help with presentation, so come on up and give it a shot.

Week ending March 3rd, 2011

Flow was raised on Friday from 115 cfs to 140 cfs, more like 160 cfs below Deckers bridge when you add the feeder creeks. A lot of the ice has melted on Horse & Wig Wam Creeks, with no bad effects to clarity on the river.

Wind has been an issue all week - really blow'in on Saturday & Monday, not too bad the other days.

License reminder - you can purchase your 2011/2012 license beginning March 15th - you can call 800-244-5613 and do it over the phone, they will mail your license and give you a big old # that works until you recieve yours, you can do it at our shop (cash only) or on line at - you only have a 2 week window to stay legal, so don't forget - your 2010/2011 license expires midnight of March 31st

Bald Eagles have been very active this week, putting on some calories for the northern migration - Woodpeckers have been knocking on just about anything that makes noise - looking for this years mate.

We have seen a few of the "Big Midges", but not in enough numbers to get the trout up yet - pretty soon though - so nymphing has been the tactic of choice (and necessity) and most days it has been great with the right patterns - these trout are healthy, fat in the belly and the colors will awe you.

Sun now crests the range in the back yard at 7:20 a.m. (just about 1/2 way on its march back to the North) - sets to the west at 5:40 p.m. - mornings are still cold - ranged this week (pre-sunrise) from "0" on Monday to 28 degrees on Saturday - but 4 days this week we reached the high 50's, low 60's. We generally reach (and sometimes exceed) Denvers day time highs, but are usually 20 or so degrees below overnight lows.

River looks fantastic, ice free & gin clear - tons of habitat, bunch of trout (if you know where to look and are sneaky) - Jeremy had a couple of good trips this week, really nailed 'em today - He was stoked (Oh yeah, so was the client)

Week ending February 24th, 2011

Another week of wind most days, some not too bad, others a bitch

Flow went from 150 cfs to 115 cfs on Friday - pretty nice winter flow - trout are spooky, river remains gin clear & ice free.

Actually had rain showers here in the valley on Saturday night - too warm for snow - mid 40's.

Jeremy is back on the river since blowing his knee out 6 weeks ago - got it scoped, went thru the re-hab & did his first trip on Thursday - not a slay fest, but they got into them - Jeremy was all smiles - hard to keep a guy like that isolated to the shop - good to see him back on the water - the trout, not so much - Told him he had to wait until March 1st, but I broke down.

Jesse is down in Mexico playing a tour event with his brother in Cancun - miss him on the water, but we did get out for a day with Randy & Gill before they flew out - an old spot we plied last year about the same time - I was already in place - then the crew showed honking and barking - no noses this year (still a little early) - but we each got a good one - and managed to keep Gill from helping us land em.

We have seen a few of the "Big Midge" hatching - not enough to get the noses up yet, but a good sign - it is close to starting full swing - next week air temps are in the 60's - that could be it - with overnight air temps in the 20's - well, we will keep all posted.

I got out twice the past few days, hammered them on Wednesday, not so good today, but I hit some weird spots, just to see - didn't fool much, but saw a lot - they saw me too - game pretty much over.

But it is good to see the overall population of nice trout - I was just too eager - and yeah, just enjoy splashing thru a river in February with a fishing shirt, turtle neck and long-john top (OK, I DID put on the hoody when the winds came up - just to cut it)

Week ending February 17th, 2011

Not so brutal this week - except for the wind - last few days have been tuff - you can fish thru it, but you have to mend accordingly - one for the drift, 2one for the wind with the rod low, another for the drift - just adds another skill challenge - to an already challenging skill - the drift.

Do not be fooled or lulled when drifting sub-surface frauds - drift & presentation are as critical as floating a dry to a sipper - get it right, you get a take - be sloppy, well, just enjoy the day - which have been very enjoyable - for mid February. Hit low 60's, high 50's from Sunday thru today, felt colder due to the wind, but that is forcast to drop off by Friday.

Flow was dropped from 150 cfs on Monday to 100 cfs, then back up to 150 cfs on Wednesday. Most of the bank ice has melted, most of the snow is gone, river is gin clear (creek ice melt and runoff has not been bad so far)

License reminder - you can purchase your 2011 seasonal starting March 15th - you can do it online by going to or at the shop (remember, we only accept cash for all license transactions at Flies & Lies)

Finally got out a few days this week - Fished tough on Tuesday, fished really good on Wednesday - that's why we love this river - humbles you at times, but keeps you on your toes - trout are fat and spectacular in color - went up and down the river on Wednesday and pretty much found them at every stop. Set up a simple 2 fly nymph rig and had a blast.

Still not finding any risers, lots of tiny midges coming off though, Big Midge is due any week now, then the season really kicks in - almost there.

Week ending February 10th, 2011

Well, that was another brutal winter week in the Rocky Mountains, 4" of snow overnight from last Thursday into Friday, Saturday saw it start again at 2 p.m., another 6" on the ground by Sunday morning, Monday into Tuesday saw another 4" and it pretty much kept up all day, quit around 5 p.m.

Total of about 16", I know I should be thankful and sympathetic to those on the East Coast - they have really been hammered - but I grew up there, and it is pretty much what I remember as a tyke - those kind of winters (and closed trout seasons - somthing like April 1st was opening day)

But the COLD - that is what stood out this week - so cold that it did not drop as much white stuff as it could (should) have - last 7 days pre-sunrise, -10, 10, 15, -18, -8, -38, -20 (thats right, minus 38, that's what the inside/outside thermo read in the kitchen - I think it is about 5 degrees off below minus 10, but still !!! - my down vest shell became brittle after a brief stumble to the wood pile)

Major sludge hatch's on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Today in the back yard - mostly gone by the afternoon. If you come across the sludge (flowing, but frozen water) just keep moving upstream, the closer you get to the dam, the less you will find - but always keep a wary eye for bergs, they can really scare the crap out of you when they hit & in the faster water, can send you right on your ass.

Good news, weekend predictions of high 50's, low 60's into next week - expect some afternoon run-off from the frozen feeder creeks - could put the color off a bit.

We had 3 guides out on 2 trips last Saturday (before the storm hit) - Duane, Lil Jon & Tom - all did well for the clients - got trout - but that has been about it - none of us have been on the water since Saturday - pretty much no one has - and the Shop really tanked again (did not even open on Tuesday - saw no clients most days) - so, once again, the trout have been left alone, are probably pretty hungry - should really turn on this weekend.

Sun now crests the East Range in the back at 7:45 a.m., drops over the West range at 5:15 p.m. - days are getting longer !!

Week ending February 3rd, 2011

Week started off great, Friday low 60's, same on Saturday with a flow of 175 cfs. Sunday hit low 50's, then Monday the bottom dropped out of the air temps

Woke to 5 degrees above "0", by noon it had started to snow and had only warmed to 8 degrees - dropped below "0" by 6:30 p.m.

Woke to minus 20 degrees on Tuesday and a pretty good "sludge hatch" in the back yard - flow was raised to 225 cfs after I called the guys at the dam and told them about the ice building up - that helped and the sludge started to dissipate.

Wednesday woke to minus 30 degrees below "0" = stupid cold, reached "0" by noon, but sludge, bank and anchor ice were present in the river.

But it wasn't over, woke to minus 32 degrees this morning pre-sunrise, but it reached 15 above by late afternoon - snow started again at noon, about 4" by sunset

We shut the shop at noon on Monday, stayed closed Tues. & Wed., opened Today, but closed at 1 p.m. when the storm started to intensify. We will be opened all weekend though

Being on the river these past few days would have been dangerous - just too damn cold, but the weekend is looking better. Flow was dropped back to 175 cfs today, that adds another element to getting in and out of the water - that bank ice that developed over that past few days at 225 cfs, is now suspended over the river at 175 cfs - be careful walking out on these shelves, they can break off and send you on a quick downhill run - ending in a big splash. Another thing to be on the lookout for are "bergs" - chunks and slabs of bank ice that break off and end up in the drift.

The bigger ones can give you a pretty good whack on the legs, and in faster water can knock you right on your butt - and with water temps in the high 30's (low 40's) a dip in the Platte is not a pleasant experience.

I was limited to quick trips to the wood pile and keeping the water taps running - last thing you want out here in Deckers are plumbing problems - had to run the furnace way too much, just to keep the crawl spaces warm and the water system flowing.

So, that in mind, the trout have had a nice break from the usual winter pressure & with those cold water temps, they probably did very little feeding- could really turn on in the next few days - hungry trout, gin clear river, great flow.

Week ending January 27th, 2011

Flow was dropped on Monday from 240 cfs to 175 cfs - still a great flow for winter - actually pretty ideal.

Typical winter week - high air temps ranged from mid 30's to low 60's (today) - snow flurries on Wednesday morning & Spring conditions today.

Horse Creek ice melted off some on Wednesday, putting off color water into the river, but just that day, and the river cleared out downstream as the sediment dispersed - & it really was not bad, even for the 1st 1/2 mile below the creek

Mornings can be slow, due to cold overnight air temps which really fluctuated this week - last 7 mornings pre-sunrise - +30, +20, 0, +10, -10, +15 - 0 - that minus 10 produced a morning sludge hatch downstream a ways, but it was gone by afternoon.

You are still looking for water temps of 38 degrees or above to really get the trout moving to frauds - I have found a few - and I mean very few - trout rising to adult midges - but very sporadic - nothing consistent yet, and only since they dropped the flow to 175 cfs.

No real killer midge larva or emerger this week, but we have some great patterns at the shop that seem to be more consistent than others - stop by, we will show you how to rig it up and how we use soft weight to get the right depth & presentation - all very critical for hooking up on the Platte in winter conditions.

Sorry to see not many taking advantage of the "Cabin & Guide" special, or the "Winter Nymphing & Breakfast" - a few have and were just blown away - if you are local (Front Range or Mid Mountains) - just look at a 5 -7 day forcast, pick a good one and give us a call - we can usually put these things together in 48 hrs or less.

Weekend looks fantastic - get on up here ! - You may only fool a few, land 1/2 of them, but the river looks so good - habitat, moss, clarity - and you get to sleep in !!!, 'cause getting here before 10 a.m. is just that paranoid feeling about beating the traffic - ain't much traffic on the way to Deckers - ever.

Week ending January 20th. 2011

Not a bad week, weather wise & we wanted to thank all of you who took the time to stop by the shop last weekend and drop some coins - really helped, every purchase counts this time of year & I know a lot of you really didn't need what you picked up, but the effort was great.

Flow remained steady at 140 cfs, but was bumped to 240 cfs late this morning - should be great this weekend.

Only got out once this week (had to pull 9 days straight in jail - the shop - Jeremy busted up his knee on a mountain, Jesse was in Hawaii at the Sony Open, Duane was in Ohio looking at schools with his son & Rich had the flu) - so one day was all I could manage - but it was good and the river (habitat) looks amazing in most spots - and not too many anglers - got into all the runs I wanted all by myself.

River is gin clear and ice free - minor sludge hatch this morning, ( woke to minus 10 degrees air temp - and last Monday woke to 38 degrees - Rocky Mountains) but with the bump to 240 cfs, that should not be a problem this weekend

If you do hit a sludge hatch early a.m., just move upstream - Gill trail parking lot is open - getting a lot of calls if it is - opened January 1st - both the lower lot and the upper dam trail are OK now for public use - the closer you get to the dam, the less ice & sludge you will encounter - water comes out of the pipes at low 40's - lake level is 5 feet from the spillway.

Still bitter cold mornings, but pleasant afetrnoons for the most part - bankers hours - and water temps of 38 degrees and above are ideal - tons of midges hatching, trail a fraud behind a Stone, San Juan Worm or a Scud - get the weight and distance to indicator right and - wham - trout on.

Week ending January 13th, 2011

Well, that was one #@%$&^* COLD week - Friday wasn't bad, mid 40's and fishing OK at 175 cfs, then they dropped the flow that afternoon to 150 cfs - dropped again to 125 cfs on Sunday - which was not good, 'cause the bottom dropped out of the air temps.

Storm hit Sunday afternoon - semi white out at the cabin by 2 p.m., 15 degree air temp - Monday morning woke to about 5" on the ground & minus 5 degrees - never got out of the teens, then minus 20 on Tuesday morning and the first major "Sludge Hatch" of the season

"Sludge Hatch" is frozen, but moving, water - pretty much un-fishable - and it was heavy in the backyard. If you come across it, just start moving upstream - the closer you get to the dam, the less of it you will see & eventually find open water - the problem was with the drop to 125 cfs - not enough flow to keep it open & flowing at the cabin and shop

It did not last long, they opened the flow up to 250 cfs that morning - mainly because it was so ice packed downstream they had hardly any flow into Strontia Springs - and again, the high did not get past mid teens

Wednesday I woke to minus 10, but it eventually reached the very low 30's (briefly) - today was not bad - 8 degrees above and high 40's by 2 p.m. - the rest of the week & weekend look good - mid 50's and trout that have not been bothered for quite a few days.

Needless to say, we did not get out at all and the shop really tanked - maybe a half dozen visitors the last few days - Ouch!!

Flow was dropped today to 140 cfs - should be fine as far as ice and sludge go - and 140 is a great winter flow - much what we expect for most of the winter season, Roberts Tunnel, that feeds the North Fork out of Grant (actually drains Dillon Reservoir thru the Tunnel under the Divide) has been shut off for maintenance this winter - you could ice skate from Bailey clear down to the old South Platte Hotel at the confluence right now on the North Fork - frozen bank to bank.

Many sections of the main fork (our river) do not see sun at all during the day, so when we do go out we tend to find the sunny sections - could be as much as a 10 degree air temp difference from shade to sun - the ideal position is to be in the sun and fish to the shade - but at the sake of comfort I will always choose "fish in the sun to the sun" if that is what is available - as opposed to standing in a shadowed canyon section.

Week ending January 6th, 2011 (covers 2 weeks from Friday, December 24th - took a week off)

Flow started out at 115 cfs on the 24th of December, bumped to 230 cfs on Wednesday the 29th, then down to 175 cfs on January 3rd.

Big increase to 230 cfs came just in time for the "Big Chill" over New Years weekend

New Years day I woke to 25 degrees below "0" (probably more like 20 below - don't trust that kitchen indoor/outdoor thermometer too much past minus 20), but never the less - brutal COLD - first thing you do up here is check the water, so I did and it was OK - that was at 5 a.m. - at 7:30 I went to start the shower - no water - uh-oh. - had the furnace set to Hi 50's overnight, cranked it to 70 degrees at 5 a.m. - thought I had moved it in time, but no luck.

Ran a space heater into the crawl space where the Furnace and Water System live - bolted to the shop to hang a "sorry, closed" sign on the door, then back to the cabin - eventually heated up some of the emergency toilet water (2 x 5 gallon containers for , well, emergency flushes - if the pipes freeze up and/or we lose power - lose power up here, lose the well pump - no well pump - no water) and poured it over the exposed pipes and hoses in the crawl space - that was the ticket, back in buisness by 11 a.m - thankful for a propane stove and furnace

So the increase to 230 cfs helped save the river from iceing up, not even a "Sludge Hatch" up here thru Deckers - the river remains ice free & sliudge free & should remain that way at 175 cfs - and remains gin clear.

Most other mornings were single digits (above and below "0") - definetely Bankers Hours - say 10 or 11 a.m. to 2 - 3:30 p.m. is optimum.

Gill Trail parking lot has re-opened, the top (dam) trail parking lot has been opened for a week or so.

Had not been on the water much, mainly due to the air temps & some windy days (getting older, river runs thru the backyard) you get to pick & choose - I usually choose a warm fire & a book - big change when I used to try and fish thru the "Sludge Hatch" the first few years I moved to the cabin full time - no matter what, run chapstick on the guides and just go for it - but no matter how you tried, unless the water temp hit 38 degrees, you were still pretty much casting and freezing - and frozen guides ended up as broken tips - sure thing if you hooked a Hog at an air temp of minus 5 degrees - trust me.

Storm hit on Thursday December 30, started at 11:30 a.m., white out by 1:30 p.m., but only dropped about 4" by the next morning - it stayed in place, 'cause it was COLD, and that don't help with day time (or nighttime) air temps. What a difference 1 day can make - that was today, Jan 6th - hit 55 degrees, blue bird sky, no wind - I went fishing - snow started melting, but the river stayed clear.

Horse Creek & Wig Wam Creek are pretty much iced over (found a new huge beaver pond up Horse Creek about 1 mile from the shop - massive dam - good stuff - nice silt trap)

Best fraud today - a Stone - we sell it at the shop - the original gangster - but, sitting on the bank and watching the drift, which I do alot (R&D) - many hatching midges - all kinds - little cream ones, larger black ones, middle olive ones - I carry a small aquarium net to catch the floaters (almost impossible to bare-hand them)

So, little cream frauds, larger black ones #20 - 22 - , purple & olive middle ones worked, but the Stone reigned - Oh yeah, I got back into nymphing, as always, every year I try anything but, then I get serious, rig up right, concentrate on all the little things, and - man, it is a blast.

Not many trips going out, but the ones that do have been excellent - Last Monday, Jeremy & Jesse did a Breakfast & Nymph trip with a dad & his 2 sons (sent a great thank-you e-mail) - and they found a lion kill on the backyard island - pretty fresh, pretty violent - lots of blood and gore - must have been an icredible event - lion came across the river in chase - pretty rare.

Bald Eagles have been very active - I think they miss the old dead Cottonwood that stood in the back, but went down in the Spring due to wind and age - had one circle the back 5 times, trying to land in the big, live Cottonwood still standing, but they hate the twigs of a live tree - finally settled on top of a pine across the river over the aquarium hole - stayed 'till almost dark.

Wanted to thank all who visited the shop in 2010 & dropped a few coins - it was a good year for the river (no major events, ie floods or fires) and all of us at Flies & Lies thank those good friends who always visit, but we still need your support at the start of a new year, so please, take advantage of the deals on Winter Guides & Cabins, Guided Trips or Equipment - or just come by and say Hi, and buy somthing you may need this Spring - we don't sell anything you will not need - come by and drop a few coins - it all helps - trust me - we survive only thru your support - and we really want to keep this going - it is a good thing - for everyone.


Week ending December 23rd, 2010

Flow was bumped from 60 cfs to 90 cfs on Tuesday to 115 cfs on Wednesday, where it now stands

Completed our year end Shop Inventory on Thursday - main thrust was to count every individual fly in all the box's - Oh Man - what a pain - but Duane, Jeremy, Jesse & I dug in & got 'er done - thousands of bugs.

The conversations and comments were great though - at some point the little "Blue Midge" pattern came up - "why does it work so well in the winter?" - Jeremy "Well, Midges get cold too"

For the rest of the count he was referred to as the following - "Dr. Seuss, Mr. Rodgers & Bill Nye the Science Guy" - But it is true - they do get cold - and blue works well - a true observation, but it was still a lot of fun coming up with the names

River went off on Sunday due to Horse Creek melt down - happened in the afternoon - otherwise all is great - when the creeks ice up, then warm days follow, this happens

1st day of winter on Tuesday - shortest days of the year, sunlight wise - she now starts her treck over the backyard range to the North, every morning she will now inch further away from her South terminus - days are getting longer - but right now, she pops over the range at 8 a.m., drops to the west at 4 p.m.

River looks great, lots of habitat, rolled some rocks on Wednesday, found Stones, tons of Midge Larvae, May Fly Nymphs and a few Scuds - Healthy River - some great Trout - size & numbers - and not many anglers

We like this

Week ending December 16th, 2010

If you were not on the river, any ice free river, ( but specifically the South Platte) on Monday or Tuesday, December 13th & 14th you fall under the following :

You love your job - I mean REALLY love your job.

You make a fat wallet only if you show up - (still not a good excuse, but I understand -yeah, not really)

You are afraid of your boss, 'cause you used up a lot of sick days during the Caddis Hatch ( and you think he is on to you because you came back with a tan in May)

You don't own a fly rod.

Otherwise, those 2 days were exceptional, weather wise, hit low to mid 60's, no wind to speak of (you could wait 'till a low and cast thru it) or just muscle a streamer if you were impatient.

I went on an adventure with my good buddy Marc on Monday - and I never leave the valley to fool fish, but he called me at the shop on Sunday and said he had access to a small creek near Cripple Creek - flows at 53 degrees all year due to a spring, never freezes over in that section - I stalled - then got Jesse to cover the shop, called back "Yeah, I'm in"

What a cool place, full of Wild Brown Trout from 8 - 14" - Marc started with a dry double dropper and hooked up quickly, I played around with a few rigs, then saw a nose, then another - this is mid December - but tons of bugs were coming off - May Flies, Midges - even a few small Stones

So I re-rigged to a Parachute trailing a Foam top, typical South Platte River presenattion - they wanted the parachute, ignored the foam top - complete reversal of the back yard, and I got a bunch to take, snipped off the foam top trailer and cast the single dry - Marc caught up with me so we switched out - this thing is so small and willow banked that all you could do was walk up the middle and cast upstream, switch out from dries in the pools, to dry/dropper in the riffles and pockets

We would get to a pool and swap out, gave him the 9' 4 wt Saint Sage (One of my rods, butt section is a Sage, tip is a Saint Croix - just one of those things that happens with my rods - I just ain't a gear guy - drives Jeremy, Jesse, Rich & Duane nuts - my response "it ain't the equipment, it's the operator"

Still drives them wacky - same thing when I pinch on my indicators, instead of using Yarn or Thingamabobbers for nymphing - that really gets to Jeremy & Jesse - they sneak Thinga's into my wader pockets, but I have a secret stash of pinch ons, if I decide to nymph.

Marc & I plied the upper, easy section of the property, then drove down to find the lower section access - which did not exist - we were on the "Shelf Road" - and I know why it is named - ass puckering drive. 200 + foot drop to the creek below - this is why you keep a loaded revolver in the truck - to shoot youself before you plummet into the valley below and expire in a fiery crash - but now we know how to approach it in the late summer/early Fall with Hopper Patterns - & to avoid that scary ass road.

Got back on Monday evening from the expedition to find Jesse & Gill in the back yard - Jesse nailed 3 good trout in 20 minutes of watching from the porch - one big Buck 'Bow - Gill was a good fishing dog, 'cause the action was quick, kept his attention - reminded me why I do not drive a 100 mile round trip to fool trout - but once in a while it's Ok - friends count for a lot of it, and Marc is really into it, and a good friend - so I go, once in a great while - not so much for the angling, but to visit with a good buddy who needs to fish

Flow stands at 60 cfs, all week, storm on Wednesday night was a bust, just a dusting, really wanted a good 6" but it went south.

River looks great and has been pretty much wide open - as far as anglers go - but with the low flow, the trout are spooky - stay low, move slow, cast gently - amd enjoy the views - I find that many anglers don't stop and observe the vistas the river unfolds

Big Beaver now working on the back yard bank home near the well - this is a big beast - almost the size of Gill (Jesse's Aussie) - 2 mornings in a row, rebuilding the entrance - I guess he dislikes the lower flow as much as we do

Week ending December 9th, 2010 + most of Friday the 10th

Waited until Friday 'cause I wanted to drive down to the confluence and see how the ice and river were doing at 60 cfs - that's right, we are currently at 60 cfs, dropped from 80 cfs on Tuesday

River looked great, some bank ice lower down - we had some bitter cold nights this week, except for last Friday, woke to a balmy 45 degrees, felt like Spring on December 3rd - hit 60 after noon.

But the rest of the mornings were pretty much single digits - today started at 15 degrees above "0" - but again, hit the high 50's - really sweet days, wind can be a bother, but not too bad

Horse Creek ran off color on Thursday, some due to ice melting, some due to the work being done in the swamp about 2 miles from the shop.

Still playing around with streamers, more for the excercise than catching, but it works some of them up pretty good - get serious with a nymph rig and you can really get into them - but all and all - being honest - at 60 cfs - it is tough - spooky trout - gin clear cold water - makes you work for them.

On the upside, drive today saw 1/2 dozen anglers - for 13 miles of river - not one run I wanted to check had a rod anywhere near it - that's good stuff - on the down side, the shop really tanked - revenue wise - but some new and old faithfulls came in and dropped a few bucks - mainly in appreciation for the weekly report (not a BLOG - I started this thing before BLOG became a word describing somthing - and I still have no idea what BLOG means - and don't really care)

I like this time of year, too dry for my taste, fire wise - but the river looks soooo good (most sections, with any gradient) & the trout are in there - trust me - even if you don't spot them - they spot you - and bolt - stealth, approach, read the water - look before you jump - spook one and you probably spooked a bunch

Sun pops over the backyard range at close to 8 a.m., drops to the west at 4:10 p.m. - 2 more weeks and she starts to move back to the north from her cold winter trip towards the south - like it when she stops the south trend - means we are only a few weeks out to the BIG MIDGE hatch

Week ending December 2nd, 2010

Flow was dropped on Tuesday to 85 cfs from 165 cfs - fishing has been great - catching a little bit tougher.

Storm on Sunday into Monday left 2"+ of snow on the ground, Tuesday morning I read minus 10 degrees on the outside thermometer (that you can read from the kitchen - but first step out to the porch for coffee did not leave much of a doubt) - bitter cold - but no ice or "sludge hatch" in the back yard.

River looks fantastic for the most part, lots of habitat, lots of trout - just a little tougher to fool them.

I still walk a lot of river casting streamers - more for the excercise and R&D - nymphing can be excellent, but correct weight, frauds & weight to indicator distance are critical for success

Jesse & I finally got out for a quick session on Wednesday, Jeremy was stuck in jail (the shop) - Gill came along to watch, but things were slow, so he loses interest & tends to wander off in the willows - make a few casts, then "Gill, get over here" - he comes readily, make a few more casts, look around, then "Gill. get over here", 'cause he dissapeared again - it is amazing how fast he can do this. We got him interested in a river rock for a bit, thought he was OK with that, few more casts "Gill, dammit, get over here"

But after dog chasing, lots of catsts (Jesse had dry/dropper that worked really well on Tuesday evening) and another rod rigged for nymphs - I cast and stripped a Slumpy - and got a toad of a Rainbow - easy 20 ", but only a few more bumps (short takes) - Jesse had a few takes, but it was slow (for what we are used to) - then a rise - we both saw it - then another - I looked down and plucked a #20 BWO Dun off the surface, saw a few others struggling out of nymphal husks

We both swiched out to double dries - Jesse got 3, I got one - but the bigger picture was - this is DECEMBER 1st - and we are catching trout on Blue Wing Olive imitations, in the fading light of a mini canyon section near Deckers & a perfect stretch of water it was - pristine.

Sun now crests the back yard range at 7:45 a.m., drops over the west range at 4:20 p.m. - definetly into "Bankers Hours" now - 10 - 11 a.m. to 2 - 3 p.m. (except for Jesse - he stayed after dark 2 nights this week, got an Amy eater for the effort - on the last day of November!!)

Keep in mind this rule of thumb - our overnight temps (actually that hour or so before sunrise) can be 20 degrees (or more) colder than Denver, but our day time highs will equal (or exceed) those of the city.

Take advantage of our winter specials (just scroll up - cabins, guides, breakfast)) - 'cause it looks like a very promising winter session

Week ending November 25th, 2010

Flow went from 110 cfs to 165 cfs on Tuesday, great winter flow.

Wind has been an issue this week, but you just gotta deal with it - and you can, just don't try to fight it

Last Friday, DOW stocked 65,000 "sub-catchable" trout - these are 3 - 5 inch yearlings - from Deckers Bridge downstream to the North Fork Confluence - that comes out to about 5,000 per mile - these are fast growers and at a 20% survival rate that comes out to an additional 1,000 per mile of "catchable" trout by next summer - 40% would be 2,000 - that would be sweet, and just what we needed.

If you get into a bunch of them, just move up or down stream 40-50 feet, they will stay podded up for the first few weeks before they begin to disperse thru the river - get away from the pods - get into bigger trout.

Jeremy has had some good trips this week, but they had to work for 'em - mainly small stuff dead drifted on short lines. I continue to play with streamers, but get into the nymphing now & then - sometimes forget how much fun it is, when you get back into the rhythm, set on a take that is usually a rock, but some times a trout - the head shake and initial run are such a rush, and the gin clear water just adds to the experience. But, remember, if you make the mistake of thinking too quickly that it is a rock, you could lose a hog

I have had a lot more chances to be on the river, and it just looks so good - we are very up-beat about the general condition - habitat, aquatic growth - tons of bugs.

Start thinking about our "Cabin & Guide " winter special - fantastic deal (scroll up to see )- come in and see our new line of Temple Fork fly rods - they are sweet and at a great price - looking for a unique gift - try a "Guided Trip" gift certificate - done really nice with recipients name on an 8 x 11 sheet with pics, etc. You can call the shop with any request and we will gladly post the items - we even have 6 compartment logo fly box's with 13 winter patterns for $23.00

Sorry to be a little comercial, but it is winter, things slow down, and we still have to pay the rent at the shop - I know you understand - some of you guys were ahead of the game these last few weeks - came in and got stuff they didn't really need, but got it anyhow - just to help out - we all thank you - keep on coming - Happy Thanksgiving - 15 at the cabin this year - too much fun.

Week ending November 18, 2010

Trout population surveys were completed on Friday and the flow was bumped up to 145 cfs from the survey flow of 45 cfs, but was dropped on Monday to 115 cfs, and dropped again on Wednesday to 85 cfs, then back up today to 110 cfs

Morning air temps have really dropped - minus 2 degrees at the cabin pre-sunrise on Sunday, but it tends to warm quickly - high 30's to high 50's this past week - some windy days, some flurries, some great afternoons, but we are closing in on "Bankers Hours" - basically 10 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. is optimal - that's pretty much where we set the guide trips now - no more full days, but you can still do a 1/2 day with some grub if you opt for our "Winter Nymphing & Breakfast" - scroll up to see the rates, and also a great deal on the River Front Guest Cabin with a guided trip included.

Still seeing some BWO's in the afternoon, and at 110 cfs, a few more risers - flow brings Dry/Dropper back into play, but your best bet is a good old high stick, dead drifted nymph - short line, the right weight and distance from frauds to indicator - these are some of the things we see from most anglers for winter nymphing - too much line on the water, too much weight or not enough, indicator too far from the flies (or too close) - and yup, too much line on the water (I know I already said that, but it is a big one)

Be stealthy, sneak around, stay low - you may feel a bit silly as cars drive past on Rt 67, but who really cares - I look silly most of the time, but tend to hook up nicely - nothing like fighting a trout when a car does drive down the road - we call those "Car Fish"

Bad news about the "Horse Creek Swamp" about 2 miles from the shop down Rt 67 - the one where the water comes in clear, then comes out brown before it enters the Platte at Deckers. Ran into some Forest service people on Tuesday, on my way back from the weekly town/supply run - turns out they "ran out of money", so the work we hoped would be performed will not take place - I was stunned - said they were going to remove some logs, tamp down the rest and that was it - We were right next to the huge pile of granite boulders that were trucked in last year to re-bed the creek - I asked if they were going to be used - "Nope, don't have the money" - Pretty sad.

Big Buck in the yard this morning, following one doe after another - first big one of the season - came around the garden fence after one sleek doe, within 10 feet of me as I enjoyed a cup of coffee on the porch - He could have cared less - the yearling doe following at a discreet distance - giving the adults some private time - NOT - just actually very confused by what was taking place - happens every year

More Bald Eagles moving into the valley - watched 2 in a mating clutch on Tuesday, very high above "Hole in the Wall" - a rare sight, amazing movement, then the actual joining as they spin quickly towards the ground - then release with plenty of time before a deadly crash.

Had a 1/2 day guide trip today - rare for me, being too busy with the shop and cabins, so it was good to get out - a very good angler, although I don't think he thought he was - wanted to pick up some nymphing techniques - so that's how we started - rolled a few, hooked a few, but it was tough - wind came out of no-where (we actually changed dates from Tuesday because of the wind predictions - it was bad on Tuesday, but just as bad today, when it was predicted to be calm)

Finally got a few to the net on nymphs - one really spectacular Rainbow in full colors, then I suggested a streamer, so we whacked a few on a slumpy, missed a few (short takes) and had fun watching some follow the fraud almost back to the rod tip. Then I found a few noses poking up - we had 2 rods rigged ( I can do that with just one guest - just like a gun bearer on safari ), so as he continued stripping the streamer, I rigged the other with a parachute BWO and a trailing foam top emerger - Bob laid out the cast, perfect presentation - and bam - one on a dry (the foam top) - triple crown - nymphs, streamers and a beautiful rise and take - a good day, lots of fun - really enjoyed it - he is a good angler.

Couple of emails this week from past clients, complimenting the operation, the cabins - but mainly Jeremy - for his patience, teaching, knowledge, tips & getting them into trout, most times in water they would have passed by - we sure love this stuff.

Week ending November 11th, 2010

Flow was dropped to 45 cfs this week so DOW could perform the annual trout population survey - we expect flows to go up Friday as the survey is completed - probably back to the 150 - 200 cfs range. Surveys were done in Cheesman Canyon, Deckers and downstream from Scraggy - we will post the results when they are completed - usually takes a few months

BWO's still hatching, just depends on where you are how good it is - pretty much just dumb luck - Tuesday & Thursday we had some weather, flurries, cold, but it did not amount to much.

Jeremy was out on Thursday and it was pretty brutal - weather wise - trout wise it was pretty good - he got the guest into quite a few, even at the low flow.

Duane went hunting deer & Elk (last rifle season) - L'il Jon was after ducks & trout up near Spinney, Randy was hunting and cutting wood

Jesse and his brother Shane were in a PGA event in Florida - but mainly bass fishing - got a call Tuesday night from Jesse - all excited - while stripping and popping a frog pattern and getting a few good Big Mouth Bass on the 6 wt, a 2 foot 'gator started to chase the deer hair - Shane yelled "Jesse, 'gator after the fly" - Jesse "yeah, I see it!!!" and kept stripping and popping - the gator took and the battle was on - Jesse yelled to Shane to get the camera - faught the 'gator around the pond - then, yup, up into the grass - thing was on a tear - Jesse tried to get close enough to get it's mouth closed and release the fly - but the "gator thru it" - seems Jesse had been watching enough Discovery Channel shows to properly land a 2 foot lizard.

Now Jesse thinks he has a knew gig - "Gator on the Fly" - wants to promote it thru the shop - gave me a call on Wednesday night - "still working out the kinks" - seems a 4 foot 'gator is a bit too much, gotta target the 2 - 3 foot beasts - good job Jesse

Had 2 yearling Bucks under one of the front yard Elm trees this week - trying to hide out with a bunch of Does & Fawns - started to play at head butting - looked to me like "Hey, watch my eyes" - "Hey, watch my ears" then they would break to eat some elm leaves, then start up again "Hey, that was my nose" - "sorry" - "Hey c'mon, watch the eyes" - God help them when the real Bucks emerge from the high country this week for the rutt - little late this year, nice long warm Fall.

Back to our river - Wednesday, the first day of the radical flow drop, I walked the river - left the rod and waders at the cabin - just wanted to search for trout in the low flows - and saw a bunch of good ones - but they were super spooky - if you did it right, you could get pretty close - spot a few ones feeding - then one more step and one would spook, then the whole pod - then all the other ones you did not see - it was very cool.

This could be an epic weekend - weather wise - just enough clouds, maybe some flurries, just the right stuff - looking for a little more comfort, try Tuesday and on - looks to be mid 50's and dry

Week ending November 4th, 2010

Flow started out at 190 cfs, up to 200 cfs on Saturday, down to 155 on Tuesday, to 135 on Wednesday and down to 120 cfs today

Lower flows bring dry/dropper rigs back into play

BWO hatch continues (re-started ?), can begin as early as 11 a.m., with the lower flows more trout are looking up, but these are small bugs (#22) and you really have to hunt out the risers on the sunny days, much better with some cloud cover.

Clocks fall back on Saturday night, currently the sun pops over the East Range at 8:30 a.m. (that will change to 7:30), and drops to the West at 5:40 p.m. (which will change to 4:40 p.m. next week) - the bugs and the trout do not know we do this, so things will start to get going a little earlier.

Also found some small Caddis this week - dark body, light wings and we are finding trout just about everywhere - riffles, slicks, pools.

Weather remains incredible for anglers - woke to rain in the valley and snow on the surrrounding ranges on Monday, but it cleared out by late morning & hit high 50's - otherwise COLD mornings (low to mid 20's) and warm afternoons (high 50's to low 70's) - 40, 50 and even 60 degree air temp swings are common in the valley from pre-sunrise to mid afternoon in the winter

Not as many Bald Eagles on the river this year, word has it that most are staged up at Cheesman Reservoir - figure they will move into the valley as the lake freezes over, but plenty of deer, does, yearlings and a few small 4 prong bucks all on the property this week.

We continue to play with streamers off and on, and that's how the action is, on & off - but it is fun when it's on - a good way to find where trout are holding, and we find them in the damdest places - I took 2 nice bows in a fast 6" deep riffle - surprised the hell out of me. Also lets you walk a lot of river, get a feel for things at different flows, and we had our share of that this week. You also get "Chasers" - trout that follow the fraud out of the habitat - but never take, or short take - sometimes, if you feed it back to them, they will whack it - and it gives you a solid idea what sections are holding trout at certain flows for future trips with clients. We like having stash spots that we share (most times) between us.

I typically start out (at the lower flows) with a dry (attractor) & double dropper (forgot to mention the gazillion midges hatching almost all day long), then switch to the BWO imitations when I start to see some noses, but if you are use to nymphing the river, that is your best bet for hooking up. Sub-surface action has been on small midge patterns in the a.m., then almost as small BWO emergers and nymphs in the p.m. - + a handful of attractor lead frauds

Got quite a few R&D trips in this week (shop days are winding down, don't have to cover as much) - one session in the backyard - found a lone riser - far side of a fast current - no particular rhythm, laid out a cast, let it drift - not good enough, but let it get well downstream before I retrieved and laid it out again - that worked - the violent head shake that vibrates from rod tip to hand to wrist then shoulder - it was a good one.

Week ending October 28th, 2010

Last Friday was a winter day - we had a few more winter days, then a few typical Fall days. then a couple of summerfall days, Today started out at the cabin at a true 10 degrees above "0" - hit mid 60's by 2 p.m. - actually a wintersummerfall day - but what an afternoon - perfection for a trout bum - no wind, some high clouds, gin clear river at 200 cfs, you just can't equal this - anywhere

Big winter storms and snow dumping to the north and west - but not here in the valley - though, with some of the over night lows, puddles in the shop parking lot had a good coat of ice

We (Li'l Jon) took Tim, the CEO of Global Diving (group doing the work at the dam) on a trip this week, he had a blast & caught a bunch of quality trout - nice guy, reminded me of my years underwater - sent a really nice thank you note - I think he will visit the project again before completion - during my years no CEO ever visited the job site, but then, except for New Zealand, none offered quality trout, then again, I don't think any of them angled for trout - I could easily have worked for Tim

Browns are really moving into Fall Spawning colors - had one today that was Ken Kesey-ish - just electric - but so are the 'bows, and I hung one CutBow today that was brilliant - on a surface attractor - taking Aunt Amy for a walk, to be exact - just to see what might happen & somthing did - twice actually - but between an awful lot of casts and drifts.

Pretty much back to nymph rigs now, not much surface action to speak of. 'Been playing with streamers again - some days it is really on - others not so good, but it's fun and breaks up the nymphing and when they want to eat it you know about it

Sun now crests the East Range in the backyard at 8:15 a.m. - drops to the West leaving the back range in shadows by 5:45 p.m.

Weekend and all of next week look excellent, weather wise - this sure is a beautiful Fall, the river looks sooo good (most of it) - and the trout seem bigger.

Jeremy & Duane have both been out most of the week with clients and some trips are well into double digits (we don't count, but some of the clients do - as well they shoud) - Jesse is back from golf and is now out shooting ducks with Li'l Jon, expect them both back on the river next week - none of us have had a chance to fish together for a long time - I think that should change next week, as it should - I miss it.

Week ending October 21 + Friday the 22nd (wanted to see what the storm would

Storm hit today, Friday, hail & rain, tinted the river a little, but not too bad, should be fine by Saturday - pretty miserable out there for most of the late morning & into the afternoon.

Flows started out at 100 cfs, bumped to 140 on Saturday and up to 160 cfs on Sunday - more like 180 cfs below Deckers - pretty nice flow, river looks great, plenty of trout, just gotta know what to use and where to go

BWO's continue to hatch (size 22) but still not many trout feeding on the surface, really have to hunt them out if you want to work dry flies. Flow is a little high for dry/droppers. Surface action - rising trout - should improve this next week

Some very cold mornings this past week - mid to low 20's at the cabin, but most days turned out brilliantly - low 70's, little to no wind - perfect Fall days - and Fall has lasted a long time, sad to see the hail today, knocked most of the color out of the trees, but still plenty left

We started to push guide trip start times back to 9 a.m. - no reason to be out any earlier.

Trips have been very successful, lots of nice trout to the net, a lot more on long distance releases, then you hit a dry spell & wonder what happened to all the fish - then, boom - back into them again

Week ahead looks a little chilly, some more fronts due in, should be fantastic.

I know, this weeks report is a little thin, but it has been just too sweet on the water to concentrate too much at the desk - so I didn't - I fooled fish and it was fun & I'm gonna do it again next week.

Week ending October 14th, 2010

Flow has been all over the place this week, started at 80 cfs, down to 75 on Sunday, up to 120 on Tuesady, 150 cfs Wednesday (called and said they were going to 200) then down to 100 cfs today - makes things challenging

When the flows go up, the debris in the drift increases, lots of aquatic vegetation being knocked loose - sign of a healthy river, but a little frustrating - even gets tangled up in a dry fly

River is gin clear, rain on Monday night into Tuesday had no affect - had to run to town for supplies Tuesday morning, rain all the way, then snow at the golf course - heavy in town - on the way back it snowed all the way to Westcreek - 8 miles from the shop, then drizzle and gradual clearing.

Today, Thursday, was just incredibly beautiful - no wind, mid 70's air temps in p.m. - colors are just at peak - words just do not describe this time of year in the valley - and the bugs - all kinds - Tricos, BWO's, Red Quills, tons of midges - so many it makes selection a challenge

Had to do another town run today - weekend & early next week with full day guided trips - lunch food, propane for the grill, etc - got back around 1 p.m., unloaded, stored, then pulled on the waders - started with a big dry with 2 droppers - did OK, but it felt a little clumsy - found one lone trout along a cut bank, in the shadows of overhanging willows, actively feeding on Cripples, Duns, BWO's, Quills - I had no idea

Switched out to a #16 Para-Adams (closest thing I had to the Quill) & a #20 Cripple Olive (always a good bet for any hatch) - tough cast, hit the willows twice (just 2 inches too far) before I snaked it in there - amazed I did not spook him, then he took, nice 15 inch Brown - on the Cripple

That kind of trouit is worthy of an early departure - besides, could not find another trout eating surface bugs - bright day, good hatch, but no risers - except in the shadows - I have seen this many times - same amount of bugs on the surface, no trout rising, then a cloud covers the sun - few minutes later, all kinds of noses on the surface - see, it's like putting on a pair of polarized glasses - for the trout - they can't focus on surface bugs with the glare, but give the bugs a backround (clouds) and - well - now the bugs are - present - and readily available - and I truly think trout like to feed on the surface - I think they like breaking into that other world - for a brief second - to eat - I swear they get a kick out of it.

Jeremy has been on the river all week with clients and really getting into them - despite the fluctuation in flows.

Oh yeah, the Wild Turkey was good - settled on fried - out in the drive on Sunday - Jesse did a good job - but I made him take both fireplace extinguishers with him - just in case.

Week ending October 7th, 2010

OK, I can't remember when the valley looked so pristine & the river so inviting - fall colors are just about peaking, river is gin clear, flow from the dam at 80 cfs, more like 100 cfs below Deckers when you add the feeder creeks.

If you were ever thinking about a guided trip, or just a day on the river - this is it !!!

Tricos, Quill Spinners, Blue Wing Olives - and an assortment of other food abound - just too nice to really describe.

As I sit at the keyboard, I hear stomping on the back porch steps, then a gobble, gobble - human kind - I look over to the dutch door, and there dangles a good bird, in the grasp of Jesse - good weight, nice size - 3 miles from the cabin - 20 gauge, #8 shot - one shot - nice.

Debate is now how to prepare her - I voted for the grill - Lil Jon wants to fry her - gonna do it on Sunday - probably the grill - still too dry up here to mess with the big fry pot & easier to breast and leg her.

So off they went to finish the cast & blast - headed downstream to fish the hatch's & the water as I sit writing the report - but I got my R&D in this morning - and it was good - so many places you can't get to at 150 - 200 cfs, are now wide open - and the trout are - well - not so dumb as easily fooled - OK, kinda stupid - 'cause all I had were some big ugly dry flies and a Prince Nymph and a Buchskin - which I dropped, reluctantly, when only a few trout would smack at the dry - Buckskin worked good, but the Prince was key - other drops would have been better, but they were back at the cabin.

Not a slay fest by any means - but good enough for what I had and who it was meant for - more just looking and exploring - the river is so pristine in some stretches.

One thing we are seeing this year, more since the Hayman fire - lots more - by the thousands - are small fry - 1/2 inch up to 2" - all along the river - slow spots, back eddies - try not to disturb them too much - those are our future big wild trout

Dawson. our area DOW enforcer, has completed this years project (almost - a few more small signs are needed) on re-posting the regulations on this section of river - a big heart felt thanks to him and all that assisted - they look good - most are bi-lingual - it should help tthe poaching problem - but as Dawson and I both agree - if an @#%hole is gonna poach, signs do not matter - but, as Dawson also pointed out, it sure will be easier to write up the ticket - thanks Dawson.

Get up here, now is the time, weekend looks great - see you at the shop

Week ending September 30th, 2010

Last Day of September !!!

Flow started out this week at 134 cfs, got up to 144 cfs, down to 120 cfs on Tuesday & down to 95 cfs on Wednesday

River is gin clear and the surrounding colors are outstanding

Pre-sunrise air temps have hovered right at freezing all week, but mid days have reached high 70's, low 80's

Morning Tricos & Rusty Spinners - p.m. BWO's (small kind) and hoppers and beetles and Stimies - just depends on where you are if the spinners fall or the BWO's hatch - or if the trout are reacting to surface bugs.

Afternoon winds have been off and on - strong on some days, but last Friday was picture perfect

Fishable light at 6:45 a.m., sunrise at 7:40 a.m., sets at 6:35 p.m., fishable light until 7 p.m.

Too nice to be in the cabin writing this - so I'm gonna go fool a few - you should too

Week ending September 23rd, 2010

Flow remained steady at 130 cfs all week, river is gin clear and water temps are low to mid 50's - just perfect

Lots of bugs hatching, tons of midges, Tricos, Quills, assortment of other May flies and the small fall BWO - I mean small - #22 - #24 - had quite a few on the screened porch this week - they are just too cute, little wings and all - but so SMALL.

Got way too hot at the start of the week, air temp wise - record heat - 90 degrees plus, checked last years logs and saw that it snowed this week last year - Rocky Mountains.

Had some nasty winds hit the valley on Monday afternoon - blew some of the garden fence down - again - a spooked doe that ran into it the day before did not help - gonna have to anchor that thing properly one of these days - probably next Spring - winds remained off and on the remainder of the week, but lots of lulls.

Work has re-started on the Horse Creek Swamp - 2 miles from the shop & 14 months after the creation of the thing - nothing like "Git 'er Done" with these people - let's get another consultant - called job security, I guess - but at least some work is "get'in dun"

Last day of summer Wednesday, felt like it, lite drizzle from 3 p.m. on into the night & chilly - had the first fire of the season in the old Pine Ridge Stove - felt good - did not really have to fire it up, but I enjoy the sound and visuals - by early February I will come to view it as a pain in the ass - needed, but a chore less well recieved - hate having the propane furnace fire up, so I use the resource of fallen timber.

You can slay them on dry / droppers, lightly weighted nymph rigs or single dries (when you spot rising trout) - key is to figure out what they are on - emerging BWO's, Rusty Spinner falls, Trico Spinners, Midges, BWO Duns - caddis (been lots of small dark - black - caddis flitting about)

Walk and observe - well back from the bank - you can gain immense knowledge from just watching one trout as it feeds - and where in the water column it stays & what bugs are flying around and what rise forms are displayed. Jeremy cracked it this week with the rusty spinner - took a day or two, but he figured it out - this is not a spinner fall that we are used to here, but he stuck with it & results were excellent, I was duly impressed.

This is THE time of year on the South Platte as far as I am concerned - I love all the seasons, they all bring a different challenge - but right now, this place is spectacular.

Week ending September 16th, 2010

Sorry, never filed last weeks report, started it, did not like what I had down, then got slammed at the shop and on the river & never got back to it - happens a couple of times a year

Rich needed one of his days off, Jeremy was on the river every day, Jesse went to Utah with Gill to caddy for his brother in a couple of Nationwide tournaments (next one is in Idaho - casting flies and hitting little white balls as straight as you can) - end result - I got stuck in jail (the shop) for way too many days

So this covers 2 weeks, from Friday September 3rd, to Thursady Sept 16th - Flows started out at 165 cfs on the 3rd, dropped to 150 cfs that next week, bumped up to 240 cfs Saturday the 11th, down to 215 cfs on Sunday, then again down to 95 cfs on Monday, then back up Wednesday the 15th to 130 cfs, where it now stands.

River had been fishing tough through all the fluctuations, plus, a lot of aquatic vegetation ended up in the drift as the river went up in volume - we thought the reservoir had turned, but the boys at the dam did not think so - so that made it even tougher - dry flies were picking up moss !! - nymphing was a bitch

But, that has now pretty much cleared out - I went on a morning session Wednesday and had an outstandin time - started with a Para Olive trailing a foam top - got enough to look up and take to stay with it - then tied on a new pattern the boys brought into the shop - Wholly Cow, first drift and a nice fat (distorted belly fat) 14" 'Bow - 3rd drift after that a true trophy - 20"+ Hen 'Bow - I think the nicest trout I have taken on the surface this year - way downstream from the shop - little stash spot - fooled another brown and a Cut 'Bow before the 5th take broke me off (yup, always forget to check the knot and leader after a few fish - always - and it is so important - do it all the time when I am guiding - just not when I am fishing)

Nice Blue Wing Olive hatch on Wednesday - small kind, #20 - did not stay through the meat of it, but I bet it was good - this should be the start of the Fall Hatch - low, clear water, it should just get better as the days pass.

Today, Thursday, got another morning session in - found Trico Spinners at 10:30, BWO's hatching at 12:30 - + small dark caddis and a bunch of tiny midges - drove all the way downstream to check some runs that can't be fished at higher flows (best at 75 to 120 cfs) - got in the river, went to dress my dry flies - no lanyard around my neck !!- still hanging on the coat rack at the cabin !! (just too fast getting away from the phone and civilization - if you can call Deckers civilization - and I do - much more civilized than the rest of the world) - so I did what I could, with some old 5x tippet found in the waders and no tools (old bottle of dry shake was also found in a wader pocket) - and I did OK - broke off my big dry attractor on a good fish, spinner fall began so I tied on some #22's with 5x - no way to cut the tags - caught fish - some nice ones, but they had to be pretty dumb.

COLD mornings these past few weeks - sub 30's, ice on the Jeep some mornings, then hits high 70's - wind has been an issue on some days, mornings and afternoons, but it can be sporadic - don't fight it - use it - or cast in the lulls.

More Bald eagles have shown up - we are sure some are winter residents & the Deer have really started to herd up - many does with fawns on the property all gathered together for the rutt & a few small bucks (don't think they know what they are supposed to do yet)

Trees are starting to turn with autumn colors - along with the bank side bush - lots of local names, I have no real idea of what they are - but golds, yellows and fire reds abound - this is it - the time of year you have to see - and cast a fly in.

I can't do any real time in jail right now, just to sweet outside in the river, so if you see the "Honk Twice" sign on the door and need somthing - then honk - twice - if you just have some questions, then wait - I won't be long - or, just walk over to the bridge - you will find me 75 yards up or downstream - no more, no less - otherwise I can't hear the honks.

Week ending September 2nd, 2010

Yup, September - and it felt like it today - chill in the air, little too much wind, but if you worked with it, an easy upstream cast was available - right at 30 degrees air temp pre sunrise - cabin felt it - as usual, I left all windows open - Whoa - feet hit the floors and sweats went on -Now, Right Now, is my favorite time of the year on the river - another 8, maybe 10 weeks of bliss - if you were considering an outing - Now is the time.

Flow started out on Friday at 145 cfs and has remained steady all week, then bumped today to 165 cfs - river is gin clear from the dam to the confluence at the North Fork - just too prettty for words - and water temps are great - mid 50's - ideal for feeding trout & moving bugs

Had 3 guests in last week, all friends from all over the States - I think from the following - Oklahoma, Tennessee, & North Carolina - 5 nights in Bernies, 1/2 day trip on the first morning ( Monday ) to get a feel for the river, they checked in on Sunday afternoon at the Shop - got all the rental gear from us - so they could travel light - then ventured on thier own for the next few days - we set up "T" times at Shining Mountain, for the last morning ( Friday) , the one & only local golf course, in the shadow of Pikes Peak, 20 minutes away - rental clubs provided - yup, travel light - - 8,000 feet elevation - drives really fly - 18 holes and then up to Denver for a Rockies / Dodgers baseball game at Coors Field - spend a city night - then home.

That's a quality week - well planned and thought out.

Most of the Humminghirds have departed, along with many of the swallow groups - Jeremy & I both spotted Bald Eagles this week - very early, but they could just be migrating through the valley, maybe not the ones that set up winter residence - if they are, then it could mean an early winter - they usually show up mid October

Lots of hoppers around - imitations work best in the afternoons and evening - odd May Flies - BWO's and some Tricos, but the Fall BWO's should be just around the corner. Nymphing or Dry/Dropper in the mornings, then switching to surface attractors or hatch matching in the afternoons - unless you stumble upon a morning spinner fall - and you could.

Sun crests the East Range in the backyard at 7:15 a.m and has really started its march to the south., drops over the west range at 7:10 p.m.

Weekend looks to be sweet, high 80's predicted, clear river & lots of it

Week ending August 26th, 2010

Flow started out at 345 cfs this week, down to 300 on Friday afternoon, to 200 cfs on Sunday, then down to 175 cfs on Monday. Good news is that the dam is now able to release some water from the bottom valves, not much, but it really helped. (last update before report filed had the flow at 145 on 8/27/10 - please watch the water temps - at high 60's, either move upstream or call it a day - we thank you for that - as do the trout)

The divers actually benefit from the flow out of the bottom pipes, clears out the sediment they disturb when working - I use to do what they do - oceans to mountain lakes, some pretty big differences (atlitude, fresh water) - would have been nice if they performed the bottom valve work first, before the summer air temps hit, but they had to make sure that the engineering procedures worked on surface diving operations, before they send divers into saturation.

No underwater opertions are easy - the commute can be a bitch, but on this project, well, everything is a one timer - I used to love those projects, normally called out on them - but now I am a true Trout Bum- so I wish them safe times - I survived my early years as a an aquanaut, and loved it, some say we crave it, not sure about that, but probably correct in some aspects - people ask me what I did with all the money I earned from under the ocean - pretty simple - I spent 80% on women & booze - I just blew the other 20%

Water temps are now back to low 50's up to low 60's, depending on where you are and , of course, bright sun & hot days - it all has an effect on the water temps - especially the further away from the dam you cast a fly.

We had some heavy storm cells hit the valley - big one on Monday afternoon, but none have caused problems with the creeks or the river - warmest morning of the summer on Monday - overnight clouds kept the heat in the valley - then that strong cell, then waking to rain on Tuesday, rained all morning, but it was that "Oregon Drizzle" - kind of a nice change, kept things cool - pretty rare to wake to rain up here, usually an afternoon event - not so with snow & blizzards.

Things were again scary until Monday - water temp wise - but that seems to have passed. Dry / Dropper rigs are really working well, nymphing with a small shot and adjusting with "Mojo Mud" is pretty deadly - I mostly continue to cast a single dry attractor and get a few - sometimes a lot - but I am casting - to the water, any likely spot & I am pleased with the rewards.

Tricos have started the morning mating swarms - even in Deckers - bigger ones downstream, but the swarm on Wednesday around the bridge across the road from the shop was pretty impressive - not many trout sipping the spinners, but that should change over the next few weeks as they start to key into the helpless egg layers and spent adults - truly should be great with the low flow and clear water - oh, yeah, forgot to mention that - the whole river is gin clear.

Today I went on a full R&D run - all the way down stream, from the Cable Hole above the Bridge well into the dirt road past Night Hawk - I have to admit, at 175 cfs, the decomposed granite has really shifted and covered up some good habitat - at 300 cfs it was not as evident, at 175 - well it became more evident - I found trout everywhere I cast - but was dissapointed at some favorite old runs - but, move up or downstream a ways and - voila - back into habitat and trout - and at 175 cfs it ain't too hard to move around.

So if your favorite run looks a little different, move up or downstream, you will find a spot.

Sunset over the West range at 7:15 p.m., breaks over the back yard East range in the morning at 7:10 a.m. - still a bunch of time to cast a fly - maybe fool a few.

Week ending August 19th, 2010 + Friday the 20th

What a week - river looks - well - lots of descriptions (adjectives or adverbs?), but it is epic - gin clear, flow at 345 cfs, bunch of trout - many looking up - most will take the right surface pattern if presented well

Flow started out at 630 cfs last Thursday, then the drop off began - down to 485 on Friday, up to 500 on Saturday (a minor adjustment), down to 450 cfs on Tuesday, to 400 cfs on Wednesday, and down to 345 cfs today (which was Thursday when I started the report) - then down to 300 cfs on Friday (I waited to file this weeks report because major storm cells hit the valley late Thursday night - wanted to see how the Creeks did - and they did good - river remains clear)- and I will repeat myself - it is just too cool looking - if a Trout stream was going to be preseved in a museum, it would be the South Platte in Deckers right now.

All kinds of new aquatic vegetation, all kinds of bugs (no steady hatch, but Red Quills, Drakes, Olives, Caddis, Stones, Hoppers - lots of Hoppers in the willows)

Don't get me wrong, we are still aware and scared to our boots of a major event or storm cell hitting the wrong area - we hold our collected breath as "Wizard of OZ" clouds move over the drainage - but we have been blessed this year so far - dodging bullets - we have been whacked - Wig Wam Creek was hit really hard Monday night, river was off in the morning, but it cleared by the afternoon, Horse Creek drainage was not affected by that storm cell - Creeks clearing that quickly is a more normal pre-fire situation - the creeks will always blow out - that's what creeks do - but it is the recovery time that matters.

Two R&D sessions for me this week, neither at the best times of day - Tuesday, after the weekly supply run to town - 11:45 a.m., about an hour and a 1/2 - every run I wanted to explore was open - no one up here !! - just cast a big dry attractor upstream - no droppers, pure R&D - then today, Jesse and I did a split shift at the shop, Jeremy was out on a 1/2 day that went very well - I hit the water at 11:30 a.m., again, should have been nap time, but that is what I had - worked the Rock Garden - North side - from Johnson's rock to the bend hole - again, no one on my side.

What a classic situation, light was perfect, lit up the river in front of me, I just walked and cast and flashed trout and fooled a few - maybe 8 to the hand in a 150 yard stretch of water - another 1/2 dozen looked and followed for a bit, but they were smarter than my presentation - I never saw any that took, they just materialized out of sweet looking water

Dry / Dropper rigs have come into play this week big time - 2 nymphs dropped off a floating attractor or Hopper abot 2 -3 feet down and 10" - 12" apart with a micro shot between them - lot of fun to work (once you get the hang of it - and if you struggle with it, try a 1/2 day trip - Jeremy, Jesse and the rest of the gang will show you some easy techniques) and once in a while the trout nail the surface pattern.

Water temps - high ones - may come into play again at the lower flows - keep an eye on your stream thermometer and give the trout a break if it nears 70 degrees.

Gotta say, the trout are healthy and spunky - some real qualty trout up & down the river - fat bellied and colors that amaze - quite a few Cutbows this week - look for the orange gill slash

Weekend rubber hatches (tubers & other river recreators) - should start to thin out - school is back in session - last weekend was pretty packed, campgrounds full by Friday afternoon, etc - we are entering that great time of year in the valley, summer is almost over, the Fall really can be oustanding - trees turning, crisp mornings, warm days, low flows, gin clear water - hungry trout - they know winter looms - gotta eat.

As I said, I have just been casting a single dry fly - turned some clients onto them today - 5 -6 patterns - they called later (did not need a guide today, they will be back in late fall, they only had a few hours between meetings in the flat lands) - they got 'em - one pattern in particular & it was not Amy - made my day - those patterns could make yours

Week ending August 12th, 2010

Flow started out this week at 600 cfs, bumped to 640 cfs on Friday, bumped up again on Monday to 665 cfs, then today dropped back to 620 cfs - we expect to see high 500's by the weekend as the inflow to the reservoir abates - it really cranked up due to heavy rains in the upper drainage - on Monday the distance to the top of the spillway was less than a foot - a good south wind would send little whitecaps over the top

River has been doing great - still a little off downstream, but just keep moving upstream and you will find clear water - gin clear above Deckers Bridge on into the Canyon

West Creek was still high and off color all the way back to the lake on Tuesday, but is slowly dropping and clearing, Trout Creek was OK, and Horse Creek is off, but not bad - only off because of West Creek - Last significant rains we had were on Monday night in the drainage, air temps are predicted to cool this weekend, should be great.

Porch screens had all kinds of bugs this week - 2 very small (#22, 24) PMD looking in color on Sunday night - really not sure what they were - they were joined by a true PMD Monday morning #16-18, then a few Blue Wing Olives #18-20 during the week - some small lime green caddis, a few tans and dark browns, then yesterday evening a big o'le Hopper slammed into the porch and hung out for a while - then another of those big Drakes today, after a storm cell moved through the valley - I mean BIG - #12 easy - quite a spectacular bug - got a real good look with my flip foculs - dull green to gray, 5 spots down each side of the underside abdomen - tails almost as long as the body - huge thorax.

With the higher flows you had to approach the river differently this past week - basically 3 rivers, left bank, right bank & the middle - not much you can do with the middle - and most of the river course you have one bank or the other to work - but that is where we are finding Trout. Now, of course, this is a vague rule, since sometimes you can fish the middle, and do really well - Jeremy did it sightfishing today with 2 guests - and whacked 'em - did not land many, but the action was steady - it can be done in the right places (with the right guide)

Jesse, on the other hand, decided to work river left, which in that section, you could only work river right - unless you wanted to climb over a huge, slippery rock outcropping, then hike (whack) down thru the willows without even a game trail to follow, then turn around and fish the bank upstream - and some middle - where they ( He and the guest) raised and hooked - for a second - a huge Brown, Jesse said it was a "monster"

Last evening, 5 p.m., watched the last of the remaining swallow groups go nuts for some kind of hatch in the backyard home hole - hoping it was male tricos - could have been the big Drakes - left it to my imagination and first (well deserved) cocktail of the day - should have hiked down - but - nope - I like surprises and tonight I will rig up and do a propper R&D session.

Sun now pops over the East Range in the backyard at 7 a.m. - shadows creep up the range at 7:10 p.m. - total shadows by 7:30 p.m. when the sun drops over the west range - fishable light until 8 p.m. (or a lttle later)

Week ending August 5th, 2010

Flow started out this week (Friday) at 220 cfs, bumped to 275 on Sunday, to 350 cfs on Monday, 540 cfs on Tuesday and all the way to 600 cfs today - all is due to the heavy rains in the drainage and the effort to keep the water off of the spillway. We are stll being fed downstream by the mid level (60 foot depth) outflow pipes - Jeff Spohn (our area biologist) took a water temp reading at 60 foot of 61 degrees while doing some Kokanee work in the reservoir last week - still pretty warm

West Creek was slowly starting to clear during my Tuesday morning run to town & the river remained clear above the Deckers bridge, fishable below

Everything was looking good by Tuesday afternoon - even though we had some heavy rains in the drainage - Wig Wam Creek had flooded twice - pretty ugly both Monday night and Wednesday night, but cleared nicely by the a.m.

West Creek & Trout Creek were holding thier own until Wednesdays storms - looked pretty nasty last evening, not great this morning, but both were starting to clear about 3 miles from the shop.

The higher flows from the dam came just in time - even though the river looked ugly at times, it had no affect on the trout - plenty of clean water dilluting the brown stuff.

All in all, with the amount of rain here in Deckers and in all the surrounding drainages, we came out looking good - the fact that Wig Wam cleared so quickly, 4 Mile was never affected (until last nights deluge - she was brown this a.m.) & Horse Creek - well what can you say - last night after I closed the shop I came home, sat on the porch with a cocktail and waited for the first logs to go floating by - they never did - was sure they would - Deckers was under a flash flood warning - not just Douglas County, or the Hayman Burn area - but specifically Deckers.

Despite the flows, rain, & off color water we have had some excellent trips go out this week - Dry Double dropper in the right water, nymphing in other sections - it all worked

I went on a little R&D session this morning above the bridge - enjoying the morning and casting a large dry attractor upstream working the banks and out to mid river - not a crushing, but got a few good ones to rise and take - all this during the bump to 600 from 540 cfs - we are still seeing Pale Morning Duns, Blue Wing Olives, all types of Caddis, Midges, Stones and a few Hoppers.

At 600 cfs, dragging the bottom with weight and the right patterns is your best bet.

Jeremy & Jesse just got back to the cabin for cheesburgers with our regular client Rick and his group on a full day trip - and all I see are smiles - not a slayfest, but plenty of trout fooled and most landed - I think Rick enjoys the lunch almost as much as the angling - told him once we would change the menu some days, since he has had plenty of cheesburgers - told me not to bother & he meant it !

p.m. showers again today, but right now not too heavy - should have little affect on the river - Canyon is clear, above the bridge a little off color but looks really good, below the bridge at Deckers is clearing - should be good by the weekend - monsoons are predicted to abate for a few days.

Due to so many calls at the shop, I inserted the following on Sunday evening >>>>Sunday, August 1st - Flash Flood warnings for the drainage have not developed as of early evening - river remains clear<<<<<<

Week ending July 29th, 2010 + most of Friday the 30th

Flow started out at 370 cfs this week, then dropped to 270 cfs on Monday, down to 220 cfs onTuesday - release is still from the mid-level valves at 60 foot depth - so the water entering the canyon is already warm

River conditions (water temps) were much better this week due to the higher flows (at 130 cfs it was scary) - but you should still keep an eye on water temps on hot, bright, sunny days - see last weeks report - Please!

Waited to file this weeks report due to some intense rains Thursday afternoon - really hammered the West Creek drainage, but also Wig Wam Creek - 2 inches of rain in West Creek in less than an hour

Did a full creek survey at 5 p.m., Wig Wam had flooded, but receded quickly, water out of the Canyon was clear & Wig Wam Club water looked fine, 4 mile Creek was not affected, Trout Creek was a little off but not bad - West Creek was ugly - which made Horse Creek a real mess where it enters Deckers.

Drove the 8 miles to West Creek Village and found that Trail Creek had flooded (it feeds the lake) - but again receded quickly - went to the outflow of West Creek Lake - spillway was gin clear - but the bottom outflow pipe water was brown? - lake looked OK - must have been a submerged river of mud going directly to the bottom pipes - I really do not know.

Drove back to Deckers and West Creek was just a mess all the way. River was not fishable below Deckers - Uh-Oh

Got up this morning and walked over to Bernies deck at first light - I could see the bottom !! - not great, but a huge improvement - definetely fishable - and Jeremy, Jesse & Jack proved that on our trips today.

Allthough still a little off color today below the bridge, storms predicted today (Friday) did not develop - so the weekend should be fine - gin clear in the Canyon and above the bridge - clearing quickly below Deckers - dodged another bullet

Came home Monday afternoon and found a HUGE Drake on the porch screen - # 12 or # 14 - really cool - Pale Morning Duns and Blue Wing Olives have also been present on the screens this week - along with all kinds of Caddis.

Jack was due to visit in-laws at a reunion this weekend in Phoenix - we booked a bunch of trips so he wanted to stay - Wednesday night he drank a few beers then approached his wife with the matter (sequence went like this - 5 p.m. Jack calls me to see if the trips are still open - I call Jeremy to hold off, we may have Jack - Jack calls me and says he will know in a half hour, almost done with his beer courage - I call Jeremy and relay (Jeremy is Kayaking so this is all on voice mail) Jack calls back - "I can do it!!!"- well, He's in trouble deep, but he did not have to go (I call Jeremy again and tell him we are covered - voice mail again - 3 funny messages all in a row)

You have to know Jack to appreciate this - our Merry Mex - comes in Thursday to take out our guests - says to me & Jeremy & Jesse"I really like the in-laws, but, Man - too hot down there - and in total dead-pan "and I may have been deported!!!" - we all bent over in belly laughs - my stomach hurt.

Surface action and dry / droppers have been excellent in the clear water - all the screen porch bugs and more.

Had a new, but probably steady customer this week - (at least I hope after the following) 2nd trip this month, this time he came with his wife and stayed at Bernies - they were looking to buy somthing near the river, but after the night at Bernies, have decided just to rent from us instead - says Nancy "I'll let you worry about the pipes and septic, we can just enjoy" - I agreed - that's the right attitude.

Jeremy took Dave out on a full day trip, then we all met at the cabin for lunch - I start to tell a story about an angler in the backyard last night who had worked his way downstream from "Hole in the Wall" - got up real close to the rock I tripped on last year trying to avoid death from that Bull Snake - only rock out there - I am on the phone and see him hit it and go right on his butt (as he concentrates on drifts at the exact spot where I almost lost my nose to lighting quick strikes) - doing the horizontal moon walk as he drifted downstream

Over our excellent home made chicken salad sandwiches (too hot for burgers) and my special potato salad, Dave asks "Did you laugh" - "Well know, I was on the phone, but I could easily have - wanted to go out on the porch and start clapping" - well Nancy and Jeremy start cracking up - turns out it was Dave - not the other guy I saw working downstream - that one must have stopped at FBI Johns - talk about a red face - we all had a good laugh - now Dave knows where the rock is too.

Week ending July 22nd, 2010

Flow was dropped to 130 cfs on Friday, when Jesse called me from the shop with the new update from the dam, I called our friend at the Water Board to see what was up, 'cause the water temps were getting dangerously high - seems they had to keep a steady level to mobilize & launch the diving barge over the weekend at Cheesman Reservoir.

We were getting water temps at 70 degrees downstream - and that was at 230 cfs - at 130 cfs we were certain of damage to the trout, bright sunny days in the mid 90's - not good, plus the next phase of the diving project was on the bottom valves, which had to be shut off, so the outflow is coming from the 60 foot depth, warm water.

Pat Dorsey called me on Saturday with the same concerns - he had taken mid 60 degree temps in the Canyon, 1.5 miles from the dam - this was not good - I don't like being on the phone (as some of you know !!) - 5 minutes with me is an epic conversation - I think Pat is about the same - but that call lasted 20 minutes - that's how concerned we both were.

He cancelled all of his Canyon trips for Saturday. Jeremy, Jesse and the rest of our team only allowed 1/2 days in the mornings for out of town clients, but kept a sharp eye on water temps and trout activity, we re-scheduled all local clients.

Bob Dye, also from the Quill, cut trips short in the Canyon when he knew the trout were struggling & this was prior to the radical drop to 130 cfs - the clients understood - though some were dissapointed, the overall concern for the fishery from all of us who love the river was enough to convince them they were doing the right thing. Bob even told one client after releasing the last trout fooled that struggled to revive "You don't have to tip me today, but we have to stop" - the client "but it was only one trout", says Bob, "yeah, but we may get 8 - 10 more, and all these other guys (20 + in the Canyon that day) may get 2 each - thats 50 damaged or dead trout - just not acceptable to us".

That is how Jeremy, Jesse and the rest of the team worked that week - no joint concensus, no iter-action between all, just knowledge and concern - we learned about each others actions after the fact.

A few things to keep in mind for the next few weeks (the bottom work on the dam will run through August, so we are looking at warm water outflow for the rest of the summer) - put away your 3 weights and bust out the 5 weights - 5x or 6x tippet (lose the 7x) - land and release your trout as quickly as possible - keep them in the water as much as you can - handle them as little as possible - wet your hands before cradling the trout - pinch down all your barbs - then you won't have to grab them - just be gentle - spend some time to revive them, even let them recover drafting behind your wading boots if they want.

When the water temps near 70 degrees, put the rods back in the truck - then spend the rest of the day sighting trout and exploring the river. The closer you get to the dam, the cooler the water will be, so move upstream during hot, bright days & keep checking your stream thermometer.

See, as the water temps increase, and the water flow decreases, the oxygen level drops - so the trout will move into aerated water - shallow riffles, pockets - but then they expend more energy than they take in - so they will feed as much as they can, but they are allready stressed - not a good scene

We had an increase on Monday to 190 cfs (the barge work was done), then up to 200 on Tuesday, 240 on Wednesday a.m., then up to 370 cfs on Wednesday afternoon, where it now stands - Water Talk Number is back on line 303-831-7135 - so you can now get current flow rates again (the shop had turned into the auxillary Water talk # these past few weeks) - but it is still only water from a 60 foot depth - still too warm to start out at.

We had some real gulley washers this week, but the one on Tuesday night hit the Trout Creek drainage - fishable below Deckers in the morning, but not pretty - hung the "be back in 10 min" sign around 10 a.m. on the shop door and drove the 3 miles up Horse Creek to the confluence of Trout & West Creeks - Westcreek was high, a little off, but Trout Creek was ugly brown.

Then, I walked over to the bridge at 11 - 12 and found Horse Creek much worse - nearly black and much higher than the morning - either graders were knocking out snags or we lost a beaver dam up Trout Creek - only explanation

By 5 p.m., heading home from the shop, water looked better - this morning it was back to fishable - this afternoon it looked really good in the backyard - but at 370 cfs, it was high - back to bank fishing.

At 190 cfs & gin clear you could fish the whole river - I went out on Tuesday late morning after the weekly run to town for supplies - got in the middle of the Pale Morning Dun hatch once again - Not trying to blow any smoke up anyones A?!@ - but it was a clinic - a schooling of trout - I was on & the trout were willing - too innocent - lots of car fish (when cars stop on the road to watch you land them) - and one Fed-Ex trout (the guy who usually drives 20- 25 mph over the limit) slowed & honked as I played a real acrobatic rainbow - he casts a rod whenever the delivery options allow - when I say "slowed" he was just over the limit for that stretch - impressive.

I have had Caddis # 14-20, Pale Morning Duns #18-20 & Blue Wing Olives # 20-22 on the porch screens this week - real buffet - for the trout & nesting birds - lots of moms with tiny fawns have appeared - and I mean tiny, barely shin high and lots of spots - kinda like a Cutthroat - Ed, up at Wig Wam Club, watched a mom head butt a coyote that was after her young'in - said it was too cool - knocked the coyote right on its ass on a dead run downhill.

My best friends and Partners, Tim & Mitzi, came up with a new T shirt last week - on the front " I met the Really Mean Guy at the Fly Shop in Deckers Colorado" - I countered, when I arrived back at the cabin to hear the news - "Yeah, and on the back should be an imprint of my boot sole ""and he made me buy this shirt" - see. it is mid summer - I already miss January

Two surprises these past few weeks, one steady and true client walked in and dropped off a bottle of "Pure Honey Wild Turkey" - tasted real good if you only splashed a little Coca Cola on it - a gift for our shop & a slight change from my usual lightly orange colored evening beverage - Then another visitor, who I honestly can't re-call in the shop, purchased about $50.00 in gear, charged it, then dropped a $20.00 bill on the counter as he was leaving "That's for the report" - I "no, that's OK, no need, we just do it" - well, he ran out the door smiling.

So I called Tim and said I was a paid author - he called me a bad name & hung up.

I really do like it up here.

Week ending July 15th, 2010

Flow was dropped from 250 cfs to 230 cfs on Monday - have not seen the river look this great in quite a while.

Sorry about last weeks report - it was a little thin (so I have been informed) - but hell, we were slammed, woke up Friday morning and realized I had not filed it, less written it, and I had to cover the shop at 8 a.m. + clean the cabin for weekend guests, etc.

Should have put a note at the end, to be continued.....

So now it is - Wednesday morning, went to the shop to take care of a few of the more than I can count, loose ends, had my gear and had been eyeing a few runs between the shop and the cabin - looked so juicy, but usually occupied (by anglers who approached the water in a way that I would not), but not today - so I jumped out and wadered up - 10:30 a.m. - bright sun and already warming up (started out at 40 degrees air temp pre-sunrise, but now in the 70's) - saw a few splash the surface - tried O'le Amy - nuth'in - tried a cast of caddis - nuth'in - then saw a Pale Morning Dun drift by, then another airborne - tried the only patterns I had, a little interest, but no joy - I knew what I needed.

Ran back to the shop and grabbed 3 PMD Sparkle Duns and 3 Cripples - zoomed back to the run - still vacant!! - got in and started casting upstream - my favorite way to fish the river - and Blam - sweet, fat Brown - 2,3 casts later, Blam - little Cut 'Bow - and it continued.

Quit at 12:30 'cause my arm hurt - 20 easy, not all to the hand, but most - from 9" Rainbows, 14-15" Browns, to 2 slabs of Rainbow trout, both well over 18" - all on the surface and only about 100 yards of water between the 2 runs I worked, about 1 mile apart.

The river, besides the incredibly beautiful fish - well, looks better than I have seen her since last fall - gin clear, sparkling clear - new aquatic growth, trout everywhere that looks fishy - and some spots that don't.

The cast, drift back towards you, stripping in line - the boil,, the set and the rod comes alive - what a sweet feel, now it is up to you.

Went back out today for a repeat - it was good, but not like Wednesday - Jeremy had taken a client dowstream - and that was where it happened today - same times, different section - you just have to scout around looking for slurpers - but try to stay on your side of the road.

Saw the first muskrat in the river today since the Hayman fire & floods - 8 years - and Fawns are being dropped up and down the river - saw a pair today with mom, could have only been a few days old - way too cute. If you fish with your dog, please keep them under control - lots of moms get run off hiding the babies, then the whole family gets seperated - happens every year up here, you can tell the yearlings (if they survive) by the limited growth from not being fully weened.

Incredible trips this week from both Jeremy & Jesse & Duane, nymphing, Dry/Dropper, surface patterns to match the bugs - and the Tarryall Ranch Property is "on fire" - fishing the best it has all year - could be a good time to call Marc at 719-650-8106 and book the cabin and water - great way to spend a few days - that is one pristine mountain valley - one of the few left.

Had some clients in from the east coast this week - 2 nights at Bernies, full day with Jeremy & 1/2 with Jesse on departure day - they had a blast, at one point Jeremy had spotted a nice feeding trout in a slick, told Rich that they had to be stealthy, slip off the high bank and sneak up - now this is one of those banks where you roll over on your belly, slide into the river & when you stand up, the bank is at chest level - Jeremy enters first "OK, now you, nice and easy" and starts to walk to the casting position then hears "Cannon Ball" and a huge splash behind him - yup, they were having so much fun, fooling so many trout, that he just coud not resist. Cracked Jeremy up, when asked if the trout spooked "Well, yeah"

Next day with Jesse, way downstream to end the day so they had a headstart to a 4 p.m. DIA departure - bunch of trout fooled, Jesse back at the shop just before 1 p.m. to pick up Gil and drop off the rental gear, 5 minutes later, Rob, one of the clients walks in -"Hey, what are you doing, you need to get to the airport" - Says Rob "I left the rental car keys in the waders !!"

Jesse retrieves the keys and runs Rob all the way back downstream (he hitch hiked the 10 miles up to the shop - made pretty good time)

Well, bets were made on whether they would make the flight - I lost, 'cause we got an e-mail the next day that they had -& that they had caught more trout than they had dreamed of & Rob had the biggest trout on, in all his days of casting a fly rod - didn't land it, but got a good look.

Hot afternoons, cool mornings and evenings - sun crests the range in back at 6:15 a.m. - close to 14 hours of fishable light - did I say the river looks amazing? - Some pretty good afternoon storms this week, gully washers, but no affect on the river - fingers crossed, but a very good sign.

Week ending July 8th, 2010

Flow was dropped on Friday to 320 cfs, then down to 250 cfs on Saturday

River looks amazing, pretty much gin clear down to the confluence with the North Fork

Some p.m. showers this week with boomers and electricity, a real heavy cell on Wednesday that was so thick it blocked the cabins sattelite signal, but thay have had little to no affect on creeks or river clarity - such a relief - storms usually move through in an hour or so, then sunshine & great action if you can wait them out

Pale Morning Duns, Caddis off and on all day but better in afternoons / evenings - midges early morning - a few hoppers.

Major Rubber Hatch (tubers & rafters) over the Holiday weekend made things a little tough + a ton of anglers - but right now the river is really producing - and it is so beautiful.

Water Talk gage at the outflow from Cheesman is still under repairs - being replaced from what we are told

Week ending July 1st, 2010

Flow was dropped to 350 cfs from 400 cfs on Friday, river looked amazing and fished even better, flow was bumped to 420 cfs on Wednesday, morning, no bad effect and it still looks great.

Water Talk # has been out for a week or so, not sure what the problem is, but it locked up on last Wednesday's p.m. report for a while, now it just says "no information available" - but the boys at the dam give us a call whenever they are going to adjust, so our board in the shop is accurrate

DOW has put up a bunch of regulation signs along the river, with more to come - but the poaching has been pretty bad - one weekend on the way home from the shop (this is less than a mile) I informed 10 people that they were not allowed to use bait in this section - 6 of them were parked right in front of one of the old brown 3 x 3 foot signs - I made 1 couple release a 14" brown that they had swimmimng around in a cooler - I put my tape to it and showed them the 16" mark that it did not meet.

Another day on the way home, I found 5 using bait - and they were parked directly in front of one of the new signs - turns out none had bothered to purchase a license either.

Then on Monday, Jesse and Jeremy were on the way back to the shop from a 1/2 day trip downstream - stopped at Platte River Campground to inform 6 adult males that they could not use bait and the trout they had on the stringer was not big enough to kill - told them they needed to move downstream another 5 - 6 miles - these were not nice people.

The boys came up to the shop and let me know, so we started calling - DOW Operation Game Thief, then Douglas County Sheriff (we had seen Deputy Dan around earlier and hoped he was still in the area)

He was, and came back to the shop to get more info - I told him where they were and the 2 vehicles thay were driving - He said they were not at Platte River anymore - they had moved upstream to the bridge right below the shop. So he said he would go have a look. Then we got a call that DOW Dawson was on the way - he got the call clear out in Fairplay, so started heading our way - in the meantime, Jeffco Sheriffs heard the call so one of those Deputies came on down too.

Long story kept short (they all came back to the shop to let me know how it went) they got busted, fishing bait, undersize trout (2 of them killed) & some with no licenses - over $300.00 in fines - they paid on the spot 'cause they did not want to go to court - wonder why.

Then, As Dawson was about to leave the shop, our 3 morning clients walked in (they were doing 3 nights at Bernies and the 1/2 day to get to know the river - they were having a blast) - Dawson says "you want a couple of trout?" - well they took them back to Bernies and grilled them up - sad we lost 2 trout, but at least they were not wasted entirely. We were very happy with the response for help - from all 3 agencies.

Pale Morning Duns are starting in the afternoons & evening Caddis has been very good - Jesse was out till way past 9 p.m. this week just ripping them downstream on the surface.

Dry / dropper rigs are still doing well in the right water - not too deep, not too fast - most on the droppers, but some good ones on the surface to keep your attention - like I said, the river just looks great - lots of habitat, gin clear water - bunch of trout - pretty sweet stuff.

Week ending June 24th, 2010

Flow was dropped to 580 cfs from 780 cfs on Friday, then down to 500 cfs on Sunday, down to 450 cfs on Monday - looks like the high mountain runoff is done - we sure were looking for a 1,000 + cfs push, but we are happy with what we got.

River looks fantastic - as close to gin clear as you can get at 450 cfs - and the trout are hungry - and all over the place - we are finding them in shallow riffles, along the banks - and in certain pockets - and even gravel beds about 2 feet deep - we are having a great time - healthy, fat & sassy trout are being fooled if you know how to approach the river and make a good drift with the right patterns - and we have them at the shop.

Gil pulled a real good one this week (the sweet pup that Jesse adopted when found abandoned near the Gill Trail) - did you know that the trail was named after Rob Gill, who owned the present day Wig Wam Club back in the 1920's, before he sold it to the original club owners - back then it was just a resort - Gill's resort - in the 20's - a fishing resort - pretty cool stuff - now, the club members, under the efforts of Eddie, the manager & great friend, do a lot of incredible stuff for us - us being those who ply the water downstream of the Club - by mainly catching all run-off and Haynman Fire Debris from the Canyon and Wig Wam Creek - in ponds - and digging it out - on thier own - and it is not an easy task - of course it improves the quality of thier water - but, hey, it improves our public water, on a level thet would amaze you - trust me.

Anyhow, Gil loves Tootsie Roll Pops - stole another one this past week from the General Store next to the Fly Shop - comes trotting out with the white stick jutting from his jowls - I guess he thinks we won't notice and he can slink back into the Fly Shop and grind away - nope, busted.

So, a new guy has started working at the store - left his salami & cheese sandwich on the outside table as he went in the strore to ring up a customer - well, Gil was on that tidbit like stink on a monkey - Jesse was on shop duty (jail) and I was on R & D -I just happened to stop by - we both saw the attack - Jesse got most of it back from Gil - and he was trying to put it back together and - I think - place it back on the top of the baggie where the general store guy left it..

"Jesse!!! - we have to throw it out in the shop garbage" says I - so we do - then put Gil in jail (the shop) - hung the "honk twice" sign on the door - and both of us walk briskly to the river at the bridge - Jesse already had a rod rigged - hanging on the nails outside the shop door - a very quick escape.

The guy did come by later and asked Jesse if Gil had been out lately -"nope, don't think so, pretty much been hang'in with me today" - the guy doesn't fly fish so it's OK

We are now in a flux time of surface action - you can drag them up, and even work a dry / dropper rig, but 450 cfs is still a lot of water for trout to re-act to surface bugs - so nymphing is still the most productive.

We are seeing Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, BWO's and Caddis - off and on all day long - this is a great time to be on the river - no matter how you approach it - We expect flows to gradually drop over the next few weeks, but that is not a solid bet - just a good one - any way it flows, well, this is just a magical place.

Week ending June 17th, 2010

Flows started out at 400 cfs this week, up to 460 on Friday, 550 on Sunday, 700 on Monday 780 on Wednesday and going back down to 540 cfs Friday the 18th - weekend should be incredible.

Even at 780 cfs the clarity was good thru Trumbull and it fished - well - like you wouldn't think it would - Jeremy, Jesse, Duane & Jack (and even me) all had succesfull trips this week - some real quality trout hooked, and even some landed (which is not easy in 700 + cfs) - they get thier haed down and sideways into the current, and you just can't turn most of them - and chasing them can be a fatal (wet) mistake.

Rain hit last Friday night and lasted pretty much through the weekend until Monday - and it was cold & raw - first time I have ever had a fire going in June - and I had one 2 days in a row - then the end of the week back into the high 70's - low 80's. Horse Creek went off color a little but is fine now, having no affect on the river - all the other feeders and springs are gin clear.

River should be close to gin clear after this drop, could take a while (Sunday) to clear all the way to the hotel

Trout we are fooling are mainly tight to the banks - dry / dropper has been fun in the right spots - nymphing even better - I had my client on Tuesday standing on the bank 5 feet from the rivers edge and drifting real close in with nymphs - felt funny, but it worked.

Caddis are still around - returning egg layers all day long - occasional May Flies (had 2 BWO's on the porch screen this week) - and I found a ton of hoppers way downstream in the willows - crack a clackin all over the place.

Flows should continue to drop gradually - estimate about 450 - 500 cfs entering Cheesman, so to keep it off the spillway, they will match that with a little more coming out of the pipes.

No Pale Morning Duns yet, but they are due soon.

We guess all the reports of flooding rivers in the state have kept the anglers away, 'cause we have pretty much had the river all to ourselves - a rare summer treat.

Week ending June 10th, 2010

Despite the reports of most of the rivers in the state being blown out with high mountain run-off, that just ain't the case here in Deckers - Cheesman release went up to 300 cfs on Saturday, to 340 cfs on Tuesday, up again to 360 cfs on Wednesday & all the way to 405 cfs today. They are letting out a little more than is entering at the inlet + Goose Creek, into Cheesman reservoir to keep it off the spillway - so this is all clear cool water from the pipes.

I am sure it will slowly increase over the next few days and weeks, but all the feeder creeks are clear, and the small % of volume increases are not having too much affect on the clarity of the water or the trout. Today was a little more than a 10% increase, but we have not been at 400 cfs for a while, so new bank material will certainly join the drift. Don't get me wrong, we could see some major flows as the snow pack releases from the high mountains, but you just have to approach the river with a new attitude - you end up with basically 3 rivers - river left, river right & the middle - forget about the middle - side channels can be very productive.

Full river survey today (before the latest bump to 405 cfs) showed that from the confluence with the North Fork at the old hotel, up to the "Chutes", was fishable but off color. As you traveled upstream the clarity gradually improved to near gin clear - at these flows you will probably never see true gin clear water - but that can be a good thing.

I stopped and cast a dry dropper rig here and there - and did OK, not a slay fest, but good enough - it was mainly an R&D run anyhow - had to go to Conifer in the morning, so dropped down Foxton Road to the North Fork (which is pretty blown out) and followed the Platte all the way home - mainly just wanted to see what things looked like - and things looked good - but fooling a few is a nice part of it.

Sun now pops up over the east range in the backyard at 6:15 a.m., fishable light at 5:45 - sets to the west about 8 p.m. - nice long days to explore.

Found many hoppers downstream in the grass, still a few caddis hanging around and one lone May Fly on the porch screen on Tuesday evening (BWO ?) - I did not find any risers, but I was out early. Still cool mornings (mid 40's) and hot afternoons this week, with a few showers late p.m. - we need the showers, things got pretty dry these past few weeks - also helps the wildflowers kick in.

Flows like this I like to work upstream, casting in a fan pattern, starting tight to the bank and working out in small increments to about 3 - 4 feet from the shore - I normally lay the first cast out about 15 - 20 feet ahead of me & cast the fan pattern, then move up 3 feet and try it again - nice way to spend a session.

Week ending June 3rd, 2010

We seemed to have moved straight into summer from winter - I don't know what happened to Spring, but it kinda passed the valley by.

First week I did not have to have a fire, even an evening fire going, to keep the chill off - since September.

Day time highs have been in the low 70's - low 80's - and boy did it dry out quick - another week without moisture and it will get a little scary - and this is only June, the first week of June - mornings have been in the mid 30's, but Saturday pre-sunrise was a balmy 58 degrees, Sunday low 40's - then on Monday I had to warm the Jeep up to melt the windshield ice - thermo read 25 degrees - but it hit 80 degrees in the afternoon - 55 degree swing.

Flow has remained steady at 270 cfs - river looks great, Caddis continue to hatch, more important, egg laying females return each day - you will see them off and on (I saw trout rising to them at 8 a.m. on Friday) - but usually not until the afternoon - these are the ones that dip on the water, deposit some babies, lift off, fly upstream a few feet, then drop down & do it all again - really gets the trouts attention.

Jeremy & Jesse have had some great trips this week - some together, with multiple clients - what a dream team - that does not happen very often, but when it does, hell, I would hire us - they are mainly nymphing, but with some good dry / dropper action (you should see these rigs) and some even on the surface.

I continue to cast the dry fly, and am surprised and satisfied with the results - but that is me, and I have done a lot of it this week on the clock, hanging the "Honk Twice" sign on the shop door and laying out a few drifts at the bridge.

See, the area is limited - you can only go upstream to the 3rd live pine tree, or below the bridge to the downstream tip of the island - otherwise you can't hear the horns a honking - but find a splashy rise & you found a Caddis feeder, then just lay out a good drift with the right pattern & wham! - but you have to be on your toes, 'cause wham! could be a nano-second that the fraud is in the lip area - these trout ain't stupid, but they can be fooled - and not just once - a short take means a different patten, not just a better drift, swap it out and wham! - sometimes - then again, sometimes it was the drift - but with Caddis it is not so important - the Caddis are moving all the time.

All the feeder creeks are clear, as is the river - but we are still waiting on the high mountain run-off - good thing is, it will be clear water from the dam - we just don't know how high it will get.

The Caddis hatch is thinning out a bit, but the fishing gets better, not too many real ones on the drift - so get up here and give it a try - you may just hit it.

Week ending May 27th, 2010

Well today was fantastic - in regards to the compnay - my good friend the Lt Col who is stationed in the near east, came by with his sweet wife Holly en-route to pinning a nephew at the Acadamy Graduation this week - so he got a 2 week break from duty - sweet - 'been a while. One look at this man & his wife and you feel secure

Now, on top of the 4 hour trade off - Me & Gary fishing, Holly & Gary hitting the malls - sorry son - but a good trade off, a new good friend, John Gierach shows up at the shop as we were getting Gary legal - now John and I had traded phone calls during the week about the caddis - notth'n definite, but Thursday could be the day - so rolling into the parking lot he does - Ok, Rich has the shop, Jesse is out on a full day trip, Gill is shop dog for the day & Jeremy is in the desert with his wife and little girl on camping vacation

Holly falls in love with Gill, feelings are mutual, watching his back leg swim in air as Holly gives him a good belly rub - now the Lt has not cast a line this year of 2010 - John & I have, so we decided to explore downstream - got Gary into a fat rainbow at the second stop - kind of an R&D session, I wanted to see how far down we could go before surface action was not gonna work, John was along for the ride, Gary just wanted to cast a fly rod.

Gill was great, kept Holly company until Gary hooked a hog, then he was all about helping land the trout - Jesse & I need to take Gill on a training mission - I am still not sure who had more fun today - Gill, me. Gary, Holly or John - Not many trout fooled during the first few stops - John & I were at gooseeggs, but casting dry flies for the feel of it - The Lt was up by one

So we continued to move upstream - then we found them - trout rising to Caddis - John got one real quick, then another - and as he worked the trout to the release area he looked at me and said the words I always think "I just never get tired of this" - so simple. so true, and we never do - each cast, drift, take - tussle - so unique, so special - the one that stays in your mind until the next - but then 1 trout, 1 cast, 1 drift - well it makes the whole day - I had 2 of those - Gary below me and John above - what a sweet day

I think John & I spent as much time on the banks talking as casting- the Lt stayed true to form - casting dry flies and cursing at every miss - at one point I had to say it - "they let you fly jets?" - that got a giggle from Holly, and John pretended to inspect his rig - I got an officers stare - ouch!!

So, we get to the meat of this weeks report - flow went from 365 cfs to 310 cfs on Friday, then down again to 270 cfs on Tuesday - all the feeder creeks are pretty much clear. but the clarity still gets bad down past Scraggy View - just the nature of the current stream bed and hydraulics - whatever is loose will continue to be kicked up, some lite, stays in the drift, some heavy, settles quick, but can be kicked up depending on where it settles. Whole river should be clear in a few days - could even be great by Saturday.

Caddis are hatching, with many coming back to deposit next years hatch - good to great to not happening - just depends an where you are, and cloud cover helps.

Still waiting to see what the high country run off will do to flows, but right now it is ideal

Week ending May 20th, 2010

Well, what a week of cfs fluctuations - we started out at 90 cfs last Friday, went up to 110 cfs that afternoon, then up to 170 cfs on Saturday, 200 on Sunday, 250 cfs on Monday, then the big bump to 350 cfs on Tuesday. Horse Creek is clear, along with 4 mile - Wig Wam Creek is still off, started to run brown on Friday night.

Currently the Canyon is clear - good water above Deckers Bridge, not bad downstream to Bridge Crossing, then the clarity starts to deteriorate - but every day the clarity improves further and further downstream.

Incredible what the increase did at the Deckers Bridge - the gravel delta that appeared when Horse Creek ran off has been scoured out - what was only a few inches deep is now a good 3 feet - bad news is it still has not pushed all the way down - a lot of it ended in the backyard, but it is slowly pushing out.

Caddis hatch started on Monday night, pretty much up and down the river - not in full swing yet, but quite a few starting at about 2 p.m. - no real surface action yet, clarity and not enough egg laying returners to get things going - we think that should start happening this weekend - once the egg layers start flitting about and bouncing off the surface - well, it attracts quite a bit of attention. 4 p.m. at Deckers Bridge today and the air was thick with hatching adults.

Even in the bad water, Jesse & Jeremy had good trips this week (except for Tuesday afternoon, when the bump to 350 really killed things in the afternoon) Jesse, Lil John and I did an R&D excursion today - they were going to float, but the water was too ugly down to the pullout - so we hit the banks - got into them nicely - all fat & healthy - some pretty stupid, almost all tight to the banks, but some were in kinda funny runs, and some mid river.

They were both nymphing, I chose a big ole Amy's with 2 droppers - they got more than me, but my best trout of the day - 17 inch cutbow, gobbled up the Amy's on the surface - so sweet

Attended a very informative meeting at Denver water Board on Wednesday - learned more about the way things work in the drainage - Jeff Spohn, our area biologist from DOW did a great presentation - from Spinney all the way down thru Deckers - 3 things of note - Roberts Tunnel will be shut off this winter for maintenance - bad for the North Fork, but good for us - flows will remain well above 100 cfs in Deckers thru the winter.

Cheesman will not be spilled this summer - plan now is to keep it 1 foot below the spillway, so whatever comes in will come out the pipes - now this plan has changed a few times these past few months, but that is the current forecast - the high mountain runoff has not started yet - Spinney is almost full, 11 mile is full, Cheesman is now 1 foot below the spillway - essentially full - once the snow pack starts to release, we could see some high and needed flushing below Cheesman - this could start next week, or the next

Also learned that 11 mile reservoir will always have water over the spillway, but they keep an eye on the water temps in the canyon, and have started a program (DOW & Water Board) to release bottom water (cooler water) to keep optimum temps downstream (50 to 60 degrees) - that is very cool.

So, if you find brown water as you move up the river, keep moving - it will clear the further upstream you go - we think this weekend could really see the caddis surface action take off, but with the predicted high air temps, we could also see the flow increase.

Sun now pops up over the east range in the back at 6:30 a.m., drops over the west range at 7:50 p.m.

Week ending May 13th, 2010

Flow was dropped to 90 cfs on Sunday (from 110 cfs) where it now stands.

Horse Creek has finally dropped and cleared enough to make things fishable below Deckers Bridge - not gin clear, but pretty good. Jesse went on an R&D run Wednesday afternoon downstream and picked up some nice trout

Jesse and I did an R&D above the bridge this a.m. and got some really nice fish, then we went back to the shop, he switched with Jeremy, and he and I went downstream to see how things looked

From Deckers Bridge down through Trumbull was really impacted by more gravel that came in from Horse Creek during this latest run off - still a lot of habitat left, but it ain't real pretty.

Jeremy and I fooled tout everywhere we stopped this afternoon - and all were big, fat and fiesty - they have had 4 weeks of unmolested bliss and they really put on some weight. We did not see any fish kill, but things are still pretty murky - we sure found lots of live trout - it was great, really lifted our spirits - 'been over a month since we could work some old favorite runs.

From Bridge Crossing downstream things looked good - no real changes - seems that the ingress of granite from Horse Creek settled in the first mile or two of river - once the flows pick up, which they will, that will get distributed downstream.

Snow storm that hit this week did not have any affect on the drainage - that's right - May 12th and a total white out at the cabin in the afternoon. still snowing this morning, but no acummulation. This has been one long winter - not too brutal, just long - today was cloudy, high 40's, no wind, then light rain, that turned to snow and thunder in the late afternoon.

Weekend forcast looks great, weather wise, and the river improves more each day. Above Deckers Bridge and in the Canyon the water is gin clear - BWO's continue to hatch - I even had 2 trout swat a big old Amy's today downstream - yup, Jeremy was nymphing, and getting more trout than I, but I rigged a dry / dropper and did OK - did not hook the 2 that took a swipe at the dry - kinda surprised me. Jesse used the same rig on Wednesday's tour

A few Caddis here and there, water temps not warm enough to get things really going - should happen soon - maybe next week if the air temps stay in the 70's, or the reservoir spills - should be great with the flows and clarity. About 250 cfs going into Cheesman, so that's whats gonna come out as soon as she fills.

Week ending May 6th, 2010

Flow was raised to 105 cfs last Friday in an effort to dilute the nasty water coming in from Horse Creek at the Deckers bridge. The Canyon has remained gin clear through the week and is fishing great, upstream from Deckers to the cable hole has cleared nicely, downstream is still pretty ugly, but slowly improving each day. The increase from 50 to 105 cfs helped to aerate the river below Deckers, did not do a lot to improve clarity, but we were very thankful.

We have found a few more dead trout downstream here and there, but we really can't say if it has been very bad - we don't think it has been, but as the river clears, we will get a better idea.

Survey on Tuesday showed Horse Creek not too bad 2.5 miles from the shop, high but normal run off clarity - then it hits the new "Horse Creek Swamp" and comes out chocolate - good news is the run off established a deeper channel, the standing snow in that drainage has pretty much all melted, all the springs are gin clear, so as the volume drops, good clarity will return - could be good below Deckers this weekend - and those trout have not been fished to in weeks.

Great BWO hatch's in Deckers - early p.m. to late p.m. - Caddis are getting thicker (finding a few around the porch light in the mornings) Try standard nymph rigs in the mornings until you see a few noses - or try a Caddis with a 2' dropper and try the pockets - easier to switch to the BWO frauds when the surface feeding begins (plus it's a lot of fun - stop by the shop, we can show you how to rig it)

Humingbirds have returned in force this week - the family group of swallows has retuned to Deckers Bridge, but I have not seen the groups that normally nest and feed around the cabin.

Had a front move in late Sunday - nice sunny morning into late afternoon, then a fantastic snow fall from 6 to 6:30 p.m., big, wet, heavy, flakes coming straight down - hard to describe the simple beauty of the scene around the cabin. Major Mule Deer movements in the valley - be careful on the roads - they seem to pop out of just anywhere.

Winds have been a problem off and on all week, mainly in the afternoons, Tuesday was really rough, but that was our warmest morning - 40 degrees pre-sunrise - but be prepared if you arrive early - average pre-sunrise temp has been in the 20's. Sun now crests the East Range in the back yard at 6:50 a.m., drops to the West at 7:30 p.m. - day time temps have been all over the place - low 50's to high 60's.

Dam has not begun to spill yet, probably another week or so - the increased flows will be welcomed, could really turn the lower sections on.

Week ending April 29th, 2010

Friday's storm really hit hard with over a foot and a half of snow Southeast of Deckers towards Woodland Park - right in the drainage that we did not need it - mainly Trout and West Creeks that join up to form Horse Creek

Found the snow pack on my weekly run to town on Tuesday - I was kind of amazed - 8 miles from the shop all the way to Woodland really got slammed.

All the ranges that had cleared of snow were once again packed in - and the drainage showed it - West & Trout Creeks were not too bad in clarity, but really high, starting at Manitou Lake just outside of Woodland (Trout Creek drainage starts near the base of Pikes Peak - long ways from Deckers) - West Creek drains all of the old Hayman burn area southeast of Deckers)

Well, things still look pretty ugly below Deckers Bridge, not great above the bridge to the cable hole, the Canyon remains gin clear. Talked with Dave B. at the Denver Water Board on Wednesday - the man in charge of water release - and asked for a bump in flow to help in the aeration of the nasty stuff coming from Horse Creek Swamp and Wig Wam Creek - Jeff Spohn (DOW area biologist) also called, along with Ed, Manager at Wig Wam Club - all depended on my survey today.

I drove down to the Old Hotel at the confluence of the North Fork, then spot checked the whole river back up to Deckers - found a few dead trout on snags and island points - not as bad as I had feared - but the dark brown flow and clarity was pretty depressing - no telling what was hiding sub surface - So I called Dave B. and left a message on what I had seen, asked for an increase to 100 cfs (now at 50 cfs - was at 60 cfs, but the gauge guys came up on Tuesday and fine tuned the meter at the outflow - turns out we were only getting 50 cfs the whole time we thought we were getting 60 - gauge was off)

Good news is that we are only a week away (+ or -) from seeing the Reservoir spill - it is filling that quickly - so even if we do not get the requested increase, we are not too far away from seeing a lot more clear water flowing thru the canyon and on down to Deckers - estimate that 450 - 500 cfs is now entering Cheesman - what comes in will have to flow out. Good old gravity.

I found springs flowing today that I did not know existed downstream from Deckers - all were clear - but it shows just how full the drainage is - same reason that the DWB is holding water back - just too much in the system - Dave B. seemed like a nice guy, was generally concerned and I felt he is someone we can work with in the future.

Caddis are starting to hatch in Deckers - Jeremy found some huge ones at the Deckers Bridge this week - he was really stoked and dragged me over to look at them on Wednesday - they were HUGE!! - and the main hatch isn't due for another few weeks - just about the time we figure things should settle out - fingers crossed !!

Just got a call from Dave at the Water Board - flow will go up to 100 cfs on Friday - another week or so from spilling - that increase from 50 to 100 will really help conditions for the weekend - won't be great, but a lot better than what we are seeing now.

Week ending April 22nd, 2010 & Friday the 23rd (filed late due to power glitches hear at the cabin and the nasty conditions above and below the water line)

As mentioned last week, the flow was dropped on last Friday to 75 cfs from 100 cfs, then dropped to 60 cfs on Wednesday.

Horse Creek was slowly improving in clarity, with 150 cfs from the dam, downstream from Deckers would have been OK, but 60 cfs is just not enough clear water to dilute the brown flow.

Storm hit us hard on Wednesday night, heard it at 9 p.m., and it sounded bad - over an inch of rain in quick time.

Survey at sunlight showed that Wig Wam Creek had flash flooded - that browned up the river above Deckers - even the water coming out of the Canyon above Wig Wam Creek looked a little off, but it is hard to tell in that early light.

Before this last deluge, things were great above the bridge, plenty of midge and BWO's hatching - you could find rising trout from 9 a.m. until dark - even the occasional splashy strike at a Caddis, but that won't be the case for a day or 2 - went up to check Wig Wam at the Gill Trail, looked like it almost came up over the footbridge at its peak, but had dropped back down, could clear by the weekend, already some improvement above the bridge at noon today (Thursday)

Storm was very isolated and did not affect Horse Creek or 4 Mile Creek - sure could use more water from Cheesman, 60 cfs just ain't cutting it.

But then I woke Friday to 2" on the ground and a total white out here at the cabin - pretty nasty all day, but not much on the ground - a lot more on the surrounding ranges.

Horse Creek started pumping again, but not bad in clarity - all in all the storm did not hurt things as far as nasty run off (don't get me wrong, Horse Creek is still ugly) - but shows good signs of improving over the next week.

First Hummingbird and Swallow of the season appeared this week - little guys seemed a little early, Swallows seem a little late.

Canyon is good, Above Deckers OK, below Deckers barely fishable - need more water from the dam and a few dry days.

Good thing is the trout below Deckers have not been hassled for days, are feeding on run off junk and getting kind of stupid - could really turn on soon

Week ending April 15th, 2010

Flow was raised on Friday up to 200 cfs, down to 135 cfs on Tuesday, and again down to 100 cfs on Wednesday - Friday morning 4-16-10) it was again dropped to 75 cfs

I underestimated Horse Creek run off once again - I seem to miss this every year - just when I think she has peaked, she goes up and gets darker - like she did this week - but I think it has reached maximum flow (about 75 cfs) and is once again starting to clear slowly - pretty unfishable below Deckers Bridge all week, and with the low flows from the dam, well it could be ugly over the weekend - good news is the clarity in the Canyon and above Deckers Bridge is very good.

Lots of wind again this week - and lots of BWO's hatching - find some clear water and shelter from the wind and it was pretty good - Nymphing has been great, try some junk down in the dark water below Deckers - you might be surprised - those trout have been left alone to gorge in the off color water for days - and that opens up all kinds of possibilities.

Probably be a week before conditions improve below Deckers - depends on clear water flows from the dam to help dilute the run off stuff - higher the flow the better it will be.

All of the other feeder creeks are behaving themselves. We have spotted the first fluttering Caddis this week - still a month away from the main hatch which can start in mid May and last through June.

Grass is starting to green up - woodpeckers are banging away on anything that will sound loud, looking for mates - all kinds of morning bird songs - even had some turkeys across the river one morning gobbling away - Swallows are due soon, then the Hummingbirds - early springtime in the Rockies.

Week ending April 8th, 2010

Flow went up on Friday to 185 cfs from 75 cfs - a very welcomed call from the boys at the dam - Horse Creek was very ugly and the water downstream from Deckers really looked ugly - unfishable with the low elevation run off and the 75 cfs from the dam of clear water - not enough to dilute the nasty stuff

But, Horse Creek continued to drop and clear, a very good sign, even though no habitat restoration has been initiated through the new swamp, she seems to be finding a clear channel to run in - then the flow was bumped to 220 cfs on Monday - even better, then dropped to 170 cfs on Wednesday, which was even sweeter- river is gin clear in the Canyon and above Deckers, off color below Deckers, but very fishable - actually kind of easy, they don't spook as quickly, and if you know the river like we do, then you know where they are feeding - don't have to see the river bed, 'cause you already know it, 'cause you ply it every day - It's like your back yard - Oh, yeah, it is !!

Wind has still been a problem - sorry to say it finally knocked down the old dead Cottonwood in the backyard that the Eagles used to hunt from - which, have mainly departed for salmon runs in the North West - left a little early this year, but they arrived a little early - how do they know these things?

First Turkey Vulture of the season arrived & so did the BWO's - this is the Spring bug - big for our standards - easy #18, borders on a #16 - Jeremy & Jesse said they looked like Drakes compared to the small midges we have been working with. The hatch can be spotty to huge, just depends - water clarity, bright sun all play a roll, but I got some good ones this week - 2 when I hung the "Honk Twice" sign on the shop door on Thursday.

Bugs can start moving as early as 11 a.m., but seems to get better later in the afternoon - the small midge and the BIG MIDGE also continue to hatch - gotta watch the rise forms to see what they are on, and what stage - dun, emerger, midge?

I have even seen a few small Caddis fkitting about.

Snow storm on Wednesday morning left about 4" on the ground - white out at times, done by 12 p.m., most gone by Thursday and no affect on the river.

Weekend looks great - river is producing nicely, but typical for the Platte - some days you are on fire, next day you get a little humbled - keeps you focused.

Fishable light at 6:40 a.m., sun crests the back yard range at 7:20 a.m., but it is still very cold - some singler digits, most mid to high teens pre-sunrise, warms up pretty quickly, high 40's to 60's - Fishable light until almost 7 p.m.

Week ending April 1st, 2010

Flow was dropped from 105 cfs to 75 cfs on Monday morning.

With the high day time air temps in the 60's the past few days, low elevation run off has started. Wednesday Horse Creek is high and chocolate, West & Trout Creeks that make up Horse Creek are also high & off color - all the springs are gin clear. Wig Wam & 4 Mile Creeks are high, but not too bad.

With the low flow from Cheesman, the river below Deckers is pretty ugly, fishable but not pretty. Above Deckers is good and the Canyon is clear. This should not last too long, and an increase from the dam would really help.

Storm last Friday into Saturday only left a few inches on the ground, but a bunch more in the surrounding elevations. On Tuesday, all the Creeks were good, (did a good survey on my weekly run to town) but that was the first warm day. Another bother this week has been the wind - started on Monday and has not let up much - put the surface action off - bugs getting blown around, riffled water, tough casts - wind and current drag - a good challenge.

Shocking Survey results from 2009 showed an improvement above Deckers in population - about 3,000 / mile, about the same below Deckers as the prior year - about 1,800 / mile, down past Scraggy took a dip to under 1,000 / mile - the Canyon remanined about the same with over 3,000 / mile. You can look at all this data by going to - pretty cool site set up by DOW - data goes back to 1995 in some cases.

When you think about it, 1,800 / mile is not bad - say you were walking in 3 foot strides along the bank - every stride you take, somewhere in the line from the left bank to the right is a trout.

Gill, Jesse's adopted pup, (an Aussie Shepherd, not Heeler as I mis - reported) has become quite the shop dog - greets you out front, may lick you, will always let you pet him (approach him with the back of the hand to give him a quick sniff first) - but, PLEASE, do not feed him - "gives him the wind somthing fierce" - made the shop "unfit for human occupancy" at one time over the weekend - We all had to run out for air - even Gill - probably 'cause he thought we were gonna do somthing fun.

We had some great trips this past week, lots of trout fooled, a good portion landed. With the off color water below Deckers, nymphing will be the rule - I did find rising trout above Deckers this morning in the clearer water. We have some great Stone patterns at the shop, that, worked with other selections should produce in the water below Deckers.

Week ending March 25th, 2010

Flow started out at 120 cfs this week, was dropped (not even the boys at the dam knew why) to 55 cfs on Wednesday, then bumped back up today to 100 cfs - again, unknown to all

So, with a pre-sunrise air temp today of minus 8 degrees, and a flow of 55 cfs, a major sludge hatch developed thru Deckers & Trumbull along with a lot of bank ice. Most of it gone by noon (but with the increase in flow, lots of Bergs were in the afternoon drift)

Storm on last Friday started at 5:30 a.m., off and on all day with white out conditions, then near clearing, then white out again - Woke Saturday to 6" on the ground and minus 10 air temp - again sludge and ice in the backyard - first day of Spring !! - I said last week it comes a little later up here.

By Sunday we were back to mid 50's in the afternoon, Horse Creek got a little ugly from snow melt, so the river has been a little off downstream from the shop.

Got 2 good 1/2 day trips in on Tuesday (Jeremy & Jesse), before the next storm hit that night - woke to 12" on the ground and still coming down until noon on Wednesday.

Then most of it was gone by today's sunset, but another front is due Friday into Sat. a.m., then things get really sweet - mid 50's to high 60's - gotta love the Rocky Mountains.

BIG MIDGE is still hatching - still getting reports of p.m. BWO's, but I have yet to see any.

With the passing of this next storm, the warmer air temps and low flow, dry / dropper could come into play - just depends on clarity - same thing applies for any surface action with hatch's.

Next week I will have population numbers from 2009 and stocking programs for 2010 from the DOW.

Final License reminder *** your 2009 / 2010 lic. expires this coming Wednesday (March 31st) at midnight ***

We can re-new you at the shop, but CASH ONLY - no credit cards or checks for licenses - your next annual license will be valid thru March 31st, 2011

Week ending March 18th, 2010

Flow remained steady at 120 cfs all week - river remains gin clear and ice free - a really nice flow for the BIG MIDGE hatch - less water for the trout to move up through and gorge on surface meals - and ( in some sections) gorge they do - just depends on section and clouds and time of day - usually from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Otherwise, dead drifting nymphs can be very productive (with the right patterns) and we have them all at "Flies & Lies".

Another March week, some sludge down by bridge crossing on Friday morning, Horse Creek went off color in the afternoon from overnight ice melting when the temps went from 3 degrees in the morning to mid 50's in the afternoon - snow on Sunday afternoon - 60's Tuesday / Wednesday - big storm due Friday, then back into high 50's low 60's - gotta love it.

Ducks & Geese are returning this spring in good numbers, we will see how many stay and nest, but looks like one of the best years since the Hayman fire.

Sun crests the back yard range at just before 8 a.m., drops over the West Range at 7 p.m. - the morning sun has reached about 1/2 way to the North thru the Range on its seasonal track - mid summer it will pop up behind the big pines on the North side of the property. Spring is close - First official day is Saturday, but it comes to the mountains a little slower

We have been guiding a lot this month (19 trips thru 18 days so far) and all have been good to exceptional - Jeremy, Jesse and Duane have been really on - it's good to see them ( + Randy, Jack and Li'l John) all getting out on thier own when they can - no surprises on the trips that way - lots of info exchanged between all - we are also having a good shop month, and we wanted to thank all who have come by and bought stuff, it all helps and really leaves us with positive attitudes - we must be doing somthing right & we sure love what we do - so thanks - and keep coming up and buying stuff, or spend a few nights at the guest cabin, or take a guided trip - it is a blast.

Or meet Gill - Jesse's new dog - found abandoned near the Gill trailhead about 2 weeks ago - really cool Aussie Heeler (we think) - just a sweet pup - Jesse got him all cleaned up (he was a real mess) and took him to the Vet for a check, then to a communal dog bath (that he loved) then a good brushing (that he really loves) and now he hangs at the shop when Jesse is guiding (sulks a bit, really took to Jesse, but then sneaks out and steals tootsie rolls from the General store)

Good dog

Week ending March 11th, 2010

Flow was dropped on Monday from 185 to 120 cfs - looks really good. River remains gin clear and ice free.

Typical March week - snow, wind, cold days & perfect days - sun now crests the East Range at 7 a.m. (but morning temps still range in single digits to low 20's) - Sets over the West Range at 6 p.m. - but we turn the clocks ahead on Sunday - more afternoon light - the bugs don't know we do this (neither do the trout) - so the hatch will come off a little later in the day - right now we have found rising trout as early as 11 a.m. to the BIG MIDGE

Surface action really picked up this week, and with the lower flow, less water for the trout to move thru and pick off floating meals. Reliable reports of BWO's in the Canyon, but we have not seen any in the lower sections yet - not to say they are not starting, we just have not seen them.

You can purchase your 2010 / 2011 license starting Monday the 15th - if you come to the shop to pick it up please bring CASH - we do not accept credit cards or checks for license transactions - we do accept credit and debit cards for retail purchases.

Most of the little snow that we had this week has melted & this weekend looks great weather wise - high 50's and sunshine.

The whole river has been fishing great - good time of year to explore new areas - I would get up here

Week ending March 4th, 2010

Flow was bumped up from 165 cfs to 185 cfs on Tuesday - river continues to be ice free & gin clear for the entire 13 miles from the dam to the North Fork Confluence at the old hotel.

The BIG MIDGE continues to hatch along the whole river - best from 12 or 1 p.m. till evening, just depends on where you are, cloud cover, and a few other variables - you may find one lone riser in 50 yards of river, you may find 20 trout slurping away in a 30 foot run - keeps it interesting - keeps us on our toes and lots of R&D - which we diligently perform for free, that way our clients don't have to work thru a guessing game on guided days - we know where the good runs are - if it is going to happen, we get you on them, if not, the nymphing is still explosive.

DOW license reminder - you can get your 2010 / 2011 license starting March 15th - your current license (annual) is good until March 31st 2010, the next one will be good until March 31st 2011, but like I said, you can't buy it until March 15th (we do not know why)

5" of snow on the ground Friday morning, most of it was gone by sunset - day time air temps in high 40's, mid 50's all week, but a.m. temps are still cold, first week in a while that all temps were above "0" (warmest morning was 20 deg. above on Monday when we had an overnight dusting).

Weekens looks great, mid 50's and mostly sunshine. Big herd of Mule deer hanging around the cabin all week, bedding down near the garden and under the pines in back - watched 2 of the Bald Eagles perform an aerial act in the backyard on Tuesday, talons clutched as they spun each other around, breaking off 50' above the river.

Lots of new flies in the shop, stop on by and stock up - we even put out some "Cup Flies" - patterns that are great, but we are going to discontinue - 50 cents each while they last.

Week ending February 25th, 2010

The BIG MIDGE has started to hatch - we do not know the latin name for this bug - but neither do the trout - so it remains the BIG MIDGE - about a #18, looks like a May Fly in flight, but it is the BIG MIDGE - it is early, and it is so welcomed, 'cause today we really got on the trout with the imitations - my first surface trout of 2010 - in February !!! - Yeah us!!

Flow remained steady at 165 cfs all week, river looks great and is ice free, gin clear.

Today, walking the road down to a seldom fished run, Jesse spots a lone feeder - really nice trout - but we are on the pavement, 15 feet above the river, with a "0" degree slope - I mean straight down hill to the river on an ice packed 12" inches of snow incline, a potential mini avalanche. He looks at me and says "I'm Gonna Try" - "How you gonna land him?, as he starts to fake out the cast and I look for oncoming traffic that could cause a backcast snag.

Well, he got the cast out, just missing a little lady in her sub - compact (the hold was 15' below us and 3 feet out from the bank) - we both saw the take before the indicator budged on the first drift - and he is on - I start to giggle, Jesse does not hesitate - right down the slope, kinda feet first, kinda pretty cool - and Blam, 15" "Bow in hand - inspected, showed off and released - now Jesse has to walk 50 yards upstream to get back to the road - I did not wait, it was my turn to enter the river in less near fatal access downstream, where we were headed.

Just then, Jeremy drives by with his 1/2 day client, Jeremy - he booked 3 x 1/2 days and 3 nights in the guest cabin - nice when your client has the same name, one less thing you have to remember - so I relate Jesse's down hill medal run and tell him about the section upstream where we found risers, but left it for them, 'cause we were on R&D - Jeremy was headed downstream, to other favored sections - they had already landed the trout of the trip - 22" 'Bow - probably, conservative, 20+ landed trout on each 1/2 day trip. Jeremy was a great guest, told Jeremy thet he had the best 3 days of trout fishing - ever - and he angles pretty much all over the globe

Jesse and I trade trout for trout with nymph rigs, then see a few surface, then start to see the BIG MIDGE in flight - such a quandry - switch out, or stay with the nymphs? - We already had a bunch, so switch we did. This was between sunshine and blizzard conditions - truth - right now I am in total white out around the cabin - spring time snow - and we had it off and on all day - rising trout more evident in the snow & clouds - We fool a few that we saw come up for adults, but it was technical casting & drifting - not a perfect presentation - no take.

We got a few, which was really cool, then decided to move up where we saw a bunch that we told Jeremy about. It was a slay fest - almost every good drift enticed a surface rise and take - double dries, a parachute you could see & an emerger you could not - so set on any boil near the fraud you can focus on - between the snow flakes. Your Parachute was the white dot that did not melt.

Turns out Jeremy & Jeremy did go back to that section after they saw us on the road - he called that evening to say they really nailed them with dries - and they were in there before Jesse & I - gotta love the first rising trout of the year - noy very educated yet.

So, this week was pretty exceptional, when you figure in snow & clouds Friday thru Monday, a solid "Sludge Hatch" on Tuesday (only the second one of the season in the backyard) when I woke to minus 15 degrees pre-sunrise - Jeremy & Jesse found a way thru it in the a.m., and it was gone by 12. - just an excert from Jesse's client - Kris, from Michigan - on the 23rd via e-mail

"Thanks once again for the trip today. To say the least, it was awesome. Hands down, the best day of Fly Fishing I've ever had"

"You guys run a first class operation in my book. Jesse is a great guide too - good times for sure. I learned more in 4 hours than I have in the last 10 years trying to figure it out for myself. Guided trip was worth every dime , and then some,,,,,,,,, "

Yup, a pretty good week

Week ending February 18th, 2010

Flow was raised back up to 165 cfs from 140 cfs on Friday - river just looks fantastic!

Earth mover near Trumbull completed work on Friday afternoon removing sediment from the gaging station in the river - took out yards of debris, and it still looks about the same - pretty amazing, but that is sediment that will not end up in the backyard or further downstream after run off this spring - mainly decomposed granite from the storm cell last July that caused major flash floods.

Work on the "Horse Creek Swamp" continues, but at a slow pace - mainly just log and stump removal - some minor grading work - we were hoping the project would move a little quicker, a little more aggressive - we shall see. The Creek has been running fairly clear & fairly ice free - river has been gin clear, but we did have our first "Sludge Hatch" (frozen, but moving, water) in Trumbull on Monday. I woke to an air temp of minus 15 degrees - but the sludge was gone by noon - morning air temps have still been in the single digits above or below "0" all week, but most days have hit mid 40's by the afternoon. The further down stream you go, the more sludge & bank ice (and colder water) you will find.

Jesse is back in town & He, Jeremy & I all got out on an R & D session Tuesday - a rare day that all 3 of us are free from the shop & guiding on the river, or in Jesse's case, guding on grass -I had a cheek hurting grin the whole time - river fished a little tough - we think one of Jeremy's patterns had some shark scent on it.

I was doing OK, Jesse about the same - Jeremy, well, lets say it was not his morning - which is so rare - nymphing puzzles me at times like this, until you relate it to surface presentation - you know, 6 good drifts over a rising trout, some interest, maybe even a 2 foot follow & refusal - 7th cast and a take without hesitation - same pattern all 7 tries, everything looked pretty much the same from your point of view - but on that 7th drift it looked just right to the quarry - same thing goes on sub-surface presentations - we prove it time & again - all flipping the same patterns, working thru the same run right behind each other - one gets skunked & then one yells "this is a good one" - the other glances back upstream and says somthimg - 2 syllables - you barely catch the last one - sounded like "hole".

But in the end, we all got into them - Jesse & Jeremy even completed a "Deckers Grand Slam" - a Brown, a 'Bow, a Cut 'Bow and yes - a sucker (Jeremy's was bigger) - some times on guide trips - if a sucker is hooked and lost, you may hear us inform the client, "Oh Man, that was a good Brown!" - once the dissapointment sets in, we always 'fess up - they do fight and look like a brown down in a slot & we always hope they do throw the hook, cause none of us like to touch those rubber lips to get the fly back.

We also noted how easy it was to spook a run, just by rushing in too fast - little and big torpedos zipping here and there - so practice stealth - I had some good action by flipping my rig straight up stream - not as easy as cross drifting, but when managed correctly, very deadly. Trout that are out on the gravel are feeding actively, so look before you plunge in - most are still holding in the habitat, especially at 38 degrees (water temp) or below, but the ones out and exposed are easy targets - the Bald Eagles know this and they can see them from a pine tree 100 yards out.

Sun now cresrs the back yard range at 7:30 a.m. - sections that have not seen the sun since December are starting to see sunshine - more and more each day - Spring is right around the corner.

Week ending February 11th, 2010

Flow was dropped from 170 cfs to 140 cfs on Tuesday. Water is gin clear above Deckers Bridge and in the Canyon - off color below Horse Creek on warmer days and also due to work restoring the creek bed and removing the "swamp" about 2 miles from the shop. Additional work below Deckers in the river is adding to the off color. This project is about a 1/2 mile downstream from the shop - big earth mover in the river removing gravel & sediment, 2 dump trucks on the bank hauling it all away - we think they are trying to dig out around the gaging station equipment, but no matter what the purpose, we are gratefull - every yard they remove is a huge help - means it won't end up in the backyard or further downstream after run off. The clarity of the river is not that bad, very fishable down stream of these projects, and clarity actually improves the further down stream you go.

Received word from Denver Water (nice guy gave me a call at the shop after last weeks report) - the upper trail (near the dam) into the Canyon will remain open during the work on Cheesman Dam - AS LONG as everyone stays on the TRAIL - do not try to exit the Canyon up the road - go back out on the trail, please. If we all co-operate the trail will remain open, if not, they will have to close access. Now keep in mind this is a tough hike, much harder than the lower Gill Trail, and made even more challenging with melting, then overnight freezing, of snow - but there are some hogs up there.

Cheesman Reservoir will be closed to the public through all of 2010 and possibly as long as the spring of 2011 due to the project (valve & gate replacement of some ageing equipment). Major efforts will be made to keep runoff from spilling over the top this year (due to equipment being installed on the spillway)- basically, whatever comes in will be released out of the pipes - which means the overall river temperatures will remain cooler thru the summer, which is a good thing - The diving work that is scheduled to last thru the summer also means they will try to keep major fluctuations in the level of the lake to a minimum - we think and hope that will negate radical fluctuations in stream flows - another good thing.

With the lower flow of 140 cfs and the overnight lows still hovering in single digits, you can expect morning bank ice and sludge up to Bridge Crossing and even Trumbull - as this bank ice and sludge melts it also adds to the off color of the water, and the big slabs that end up in the drift can scare the crap out of you when they slam into your legs as you concentrate on a cross stream drift.

Snow started on Sunday and lasted until Tuesday morning, typ[ical cold winter storm, heavy at times on Monday, but light dry flakes, only about 2 inches on the ground and most all of that has already melted - if this had happened in March or early April it would have been over 18 inches.

DOW License reminder - your 2009 license is valid until March 31st, 2010 - so do not through it away ! (some have) - thing is, we can't start selling the 2010 license until March 15th - (it will be good until March 31st of 2011)

River is doing great, 1/2 day trips are really producing - next month we start offering our full day guided trips again for the 2010 season, but it is still a 10 or 11 a.m. to 2 - 3:30 p.m. river.

Week ending February 4th, 2010

That's right - February - Oh yeah - and I have really got into dead drifting bugs - I know that soon I will be floating them on the surface, I go to bed at night dreaming of drifts and takes like some count sheep - but this week was really cool - river looked great - some minor dis-coloring on the really warm days from creek run off, but not bad at all.

Flow remained steady at 170 cfs - still high for this time of year, but really helping dissipate ice build up. We have found sludge hatchs in the mornings - all the way up to Bridge Crossing on Tuesday - but they normally melt off in the afternoon - no sludge or ice in the Canyon or thru Deckers / Trumbull. If you do find sludge, just move upstream, you will eventually find clear water, then later in the day you can head back downstream, that's how we work the river these days

Work has started on the "Horse Creek Swamp" - removal of dead timber, stabilizing the banks and re-bedding the stream - CDOT, Forest Service & Douglas County are all involved - scheduled for completion by mid to end of March - which is ideal - you may see off color water downstream of Deckers as the heavy equipment works in the stream - but this is the perfect time of year for the project, and with the high flows of clear water from the dam it should not pose much of a problem - no matter what, any improvement on that 2-3 mile stretch will be worth it.

Fishable light at 7:15 a.m., with the sun cresting the East Range in the back yard at 7:50 a.m. - but it is too cold to be out at that time - still single digit readings above or below zero all week pre-sunrise - hits high 30's to high 40's by afternoon. Still a 10 or 11 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. river - sun now drops over the West Range at 5:15 p.m. - yup, the days are getting longer.

Dusting of snow last night, but the sun came out and I had another great R&D session until about 1:30 - then some clouds moved in with some wind - still fishable, but I had fooled enough. Jeremy has had some great 1/2 day trips - plenty of happy anglers - Jesse is still on the road with his brother whacking golf balls on the tour - but they call in every other day for river and shop updates.

Major project has started on Cheesman Dam - the reservoir will not open to the public this year - I am still trying to confirm if the upper trail into the Canyon will be closed, but no news yet - the Gill trail and Cheesnam Canyon will remain open during the work.

Storm due in on Sunday night, but the weekend looks great, this is one sweet river - find the habitat & you will find trout - some real good ones.

Week ending January 28th, 2010 + Friday the 29th

Wanted to wait until Friday, so I could check the whole river out - had to go to Conifer on a supply run, so dropped down Foxton Road to the North Fork - which you could probably skate on all the way to Bailey.

Once I got to the Old Hotel and the main fork, it was all ice free - not even any sludge - that was about 11:30 a.m. - surprised me, 'cause it has been cold at night - still mainly single digits above or below "0" pre-sunrise.

Flow from the dam remanied steady at 170 cfs all week - the whole river looked great - some really fishy looking runs up and down - gin clear water - the few times I got out this week were very productive - may even get out today, but at noon it is still hovering around 32 degrees - blue bird sky - 2 p.m. is sounding about right.

The trout I have fooled are big - just picture perfect in color and heft - I had to set the drag a little looser - hard to keep the rod tip up on some of the runs thay make - some real tailwalkers - these trout are "hot" - awful lot of fun, not a real slayfest, but a few here and there - plenty to keep you keen & happy

Light snow fall Wednesday night into Thursday - maybe 2" total, but we needed it - water temps still on the cold side (35 - 43) - no surface action that I have found, but a few reports of isolated risers in the afternoons on the small midge - if you have a hard time seeing the size 22 - 26 fraud, try trailing it 18" to 2' behind a 16 or 18 parachute Adams - then set on anything that risers near the larger fly.

Weekend looks great - air temp wise - January is almost over - February goes by quick - almost Spring !!

Week ending January 21st, 2010

Wanted to start this weeks report with a little reminder of river etiquette - or how to behave on a crowded river in the winter - or any season - I have had more than a few calls or comments at the shop regarding the subject - basically, don't crowd another angler - 50 yards is a good distance to enter the river on a crowded day near another fisherman - if you want to get in closer, just ask the gent or lady - what direction are you working?, do you mind if I slide in here (or there?, and work that way or this?)- so easy to do and usually with great response. If the response is not to your liking - just move on.

Rules of thumb - the angler working upstream has the right of way - to a point - when working around (upstream or downstream) of any angler stay as far back from the bank as you can - so, if working upstream you run into a stationary angler working a run methodically - you should yield the run, get out, move upstream on the bank (as far into the willows as possible - make an effort at least) then plunge back in - but, on the other hand, you see an angler methodically working his way up a bank, do not drop in 30' ahead of them - that's just plain rude. Most of this is common sense.

But, common sense does not always win out- and that is sad - so do your best to treat all who recreate on the river with respect & understanding - this winter we have plenty of open water due to the high flows, it all holds trout - if your favorite run or section is occupied, do a little R & D on your own, you may be surprised at what you discover - it's one of the most rewarding & one of the great parts of the sport.

Flow was dropped on Wednesday from 200 cfs to 170 cfs - looks really great, gin clear and mainly ice free - you may find morning sludge hatchs down past Night Hawk Hill - but otherwise it is just plain beautiful.

Trout are healthy, fat - and once they realize they are attached to your leader, very explosive. Still no surface action to speak of, but nymphing has been very productive - you have to hunt them out - look for the habitat - they are in there.

Weekend air temps are looking to be in the 30's - low 40's, but most of this week has been pleasant - cloudy, but nice after 11 a.m., in the high 40's to mid 50's - water temps in mid 30's to low 40's - depends on where you are, time of day and sunshine or clouds. Morning air temps have still been brutal - hovering around single digits above and below "0" - the woodpile has taken a beating this winter.

Lots of guides doing R&D this week - all having a blast, even the one that was really cold (we were both out too early - he earlier than I - but when we get a day off we both get very antsy - as most do) - love to hook up, see what is in there, what are they eating, how are they feeding - sure hope they throw the hook before the net has to come out - and the hands have to submerge - just another reason I pinch my barbs down - get a look at the trout, the bug he took, then give a little slack or bring the head up slightly and slip the fraud from the lip - gone - usually right next to my downstream boot for a rest, which I always let them have - love to watch them anyhow - before I move the foot and send them back into the run.

Week ending January 14th, 2010

Friday was the last day of a brutal arctic blast - minus 22 at the cabin pre-sunrise - did a full river survey and found that the sludge hatch started around bridge Crossing and was really heavy down by the old hotel - that is now gone and the river is ice free & gin clear. We have had no ice or sludge thru the Deckers / Trumbull sections this winter.

If you do encounter a sludge hatch (frozen, moving water that you really can't fish through), just start heading upstream - you will eventually find open water - as the day progresses (and warms) you can start heading back downstream - the sludge eventually dissapears.

Flow has remained steady at 200 cfs all week - very high for this time of year, but looks great and helps keep the ice away.

Even in all the sludge past Nighthawk Hill on Friday, I watched a Bald Eagle nab a nice Rainbow - pretty remarkable, diving right between the minor bergs - straight up to a dead pine to feast.

Morning air temps are still in single digits - but the last few days have hit mid 50's - picture perfect days - fantastic afternoons.

Sun is slowly tracking north over the East Range - little further every morning - rises now at 8 a.m., fishable light at 7:30 a.m. (but too cold for comfort) - sets at 4:30 p.m., with decent light until almost 5 p.m. - the days are getting longer and this weekend looks really good - temps in the high 50's through early next week with plenty of open water and trout that have not been bothered too much.

Some decent midge hatches (the really small bugs), but really no surface action - too much water at 200 cfs for the trout to move through, but if you are persistent, you may find the occasional nose in the late afternoon poking up along the bank or shallow slicks.

Week ending January 7th 2010

Don't know about you, but punching in 2010 feels realy weird - no way to explain it, just very weird.

Flow remained steady at 145 cfs, then was bumped to 170 cfs on Tuesday - just in front of brutal arctic air due on Wednesday / Thursday, then bumped again today to 200 cfs, which makes us think that the Water Board does not want to see a freeze on this section of the Platte. Some ice was reported way down by the confluence at 145 cfs, but most sections are ice free & look great.

The arctic front hit last night, minus 20 at the cabin this morning, hit a high of 10 degrees above zero, but no wind, blue skies, so it looked good - until you went to the wood pile. Good news, the weekend and most of next week look great, air temp wise - mid 40's to low 50's here in the valley - with plenty of sun - great flow, gin clear water, ice should not be a problem.

Still no real surface action (could change over the weekend), so a nymphing we all go - and it has been really good most days, but still remains a 10 or 11 a.m. to 3 -4 p.m. river.

Had a call from the pay phone in Deckers on Tuesday night - guy apologized for calling after hours (7 p.m.), got the cabin # from the front door of the shop - the sign that reads "Really need somthing before or after hours, call ...." well. he wanted to know where the nearest gas staion was (see report week ending Aug 27th for reference) - I replied "30 miles any direction you go" - "Really", he replies - I asked where he was headed, "to a restaurant here in the valley" (there are none), "No, I mean where are you going to end up at, where is home", "I came through Pine Junction" - "well, that's your best bet, if they are open, getting pretty late" - I think he rang off in a huff - On Sunday I had a family come in and ask "Where can we shoot are guns off at? - honest.

Section from the bridge below Deckers thru most of Trumbull is still pretty graveled in from the flash flood in July, but it is slowly moving out - runs change with every fluctuation in flows, be interesting to see what 200 cfs will do - the rest of the river has great habitat - lots of fishy looking spots.

Again, wanted to thank all of you who came by the shop this past weekend and bought stuff - really started the New Year off in a good way for us - greatly appreciated.

Week ending December 31st, 2009 (covers 2 weeks from December 17th)

Flow was dropped from 175 cfs to 140 cfs on Wednesday, December 20th - still high for this time of year, and we are happy for it - 'cause overnight temps have been brutal - yet the river remains ice & sludge free - and it looks fantastic - gin clear, not really any spot you can't get to, which opens up a whole lot of water. Horse Creek can turn clarity off downstream on really warm days (high 50's), but she was gin clear today (high 30's)

Sun has now hit its furthest track to the south, over the East Range in the back, cresting a little after 8 a.m. - truly a 10 or 11 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. river now - we have seen a few mornings these past 2 weeks in the 20's - when cloud cover locks in some day time warmth - but mainly single digits with a few below "0" - minus 10 was the coldest (4 times, 19th, 24th, 26th & 28th)

Sun drops over the West Range at 4 p.m. - many stretches do not see the sun all day - they should be avoided if at all possible - easy 10 degree air temp difference from sun to shade - yet I know of one outfitter that consistently guides on the stretch above Deckers Bridge to the Bend Hole (which won't see sun until March) - his clients look like, well, frozen - with plenty of trout in the sunny runs, it kind of baffles us.

And plenty of trout we do find - fat and healthy, a little sluggish on the initial set, but then they explode, so stay with your sets for a bit if you think it is a snag - we have had enough snags start to move upstream to prove the point.

Most days have been in the 30's, some 40's, a few 50's, a few more 20's - water temps from 35 degrees to 42 degrees, depending on the day and section - but this winter, we seem to be finding willing trout on just about every day.

A few small trout will come to the surface to slurp on the occasional midge, but it is back to nymphing for any sustained action - that includes me, once again dragged kicking and screaming into bouncing weight & bugs along the bottom, and once again, enjoying it after a sketchy start - (Jesse and I on R&D Tuesday and he took me to school - we really never count, but it was probably 20 to 1, and mine still has a midge larva in it's lip) - ego crushed, I went out Wednesday on my own and restored my self esteem - and hung some incredble trout - the last one, a big Ole Brown - upstream run after some violent sub surface head shaking, had contact and some control on the first 2 leaps - the 3rd leap, a real tail walker, well he was on his own, having parted company on the 2nd air flip, when my old reel locked up.

Bald Eagle in the dead Cottonwood in the back last week - typical sighting from the porch with morning coffee - but then one, then another, Crow (a little too small for Ravens, but could have been) took up roost in surrounding branches - they usually give the Eagles a wide berth - so this was odd - the Regal Raptor glances at one, then the other (truth) - proceeds to bend forward, in a stance I have begun to know well, and ejects a good old steamy one (if you have never witnessed this, it is, well - I've seen field goal kickers who lack that trajectory) - now, with another glance at the intruders (and I imagine a smile in the eyes) beats wings down to Bernies Pine tree to set up the next trout ambush, and holding the interlopers in complete contempt- I laughed so hard I soaked my long john top with hot coffee.

Weekend (& Friday) look really good, air temp wise - flow could not be better - views are incredible, still lots of snow on the ground, not many human tracks, and the ones left by the local 4 footed residents can leave you scratching your head - Jesse & I pondered over a set - Lion with a small kill ?, Beaver with no real dam site present ? (but they will build in funny places, or sometimes just mow down willows 'cause that's what they do) - Jeremy was stuck in the shop - (too bad one of us has to be) - then one track with blood near the paws - looked like claws in the track, which could negate a Lion, since claws are retracted during a walk (not always, but most often), a good retriever with a duck in soft mouth? Blood too specific to track we thought - a regular companion with paws cut on the sharp & slippery ice? - more likely, since I almost landed on my ass after a 360 arm flailing spin on the bank ice - man, that was close.

I really love this time of year - just forgot how much.

Following is a PS

I have a Good friend, Lt. Col....., serving as air/control/ support/ air Ops in, well, a very hot spot now a days- Academy Graduate - former (and probably still when he can work it) fighter pilot, Steath Pilot (he didn't like that - too many computers, not enough hands on - see, as a submersible pilot I hated digital, preferred analog, that's how old I am) , now we fish together some, but not enough - started out as a client, but he (and his good friend & lovely wife.....) have , well, become close - he called the cabin on Christmas Eve from the Post in the Far East- but I was on the river - missed it - tried to call the last # I had, but no joy !!! - So, Lt, Col. - Merry Christmas & A Good New Year - GET BACK HERE SAFE - GOT A GUIDE JOB WAITING ( That's what he really wants to do, and he is good enough) (... deletes the names, seemed like the right thing to do - but you know who you are & how I care)

So to all that read this and Serve - Thanks, from boat Captains in the South China Sea (got 1 e-mail), to all who sacrifice - you are never far from our thoughts, we wish you a safe passage and early return - and Lt. Col, I can't wait to share the river again !!!! - that was a good mail box run - remember?

Week ending December 17th, 2009

I wanted to start by thanking all who came in this weekend to "Buy Stuff" - really helped us out - and a few of you were not even fishing that day - just came up to spend some dollars and visit - so, Thanks !!!

Flow started out at 175 cfs on Friday, went down to 125 cfs that same day, then back up to 145 cfs on Tuesday, and back up to 175 cfs today - seems to me that if they held it at 150 cfs all week, they would accomplish the same results - but the magic equations used by the Denver Water Board still baffle me. I know that the North Fork is pretty solid with ice, and one year, not long ago, the DWB ignored this fact and flowed water out of the tunnel, which flooded river front Homes and Ranches - the water flowed over the existing ice - DUH !! - guess the equations were a bit askew. - but we will gladly take these higher flows from Cheesman.

Only one morning this week below "0" - Friday at minus 12 - then a winter warm up - pre-sunrise air temp on Sunday of 23 degrees - today started out at 15 degrees, but hit high 50's, it was, well, spectacular - white puffy clouds, really no wind - and trout feeding in fast water in the afternnon. Mornings are cold, but our day time highs match or exceed those in Denver most days.

Jeremy & Jesse both out today on a 1/2 day trip - Rich had the shop, so I got to play and check on the progress - this was Rick & 3 friends, who have booked us - well - alot this year - he gave me the mouse patterns to try a few months ago (the guides told Tim about the Lion, so I never got to try them) - they were slamming them - smiles all around - good day for all & it was Rick's Birthday - like I said, high 50's, white puffy clouds against a blue bird sky - it really can't be equaled - Rick even mentioned that the trout seemed bigger to him and asked if that was typical this time of year - I said no, you just had the right Guides with the right patterns.

River remains ice free for all of its course - Horse Creek (pretty much all solid ice now) started to melt down today and put the river clarity off below Deckers - not too bad, very fiishable - the flow increase also added to the off color, but should now help. River is fishing great, late morning, early afternoon it really starts to get going - Canyon and above Dekers bridge remains gin clear.

Sun rise is now 8 a.m., sets just past 4 p.m. - dark at 5 p.m., best time to be on the river is 10-11 a.m. to 2 - 3 p.m. - water temps ranged from high 30's to mid 40's - 38 and up, is what you are looking for.

Found out why so many of the sub-catchable trout were stocked above Deckers Bridge - on the day they came to dump them in, Horse Creek was flowing pretty ugly water, so instead of spreading them out thru the top 5 miles, all were dropped above the bridge.

Eagles have been very active this week, mainly around the cabin in the mornings - even had one perch in 1 of the 3 pines not 10 yards from the back porch - never had one in those pines before.

Weekend forcast looks OK - mid 40's, no wind and clear skies, so come on up.

Week ending December 10th, 2009

Well, winter hit the valley this week - and it hit hard - woke to minus 15 degrees (that's 15 degrees below "0") on Friday, then + 3 degrees Saturday, + 12 on Sunday, minus 15 again on Monday, minus 5 on Tuesday - then get this one, minus 32 degrees on Wednesday - thats 64 degrees BELOW fluid water molecules turning to solids - man, that's stupid cold - then minus 10 this a.m. - incredibly, on Wednesday afternoon we reached 21 degrees - a 53 degree swing.

You would think the river would be skate-able with temps like that, but no - flows have remained high - bumped up to 200 from 175 cfs on Friday, and up again on Saturday to 250 cfs - then dropped back to 175 cfs on Tuesday - no ice or sludge through Deckers down to Scraggy View - Jeremy did a river survey on Wednesday afternoon - shelf and bank ice started to appear past Scraggy, some "bergs" floating further downstream, but the whole river was fishable - the river looks sweet, just been to cold to try it - good thing is, no one has been trying it, so the trout should be getting a little stupid.

Minor snow fall on Sunday and Tuesday, but it was too cold for anything to really develop - on Tuesday the temp never rose above 0 degrees all day.. Sun now crests the range to the East a little before 8 a.m. and drops to the West a little after 4 p.m. - When you do go out, try to stand in the sun, and fish to the shade - as much as a 10 degree difference from one to the other.

This week was pretty much limited to wood pile trips and running the faucets and flushing the toilets - just to keep things flowing - when you turn on the hot water faucet and the water comes out - well, submerged in it, hypothermia would occur in 15 minutes - you tend to worry a bit - enough that you forget about using the fireplace to heat the cabin and resort to turning up the furnace (which I hate to do) - but it warms the crawl space where the water system lives, and you have to keep that in mind.

But also this week, we watched Jesse and his brother Shane go through PGA Tour School - Shane hits the ball, Jesse guides him through the course - they were on the tour in 2008 and it was fun to follow them on the weekends, but 2009 had them out on medical (Shane broke his foot) - they played a few tournaments in the Fall, but to get the card back, which allows you into all the PGA tournaments, they had to finish in the top 25 in a 6 day grueling marathon in Florida - 160 players - (most of them had to go through 2 prior qualifiers, but not the boys) - 25 spots - Last day, Monday - tied for 50th place - epic round of golf, a thing of beauty (and I don't even play the game) - drills a 7 under 65 - moved to a tie at 15th place (watched it on the shop computer & golf channel) - got the card - off to Hawaii in January - Happy for the boys, sad that Jesse won't be guiding as much this year on the river - but guiding on grass is OK too - and they have fun - 2 motor homes full of surf boards, shotguns and fly rods from 9 wts to 3 wts & oh yeah, some golf clubs.

Now don't get me wrong, this is a grinding tour - Wednesday Pro-Am, play Thursday & Friday, make the cut, Saturday & Sunday play for money ('cause if you DON'T make the cut, you get no money), Monday travel, Tuesday catch your breath, check the course - Wednesday Pro-Am - and on it goes, week after week. One weekend I did see Jesse off the 18th green, while players were still finishing putts, whack a few good Bass in front of the gallery in the water hazzard - all on the TV - (if you were looking) - with a 6 wt and surface frog.

Best estimate this winter is 4 adult Bald Eagles and 2 immature - but I think one of the 2-3 year olds changed to adult plumage - watched one in the old dead Cottonwood in the backyard preening lots of fluff - really don't know how it works, the change in plumage - but it looked about right.

Jeremy is out on a 1/2 day trip, Jesse has jail duty at the shop, when I stopped in this morning, it felt like old times, Jesse was rigged up ready to hang the "Honk Twice" sign on the door - Jeremy was planning out the trip strategy, we all smiled a lot - good to be with them - I await reports from both as I write

Weekend looks great - mid to high 40's predicted with plenty of sun, gin clear river, possibly stupid trout - I understand that 11 mile is iced up badly 3 miles from the dam - Spinney flows, but air and water temps are brutal - The North Fork is skate-able - frozen solid - needless to say, but say I will, revenue at the shop was, well, non-existent this week - so come on up, enjoy the river & panoramic winter vistas, and buy stuff - or call in and order stuff - any and all helps, trust me.

Week ending December 3rd, 2009

Started out the week with an increase in flow from 100 cfs to 140 cfs on Friday, then another bump up to 175 cfs on Tuesday - river looks great - minor bank ice, no "Sludge Hatch" - and pretty close to gin clear - all the way downstream.

Most of the week was really nice - then the bottom dropped out on Tuesday night - air temps dropped radically and the snow started to fall - light powder by Wednesday morning and the high at the cabin was 18 degrees - flurries off and on thru this a.m., and a high of 13 degrees - pretty early in the year for these kind of air temps - overnight lows stayed in single digits - mainly due to the cloud cover - weekend is looking OK - high 30's with sunshine, but another front is due Sunday afternoon.

Still finding rising trout to a nice midge hatch from 11 a.m. on into the afternoon, but it can be sporadic - higher flow will probably thin out the risers - but dead drifting patterns sub-surface has been great - all now depends on water temps - 38 degrees + and they will feed nicely, moving into the riffles as the hatch (midge) and the water temps rise.

Sun now crests the East Range in the backyard at 7:50 a.m., fishable light at 7:20 a.m., but you mainly just ice up your line guides - things seem to really get going at 11 a.m., when your guides will stay ice free - that helps when setting on a large trout - ice in the guides can break off a trout if you are not paying attention - worse case - you can break a rod (I've done it) - if you can't wait for air temps to reach 32+, try a little chapstick on all your guides prior to getting them wet - it can help - dipping the rod into the river will temporarily remove the ice, but it will come back, chapstick is a good trick.

Sun drops to the West at 4:20 p.m. - fishable light until 4:45 - but once that sun drops over the West Range, it gets COLD. - Pretty much a 10 a.m. to 2 - 3 p.m. river these days - some canyon sections will not see the sun again until March (above Deckers Bridge to the Bend Hole is one of them)

I do not expect the air temps to stay this low for long, just doesn't happen in the valley - rule of thumb is a morning temp of 10 - 20 degrees colder than a Denver overnight low, but day time temps will match or exceed a Denver daytime high - so far it has been an early winter - North Fork has already iced up badly - pretty soon, with the flows up, this will be one of the only ice free sections to angle on for the Front Range (and most of the State) - and with plenty of feeding trout (some of them are almost too fat in the belly) - well, this is the spot (11 mile and the Spinney sections can be brutal with this kind of winter)

Week ending November 26th, 2009

Flow started out the week at 50 cfs, but was finally raised on Monday to 100 cfs, an ideal winter flow - we just hope it holds.

Horse Creek clarity has improved and the whole river looks great - again have found a bunch of rising trout in the afternoon in Deckers - on a small hatching midge - really boiling on Wednesday & today - from little dinks to 16+ inchers.

Mornings are still COLD - single digits to low teens pre-sunrise - but it warms nicely by late morning - had some mid 50's and the next few days are said to hit high 60's - weekend should be great.

Great news about the new swamp that developed in Horse Creek about 2 miles from the shop from that monster storm cell in July that caused some nasty, but very local, flash floods. CDOT and the USFS are going to rebuild the stream bed and banks - they have already started stockpiling huge granite bolders along Rt 67 near Fletchers Ranch - not sure of the schedule or the scope of work yet - but anything will help.

We have had great angling with all kinds of stuff - all nymphing - to both Jeremy and Jesse's surprise, I actually rigged up a nymphing rod this week, and like all years, was surprised - again - how much fun it can be. The trout can get very active late morning & feed - a lot - we have used everything from big Stones (#10) to little midge (#22-24) and a lot in between and whacked 'em. A typical day with the 3 of us exploring will be "Oh, this is a good one", "What did he eat" - "Stone eater" - "look at this one" - "what did he take" - "R2D2" (flash back RS2) and so on.

On Sunday, Jesse in the shop, one of our good friends and great customers stops by mid-afternoon with a nuclear egg pattern lodged firmly in his cheek - he had been in the Canyon - one of those gusts of wind - tried to get it out, did not, but stayed for another hour of fishing - on the hike out he said a lot of people noticed, most averted their eyes, some really stared - quite the trophy Dan.

Told Jesse he was going to go home, have a few shots of whiskey, and start working on it again - "no way" said Jesse - "we can do it right now" (I know, minor surgery in a mountain fly shop) - so Jesse sets up the surgical tray - 3x tippet and a mirror for Dan.

Wraps the bend of the hook with the 3x, tells Dan to push the eye of the hook into his cheek, then tells him "on 3" - well, you never pull on 3, 'cause the patient will flinch - they always do - and the trick is to have the eye down on the skin - so Jesse goes 1, 2 - and a straight back yank !!! - egg ended up 5 feet away, bouncing off the wall - Dan "what happened to 3 - I was ready for 3" - little blood, no pain - whiskey probably went down real smooth.

Had a small buck in the backyard this morning, then, 10 minutes later, a good 8 pointer - both following does - looks like a good gene pool for next year - watched the immature Eagle stoop in the old dead Cotonwood Friday morning - then a mature bird came in with talons exposed - ran the young raptor off - one of those moments that a camera would have been priceless - Oh well, at least I was there.

Week ending November 19th, 2009

Flow has remained steady at 50 cfs all week - we thought it would be raised after the DOW trout survey last week, but no joy.

Storm predicted for Friday never materialized, but the winds did & the air temps barely reached the low 50's - storm predicted for Saturday did materialize - big time - started with light a.m. flurries which gradually grew to a total "white out" by 3:30 p.m. - woke to 12" on the ground Sunday morning and it was still coming down - gradually stopped by late a.m., but it was COLD - air temp never got out of the 20's - even with that, I sold 6 flies at the shop - customer was still a little shell shocked from his drive into the valley - came over Night Hawk Hill from Sedalia - coming down that hill in the summer can scare the crap out of you - I felt his anxiety, wondered about his sanity, was glad for his business - then told him to take Rt 285 back to Denver.

Then it really got COLD - Monday morning I woke to the furnace kicking in at 3:30 a.m. - I set it at 55 degrees, play a little game during the winter with the fireplace - shut off all the rooms I don't need, then try not to let the temp get below 55 by burning wood - but the bottom dropped out of the outside temp - minus 12 degrees - thats 12 degrees below "0" - the furnace won that round.

Fishable light at 7 a.m. - sun now crests the east range in the morning, almost as far South as it will get, at 7:40 a.m., sets to the West at 4:20 p.m., fishable until 4:45 p.m. - but we are really close to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. time on the river - all depends on air and water temps now - but most of the snow from the weekend blizzard is still on the ground - even with blue skies all week - usually gone in a couple of days - and with the slow melt off, the river can get pretty ugly, clarity wise, in the afternoon - more so down stream of Deckers - that should be better by the weekend, but if you do find brown water, just move upstream. A higher flow from the dam would help things out - so far no "sludge hatch" - just some minor bank ice.

Morning air temps gradually rose - 8 degrees above "0" this morning, low 50's by 3 p.m. - typical winter fluctuation - we are normally 20 degrees colder than the Denver overnight low - but usually match the day time high - 40, 50 & even 60 degree swings are not uncommon in the valley during winter, from morning lows to afternoon highs.

Still finding great midge hatch's from 10 a.m. on into the evening - but with the low. slow flow where the trout are feeding, getting a take is tough - too much time to inspect & reject your fraud - but get 'em you can - with patience & perfect drifts - nymphing has been very good - match the bugs in the clear water - chuck some flashy patterns in the off color sections

Had a rare treat this morning - an adult Bald Eagle in the dead Cottonwood in the backyard, joined by (one of?) the immature Eagles - we think there may be 2 of them this year.

Week ending November 12th, 2009

DOW performed the annual trout population survey this week - the main reason for the up & down flow rates from Cheesman Dam - started the week at 150 cfs, then down to 100 cfs on Saturday, down again to 50 cfs on Monday - survey work was done on Tuesday & Wednesday - I expect the flows to be increased in the next few days - but no confirmation from the Water Board.

Quickly turning into "Banking Hours" on the river - now 9 - 10 a.m. to 3 - 4 p.m. - soon to be later & earlier - lower teens to mid 20's pre-sunrise - but we hit high 60's most of this week - pretty ideal - start with gloves, hoody and wind breaker - by afternoon I am down to the fishing shirt, and if my waders didn't leak, I would have lost the long johns underneath the sweats - but they do leak, up high somewhere near the butt - gonna find that leak this weekend (I'm in jail) - and attack it with our UV wader repair - remarkable stuff - we even fix dry flies & windshield wipers with it.

At 50 cfs, we admit, the river fished a little tougher, but Jeremy with long time client Bob, really got into them today - last week they had a real battle - just goes to show how the river can give it up, or be pretty stingy - that's why we always go back - because of the tough days, you know they are in there feeding away - you just have to figure out the puzzle.

Yesterday I went on an R & D run solo - no bumps, takes, risers of any kind - had no real nymphing gear with me (still trying to drag them up, so I leave it at the cabin or in the Jeep) - went to a big dry with 2 dropped nymphs I found in a pocket & the micro shots I had in the shirt - still nothing (actually one 11" brown in a fast riffle on a caddis larva - Browns can be goofy) - then switched to bigger dropped stuff - found in the Jeep - first cast nice Rainbow, third drift - bigger Rainbow - all on the droppers - yup, winter is here, even at 50 cfs none that I found would move to a good surface attractor - but if I rigged up a true nymphing set.... - yeah, the puzzle is always easier here at the cabin in front of the fire.

I did find a great midge hatch with many rising trout above the Deckers Bridge on Sunday - tons of midges hatching every day from 9 a.m. on - but I was in Jail (the shop) and being a Sunday and all, I did not bring my gear (trying to stay focused & ignoring the rental stuff in the back room) - would have been a slay fest if I rigged up, but just watching the little (and a few hog) rascals gulping and gorging was what part of the sport is all about (so I tell myself) - observation, how do they feed, how much water will they rise through, any pattern or rhythm to it - lots of info to store, then somebody honks a horn.

Wanted to thank all of you who stopped by on Saturday - really helped us out (Sunday too) - we were hurt by the Big Storm at the end of October, so it was a relief to see so many in the shop - Jesse had the Saturday jail sentence and was pretty proud of the results, had the "Homk Twice" sign ready to hang, but never got a chance - he forgot his keys (I had opened early, so he did not notice at the time - Fishing Guides !!), so I went down at 3 p.m. to lock up - found him closing out the register in waders & boots - next morning I get "The Call" - "I Whacked 'Em" - Yeah, well - Jeremy doesn't forget his keys!!

I obviously did not "whack 'em" on Saturday - but we can't all figure out the puzzle - not every day.

Week ending November 5th, 2009

Flow started out at 50 cfs this week, was bumped to 100 cfs on Tuesday, then up to 150 cfs on Thursday - River is a little off color below Deckers, not really noticeable - great flow for this time of year, and the river is fishing great

Running a winter special on our river front cabin - see the details above - can't beat this offer - one sweet deal

Clocks were turned back on Sunday, so the hatch comes off earlier - but the BWO's have really slowed down - good thing is that the p.m. midge hatch has been incredible - millions of them - we have some great patterns at the shop that cover this difficult hatch - difficult 'cause the bugs are SO small - but the trout get on them in certain areas - we have some good tricks too, that make seeing the take on a size #24 dry a lot easier.

Fishable light at 6:45 a.m., sun crests the east range at 7:20 a.m., sets to the west at 4:40 p.m., dark by 5 p.m. - had our first "below 0" pre-sunrise air temp of the season last Friday - rest of the week stayed in the mid teens to mid 20's - but day time temps have been great - high 50's to mid 70's - weekend looks fantastic and so does next week, couple of minor fronts, but nothing major at this time.

Most all of the snow has melted, so clarity should not be a problem - until the next storm hits - but the higher flow from the dam really helps.

Word is that the reason the flow went to 50 cfs was for the annual DOW electr0-shock survey of trout populations - but some mis-communication had it a week early - they have actually been up in the reservoir checking the salmon population and extracting eggs - so it is possible that we will see the flows dropped back down some time next week to get the work done - then, hopefully back up for a good winter flow rate.

Week ending October 29th, 2009

Winter hours start at the shop on Monday November 2nd - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday Thru Friday - Sat & Sun 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Storm last Thursday left about 6" on the ground on Friday morning - bitter cold to start the week - Saturday was nice, but another front came in on Sunday and it was pretty nasty out there - near white out at 5 p.m.

Flow was dropped to 50 cfs on Friday - river went a little off color from weekend snow melt, but has been fishing well - still getting BWO's in the afternoon - enough surface feeders to keep it interesting, but nymphing has been the most productive - weight and distance from weight to indicator very critical in the low flows. River is clear from the dam to the confluence with the North Fork.

Another storm hit early Wednesday morning (Monday and Tuesday were really nice, mid 50's and only light winds) but the snow started again at 4 a.m. Wed., it is still coming down at 5 p.m. on Thursday - 37 hours straight - 'suppose to stop this evening, but right now it is still blowing and going - we have about 18" on the ground in the valley - deeper drifts on the North side of the cabin up to the bedroom windows - I hear some of the surrounding range - and access to the valley - has up to 3 feet - this was a monster storm that came in and kind of stalled. Have not seen Mt. Scraggy or the top of the backyard range for 2 days - trips to the wood pile have become a real adventure, it being on the North side of the cabin.

I was not going to open the shop on Wednesday, but got a panic call from Kurt - going on an Elk hunt Friday and had yet to get his tag - so I met him at the shop and got him all set - also reminded him that he had 2 months of GOOD weather to get this done - did not want to wait until Thursday 'cause I was sure we would lose power in the valley by Wednesday afternoon - but we didn't - it is still on - pretty amazing - all that heavy snow and all that wind - I never even had to climb the ladder to sweep off the TV dish (yet - it's still coming down)

Immature Bald Eagle got another trout in the home hole on Tuesday morning - getting pretty good nailing them in the riffle - parents taught him (her) well. Still getting huge numbers of Mule deer on the property, but no Bucks this week - have not spotted the Lion or cub yet, but with all the new snow I will check for tracks on Friday - always like checking new snow for tracks - really gives you an idea haw many critters are really out there at night - a lot more than you would think.

Friday weather looks OK, weekend looks even better, mid 60's predicted for the start of next week - all of this snow, along with the low flow from the dam, will probably put the river clarity off on some afternoons - but that can be a good thing - as Jesse & Jeremy say "you can fish a lot of junk", with all the leaching from the banks - bigger, colorful patterns will produce - but if it is clear, you gotta go smalL

Sun now crests the East range at 8:15 a.m., but we change the clocks back on Sunday 1 hour, so that will change to 7:15 a.m. - the bugs do not know we do this, so hatch times will be a little earlier - say starting around 11 a.m. - if it happens.

Week ending October 22nd, 2009

Flow was dropped on Tuesday from 100 cfs to 70 cfs - river looks great. Friday thru Tuesday were picture perfect days - some wind, but it came and went on most days and really didn't make too much of a difference - BWO's are still hatching - bright days it starts early - 12 - 12:30 p.m. and can be sparse in areas and not last long, seems to come in waves - cloudy days it starts a little later, but can get very heavy and last a lot longer - almost too good - so many naturals on the water it can be a challenge to fool 'em.

Snow started Wednesday morning at about 4 a.m. - light and wet, not much sticking, but pretty socked in here in the valley - only about 2" on the ground, then around 4 p.m., it really came in - lasted until about 11 p.m. leaving a good 6" on the ground - 19 hours straight - sure looked beautiful on Thursday morning - but it started to melt quickly - river went a little off color in the afternoon from road and creek run-off - but it fished really good. Clarity should be fine by the weekend - and the weather looks very fishy.

Huge herd of mule deer on the property Wednesday morning - 14 does & fawns with a little 3 prong buck trying to hide among them (probably lost the 4th prong when he met a real buck) - he ain't no dummy - I guess they think the property is home base - rifle season started last weekend

Immature Bald Eagle stalking the back yard this week - got a small trout in the home hole on Friday morning - probably 2 - 3 years old - just getting the white head and tail feathers - almost looks like an Osprey as it matures into a full adult, but as big as a Golden Eagle - these babies are huge, compared to the mature ones - but it is all feathers.

Last week I did a little R&D run in the back yard - just to see how things looked at the lower flows - I was surprised at how much the habitat had changed due to the flash floods of July 21st - really impacted the river from Deckers down to Sway Back Ranch - lot of new decomposed granite - changed a lot of the runs, but still plenty of trout if you know where to place a cast. Found a lone riser near an old beaver house sweep - not too tough of a cast, little upstream air mend, then a good 2 - 3 foot drift before drag would set in, if you did it right.

Made the cast, not great, but I would get the 2 feet I needed - rise, take, set, tension and a head shaking violently - and out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement - looked down and 2 feet from my upstream leg swims a 5 foot (maybe 6) Bull snake - a true monster - thick around as my wrist - probably thought I was a mid stream log he could hang out on, but, I guess, setting on the trout had spooked him.

Now, on the section I was in is a big rock - only rock there - I know this rock well, knew exactly where it was at the time - a little behind and a little down from me - but in my effort to get away from the Evil Beast I moved back and downstream and started to trip over the rock - as I try to retain an upright position, I lose the trout and un-intentionally whacked the Anaconda smack in the middle of his back with my rod - honest - you don't want to f&@! with a big Bull snake - especially mid-stream - but whack him smartly I did.

Now he whips around to face me - doing that "S" thing they do - and I'm still going down - my thought is in a second I will be belly floating, face to face at the Vile Serpent's level - with no defense at all - nose, eyes and lips exposed to a horrible lightning quick attack - but, I managed to remain upright - I really don't know how - it was SO close.

He continues to drift downstream, still doing that "S" thing and makes a 90 degree turn upstream - keeping me in his sights - boy, are they good swimmers - 10 yards down he makes another 90 degree turn and heads for the bank - that's when I got the take on his true size - as he crossed the gravel bar and his head entered the willows his tail was still in the river - yup, more like 6 foot.

Now my friend Mitzi - Tim's wife - does not like going down in the backyard to the river alone - says there are too many snakes - Jesse, Tim, Jeremy and I have always tried to assure her that there are no snakes, we never see any, honest - well Mitzi, there's a big bastard down there now!!!

Morning air temps have been COLD - mid 20's, some high teens, but it can warm up quickly - start with small midge patterns in the morning, dead drifting along the bottom or mid water - switch to emerging May Fly patterns late morning or early afternoon, then if you see some noses, go to cripples or full duns for the surface action.

Used to have 2 packs of coyotes in the range behind the cabin - North pack and South pack - see a few of them in the mornings some times down at the river - they never cross for some reason - but I got used to hearing them every morning with the first pre-sunrise cup of coffee on the porch - both packs yapping away - probably over a new kill - but these last few months have been quiet - then Duane, working the back yard on the far bank with some clients found some Lion tracks last week - one BIG set, and one small set - a cub - Jesse and I found single Lion tracks downstream a few weeks ago, among a bunch of Elk tracks - but not the cub. - Lions eat coyotes - then run the rest off - probably to Castle Rock or Woodland Park where they terrorize residents, small dogs and house cats

A great client of ours, Rick - gave me two mouse patterns a few weeks ago - great looking things with eye balls and all - I wanted to try them for big nasty browns after midnight this year- was also waiting for the bears to start holding up for the winter and the flows to get to - well - where they are now - Theory is that the Big Ole Browns turn into real predators at a certain age and size - sulk all day on the bottom, but come out like sharks at night to chase and eat all kinds of stuff - other trout, mice, snakes, duclklings - Big Cats, don't "winter up" - and with a cub, well - they can get a little testy, so I'm gonna keep those patterns, give one to Tim, not say anything about the Lion, and get him to go with me some night - I think I can out run Tim in a sprint (only kidding Tim, but we are talking about Big Ole Browns - you understand) -

I have also heard that if you run away in a zig-zag pattern, flailing your arms wildly in the air, and screaming like a little girl, you stand a better chance of survival - 'cause the Lion (or bear) is laughing too hard to continue the chase - keep that in mind Tim.

Week ending October 15th, 2009

I have been as busy as a one eyed cat watching two mice holes - so this is a late and brief report - next weeks will be better - including a snake story

Flow was raised from 75 cfs to 100 cfs on Wednesday - if you go back through the last few weeks you will see a lot of fluctuation in flows, but it now , hopefully has settled into normal fall/winter conditions - we like 125 - 150 cfs, but 100 ain't bad.

Last weekend was pretty much winter conditions - no snow or precipitation, but just raw COLD - mainly from wind chill - then it settled into fall conditions - perfect weather and BWO's hatching every day - just depends on where you are, but it has been good - tons of midges too - nymph the morning, then switch to dries if you see some noses

Sunrise 7:45 a.m., sunset 5:45 p.m. - river is clear and looks great - weekend looks fantastic - air temps in the high 60's - get up here.

Week ending October 8th + Friday the 9th

Flow was dropped from 250 cfs to 150 cfs on Monday, then down to 120 cfs on Tuesday, dropped again on Wednesday to 100 cfs then again today, Friday to 75 cfs - drastic cuts in flow rate put the trout off on some days as they move around and find new holding & feeding runs

COLD mornings most of the week, but it usually warmed up nicely - like today - I had 12 degrees at the cabin pre-sunrise with the Jeep covered in fresh powder and the windshield wipers firmly iced in, but it hit the mid 50's by the afternoon - then the next front started to move in and the wind picked up & temps started to drop.

2 inches of snow on Thursday afternoon, cloudy and cold all day - and a great BWO hatch around 1 p.m. that lasted until the snow got too heavy - trout were boiling up where the bugs were thick - looks like this weekend will be a repeat - cold and cloudy - plus a low flow which means none of the trout are far from the surface. Looks like this next front (with snow predicted) will stall North of the valley - but you never know.

Dry/Dropper rigs should now be very effective fishing the water until (if) the hatch comes off - then it is an easy switch to the proper fraud and targeting specific risers.

Week ending October 1st, 2009

That's right - October 1st - where did the season go - this one just flew by - but now it is true fall - Aspens & Cottonwoods are almost at peak color - fantastic visuals - gin clear river, nip in the air with Blue Bird skies, this just simply does not suck.

Flow was bumped up from 185 cfs to 250 cfs on Tuesday, river went a little off color in the afternoon, but looks great today. Surface action along the banks remains good - still getting BWO's in the afternoon with occasional rising trout - Jesse & I did a little R & D on Tuesday - mainly just checking the river before the flow increase hit the lower sections - found a few risers in challenging spots - we got 'em - and these were tucked away in tight, safe (they thought) sleepy little hides - way too much fun.

First Bald Eagle of the season was spotted in the backyard on Saturday afternoon - then again on Sunday - could be a migrator moving further south, or the resident that lives the year round at the private ranch we guide on about 12 miles away - or it could be one of the winter residents - an early arrival, they usually show up around Halloween and stalk trout on the river until mid-April, hopefully not a precursor to a long winter.

Mornings have been cold, ice on the Jeep's windshield almost every morning, except Wednesday, when I woke to a pre-sunrise air temp of 45 degrees - and wind - all day - 30 - 40 mph gusts, finally knocked the power out in the valley at 1:30 pm when a tree just could not handle it anymore - closed the shop at 3 pm, power came back on about 6:30 - just in time for our 3 day guest cabin visitors.

Sun now crests the Rampart Range in the back yard at 7:40 a.m., and has steadily worked its way south, now about mid-way, until it stops and begins to move north in the spring - Pre-sunrise air temps have been in the low 30's to high 20's, but most days have seen afternoon temps in the 60 - 70 degree range - water temps are in the mid 40's, fishable light at 6:50 a.m., sunset over the West Range about 6:30 p.m., and fishable light for another 1/2 hour.

This is such a beautiful time of year - my favorite, even if the wind can add an extra challenge on some days - weekend forcast looks perfect - mid day air temps in the 60's, all kinds of bugs around (Terrestrials, BWO's, Quills or Sulphers, Caddis), Browns coming into spawning colors (hold one gently and really look - the reds, blues, blacks and yellows are unreal) - and enjoy a day.

Week ending September 24th + Friday the 25th

Monday, September 21st - the last day of summer - and it snowed in Deckers - real good in the morning, almost a white out at the shop at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, September 22nd - first day of fall - and it again snowed in Deckers - not as bad as the last day of summer, but it was snowing - the rest of the week was about the same - more rain than snow, but pretty raw, damp & cold - thought I was in the northwest - but the sun came out today & the weekend, into most of next week, looks a lot more normal - low 70's & sunshine

Flow started out at 300 cfs this week, was dropped to 200 cfs on Monday, the last day of summer, when it snowed - then dropped again on Thursday to 150 cfs - but wait - some calculation must not have equated - 'cause 24 hrs later, today, it was bumped back up to 200 cfs.

Went a little off color this afetrnoon, but should be fine all weekend long.

BWO's downstream and upstream from the shop - Canyon too - other odd mayflies, tricos are thinning out, but you never know - could stumble onto the odd spinner fall.

Mornings are quiet, songbirds have mostly departed along with the swallows and hummingbirds - pre-sunrise hoots from the Horned owls are about it, deer rustling around in the willows in the back yard - and a lone screeching Osprey circling at mid morning - might as well snow, sounds and feels like winter - at least this week - but summer is forcast to start again tomorrow.

Week ending September 17th, 2009

Flow from Cheesman started out this week at 275 cfs, dropped to 220 cfs on Sunday, then bumped way back up to 300 cfs on Wednesday. We do not know why - the North Fork was also bumped - must have been a call for water somewhere downstream. Cheesman is about 10' down from the spillway and an estimated 250 cfs is entering the reservoir - which means the level is still dropping. Maintenance work on the dam was completed over the weekend, so we felt sure the flow rate would be cut, not raised.

We now hope to see lower flows within the next few weeks, but 300 cfs is pretty nice - not too many places you can't get to - if you are careful.

River is looking great, did not go off color during the latest bump, but some debris was in the drift for awhile, nothing major. Horse Creek is still off color, but not really affecting the river downstream of Deckers. West Creek looks a lot better this week, all the springs are clear, along with Trout Creek - problems still exist with the newly created "swamp" about 1.5 miles from the shop on Horse Creek

Stll no major hatches in the Deckers section, but Tricos, BWO's & other odd May Flies are bringing the trout up in the Canyon and downstream from Trumble.

With the higher flows, dry/dropper rigs are limited, but still produce in the right water - otherwise, stick with weighted nymphs until you see some risers, then switch - or try a caddis (Goddard got a few the other day) or terrestrial pattern along the banks and shallow pockets, again, until you see some risers - sippers are on Trico Spinners, gulpers are on the May Flies.

Week ending September 10th, 2009

Flow remained steady at 275 cfs all week - river is gin clear above Deckers Bridge and in the Canyon - just slightly off color below the bridge (follow the stick) to the confluence with the North Fork - slightly, meaning not gin clear, but pretty close, meaning pretty perfect - feeder creek survey today showed a vast improvement of clarity on West Creek, which was hammered at its source at West Creek Lake a few weeks ago by one of those "isolated storm cells"

Not a whole lot of new stuff to report - I have had "second hand" reports, from reliable sources, of great BWO and Pale Morning Dun hatches in the Canyon, but I have not been in, so can't confirm - sporadic Trico's - but that should pick up

Jeremy has found good Trico Spinner falls as far upstream as Trumbull - and a few trout keying in on the egg laying spinners - and each one fooled by one of our clients - but nothing really steady - high flows keep the trout from reacting - and 275 is high for spinner falls - keep a sharp eye to the banks, slicks and tailouts for sippers.

Hung the "Honk Twice" sign on the door of the shop this Wednesday and took "Amy" for a walk - "Amy" being a big old ugly stone, hopper, I don't know what dry fly fraud - 3rd cast at the beaver sweep produced a beautiful 15" Brown that just could not resist "Amy" - worked my way back downstream on the opposite bank, practicing mend and pile casts - but without a flash or swirl - was just about to exit river left, and thought, hell, why not - laid out a decent mend cast, big ole "Amy" floating and swirling - then the sweetest rise and take you can imagine - inhaled good ole "Amy" - maybe 12" Brown - probably 11" - but what a great tussle and release - and I mean "inhaled" - right down on the tounge - and I set pretty quick - as surprised as I was that I had a take in that little slot - I was just admiring the drift.

Went back to the shop to see if any one needed help & check the voice mail (a few folks were hanging at the bridge, watching - but they were not clients, just saw the sign, grabbed an ice cream from the Deckers Cafe, and came over to watch) - some just wait 'till I return, not wanting to disturb the serenity with a double honk - trust me, 2 honks are OK.

So, I helped a new visitor to some patterns, then he purchased a "T" shirt to boot - that made my slow day - and I went back out - downstream, placed "Amy" straight upstream in a little shoulder of current - noticed a new stick (read "tree limb") pointing to the sky as I laid out the cast - was not there prior to the last flash floods ( the tree limb/pine trunk) - sure enough, a hog, slab of bacon Rainbow Trout slammed good ole "Amy" - had to be an easy 18" - closer to 20" - amd took me right up and around the new stick (tree limb) - and that's all I got to say about that.

River looks great - flow a little high for this time of year, but that's OK - you can fool 'em with the right patterns and approach - dead drifting on the bottom is still the most productive technique - but I like to practice casting, for when the true hatches come off, so taking "Amy" for a walk seems about right.

Week ending September 3rd, 2009

Wanted to thank all that enjoyed last weeks report - hope no one took it in a negative way (by the comments, mails and in person meetings at the shop, I do not think any one did - but we do not want to scare any one off - so come on by)

Flow remained steady at 280 cfs all week, Horse Creek is still off color, but is not having much affect on the river downstream from Deckers - it is not "gin clear", but really looks good & is fishing great - a "little" off color sometimes helps. River upstream of Deckers and in the Canyon is "gin clear" - looks fantastic - all other creeks and springs are clear, but still running high for this time of year.

We have had some light afternoon showers this week, but they moved on quickly and no damage was done - actually fished pretty good right after them.

I have managed to drag a few up on surface attractors here & there - enough to keep it interesting, but far more were fooled this week with dead drifting nymphs along the bottom - or, in the right spot and water depth, dry attractor with a 2' dropped and weighted nymph (Jesse had a client on Saturday, they switched to the above rig + a smaller nymph (Dry Double Dropper) and had 3 trout on at the same time - one on each nymph and one on the dry)

Jeremy has been whacking them with nymphs most of the week - some days are a little tougher than others (that's why we always come back) - we have been very happy anglers.

September already !!! - this summer flew by - some of the Cottonwoods in the back are already "tipping" - getting some color on the crowns, leaves are slowly turning from dark to light green - this was as cold a summer as I can remember, going by pre-sunrise temps - mainly 30's and 40's with the rare low 50's - sun now crests the East Range at 7:20 a.m. - starting that slow march south, every morning, a little further down the range. Fishable light at 6:45 and just barely fishable until 8 p.m. (more like 7:45 p.m.)

Swallow group that hangs out at the cabin has departed, along with a few of the hummingbirds - a few swallow groups are still present along the river, but probably not for long

Still no real "hatches" in the Decker's sections - bugs here and there throughout the day - Pale Morning Duns, Blue Wing Olives, Tricos, but nothing of any significance in numbers or density, terrestrials are coming more into play, along with some caddis patterns if you want to try the surface - then, if a hatch does come off, your ready for it.

Coming into my favorite time of year - I expect the flows to gradually drop this month (we shall see), and the surface action to pick up (if) as the flows recede - I heard, but have not confirmed yet, that they are dropping the level in the reservoir to perform some maintenance, once they hit the correct level and the work is completed, I think the flows will drop way down, in order to re-fill Cheesman.

Week ending August 27th, 2009

Flow was dropped last Thursday to 210 cfs from the 2 day flush of 500 cfs, then bumped back up to 280 cfs on Monday, where it now remains.

River clarity cleared out nicely all the way to the confluence by Friday and we had a great weekend, with many trout fooled and most brought to the net, up and down the whole river - Jesse, Randy & John had a trip on Saturday with 6 clients - they estimeted that 75 to 100 trouit were hooked on the full day trip - sounds like the "Lies" at "Flies and Lies" were in evidence, but, if you think about it, that's 12 to 15 trout per client - which brings it back to reality - but also puts to bed the stories that the flash floods of July 21st ruined the river - again.

But we got hit with some brutal isolated storm cells on Tuesday night - one really whacked West Creek Village. I made a headwater survey today and found that Trail Creek, that feeds into West Creek Lake, was clear, but the lake was a brown mess - water out of the fall (bottom draw outflow) pipe and over the spillway was chocolate.

Could take a few days for the lake to settle, which means it will take that long for West Creek to start to clear. Trout Creek, that joins West Creek 3 miles from the shop to make up Horse Creek, is also clear, along with all the springs that feed both (some of which I have never seen run this late in the summer, some I didn't know existed until all the rain this season) - so as you sit on the bridge at Deckers, Horse Creek looks pretty ugly as it joins the clear flow from upstream on the Platte from the dam.

Some improvement to the clarity of the river was evident this morning (Thursday) below Deckers, but Horse Creek is still a mess - the Canyon and above Deckers Bridge are excellent - gin clear and lots of habitat - below Deckers is barely fishable - but improving. With a dry forcast for the next few days, the river below Deckers will slowly clear & fish pretty good with the right "Off Color Water" tactics - as I file this report on Thursday evening, the backyard is now (barely) fishable - a good sign.

Huge Flying Ant hatch at Deckers last evening, about a # 16 - PMD's in the Canyon - sporadic May Flies throughout the river - no Tricos in the Deckers section yet - fingers crossed that they will start soon - but I grudgingly had to admit to Jeremy & Jesse, that, yes - a lot more sand & decomposed granite have filled in some good runs - not so bad in the pocket water and riffles, but flat, "meadow" sectionds took a hit from the July 21 hell storm. You have to adjust, once again - if a favored run or stretch has changed - explore a little - find the habitat & you find the trout.

Some of you may notice a change in my demeanor and attitude at the shop on most weekends - gruff, cranky, aloof - just a plain old #$%hole - usually after 1 or 2 p.m. - so I wanted to give you all an insight as to what can happen to a river specific "Fly Shop Guy", stuck in jail (at the shop) for 10 hours, who starts his day in a great mood, but which can slowly (and sometimes rapidly) deteriorate:

Had a group (only once so far this year - thank God) of 4, blow through the screen door and in a loud aggresive voice "are you doctor hook?" - I said "excuse me?" - then, "are you Danny?" - "yes, can I help you", "well. we have sort of a problem we were told you could help us with", and he proceded to spin around his short, but ample female companion, and stuck deeply in the folds of flesh below her left shoulder blade was a Mepps Spinner - "We was told you could get this out", I - "probably could, but, sorry, I'm not going to touch that - Woodland Park is the closest emergency room" - now, on the river, with a client who has signed a release form, I can easily extract a barbed, or barbless single fly hook with quiet ease, and continue the day - but a huge barbed treble hook, embedded deep in multiple folds of flesh, from a party that walks in the door for the first time - well, I could see the lawyers hounding my simple life within weeks "'cause I performed minor surgery on thier client in the back room of a mountain flly shop without a license" well, they left in a huff.

"Hey, got any worms?" - ( 3 -4 times a day) - my standard answer is "Yes, that's why I'm so skinny" - after a blank stare, "No man, nightcrawlers" - "Oh - no - sorry - can't use them in the river - no bait allowed - flies and lures only" - "How about Power Bait?" (honest, I am asked that) - "No sir, but think about one of the words in that product - that one word should answer your last question" - again, they leave in a huff.

"How do we get to Deckers?"(4-5 times per day) - "OK, go back through the screen door (me, as they stand on the deck outside the shop) "your there"

"Where is Cripple Creek?" (1 -2 times per day) -"Well, you have to go back the way you came about 25 miles and take a right" - What!!?" - "Yes sir, you took a right when you should have stayed straight in Woodland Park - about a 1 hr drive from here to Cripple Creek" - "Well, is there another way to go" - "Yes, take Rt 126 to Rt 285, follow 285 to Fairplay, then follow the signs to Rt 24 and Cripple Creek" - "How long will that take?" "about 3 hours" - "why would I want to go that way, it's twice as long" "'cause you asked me if there was another way" - they leave in a huff.

"How do I get to Platte River Campground?" (or somewhere downstream - 15-20 times per day)- "follow the river downstream about 5 miles, it's on the right" - "Oh, so I go that way (as they point towards Woodland Park) "No, drive out of the lot, bare to the right, and follow the river downstream" - "Oh, so that way" (as they point to Rt 126 across the river) - "No, tell you what, I'll make this simple for you, walk over to that bridge, on your way, pick up a stick, when you get to the middle of the bridge, throw the stick in the river - and follow it - the stick is going downstream" - again, a blank stare, but before realization takes hold, I say, "Now, if you want to go upstream, DO NOT follow the stick" - and one more time - yup, out the door in a huff.

"What are they biting on" (40 -50 times per day - honest, the amount of times asked in a day, and my favorite question - unless...) - so I run down the flies du'jour - "Oh, what does that look like", so I go over and show them. "Oh, OK, I got stuff like that, Where should I go?" - "Well, I would try the river, usually fishes better than the parking lot" - now I know they do not have anything like the exact patterns I pointed out, but what they really want to know is what rock to stand next to, the exact amount of line to have out, and where in the drift to place the cast. Now, on the next level, is the angler who picks out 1 or 2 flies and asks the same question - standard reply is "The further upstream you go, the bigger they get and the smarter they get, further downstream you go, the smaller they get and the dumber they get - "Ok, how do I find the small, dumb ones" - "Well, you walk over to that bridge, pick up a stick.............

Truth is, with me anyhow, the more buttons I push on the cash register, the more in-depth information you will get - buy a set of waders and a St Croix rod, and I'll probably hang the "Honk Twice" sign on the door and take you across to the bridge and spot trout for you. I am usually in a great mood and will do what I can to point anyone in the right direction - depending on what you want to do and what time of day it is.

Otherwise, my standard response is, after I say the "standard response" (see 2nd paragraph above line 4 and 5) and I get "Well, where would you go to get some fish today" - "I would hire one of our guides and go with him" - you see, all of us at Flies & Lies and South Platte Outfitters, on any day off we can get, go find trout on the Platte - so that we know how to get you into them without having to figure it out on your time on a guided trip - we do it for free, enjoyment, knowledge, relaxation, satisfaction, adventure - and to know with confidence, that a day spent with us, well you can't find better. Despite how some of this weeks report may sound - we truly and deeply love this river and this sport - and most of all, those who embrace it with us.

Two guys walked into the shop (single event), Evan was sitting at the tying desk, and I hear "Hey, we are really late - 'suppose to meet some friends, do you know where they are?" - Evan started to giggle, me "are you really asking me that question?" - "Yeh dude, any idea?" "Well, no - we have had 40-50 people in here this morning, and I honestly could't tell you where any of them are" - and they left - that's right - in a huff.

Phone call (only once) "How do I get to 11 mile Canyon?" - "Where are you calling from?" - "Hartsell" - "Hartsell?, Ok, do you see Rt 24" - "Yes. I'm on Rt 24" - "OK, stay on it until you see the turnoff to 11 mile Canyon on your right - if you get to Colorado Springs, you missed it" (for those of you who do not know, Hartsell is about a 2 hr drive from the shop - easy 75 miles away, 1 hr past 11 mile Canyon going in the wrong direction - 11 mile Canyon entrance is an easy 1 hr drive from "Flies and Lies" - half way between the shop and the caller)

Phone call "How is the clarity below Deckers" (20-30 times per day) - "excellent", I reply - "Really!!?, I was told ....." - "Oh, OK, I'm lieing" - now this one did bite me on the butt this week, got a call this Tuesday at the cabin and was asked the "Question" - and at the time, before the storms hit, it was exceptional - when I relayed this to the caller, I got the "Really!!?, I heard......." - so I said, "No sir, I'm lieing to you" - brief pause, then I finally blurted out "No, really, it is great" - he hung up - but then the storm hit, and the river turned to crap - I thought about that guy, arriving at the river on Wednesday morning and still wondering if I was a sarcastic SOB, or I really was lieing.

Young children walk through the door and instantly jam thier fingers into the fly bins - I guess they think it is full of candy, 'cause they can't see above the rim - then 'OWIEEE" - just as one of the parents walks through the door - so I walk over and extract a #22 RS2 from the little digit as the parent says "L'il Billy, I told you dun't tuch nuth'n!!!!", as Billy , instantly forgetfull of his last inter-action at the fly shop, procedes to the retractors on the wall and starts to try and play a form of "Pin Ball" - they leave in a huff.( with, I'm sure, L'il Billy still on the up-swing of what "Dun't tuch nuth'n" really means)

'Where is the nearest gas staion" ( 5-7 times per day) - I reply "25 to 30 miles any direction you take", "Really!!? " - nope, I'm lieing again.

"How do I get to Cheesman Reservoir" (20 times per day) - "How do I get to Cheesman Canyon" (another 25 times per day) - "take the road across the bridge, Rt 126 towards Rt 285" - now, interrupting "You mean that way" - as they point towards Woodland Park - "No sir, just bare with me - go across the bridge and follow the road up 2 miles" - again, interrupting, they point to the "Y" Camp road -"That way?" "No, see the bridge sign marked Rt 126 TO Rt 285- go across it, 2 miles, go past Wig Wam Club on the left, just past it is the dirt road #211 on the left to the reservoir, just past that is the huge parking lot for the trailhead to the Canyon, also on the left - (the operating word being "left" - the right is a cliff slope) "OK, got it, do you have a piece of paper I can write this down on?"

One guy will walk in the shop and ask "What are they biting on", I will run through the day's requirements, pointing them out in each bin, and another guy walks through the door, asks the same question, thinking they are 2 separate visitors, I run through it again - then they say to each other "heck, I think we got all of those", just as 3 more walk through the door, greet the other 2 in the shop - (they are all together), then the new 3 ask "What are they biting on?" - so I run through it again - 5 or 6 patterns that will work that day, depending on section angled - then 2 of them will ask, usually in unison, "What was that second one you named?" (now it may be only once in a day that 5 are together, but with 2 -3 anglers, it happens multiple times)

Most times I ask what they prefer to fish -Dry, Dry/Dropper, nymphs, streamers - and the response is "what do you mean?" - so I show them the diagram we sketched out for a typical nymph rig, that can be switched to a dry or dry/dropper rig fairly quickly, and if modified with your nippers, easily used for streamers- now keep in mind, I have yet to push any buttons on the register - "Hey, can I take this?" - "No that's the shop diagram, but I'll make a copy for you" - after 1 p.m. I usually add "If you buy a hat" - "Huh, I don't need a hat!!" - "Well, you don't need a copy either" - remember, this is an afternoon exchange. They leave in a huff.

"Hey, where can I shoot my guns off at?" (3-4)

"Hey, where can I find a campground with no people?"(5-6)

"Hey, where can I find a good stretch of river with no people?" (8-10)

"Hey, where can I find some (Turkey, Elk, Deer, Lion, Bear) to kill? (4-5)

"Can an incompetent guy get lost on the Gill Trail into Cheesman Canyon?" - this one asked while Jesse was in the shop after a 1/2 day trip - I, looking the guy straight in the eye, and seeing Jesse's jaw drop and eyes widen as he stood just beyond and to the right of the man, said "Yes, you sir, can get lost on the trail" - then I saw Jesse's left hand cover his mouth - eyes still wide open, but with a hint of genuine concern - I thought for the gentleman, but it was really for me. Jesse stepped up to the plate and gave the guy detailed instructions on how NOT to get lost on the Gill Trail - then took over for me at the shop, so I went home, following the stick..........

Now, all of the above, and other, though not minor, incidents,(some of the phone calls would really tickle you) happened on one recent Saturday of the summer season - Fridays and Sundays are about the same - these are all of the days I usually pull shop (jail) time.

Thru all of this are the true anglers, novice anglers & all of those in-between, who need and absorb information quickly - or who seek and clearly listen to the information we have, with enthusiasm and down right determination, to at least become competent, or at worse, have a great day on the river, and purchase what we suggest (we honestly won't push or sell somthing you do not need - ever) - so cherished, so respected, so hoped for before 1 p.m. (and who tolerate me from 1 to 5 p.m.) - I apologize in advance (and in hindsight) to any I may have offended if you happened to stop by on a summer weekend afternoon - honest, not lieing this time, so don't leave in a huff, try to understand what may have unfolded before you, then, just cuss under your breath (outside, in Deckers) and come back next Saturday before noon.

Week ending August 20th, 2009

Flow started out at 225 cfs on Friday the 14th, then was bumped to 280 cfs that afternoon, up again to 450 cfs on Monday, but it settled at 425 cfs, then on Tuesday, it was pumped up to 500 cfs, then dropped back to 210 cfs this morning - a minor flush, that was hoped for but not expected from Denver Water Board - but we will take what we can get (I would have preffered 1,000 cfs for 24 hours over 500 cfs for 48 hours) - but, hey, they made an effort to clear things and that is usually not the case, especially when they don't have to.

We are now at day 30 from the intense storm cell that whacked the river on July 21st - and things are fine - no trout kill that we could find, some ingress of sand and gravel, but most should be pushed out after the flush in the Deckers sections - and at 200 cfs over the weekend, well, it should be great. Horse Creek is still off color as it enters the Platte at Deckers, but steadily, still dropping and clearing - 3 miles from the shop where Trout Creek and West Creek form Horse Creek is gin clear - 2 miles from the shop Horse Creek is gin clear - then it enters the new swamp and turns a little off, but is sorting itself out.

Of course, the river went thru some minor, then major clarity issues,during the flush, but that is all good - and the trout really turned on to some patterns during the fluctuations - if you hit it right.

The "swamp" on Horse Creek is an issue - no one will make a move on the clean-up - Douglass County and CDOT say it is too far off the road ( Rt 67) and mostly private - so they are not taking any action - no word yet fro the Army Corps. of Engr's., Denver Water Board, or Forest Service - but somehow, the Creek will need a new stream bed established for about 1 mile, to eliminate the "delta effect" that it encounters before returning to its natural course.

Watching the flow drop as I write this, clarity is good, not gin clear, but certainly fishable (if you know where) - no rain events this week - some days looked pretty scary, but it cleared out to the north & south, giving us a well needed break - heard a tornado touched down at Lake George / 11 mile on Tuesday - but we were in the clear.

5 a.m This morning, cup of coffee on the porch - magnificient Buck at the garden fence - with a doe and two fawns - and trailing behind (which is usually the opposiet) another doe with one fawn - starting a harem - last night I had the lame doe that has surfaced every few weeks - back left leg must have been broken at an early age - but she pushes on - and has survived the lions and coyotes - a true survivor.

Tricos have not made it to Deckers yet, we expect them soon - hoppers and surface attractors should perform better in the lower flow - depends on clarity and pressure - dry/dropper should be fun.

Sun crests the East Range at 7:10 a.m., sets to the West at 7:15 p.m.

Week ending August 13th, 2009

Flow was dropped last Friday from 335 cfs to 225 cfs where it now stands - clear in the Canyon, clear upstream of Deckers Bridge & clearing nicely below Deckers Bridge down to the confluence with the North Fork. We are now at day 23 since the major storm hit the drainage and caused all the Creeks to flash flood - storm last week (not as intense) put recovery back a bit, but no rain this week has things back on track.

Jeremy & Jesse have both had great trips this week - I did some R&D today, could not wander far, "hound" sitting for my partners Tim & Mitzi - Roscoe is a good old boy - did real well at the shop this week - even helped me pick out some flies for some customers - I would pull out a hopper, ask him "is this a good one" - his head would pop up and ears went forward - I said "OK" and dropped it in the cup, pulled out a stimmy, said "is this a good one" - no reaction - I dropped it back in the bin and he waited for the next selection - the clients thought he was the most amazing dog they had ever seen - he actually picks out my flies!!!

Back to my R&D work today - clarity below Deckers is good, about 2' looking straight down - better for a trout who is looking straight ahead - and I whacked 'em in the backyard - all fat, pissed and beautiful.

We have had some gravel deposits settle into holes and runs, but overall, at least in the back yard, things looked good, plenty of habitat and plenty of trout - so do not listen to the "doomsayers of the flatlands" - the river is doing just fine.

Breif showers this afternoon, but pretty much a very dry week, which helped Horse Creek drop & clear even more - Jeremy found major swarms of mating Tricos WAY downstream from the shop this week, and Jesse found good Pale Morning Dun hatches UPstream from the shop - so the bugs seem OK too - Jeremy said no trout were on the spinners 'cause the clarity was still pretty bad, Jesse said thay got a few when they switched to the dun imitation.

Had a regal Buck at the garden fence on Tuesday morning - just coming out of felt - lots of Does and Fawns this year, but it seems, not as many as last year. Had a bear attack the shop dumpster on Monday, this was a bruiser - we know of a smaller one out back (100 + lbs), but this new one, tipped the whole thing off the concrete pad & bent the 5 foot long 3/4" rebar, that secures the lock and straddles the 2 doors, into a banana shape - That is a lot of power - took 2 of us to get it back up on the pad.

Should be a good week ahead - some storms predicted in the afternoons, but the trout have not been hassled for many days, should make them a little easier.

Week ending August 6th, 2009

Flow started out at 280 cfs last Friday, but was bumped up to 335 cfs on Monday - another storm hit last night (Wednesday) - 1.5" of additional rain in less than an hour (with a little bit of hail) - I thought we were really in for it again, but an early stream survey today showed the Canyon has clear water - Wig Wam Creek is high & off color, but not as bad as I expected, 4 Mile Creek was a little high, but surprisingly clear & Horse Creek was a little higher than yesterday but about the same clarity.

Canyon is good, above the Deckers bridge to Wig Wam Club is OK - very fishable - below Deckers the river is still off color from the Horse Creek run-off - you can fish it now, but it ain't real pretty.

Most of the work to repair damage along 4 Mile Creek and Rt 126 (that affects Wig Wam flows) has been completed (work in 4 Mile yesterday put the water off above Deckers for the afternoon) - this all still going on from the intense storm cell that hit us on July 21st - we are now at day 16 and things are slowly, but visibly, improving - last night sure didn't help, but it did not really set us back much.

On Monday DOW stocked 20,000 sub-catchables (4" - 6" yearlings) in the river from Cable hole downstream to Scraggy view - these to replace the "young of the year" that are still struggling to make a comeback each season.

Hung the "Honk Twice" sign on the shop this week and went over to the bridge - started above Horse Creek and had 1/2 dozen in 30 - 40 minutes- then went below Horse Creek - on the Northwest side and got 2 more right away - then a horn honked - these were all big healthy "Bows & Browns" - not the newly stocked babies - so our thoughts of no major problems with the trout population are holding up. Found some hatching Mayflies (BWO's or Pale Morning Duns, not too sure, couldn'y get a close enough look) and one rising trout, even in the off color water

Horse Creek & its new "swamp" are still a problem. The swamp, about 2 miles from the shop along Rt 67, is a collection of logs & debris that has moved the Creek out of its channel - going in the clarity is not too bad, coming out is pretty ugly. 4 miles from the shop the creeks are clear (Westcreek looks fantastic) and Trout Creek is clearing now that work in the area has been completed.

With dry weather predicted for the next few days and into next week, things should really improve downstream from the shop.

Week ending July 30th, 2009

Flow was bumped on Thursday afternoon from 265cfs to 325cfs, then up to 380cfs on Friday, to keep it off the spillway, then back to 280cfs on Monday - the higher flow helped to clear the water (some) above Deckers, and it fished well, then on Wednesday, work began on rebuilding the culvert under the road to the dam (FR 211), and above the bridge went brown again, due to the water in Wig Wam Creek going off from the work. All a result of the flood down 6 mile creek along Rt 126 last week - the Sherriffs were calling it 6 mile river - but it will have minimal impact on the Platte since it is small and hardly trickles most of the year - except for last week.

The Canyon was off color and still is a little - just lots of washouts and we think the reservoir turned some - the water out of the pipes was a little off - probably too much cold water from the rain sinknig fast and disrupting the soft bottom - reports were that it is fishing great - 2 guests at one of our cabins - guides from South Africa - got into a heavy BWO hatch on Wednesday afternoon - after barely surviving a hail storm - they were pretty stoked. Pat Dorsey told me he has had a couple of epic day trips with clients in the Canyon - all this after the flash floods.

The storm last Tuesday night really did a number on the river below the Canyon - no evidence of any major or minor fish kill - but rains all week, some heavy, have not helped in the clarity, especially below Deckers. As I said last week, the Hayman burn area did have an impact on the damage, but the majority of the floods came from areas not in the burn area - a lot came from areas that were thinned of pines after the Hayman fire, by the Forest Service - one washout is just across the river from the cabin - an area thinned 2 years ago. This was a major event - 3" to 4" of heavy penetraiting rain and hail in a very short time in a very small area.

We have found 2 dead trout - 1 nice Rainbow, and another smaller Brown - Ed, the Manager and our friend at Wig Wam Club found 1 big 'Bow and a 9" Brookie (washed down from Wig Wam Creek) on club property - so far that is about it - But every one should know that the Club has done an incredible job in catching sediment, gravel & debris from both the Canyon and Wig Wam Creek and getting it out of the river before it impacts the lower sections - sure, they are keeping the Club clear, but the amount of debris (massive) they have removed has helped in so many ways to benefit all of us who plod the public waters - they do not get enough credit, nor do they ask, for the efforts made.

Talked with Jeff Spohn (our Platte DOW aquatics biologist) on Wednesday (he stopped by the cabin) - we discussed the latest event, and he reminded me that the flood of 2006 that took out Rt 67 between Deckers and Woodland Park had hit over 3,000cfs at its peak and no major fish kill was evident - this flood, more concentrated in the area affected, hit maybe 1,400cfs at its peak. We had a good flow of 265cfs from the dam this time - good clear oxygenated water to help dissipate the nasty water flooding in.

Full river survey on Monday showed that all the banks and islands held up incredibly well - lots of logs and debris stacked up on island points and mid stream rocks, but no major mud or sediment deposits were seen on the banks - which is what you expect from flash floods - the banks and islands have so much thick growth this year that some areas did not even bend to the flood waters. Some sediment (mud) has collected in flatter, wider meadow sections of the river bed, but where the gradient is significant, all seemed about the same.

The real problem is Horse Creek - a new "swamp" has been created along the creeks natural course - maybe 1/4 mile in length - full of trees, logs, debris and one pick-up truck (Stronk's place, which has lost thier bridge 7 times from floods on Horse Creek since the Hayman Fire) had left one of the trucks on the pavement side, so he had a way out when the bridge washed away - well, the truck washed away, and now sits in the new swamp, amid many logs.

Until Horse Creek finds its way back into the natural stream bed, it will be muddy - pretty clear going in, pretty ugly coming out - but it did start to drop and clear until new storm cells hit the area - good news is that one of the beaver dams is still in-tact - right in the middle of all the wreckage - I cannot believe that it held.

So, as I file this report, the river below Deckers is pretty unfishable (I say pretty, because when the work on the culvert put the river off above Deckers on Wednesday, I loaded up Ben, my client for the day, and headed to a feeder creek that I wanted to work, on the way I passsed Jesse with his 2 clients - our new favorite guests Kristy & Brady from Tennessee - and both had trout on, at the same time, in the brown water, in Trumbull, as we passed and honked. Jeremy, the day before, had Kristy & Brady into 14 landed trout above Deckers, when clarity was better, in the morning session, before lunch at the cabin, and they both lost quite a few more)

We won't know how the river bed has been affected until clarity returns - in terms of sediment deposits, etc. - but we know the trout are OK - and since no one is really fishing for them, they are getting - well - dumber - at least as to our evil intentions of fooling, hooking, landing and releasing them - and once things clear, which they will, this place will again be "on fire" - of that I have no doubt

The nesting pair of Red Tail Hawks across the river from the cabin have had a baby - and man, is it a screacher - wants bunny rabbit all day long - and lets everyone know - now flying from pine tree tops to other pine tree tops - one of the parents always close - the other supposedly looking for bunnies, a full time job by the sound of things.

"No Butt", our little House Wren and his Mate (the quiet, working one) have, thankfully, had a family - we did not think he had it in him this year, but he pulled it off and now that he has a full time job of hunting bugs to feed the babies, he has finally shut up - a good thing for "No Butt" - I had no idea a 2" bird could make so much rackett - for so long - over a month - without losing its voice -I have to admit that, probably more than once, I took a long hard look at the 20 gauge, mounted on the cabin wall, while I was trying to take a nap..

Week ending July 23rd, 2009

Flow was decreased from 520 cfs on Friday, to 310 cfs on Saturday, and down to 145 cfs on Sunday - those major changes put the trout off a bit as the adjustment reached them, but it still fished pretty good in spite of Denver Water's mystical calculations on flow rates and water demands - now thought of as the 8th wonder of the world - ie "wonder why they did that?"

At 145 it was fantastic - went out on a dawn patrol on Monday - so perfect - wild flowers, sunrise, chill in the air, gin clear trout stream at a great flow, the aromas of a Rocky Mountain morning - and large trout coaxed to the surface with a dry attractor - epic little session - then made the mistake of stopping at the cabin for more water and picked up the phone call from the shop - Jeremy had a client who wanted a guide - like now - for a 1/2 day - so I did the right thing (which was so hard to do) and went in to cover the shop while Jeremy took the trip (but I made him come back to close out the day) - when he returned I asked the standard question "how was it?" - three word response - "we slayed 'em" - that could have been me, but I did the same in my session, and it's nice to share.

Flow was bumped back up to 265 cfs on Tuesady morning - a good thing

Because, on Tuesday night, things changed - early storms in the drainage clouded the river by 5 p.m., no rain in Deckers, but you could see the storms that would affect the river in the surrounding ranges - the river started to clear nicely by 6 p.m. - then all hell broke loose - rain so hard that it knocked wood off the wood pile - could not see 10 feet out of any of the cabin windows - power failed at 8:40 p.m. - must have been 3 - 4 inches in a few hours - never seen anything like it in the Mountains - only a few other times in the Orient. The first wave was really bad, but it continued off and on until midnight

Next morning, still no power, went to the shop early and found both Rt 67 to Woodland Park, & Rt 126 to Pine, both closed at the Deckers Bridge - the river was chocolate milk - no phones or power at the shop, but actually sold 4 San Juan worms to a guy who was "Goin Fishin" - I tried to steer him to other water, but he said "looked a little better downstream" - so I took his money and wished him well.

Closed the shop for the day and had the phones forwarded to the cabin by an understanding lady at Qwest - my power came back on around 10 a.m. - shop came on a few hours later - shop phone did not work until 5 p.m.

River surveys that day showed that 4 mile Creek (at the "Y" camp) had really blown out - rose maybe 4 feet at the peak of things - took out driveways across the creek to cabins and was still running high and brown - cut a new channel into the Platte - Call to Ed at the Wig Wam Club and Wig Wam Creek had gone over the Club's bridge - brown water was coming out of the Canyon - Schoonover Gulch must have blown out, maybe even Cattle Creek - hell, any gully was a potential wash out - Horse Creek, at Deckers, was a real mess - We estimate, that at the peak of the flash floods, we hit 800 - 900 cfs in the back yard.

This morning, Rt 67 was open (Rt 126 was still closed), so I went to take a look - Deckers is located at Mile Marker 100 on Rt 67 - going South East along 67 towards Woodland Park the markers decrease - From the shop to Marker 97 (3 miles) I saw total devastation - this thing really blew out over the road, driveways & the creek - some from the burn area (the South West side of 67), but most was all new, from areas that have never washed out and were mainly on the inside of the burn area's outer perimeter (the North East side of 67) - moving slowly on to mile marker 95, more washouts were evident, but not as bad - past marker 95, West Creek (that has always been the problem), was gin clear - No more washouts were evident - only 5 miles from the shop - talk about an isolated storm - draw an 8 mile circle on the map, put the center over Cheesman reservoir, and slowly track the center North East through Deckers, and that was it - until it passed over the Rampart Range - everything in the circle got whacked.

My understanding on the damage to Rt 126 was mostly centered on 6 mile hill - the one you climb up as you leave the Gill Trailhead on your way to Pine & Rt 285 - this greatly affected 6 mile creek, which has never had much of an effect on things, and feeds directly into Wig Wam Creek near the Trailhead parking lot - might be a day or so before Rt 126 is re-opened.

Rt 67 through Sedalia to Deckers was never closed - another route in from Rt 285 was down Foxton Road, (just past Conifer), follow the North Fork (take a left when you hit the river) to the old hotel, then follow the Platte upstream to Deckers

Road work and clearing on both Rt 67 and Rt 126 will still have an affect on the Creeks - more so on the "Y" Camp road and 4 Mile Creek, which was really trashed from the river up to the camp.

We do not, at this time, think there was any fish kill - maybe a few, but nothing like the flash floods of 2002 - 2003, when the runoff from the newly burned areas was pure oily ash, devoid of oxygen, black and thick, and the flow from the dam was only 50 cfs of clean, oxygenated water - this time the clear water was 265 cfs and the washouts were mainly run off water - not choking globs - all said and done - Hayman Fire or not - that storm would have still flooded & the river would still be brown - maybe not as bad since the fire, but the valley really didn't stand a chance against that deluge.

Give the river a few days to recover - should be good to go by early next week - that all depends on continued road work and more storms - I saw springs running today that I never knew existed - all were clear, but still flowing after 2 days - this place is saturated - from deep in the ground all the way to the surface - but the "Old Girl" continues to flow & I know she is still full of trout - just can't see them right now.

Week ending July 16th, 2009

Flow started out on Friday at 420 cfs and was dropping nicely, down to 355 on Sunday, when the boys at the Dam called and said " we are going to raise it up through the pipes and get it off the Spillway" - they were shooting for around 400 cfs, but ended up at about 430 (with somthing like 350 cfs coming in). They dropped it back to 325 cfs on Tuesday, then for some reason, went back up to 530 cfs today. Rumor has it that they are about to open Roberts Tunnel on the North Fork - so the theory is they are dropping the level in Cheesman, and when the tunnel opens, they will drop our flow back to 200 or 300 cfs - that is the theory - what is actually going on we really don't know

With all the water coming out of the pipes, the river temps dropped dramatically - from Hi 50's & Low 60's, to Mid 40's to low 50's - depending on time of day and where you are - colder closer to Cheesman, warmer downstream.

Last Thursday afternoon, Jeremy, Jesse & I fished the new private ranch we now have access to (see description above) - it was just plain fun - started off at the lower lake that Leland - the dad, owner & partner with his son, Richard - had shown us - Jeremy hooked 3 fat leaping rainbow's on a nymph rig that he still had set up from the morning 1/2 day trip on the Platte - none were landed - all were hot - and all that, while Jesse and I were still looking around - probably 5 casts.

We worked up to the creek - I got out on a rock with a dry/dropper over a nice little slot, Jeremy went about 20 yds up with his nymph rig - Jesse stood back and watched - I got a nice little wild 10" rainbow - just what you would expect from a little creek - got off the rock downstream (not a problem) and released after a close look - yup, wild trout.

Got back up on the rock, another cast through the slot and set on a pig with the dropper - wasn't sure how piggy, but it was a good one that kind of vibrated the 4 wt rod as it was making up its mind as to what to do about this minor annoyance - then he made up his mind - and ran straight up-creek like a salmon with a grizzly hot on his tail - right at Jeremy, who now has a good wild brown on the rod - I yelled at Jeremy "look out, here it comes" - Jesse yells at me "You gotta chase it" - but you see, I was on this rock ... - Jeremy yells "What", just as the leviathan runs between him and the jumping brown and parts my leader smartly - Jeremy said "What was that and why are you yelling at me", Me, laughing "cause you broke off my trout", Jesse, "man, you gotta chase 'em", but you see, I was out on this rock...

Jeremy had to leave, but Jesse and I went with Leland and checked out the spring and the hatchery raceways, then went down to inspect more of the still water - it was all good - and I do not fish stillwater very often - I do now - met up with Leland again as we were loading up the Jeeps - told him we hung some pretty nice 20"+ trout - says Leland "Oh, so you didn't get any of the big ones"

Back to the Platte - strong thunderstorms with hail & downpours early in the week - the one Monday put the color of the river off, but was back to gin clear by the morning - great signs that the recovery continues nicely - even at the new 500+ cfs flow it is gin clear and just plain beautiful.

Morning pre-sunrise air temps are still in high 30's to mid 40's, but it warms up quickly, reaching the 80's (and higher) by the afternoon.

Sunrise is now at 6:30 a.m. over the East Peaks - Fishable light to just past 8 p.m. - the trout can get moody during the afternoon, especially on bright hot days, but mornings & evenings have been excellent - higher flows present new challenges, but many trout have been brought to the net this week on all the trips - at all the flows.

Week ending July 9th, 2009

Flow reached a high of 750 cfs on Friday afternoon, due mainly from rain in the drainage - went off color for a few hours from road run-off in the Deckers area.

Then Saturday night we really got slammed in Deckers - one of those dangerous storms with lots of random electricity and sheets of rain - heaviest I have seen in a while for such a long duration - had one quick, bright flash and a nano-second later - KA-BOOM - right over the cabin. Preliminary inspection showed that the TV sattelite went out, but came back on (storm was so thick that the signal could not get through, but the dish was not hit - thought for sure it had been)

Phones were another problem, but the electricity stayed on - usually the reverse - found that a wire had seperated in the junction box - in the guest bedroom - popped right off - took a while to get things all re-done and trace out why I could not get on-line with the computer, but had a good dial tone (that's right, still on dial up in the mountains, and those internet dishes are a bit pricey for the limited time I spend on line at the cabin - which is as limited as I can make it)

Found that a 3 way splitter had also been damaged, this is downstream from the next junction box in the great room - then the next day, the dishwasher would not turn on - found that 1 leg of the breakers had tripped - not both, just one - told you it was random electricity. I am no Sparky, but can usually trace things out - 3 things I do know about electricity - you can't see it, it moves really fast, and it can kill you.

That storm also blew Horse Creek out pretty badly (Wig Wam and 4 mile were not hit as hard) - so the river was pretty ugly on Sunday morning below Deckers - but not bad above the bridge - lots of washouts along the road & river going north from Deckers, and a few new ones going southeast along Rt 67 heading to Woodland Park.

Things were improving by Monday morning and all the creeks and the main river started dropping and clearing nicely - gin clear Wednesday morning and by Today we were at 475 cfs of clear water - 275 cfs drop in 5 days - and a very quick recovery from a real dumping.

River is fishing great - no real hatches, just sporadic bugs here and there - but you can drag a few up with dry attractors just fishing the water - still a lot of trout tight to the banks and with the river dropping, those un-reachable fishy looking spots are becoming more accessible. Nymphing is easier with the lower flows and producing nicely & dry/droppers are working better than ever. River should continue to steadily drop over the next week - still all depends on rain.

Week ending July 2nd, 2009

That was a huge storm last Thursday afternoon, more than we thought hit the drainage - all of the drainage. Flow was slowly dropping all last week when the big cells hit - went from 460 cfs at 11 a.m. last Thursday, to 560 cfs by 8 p.m. the same day - and the river got kinda ugly - more than the road run off expected - all the creeks blew out and by Friday clarity was OK above Deckers, but not great below - but just like old times (pre-Hayman fire) - in 48 hours all was well, and today we are looking at a flow of 660cfs of gin clear water for the whole river. All of the reservoirs in the drainage are full and spilling, so any extra water just raises the flow, with no real control - and that water can come anywhere in the drainage from the Continental Divide to Horse Creek at Deckers

They moved more water from Cheesman to the bottom draw pipes on Tuesday - from 250 cfs to 300 cfs, so we saw a spike up to 720 cfs until it equaled out - made the river a little tough to fish in the afternoon, but also made the water a little cooler - never really went off-color - just confused the trout.

Had another nasty cell hit on Sunday afternoon, road run-off put a stain on the river for a while, but she cleared quickly - p.m. storms almost every day, from lite to quick downpours - and as I sit writing this weeks report a real "Wizard of Oz" cloud is moving over the cabin. Lost power at the shop & cabin on Sunday for about 5 hours (I stayed open and sold some bugs and shirts in the dark) those storms dropped a lot of hail in spots surrounding the valley - just rain here - Tim, Lil Dan & Marc were at the cabin fishing - made them all pee outside (the well is powered by an electric pump - no power, no water - I keep 2 x 5 gallon jugs of water on hand for emergencies, but peeing ain't one of them)

Hoppers started to work better this week along the banks - Caddis, Drakes & other dries produced here & there, but things can still slow down on bright hot days from 11 or 12 into the late afternoon. Dry/Dropper rigs are fun to work and produce nicely, proper nymphing requires the correct amount of weight and lots of adjustments, but will still produce the most trout when done correctly. Most days, waiting out the afternoon storms can really pay off, if the skies clear.

The river looks great and for some reason, the crouds have not been too bad during the week - we always find open slots full of trout no matter what the human density seems to be..

Poachers have again started to appear - these are folks who honestly do not know the regulations (but should!!!), to those that are just blatantly ignoring them. If you see someone in the Flies & Lures only section using bait, or someone killing or keeping under size trout in the catch & release canyon or 2 x 16" limit section and do not want to approach them, then come to the shop and let us know - but make sure they are breaking the rules - some do fish flies or lures under a bubble float, and that is OK - you need to see the glob of worms or salmon egg jar - or an obvious kill - before you report it to us.

Jesse and I found a guy down in the bait section a few weeks ago - what caught our eye was a 2 gallon bucket with a lid on it, right next to him, but more to the point, he was parked in a little used cabin's driveway - we both thought it very rude, you see, if he parked in a legal spot, he would have had to hike a 1/4 mile to get to the run he was fishing - just lazy & rude - 2 traits I find very un-appealing.

But as far as fishing goes, he was legal and we were on a seriouse R&D outing.

Then I found the same guy in the regulated area a week or so later, same bucket, but by the time I got turned around, he was in the car and off downstream. Then this week as I opened the shop early, I found him above Deckers Bridge - same car, same white bucket - kept an eye on him (fishing spinners), when he saw me, he got his bucket and headed for the car - I got to him & asked how he did - said he got one & I asked if I could look in the bucket and see (it had a lid remember) - he said it wasn't in there & opened up his trunk, which held 2 x 10 gallon styrofoam coolers with lids, filled with water & in one of them swam a 10" rainbow - I told him the regs and said he had to release the trout - ( he asked who I was and I replied "The River Watcher" - I know, but it was the best I could come up with) he claimed not to know the regs, and when I said it was "Catch & Release", he asked about the 16" 2 trout limit - so now I know he knows the regs, and he lied, begging ignorance - that pissed me off - I called DOW with car description and tags - so if you find others, come by the shop - along with the "Fishing at the Bridge" sign, we also have one that says "Busting a Poacher - be right back"

Week ending June 25th, 2009

Flow had dropped to 450 cfs on Friday, then they opened the bottom draw pipes on Tuesday, increasing from 100 to 250 cfs, so we saw a spike up to 570 cfs while it all equaled out, and now we are back to 460 cfs - colder water & gin clear - 210 cfs over the spillway, the resy out of the pipes.

Very dry week in the valley again, until this afternoon when the clouds really opened up - hard and thick enough to knock out the sattelite signal for the TV and will probably put the clarity of the river off for a few hours this evening from road run off, but all should be fine by Friday morning & we did need the moisture

We had some good trips this week with a bunch of trout fooled - some nymphing, but a good portion on dry / dropper rigs, single or double dries. Had Blue Wing Olives on the porch screens almost every afternoon - still seeing Pale Morning Duns, the odd Drake, bunch of Caddis & a few adult Stone Flies (some real big ones). Just depends on where you are on the river and the time of day.

Sunday was the first day of summer & also the longest day of the year - which translates into over 12 hours of good fishable light each day. Things can slow down in early to mid afternoon (bright sunny days) but picks up nicely in the evenings - especially for surface action.

Monday morning I spotted a lone Bald Eagle in the back yard - could be a new resident - I have never seen one this late in the year - they usually depart for the North in April. Fawns are starting to drop from the moms - started this week and should continue into July - Mountain Blue Birds set up home in the woodpecker tree in the back - house wrens and swallows are all nesting near the cabin and chasing bugs to feed the little ones - I leave the porch light on at night - early morning bug buffet for the birds & a good indicator of what kinds of bugs are cruising the night - some are awfully big and scary looking - bet the trout love them when they hit the river.

Seeing more grasshoppers along the banks - great pattern on a windy day & you don't have to be too delicate with the presentation

Week ending June 18th, 2009

Flow has been steadily dropping - started out Friday at 650 cfs, dropped below 500 cfs last night and now stands at 475 cfs - river is extremely clear, and looks fantastic.

Seems as if the run off peaked on June 5th at about 860 cfs and has pretty much been dropping each day - feeder creeks are all low and clear. 100 cfs is still coming out of the pipes, the rest over the spillway - at some point they will probably move more water out of the bottom draw to get it off of the spillway, which will cause a spike in the flow for a day as it equals out - but no telling when this might happen.

We have been doing well with nymphs, dry/droppers, hatch matching or just fishing the water with surface attractors - been a lot of fun & the trout are fat and spectacular. Caddis, Pale Morning Duns, Blue Wing Olives and Golden Stones have all been present - along with other sporadic May Fly hatches - some of those bugs are really BIG - but none consistent enough to constitute a "hatch", but when you do find a few, the trout are usually on them.

Valley is very green - we did not get hit with some of the nasty storms parts of the state have seen - most of it stayed to the North of us - we did get some rain, just enough to keep things greening, growing & blooming - did I mention the wild flowers - Oh yeah, last week - well, even more have appeared, seems like a different species pops up every day.

Sun has just about reached its maximum travel to the north at sunrise, which now happens at 6:15 a.m., with fishable light as early as 5:45 a.m., sunset is now after 8 p.m. and you can still make out your dry fly up to about 8:30 p.m. - lots of hours to fool a few.

Week ending June 11th, 2009

Flow peaked at about 850 cfs over the weekend - 750 over the splillway, the rest out of the bottom draw - now it is slowly dropping. Down to 700 cfs at 12 p.m. today, and has cleared out nicely - lots of water but clarity is great with a bunch of trout close to the banks - I had a take on a big dry fly not 2" from the bank in a nice slick - under some overhanging willows - casting straight upstream - whack!!, and a run immediately into the fast current - heavy fish - I, on the other end of the job at hand, did not re-act quickly enough (the trout did real good on his end) - thought I still had contact when I put him on the reel - but it was just the current - threw the flie cleanly - but in those few short seconds, the bend of the rod & feel of the trout were impressive - I got caught hanging on to a brief impression - that was a good trout - tucked in a safe spot, but with a great escape route.

Do not let these high run-off flows keep you away - just read the water, look in the air for bugs, then watch the water, then be patient & fish the right water with the right patterns - either dry or sub-surface - patience and observation will pay off big time.

We seem to be in our normal summer patterns with weather - cool, sweet mornings, p.m. showers & T storms, then clearing nicely for an evening outing. This is how I always remember the valley - you can be scared away by the boomers, but if you wait them out in the truck, then the river can really turn on - but this is the mountains in Colorado - so it does not allways work - but it does more often than not

Wild flowers - just spectacular - all the rain - at the right times - colors and blooms in some sections are gut wrenching - when you stop & look - these explosions of color and wildness never cease to amaze me - one year, one spot, next year - another spot - even more brilliant - amidst all the green and sage colors of the backround.

Trout, they are heavy in the belly - and colored perfectly - but are still tough to fool - some get too much pressure due to the easy / limited access dictated by the high flows - but find a section that has tough access - a hike over a bunch of rocks and deadfalls, away from the "pay-to-park" (an out-house and a table) and you might just find a section of river that has not been worked in 2 or 3 weeks.

Caddis hatch - the monster one - is pretty much over, but egg laying females are still around and some still continue to hatch, along with BWO's & PMD's - Jesse and I even found some (3) adult yellow stones this week.

Week ending June 4th, 2009

Flow from Cheesman at 5 p.m. today was 100 cfs out of the pipes - 720 cfs over the spillway - thats right, we are in run-off, with 820 cfs running thru the Canyon & close to 900 cfs in the backyard - last Tuesday, May 26th, we had 100 cfs out of the pipes & nothing over the top - Started spilling that night, seemed to level off over the weekend at 575 cfs, but, NO, we had not seen the true melt from the higher drainage - started really pumping again on Sunday night and we seemed to have peaked at 850 cfs on Wednesday evening - some of it due to lots of rain all over the drainage

We have had rain most of the week - some were all day North West type showers - the rest were heavy afternoon boomer cells later in the week - Horse Creek was holding her own, but finally went brown by Wednesday - pretty ugly and high as she enters the Platte at Deckers, but a feeder survey on Wednesday showed good signs - Trout Creek was as bad, or worse, than West Creek & she is not in the burn area.

But, good news - we still fool trout - and we still fool some on the surface, in the right places - Caddis continue to hatch, but it has slowed down - (the hatch, that is) - egg laying females can be found from early mornings to late afternoons - Had Rich's son-in-law this a.m. at the bridge (not being guided - He and His lovely bride Kelly, Rich's daughter, were out for a visit) - Jeremy and I saw a few splashes - (said "Caddis" at the same time) and pointed Trevor to the spot - 2nd drift and he was into a fat brown - nicely faught and cleanly released.

Do not let these high flows keep you at home - I admit that below Deckers is not great, clarity wise, but it still fishes OK, just be careful - if you can't see the bottom where you want to put your foot - Don't - trust me.

By the weekend, things should improve, clarity wise - with the current (it seems) peak at 850 cfs, (820 cfs at 4p.m. today) she is starting to slowly drop, (all depends on rain now) and that means better clarity throughout the valley - and these trout will take a lot of different patterns - and some big ones too! - nymphing the right water can be a blast - lots of bugs (and worms & eggs) have been knocked loose and are in the drift - + the trout, with the low visibility, do not have much time to make a choice - eat it or miss it is the rule - they do not like to miss much, at least just to taste the fraud - then set the hook.

Wild flowers are starting to explode all over the valley - amazing what the rains can produce - & it seems like old times - blue bird sky in the morning, clouds & thunder mid afternoon, then clearing for incredible sun sets.

H2O has hit low 60's on sunny days (water over the spillway is a lot warmer than the bottom draw water) - PMD's, BWO's & Caddis are all present - Fishable light at 5:45 a.m., sun rises aver the East Peaks at 6:15 a.m. as I drain the coffee pot on the porch - sun drops over the West peaks at 8:15 p.m., and you can still see your dry fly at 8:30.

Splashes = Caddis, Sippers =Mayflies (or spent caddis) surface boils = emergers (looks like algebra), but this is trout fishing - seems a lot more natural.

Week ending May 28th, 2009

You should have been here last week (really hate to start a report like that, but in a way, it is very true - kind of like surfing)) - but the top water action with Caddis patterns was - well - hard to describe - when you hit it right, a lot of trout could (and were) fooled - loud, splashy rises - breaching & tail flipping out of deep fast riffles - like mating whales off the Kona Coast - it was very cool.

Swarms of the beautiful bugs were evident up and down the river - and still are - but.......

Flow was dropped on Friday from 150 to 100 cfs - gin clear & all of the trout were close to the surface (last week) - they had no choice - Caddis, BWO's, PMD's were all in the mix, but the Caddis were dominant - am I repeating myself ? - You would start a cast to a target, then see another, bigger trout & switch direction in mid cast, then see another, bigger and closer & switch again (wanting to methodically work your way through them all without spooking any) - your casting and not fishing - pick one!!!

Rain, most of the week, heavy at times, finally put the feeder creeks into runoff color by Tuesday, then on Tuesday night the reservoir started spilling - went from 100 cfs on Tuesday night, to 440 cfs on Wednesday morning - from 5 p.m. on Tuesday to 5 a.m. on Thursday (36 hrs) we saw an increase of 460 cfs - pretty much evened out at 575 cfs by Thursady afternoon - 100 cfs out of the pipes, the rest over the spillway - more like 610 cfs below Deckers

I discovered this with coffee on the porch at sunrise on Wednesday - all was OK on Tuesday night in the backyard - went down to bust a couple of poachers in the late afternoon (fishing bait) - and the water was cloudy but flow looked OK - then, in the morning, all seemed different - took a few beats to sink in - "hey, that looks pretty high", said allowed to the morning warblers - called "water talk" and got the 5 a.m. update, and yeah, it was - from 100 cfs to 440 cfs in 12 hrs - with 3 guide trips due out at 8 a.m. - Uh - Oh

We knew this was coming, but were fooled by the amount and rapid increase - the clarity was not too bad above Deckers - pretty ugly below. Thursday morning feeder creek survey was very promising - West Creek was clear !!! - Trout Creek was off, so Horse Creek was not good, but not terrible - good news was that West Creek was clear - the usual problem from the burn area - Trout Creek had a major flash flood downstream of Manitou Lake (near Woodland Park) - and that is OK 'cause it is out of the major burn area - just natural stuff from an intense weather cell - so, all things considered - well, you just have to approach the river a little differently - I, and all at the shop, are very impressed by the overall conditions.

We are now back to 3 rivers - the left bank, the right bank - and the middle - only reason to use the middle is if you are in a drift boat casting to the left or right banks.

As I write this on Thursday afternoon, things look pretty good - just a lot of water - clarity is fine - not perfect - but very fishable - the bugs still hatch & the trout still eat

In my life I have learned that the only constant thing is change - adapt accordingly and you succeed - fight it, well, you will at least have a nice day on an incredible trout river - this time of year the views alone are worth the trip.

Week ending May 21st, 2009

Flow was bumped to 250 cfs on Friday (as usual, just 24 hrs after I filed last weeks report) - but it did no harm to the river, then it was dropped back to 150 cfs on Wednesday, where, hopefully, it will stay thru the weekend - but you never know.

Caddis hatch reached Deckers on Sunday - still going on up & down the river, returning egg laying females all day mixed with hatching bugs in the afternoons - just depends on where you are.

Jesse and I floated the river in the pontoon raft on Monday - epic trip - at times we found whole sections with splashing trout feeding on caddis - they looked like they were having fun trying to feed on the bugs (they miss quite a few, but leave the water with such enthusiasm, trying to nail them), then we drifted into a good PMD hatch - about a size #20, and found a few trout that had switched to them with a classic May Fly sip - so we trailed our caddis with a sparkle dun PMD and got a few.

River is gin clear and looks fantastic - on the hot days we have seen water temps near 60 degrees downstream, mid 50's thru Deckers. Starting to see some hoppers along the banks. Leaving the porch lite on over night has attracted a bunch of bugs - 3 - 4 different types of caddis (they turn into a buffet for the bug eating birds at sunrise). Still have a few BWO's clinging to the porch screens in the late afternoon.

Week ending May 14th, 2009

Ok - flow remained steady at 195 cfs, (went up on Friday) steady since the surveys were performed last week, and the river is gin clear from the dam to the confluenece - more like 225 cfs below Deckers - CADDIS - big time - finding trout rising in rapids to gorge on them - I have witnessed nothing like it on the Deckers section of the South Platte - starts way down Stream around 12 p.m. - hatching bugs & returning egg laying females are all in the mix - has not reached full on at Deckers yet.

Jesse & I went on an R & D day Wednesday ( Jeremy was stuck in jail at the shop), action seemed to thin out around Platte River camp ground, but downstream from there it gradually picked up. We got into trout on dry / dropper rigs until the caddis action started around 1 - 1:30 p.m. We fished & observed - the trout would really start popping & then shut down, then start again - different times in sections only 20 yds apart. Some were on hatching caddis and emergers - seemed that most were chasing the egg layers - and I mean chasing - if they missed on the first grab, they would try again - it was a lot of fun just watching - could not believe the currents thay would rise through to eat a bug.

Wind also added to the challenge, but enough lulls between gusts allowed for some decent casts & drifts - nice thing about caddis is the bugs move around a lot anyhow - and they are #16 to #18 - big dry for the Platte. Water temps in the Canyon are in low to mid 40's, mid 50's in Deckers & high 50's downstream - where the action currently is - we are seeing some caddis in Deckers, just not the swarms that currently are moving downstream.

Sun rises over the East Range in the back yard at 6:30 a.m., fishable light at 6 a.m. - drops to the West at 7:45 p.m., with fishable light until about 8:15 p.m.

Had a hummingbird at the feeder this a.m., then another came by to run him off (this goes on constantly - sometimes they perch in the bushes and ambush each other) - well, the one being attacked flew straight into the porch screen, got his little beak firmly stuck - as I was walking over to push him out, the attacker started pecking him in the back of his head - poor guy - he got loose just as I approached - I always thought it was just a game of tag they played - didn't know they actually pecked each other.

I have had BWO's on the porch screens this week (late afternoons / evenings), so they are also still in the mix - about a size #20 - try a caddis trailed about 18" by an olive imitation - double dry - you may be surprised at the takes.

Recvd 2 e-mails from clients this week who both stayed at the guest cabin on seperate outings

"wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you again for a great couple of days. I really enjoyed the stay at the cabin - terriffic location & everything was perfect. Being guided on new sections of the river that I had not fished before...was a great learning opportunity - Jon was outstanding & a blast to fish with. Great meeting Jessie too. I appreciated your hospitality, and look forward to another stay as soon as I can arrange things - Thanks again & Best Regards...John" - Colorado

"Just want to tell you what a great time I had, fishing with Jeremy on Wednesday. Falling, face first into the river was a little chilling, but it gave me an additional story to tell when I got home. Thankfully, that happened at the end of the day. I caught fish, learned a lot about the river ecology and how to choose my flies & about casting. I can't imagine learning more or having more fun in one day, than I did. The cabin was wonderful. Very spacious and well located & of course, the lunch was great (you make terriffic beans!!). I hope I can get up there again sometime...Bob" - Texas

Great time of year to book a trip - sunshine, blue bird skies, gin clear river at an almost perfect flow - daytime air temps in the 70's (still low 30's at sunrise) - cheeseburgers on the porch & fairly consistent afternoon surface action - if you know where to go and how to approach it.

Week ending May 7th, 2009

Flow was dropped from 500 cfs this week - to 400 on Sunday, 200 on Monday, then all the way to 45 cfs on Tuesday, so that DOW could perform sedament survey work - then, this afternoon, the flow started to go back up, should stabilize at around 200 cfs by Friday afternoon, and be good & settled out by Saturday morning (both the river & the trout - we like afternoon adjustments, much better than mornings)

River looked great at 500 cfs, after the initial push of bank fluff that was expected, she cleared right out - and fishing the banks was a blast, Trout were gorging on all kinds of stuff - we were very pleased to see the conditions at 500 cfs - it fished tougher at 45 cfs, until the evening.

Still seeing a few BWO's, but the Caddis are really starting to appear - and some of the trout are keying in on them - mainly after 2 - 3 p.m.

With all the flow adjustments, surface action for risers has been tough, but you could drag some good ones up with the right attractor - as the flow stabilizes, and the caddis really start to hatch, things could be really heating up - could start this week

Had a Mallard chase my attractor on Wednesday, had to whip it off the water to get it away from him - stupid duck, nice attractor.

Valley is really greening up, Cottonwoods and Lilacs are budding out - everything looks great, had some 70+ degree days, some p.m. rain early in the week, but it has had no affect on the river - feeder creeks are dropping and clearing nicely - clarity was actually better below Deckers at 500 cfs, than at 45 cfs & I expect it to clear again with the higher flows, but it has definetley been very fishable all the way to the old hotel at the confluence with the North Fork, just a little off color - very minor.

Week ending April 30th, 2009

Early Sunday morning, Cheesman started flowing over the spillway, 130 cfs out of the pipes, maxed out by Monday afternoon at 194 cfs = 60+ cfs over the top, the rest out of the pipes - more like 230, 240 cfs below Deckers when you add the feeder creeks - which have been slowly clearing and dropping - Wig Wam creek is recovering nicely - just a light run-off color, decent flow, 4 mile creek is low, but clearing slowly - not as fast as I would have thought, but doing OK - Horse Creek is still high and the most off color of all the feeders, but improving every day.

Below Deckers was fishable by Tuesday - not real pretty, but you could do OK - above the bridge was better, Canyon was good to go. This all due to a blizzard 2 weekends ago. Had some lite snow on Monday morning this week, but it was done by 8 a.m. - more on the saddles and elevations around the valley. By Wednesday, on my mile drive to the shop from the cabin, everything looked really good

Then, covering the shop on Wednesday (stuck in jail), I recieved the ominus call from the boys at the dam - "Danny, we are going up" - now these are good guys, really feel for us, but are just following directions from Denver - this time at the request of DOW - they want to do a sediment survey next week, and want a real good push prior to the work - so we went to 300 cfs on Wednesday afternoon, supposed to go to 400 cfs on Thursday, then 500 cfs on Friday, but they changed plans, and, instead, took it all the way to 500 on Thursday - ain't coming over the spillway anymore & below Deckers will be more like 550, 560 cfs.

We have not seen 500 cfs since last summer, so you can imagine all of the stuff (twigs, moss - logs) that will be pulled into the flow - 3 good things, # 1 all kinds of bugs will be pushed and leached into the flow = good nymphing, # 2 a lot of the trout will move to the banks = fun prospecting upstream with surface patterns - # 3 the flow will be dropped next week to perform the sediment surveys and should be awesome - expect a flow of about 60 cfs from the pipes - about 100 below Deckers, with the feeders still running off - (I always wonder if the survey teams take the feeder flows into account - 60 cfs sounds like easy wading, 100 cfs is a bit of a struggle in certain runs, especially in the middle of the river)

So, the river, and trout, should settle into the new flow by Saturday, but 500 cfs means you have 3 options - the left bank, the right bank, and the middle of the river - I would give the middle a miss (unless you find that reachable, fishy looking slick) - Then next week, when the flows are down, maybe only a window of a few days, could be - well, awesome.

H2O temps have ranged from 38 to 47 degrees, fishable light from 6:15 a.m., sun now crests the East range in the back yard at 6:45 (in the middle of a saddle, amazing how far it has travelled from south to north as Spring comes alive - and the valley is getting green) sun sets to the West at 7:30 p.m., fishable light until 8 p.m.

Olives continue to hatch and we are starting to see some Caddis (had one on the porch today)

This is a challenging time of the year - but it brings out the best in our Flies & Lies team - we like the challenge - Jeremy met it on Tuesday, Jesse on Thursday & I fooled a few on the clock on Wednesday - I was really listening for 2 honks from the shop (honest), but most just wandered over to the bridge to see how I was doing.

Week ending April 23rd 2009, + Friday a.m. feeder creek survey

Last week's Spring Blizzard (started early Friday morning and went steady until Saturday afternoon) left about a foot on the ground in the valley, but the surrounding ranges had over 2 feet - then it warmed up, 60's & 70's - and it all melted - real fast (almost all of it by the end of this week).

Run off started as far away as Woodland Park (25 miles) via Trout Creek, which was brown on Monday morning out of Manitou Lake, but clear where it joins Westcreek to make up Horse Creek about 3 miles south east of Deckers - Westcreek was high and brown, Horse Creek was pretty bad as it entered the Platte here in Deckers. Wig Wam Creek was up and roiling, 4 Mile creek (out of the "Y" camp) was off but not too high. By Tuesday, Trout Creek was high & brown where it meets Westcreek, so Horse Creek really went off. We lost one of the Beaver dams on Horse Creek, but the other 2 are holding. All of the Springs and brush creeks I check were all gin clear and pumping.

Conditions were not too bad above the Deckers Bridge, but pretty bad downstream - the Canyon remained clear, just a little off.

Then the flows were adjusted, with the usual unknown parameters - went from 100 cfs on Monday, down to 65 cfs - but wait, Tuesday it went up, from 65 cfs to 113 cfs by 11 a.m, 165 by 1 p.m. and settled in at 230 cfs by 4 p.m. - that big push along with run off from the creeks really stirred things up - but Thursday morning the guys at the dam called the shop to say they were going back down to 135 cfs - and that they expexted to start flowing over the spillway sometime this weekend - estimates are about 250 cfs now entering the reservoir - so we will see about 120 coming over the top - which will probably increase as run off continues. Just have to wait & see

Surface action was still good on Monday with BWO's (really good on Sunday), but has dropped off with the fluctuations and clarity - nymphing with the right patterns was very productive in some stretches this week - lots of bugs get knocked into the drift or leech in from the banks.

Doing the dishes Saturday morning, in the middle of another white out, I saw a lone Bald Eagle out of the kitchen window beating wings to the North, straight down the river - probably the last of the season - really are very few things more perfect than sitting in a warm cabin, in front of a blazing fire, surrounded by near total white out - and an Eagle heading to the North Country goes soaring by.

Swallows arrived this week - right behind the storm - little late this year, guess they were waiting for the storm to pass, first Hummingbirds of the season arrived at the porch on Wednesday & the buzzards have returned - Ospreys now replace the Eagles in the dead Cottonwood in the back yard, hunting the Home Hole.

Morning air temps have ranged from high teens to mid 20's - day time highs have equaled those in Denver - fishable light from 6:30 a.m. to past 7:30 p.m. - water temps have been all over the place (and with the water over the spillway at Cheesman they will continue to fluctuate) high 30's to mid 40's this past week.

April 24th, Friday a.m. run off survey - Looks like Wig Wam creek has peaked - still off color, but slowly clearing, the same as 4 mile creek, which has also peaked - Trout Creek is not too bad about 2 miles from Manitou lake, go another 5 miles and it gets pretty ugly, but as it joins West Creek, it starts to clear again (ponds in North Rainbow Falls village do a little filtering) - I do not think it has peaked yet - West Creek, as it exits the village of the same name, is dropping and clearing, but gets worse as it meets up with Trout Creek to make up Horse Creek, which has peaked as it enters the South Platte at the shop. It has cleared some, but still pretty ugly. Not black by any means, just ugly, normal run off color.

Canyon looked OK, above Deckers was cloudy, but very fishable, below Deckers on downstream is fishable, but not very pretty - it could be a week before we are back to gin clear water all the way downstream, but the clarity will improve each day - only patches of snow remain in the high elevations (Mt Cheesman, Thunder Butte, Turkey Rock)so the initial push is done down here - Pikes Peak is another story - heavy, heavy snow pack, way down past Timberline - we do not see any run off from Her, but it is a good key as to what we have waiting further up in our own Platte River drainage

Week ending April 16th, 2009+ Saturday a.m. update

Flow remained steady at 100 cfs all week - pretty ideal conditions. BWO's continue to hatch, as early as noon and as late as 4 p.m. - some sections are great, some so-so. Size, presentation and pattern selection are becoming critical as more trout are fooled and get wise to our ways - #18, or #20 work the best - watch the rise forms closely, some are on duns, but some are on cripples or emergers

Good steady rain on Sunday, all day - good soaker - some wind this week, but not bad - big snow storm due in Friday thru Saturday, then back in the 70's next week (as early as Monday)

Bald Eagles have departed, Ospreys are moving back into the valley - swallows still seem a little late arriving - maybe they knew about this latest winter blast

Nymphing has been great, until the risers appear - at 100 cfs a dry/dropper could come into play, but I have not tried it yet - I keep searching out the true risers and working them until they take

Water temps have ranged from high 30's to mid 40's - sunrises over the East range in the back yard at 7:10 a.m., fishable light at 6:30 a.m., but mornings are still on the cold side - mid teens to low 20's this past week

Snow started at 4 a.m. on Friday - heavy wet stuff - been going for 26 hrs as of 6 a.m. on Saturday - over a foot on the ground in the valley and pretty much a white out and forcasted to last most of today - don't know about the roads into the valley, but I imagine they are pretty bad with much more accummulation than we have had. Conditions should be OK by Sunday, most of it should be gone by Monday p.m. as we hit air temps of 70 - Spring time in the Rockies - can't believe I still have power.

Week ending April 9th, 2009

Quick report this week - too many trout rising to BWO's to have me pecking at this keyboard - which is what I do - never learned how to type.

Flow remained steady at 100 cfs all week - river is ice free and looks fantastic - a classic trout stream - Bugs & Browns & "Bows.

Morning air temps, for the first time this year, never dropped below "0" degrees (Monday was close) - Olives start hatching anytime between 1 & 3 p.m. - just depends on where you are and sun or clouds (risers) and wind or calm, makes it fun - & challenging - but, like today, so rewarding - I just nailed it between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Geese are on the warpath - just starting to nest up - give them some space if you can - they will let you know how much you need to give - It would be nice to have a bunch of gosslings this year - they, too, have suffered after the Hayman fire, but have come back in better numbers - more than I can recall & the Drakes are VERY protective - eye opening, if you take the time to observe - which you do, when they display their hardware through a potential great run.

First Turkey Vulture of the year spotted today - Spring time - Swallows seem a little late - but that's OK - more bugs getting things on - but the Mountain Blue Birds take a toll, a whole bunch this year, they are not as devastating as the swallows, as far as bugs eaten, and have such a great song - just like a Disney movie - but better - much better

Back to the BWO's - these are the BIG Springtime Olives - #16 or more like #18 - depending on pattern - can start as early as 1 p.m., but if you fish the water, you can drag them up with the right combination from 12 p.m. to sunset (or when you start setting on unseen splashes) - you would be surprised !!! Most anglers dead drift nymphs until they start to see rising trout - RS2, Barr Emerger, P-tails are all producing.

License reminder - your DOW license was due to be renewed on April 1st - if you re-new at the shop, please bring cash - we do not take checks or crecit cards for those purchases

Back to the Olives - did I mention.........................

Week ending April 2nd, 2009

Flow was dropped on Tuesday from 130 cfs down to 100 cfs - river looks great, trout are fat & healthy - and pretty hungry.

All of us thought that we had a pretty quick winter - we were just talking about that a few weeks ago (Jeremy, Jesse, Rich & I) - not much snow - lots of mild, perfect days - then winter hit - this week - as it will do in the Rockies - woke to 8" of snow on the ground Friday - another inch on Monday, then a total white out and another 6" on Wednesday (April Fools) - but all the snow from Friday was absorbed by Sunday, Monday's was gone during a nap & by Thursday afternoon, the new dumping was on its way to feed the lilacs - started out today at minus 8 degrees - hit mid 50's by 3 p.m. with a blue bird sky.

Wind had been a pain most of the week, and it was generally cold - but the BWO's have started to become more active - semi - good hatches Wed & today. Still all kinds of bugs in the drift - Little John has become our bug hunter - found a bunch of scuds last week - tracked me down on the river to show them off, after he slammed trout in a good run, then, a few days later, he found a couple of big old ugly crane fly larva, trying to get back to the water after a flow drop - took one to Jesse at the shop.

Well, the cabin phone rang at 5:30 p.m. - caller ID said the shop - I picked up and asked Jesse why he was still there - should have been done & gone by 5 p.m. - he, excitedly, told me about the crane flies - said he found a hook in the back room, radically modified it, and had spent the last few hours working on a new pattern - a big old ugly crane fly larva - wanted to come by and try it in the back yard - well, OK.

Ten minutes later he showed up on the porch with an ugly thing about 1.5" long - but the hook gap was only a #12 - I did say modified - he ran down the path to the home hole - I closed the door and continued to pay shop bills - got one check filled out and heard lots of whistles and "Danny" - He fooled a 16" bow on the third or fourth drift - on the big old ugly crane fly larva - took 2 more on a dropped emerger.

Fishable light by 7 a.m. (but still cold mornings), sunrise at 7:20, sunset at 7:45. water temps have ranged from mid 30's to high 40's. Depending on water temps, the trout can be found almost everywhere - when you find them in the riffles thay are actively feeding and effective nymphing patterns can change throughout the day. Surface action can start by 1 p.m. (still looking for H2O to hit 43+ degrees) and can be great in one section, and slow to dead in another.

Week ending March 26th, 2009

Flow was bumped from 90 cfs to 160 cfs on Friday, then dropped to 130 cfs on Tuesday. The bump to 160 put the clarity off some & lots of bank debris was in the drift by 1 p.m., but the river nymphed nicely.

Scuds, worms, stones & caddis all ended up getting pushed around and the trout were feeding actively.

Grass fire (and some trees) burned in Trumble on Sunday afternoon into Monday morning - gave us all a good scare, but the wind, very strong at times, was blowing north - away from the cabins & it stayed on the west side of the river - understand it was started by a careless person (that was the polite definition, we all refer to them as F#%$#@* Idiots)

Storm hit this Thursday, today - pretty hard - by 12 p.m. it was a total white out at the cabin - lasted off and on all night, but only about 7" accumulated in the valley - more on the ridge tops.

Surface action has been good in late afternoons - look for risers or just fish the water - midge & Parachute (all small) work best, but I managed a few on an Elk Hair Caddis one afternoon - actually seeing a few Caddis fluttering above the water + a few BWO's and one lone adult Stone Fly

Paced a Bald Eagle on the way to the shop Tuesday morning - we were both heading upstream - they follow the river just like a higwway - clocked him at 30 mph & he wasn't pushing it - just an easy flap of his massive wings - when they fly over your head you can clearly hear the wind being pushed - no other noise like it.

Weekend looks good - may see some off color from the feeder creeks as this last dumping melts down quickly - but it should not be bad and can rewally improve the nymphing.

Week ending March 19th, 2009

Flow remained steady at 90 cfs all week. River is gin clear and ice free for the entire length. With the feeder creek input (which are now 95% ice free), the flow is closer to 110 cfs below Deckers.

Water temps reached close to 50 degrees this week, but surface action was off and on - the BIG midge hatch has thinned out some & the BWO's have yet to start in significant numbers. Nymphing has been slow to red hot - the trout can really turn on at certain times of the day, then just plain shut down again. Best times for surface action are from 12 p.m. thru the afternoon

Wind was not as bad as recent weeks, but can still come up strong in the afternoons. Only one morning this week (Saturday) with an air temp below "0" degrees - but it reached 60 deg. by the late afternoon and this weekend looks promising, with 70's predicted for the valley.

I received the results from the DOW electro shock population survey done late last Fall by Jeff Spohn and the crew - Lower Canyon showed a population of 4,040 trout per mile (69% Browns, 23% Rainbows, 8% Suckers) and is about the same as pre-fire data. Above Deckers 1.814 / mile, 60% brn, 40% 'Bows,and very close to pre-fire data. Below Deckers 1,781 / mile 50% Brn, 30% 'Bows, 20% suckers, and is still down significantly from pre-fire data. Twin Cedars (downstream of Scraggy View) 1,479 / mile 65% Brn, 25% 'Bows 10% suckers, and is very close to pre-fire data.

So when you think about it, with 1,700 yards in a mile, a population of 1,700 should mean a trout for every stride you take. The large Sucker percentage found below Deckers is partly due to where the survey is taken each year - they tend to pod up in deep holes and back eddies, or under bridges - both of which are found in that station - as opposed to above Deckers where the station mainly runs through pocket water & fast riffles.

Jeff stated that they are still concerned about natural reproduction (not enough going on) so they will continue with the stocking program of small fry from Wig Wam to Scraggy View (3-4"), and of catchable trout from Scraggy down to the confluence (8-11")

We are finding the average size to have increased nicely, especially in the 'Bows - and almost all are fat, brilliantly colored, and very pissed off when they are fooled.

First day of Spring tomorrow

Week ending March 12th, 2009

Flow was raised from 50 cfs to 70 cfs on Monday, and bumped again to 90 cfs on Wednesday with no adverse affect to the river or the trout or the bugs. The BIG MIDGE continue to hatch and be fooled by the "Stuck in the Shuck" among other patterns. Jesse caught and identified the first adult Spring BWO on Monday near the shop - water temp had hit 45 deg. and has ranged from 35 to 46 degrees all week. Looks like 43 degrees is the bench mark for sustained surface action.

Minor sludge hatch's on Sunday & Wednesday mornings this week and a dusting of snow on both Saturday & Tuesday mornings - but the big story has been the wind, which has really upped the challenge when you try to accurately present a small dry fly - lots of waiting between gusts, keeping an eye on the last riser, then during a lull, attempting to whip a cast into the slot, trying to keep line off the water to avoid current drag, but also keeping everything low to avoid wind drag - the slightest mend at the wrong time sends your flies 20' up river - to a new drift.

Watched a Bald Eagle drop from the dead Cottonwood in back, trying to nail a trout in the home riffle - but he dropped straight in, with the sun at his back & his shadow a few feet in front - big splash, but empty talons - those are some spooky trout - when the Eagles do miss, they seem a little embarrassed and mystified, kinda look around a bit - then wing off to the nearest low branch & sulk.

Marc hit a run on Sunday that Jesse had 2 clients in last Monday with dry flies - first trout came up with a double dry rig in it's jaw - snow midge & Para Adams - he removed them and wound them around a styro holder that he had his backup "stuck in & Olive" cast on - next trout came up with ANOTHER double dry rig - Para / Para - he wound this one up too - brought them back to the cabin after his session - I called Jesse at the shop - sure enough, those were the two that got away - flies were still in good shape - so were the trout, real good ones.

Air temps have been on the cool side - a lot cooler with the wind - highs in or near 50 deg on the better days, mid 30's to mid 40's most of the week, but that is due to change over the weekend with high 60's predicted by Monday, should be outstanding. Fishable light by 7:45 a.m., sun rises at 8:10 a.m., sets at 7:00 p.m. with good light until almost 7:30. Pre-sunrise air temps ranged from single to double digits above "0" (20 deg on Monday) , but Wednesday was minus 4 and today right at "0"

Surface action starts to get going around 12- 1 p.m., some sections better than others - you may find a bunch in one run, move 50 feet and find none. but good slow drifts in fishy spots can still drag them up, even if no noses are present. Nymphing with the correct patterns & weight still produces the most action - and the correct patterns change throughout the day.

Feeder creeks are running clear and are free of almost all bank ice - the river looks great, trout are healthy and brilliant. Drove down to the confluence of the North Fork on Sunday and the river ran clear and ice free the whole way - still a lot of decomposed granite in the lower reaches, filling in some old favorite runs, but whenever I found habitat, I spotted trout - from the dam down to Scraggy, with a few exceptions, the river is full of habitat, starting to look like her old self & most of the granite has been pushed out, especially when you come to good gradients, pocket water and fast riffles.

Week ending March 5th, 2009

Flow remained steady at 50 cfs all week, and the trout seemed to have settled into it nicely - not as spooky, but still challenging.

We had solid sludge hatches on Saturday & Sunday that lasted until 11 a.m. thru Trumbull & wind has been a problem off and on, especially today - it is howling and if I was back on the ocean, gale force would be a pretty close estimate - but I am in Deckers, so it just means we can't fish dry flies - not because the bugs are not hatching - they are - but the trout can't key in on them, let alone trying to place a cast and get a decent drift.

Otherwise, starting on Monday, conditions improved - Jesse and 2 clients headed into the river with one rod rigged for nymphs, and one not yet strung. First thing Jesse heard was a slurp - looked up and saw a slurp, then another - rigged the second rod for surface action & boom - the gentleman got into one, so Jesse clipped off the nymphs on the second rod, re-rigged with dries & boom, the lady got into one - & on & on - our guests were happily surprised - surface action was not what they expected, especially the first week of March, but they loved it & had a solid day.

Monday thru Wednesday the air temps came close to 70 degrees, and water temps hit mid 40's & the BIG midge made a major debut - along with the steady hatch of the small midge - we are talking about a difference from # 18 or #20 to a # 24 or #26 - and both are coming off at the same time.

We could get a few on standard stuff, but were not really nailing it and knew that most of the slurpers & risers were on the BIG midge - while it was still trying to free itself from the shuck on the surface. Now this presents a problem at the vise - how do you get the long shuck & the emerging midge, which is now a #14, tied sparsley enough to imitate the natural, on a hook that wants to sink 'cause you just can't tie in enough flotation to meet the challenge - standard ties with trailing shucks - well OK, but it still was not right, but 2 flies, mated together, to equal the length, but match the natural and greased real good - well we tried it on Tuesday.

My second drift produced a good Rainbow - but that could have been a real vulnerable, never the less, very pretty trout - then after a few more drifts - yes, another - which in our R & D terms means it works!!! - and it continued to work - we named it "Stuck in the Shuck" and tried a few different combos, but one really stood out - and fooled the most trout - and we joked & giggled and laughed the rest of the afternoon - "Hey, another one, yup, stuck in the shuck" We love our jobs. I will try to have some ready at the shop this weekend, we have the flies, just have to rig them up. When you drop them in the water next to a natural, well, it looks just like it, even down to the natural attempting to wriggle free, 'cause ours is hinged.

Wednesday I went out and did it again, wind was a bitch, not as many slurpers, but just fishing the water produced some great action. Today was a non-starter, just not worth it in the wind, allthough when I headed for the shop, some anglers were giving it a shot - don't blame 'em & I enjoy the fortitude - I use to do it too, and in doing so, soon learned the second reason you pinched the barb down on your flies - #1, a lot easier to release your trout, #2 a lot easier to release you.

Clocks change on Saturday night - the bugs and the trout don't know we do this - so the hatch that now starts at 11 a.m., will now be 12 p.m. on Sunday - dead drift nymphs until you see some noses, then switch if you have the right patterns. Water temps have ranged from 35 deg. ( early Sunday, which climbed to an afternoon temp of 43 degrees) - to a high of 46 degrees mid week. River remains gin clear & ice free from the dam to the confluence of the North Fork

Oh yeah, it is a #24 adult olive midge hooked to a #18 miracle nymph.

Week ending February 26th, 2009

Flow was dropped from 88 cfs down to 63 cfs on Monday, then dropped again to 50 cfs on Tuesday (actually went all the way down to a scary 34 cfs, but finished at 50 by the end of the day - when the boys at the dam called in the change, they said " Hey Danny, going to 50" - but I looked at the backyard that afternoon, seemed pretty skinny, and then checked the update, which reported 34 cfs - maybe a valve got stuck)

Had major sludge hatches on Friday (minus 5 degrees air temp), Saturday (minus 5 degrees air temp) & Sunday (right at "0" degrees pre-sunrise air temp) thru Trumbull - Saturday was the most I have seen this winter & it lasted in the back yard until 1 p.m. - but day time air temps have been magical - 65 degrees on Tuesday with minimal wind and just a fishing shirt - in February - and rising trout in the afternoon - and yes, I got a few - but not as many as I should ( could ) have - cause it was 65 degrees and I was just wearing a fishing shirt over a Long John Tee - in February - and I tend to enjoy the day, as opposed to really trying to hammer them - just to witness all of THIS, in front and around you - this is a very special place.

One thing about these low flows (the trout have not seen 50 cfs for a full year) - the whole river is exposed, water is gin clear & if you take the time to put down the rod and just sneak along the banks & focus, well, all I can say is WOW, look at all those trout - & some real good ones too!! - but boy are they spooky - fun just to see how close you can get to them - amazing how far away they detect your presence - gives you a good idea of how many you spooked before you even threw the first cast - the slightest change in the immediate environment, below and well above the water - and BOOM - little (and big) torpedos darting all over the place.

Another thing about the low flows, dry / dropper rigs are definetly back in play - I tried a few different combinations on Tuesday during a session with Marc - he nymphed and really got into them - but I elected to play around, cause I usually do, and I just can't resist a challenge - especially when I am tagging along with an excellent angler - cause he lets me know what it is they really want - and I can fool the odd trout that just can't resist a well presented bug (and sometimes not that well presented) - this is definetly research & development.

Water temps have ranged from 35 to 43 degrees this week - warms up quickly on sunny days - last few mornings the pre-sunrise air temps have ranged from 10 to 20 degrees

More of the big midges have been hatching this week, they look like a BWO in flight, and in the lower flow some of the trout are rising to them in the afternoon - it can start as early as 11 a.m. - just depends on where you are on the river. The valley remains very dry, so please be careful with open flames. Jeremy & Jesse both had good trips this week - lots of trout fooled & the forcast for the coming week looks like a repeat.

Week ending February 19th, 2009

Flow was dropped on Tuesday morning from 103 cfs to 88 cfs, river remains gin clear for the most part, still seeing some off color on warmer afternoons below Deckers due to ice melting in the Horse Creek drainage. Survey of the area on Tuesday showed that most of the black bank ice has melted on Horse Creek, and a good percentage has done the same on West Creek. This run off is a natural occurance, happens every year, even before the Hayman fire - most of that drainage runs through some very cold canyons, that see little or no sunlight thru most of the winter months.

Jesse took a water temp reading on Tuesday, near the outflow pipes from Cheesman reservoir in the upper canyon, of 41 degrees - water temps thru Deckers and Trumbull ranged from 35 to 41 all week - sludge hatch on Sunday & today (both pre-sunrise air temps at minus 5 degrees), but the rest of the week was sludge free, with morning air temps ranging from 5 to 15 degrees above "0"

Had about an inch of snow overnight on Friday, and some flurries on Saturday - wind has been a problem, especially on Tuesday when it really howled, but Jeremy managed to get his client into double figures on a 1/2 day trip & niether lost thier hats (but Jeremy was almost blown into a deep hole when a major gust slammed them)

Saw the first BIG midge on the water on Sunday - these are about a size #18 or #20 and look like BWO's in flight - see them every year in March in good numbers & they can produce some challenging surface action in the afternoons when they start to emerge in force. This one was just breaking out of it's shuck, when I plucked it off the water I thought it was an Olive (wings erect and long abdomen) but once it struggled free the wings went flat along the body - yup, a BIG midge.

Sun now crests the East Range at 7:30 a.m., sets to the West around 5:30 p.m. - Afternoon air temps have ranged from low 30's to high 40's, but this weekend is looking great, with air temps in the 50 - 60 degree range (with a flow of 88 cfs and gin clear water, a dry dropper could come into play) - best times still remain from 10 - 11 a.m. up to 5 p.m. Dead drifting nymphs is the most productive, but I still manage to trick a few very nice trout with a streamer later in the day, always checking for that magic 38+ degree water temp.

Week ending February 12th, 2009

Flow was raised from 65 cfs to 100 cfs on Saturday, river stayed clear, but has been going off color on some afternoons due to run off from Horse Creek - lots of black & brown ice in her drainage - mainly from Westcreek & as it melts down, it drags all the stuff into the Platte - a normal occurance & with a flow over 100 cfs, not a huge problem - actually helps in some situations - just have to change patterns - get a little creative - adapt to the conditions - think like a trout - and check the water temperature - a lot - until it passes 38 degrees - then just fish.

Watched one of the Bald Eagles nail a nice brown in the backyard on Tuesday - in pretty strong winds - they don't seem to handle strong wind & gusts very well, but this one did. Wind was a problem during some of the week, but all in all it was pretty pleasant - only pre-sunrise air temp below "0" was today, and it created the only sludge hatch of the week - lasted thru Trumbull until noon. Afternoon air temps were mid 40's to mid 50's - lite rain shower Sunday evening & a dusting of snow Tuesday evening.

Found rising trout on Monday above Deckers - slurping emerging midge and adults in a back eddy - got a few, but never really cracked it - of course the patterns I thought would do it were not in my shirt pocket (they are now) and the wind was a bitch, cast was across a fast, wide channel - all the things that make it fun.

Streamers are still working in the late afternoons - some sections much better than others - but dead drifting small midge patterns (red, blue, olive, black & brown) with attractors is the best bet and it gets better as the river warms in the afternoon. Water temps have ranged from 35 - 42 degrees & best times on the water are still from 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Sunrise over the East is 7:40 a.m., sets to the West around 5:15 p.m. - days are slowly getting longer - the morning sun emerging over the East Range is steadily moving back to the North.

We have only had about 2" (total) of measurable snow in the valley this winter - so things are VERY dry (please be careful with open flames) - we are hoping for a few good dumps from now thru March - we really need it in the drainage.

Jeremy & Jesse have many open guide dates this month - so if you are thinking about a way to improve your winter nymphing skills, now would be a good time - conditions are perfect just about every day (considering it is mid February)

Week ending February 5th, 2009

Flow was raised on Friday from 75 cfs to 110 cfs, the river stayed clear but water temps were low, then the flow was dropped to 65 cfs on Monday morning. The trend seems to be increases over the weekends, and lower flows during the week. Cheesman reservoir is about 15 feet down from the spillway.

Cold a.m. air temps (single digits above & below "0" pre-sunrise), combined with the lower flow, have produced sludge hatches most of the week, but they only last thru Trumbull until late morning - the canyon has not been affected, and only minor ice appears above Deckers.

Day time air temps have hit 65 degrees (Today), most were in the 50's, pretty incredible for late January / early February - big change from last winter. Water temps have hit low 40's (you are still looking for that magic 38 before the trout start to actively feed).

I went out for an hour on Tuesday afternoon with a dry fly rig - picked up a nice brown on a dropped Pheasant tail, then a beautiful rainbow came out of nowwhere and smacked the dry - that broke off the dropper during a downstream run - so I just stayed with the dry - and yup, got another, bigger rainbow (which proved that the first 'bow wasn't just the dumbest trout in the river)

Felt good, so I quit and hiked back to the cabin. With the lower flow and clear water it can be done - just fishing the water - I did find the occasional swirl from a trout sipping an emerging midge, but no classic rise forms, and the ones I fooled had not shown themselves until they made the fatal mistake. Nymphing is still the most productive tactic though. Marc & Tim had an exceptional day on Super Bowl Sunday, both into double figures of trout fooled, then back to the cabin in time for early cocktails, stupid last minute bets & a good game.

Horse Creek went off color Thursday afternoon, and that put the clarity off downstream of Deckers at the end of the day (made worse by the low flow form Cheesman - not enough clear water to dissipate the run off) - but Thursday was the warmest day of the week.

Jeremy had a good trip on Wednesday - near the shop they fooled and landed a solid 18" (could have been 20") rainbow on an egg pattern, then 5 drifts later they caught the twin (may have even been the same 'bow) on the dropped nymph, all within the first hour.

Sun now crests the east range at 7:50, and drops to the west a little after 5 p.m. - best time to be on the river is still from 10 a.m. on into the late afternoon. If you encounter ice, sludge or poor clarity, just keep moving upstream, things should improve.

Week ending January 29th, 2008

WOW, what a change this week on the river - Flow was dropped on Sunday from 125 cfs to 75 cfs. Cold air settled in over the weekend and it never really warmed up - Monday never passed the single digit mark & Tuesday morning I woke to an air temp of minus 18 degrees and a major sludge hatch. Sludge has been present most of the week thru Trumbull - the Canyon seemed to stay clear.

Thursday started out at minus 10 degrees, with sludge in the back yard, but it warmed to 40 degrees by late afternoon and the river was clear by 3 p.m. - I even found some rising trout - quite a few - around 5 p.m. above Deckers, sipping midge duns and emergers.

When we did get out we managed to fool a few good ones, but it wasn't for long and not very often after Sunday - good thing is the river saw very little pressure this week and this weekend forcast looks good (Sunday could be a little dodgy)

Saturday was the best day of the week, Jeremy ran a "Breakfast / Nymphing" trip that was a huge success & Jesse managed to fool a bunch of good trout on Friday - all nymphing, with the correct weight and indicator placement.

The further upstream you move the less ice and sludge you will encounter - basically start the day above Deckers, then work downstream as the air (and the river) warm up - water temp of 38 + degrees is what you are looking for.

Week ending January 22nd, 2009

WOW, what a week on the river - flow remained steady at 125 cfs all week - river remains gin clear - water temps ranged from 35 to 42 degrees, depending on time of day & section sampled, but most of the river, most of the week, hit the magic 38 degrees (or higher).

Morning air temps ranged from single digits below "0" to single digits above "0" - except for today when it started out at 20 above, hit 40 by 9 a.m. & 60 + in the afternoon - even on most days, when it was below "0", we hit 50 or 60, no wind and blue skies (which is the reason for the cold mornings - no clouds to keep the day time warming in the valley - except last night)

I had 2 memorable days this week in the shop - first, a very gentle, but enthusiastic patron came by once again - just getting into the sport, into retirement - had some success with flies that we had turned him onto - bought 2 more, streamers - then asked about "this nymphing stuff" - I showed him the standard shop diagram of how to set it up, then he said "sell me your best one" well, that is tuff, but I picked out a pattern, and he took it with 2 streamers, cause he said "last time he did real good with the ones you sold me".

He came back near closing time, looked me in the eye, and said "got one on that pattern, just like you said", ( I have no idea how he rigged it) - "brown trout, first one I ever got" - asked him about the streamers, "nope, not a hit" - how do you present it? - "Just chuck it out there and wiggle the rod, works real good some days" - see, I told you there were some tricks to this streamer stuff - I am going to "wiggle" my rod next time.

2nd one regards a gent that came in and asked, "give me a dozen of your best patterns" - as usual, I walked to the bins and asked "do you have any RS2's?" - He replied, " I have just about every pattern and fly that you can imagine, but I read and enjoy your weekly report, so give me a dozen" That is the spirit we live on.

So many of you respond in kind, and are so appreciated, even the friend that showed me a new map - that we will start to stock.

Jeremy, Jesse &, yes, even I had very productive trips this week - all nymphing (we chucked a few streamers on my 1/2 day, but it was a little early. so we only flashed one) - I had a short p.m. session today with Marc & it was a little tougher, but we were moving around a lot - then I found some risers in a back eddy - nothing steady, just a splash here & there & since I had just snagged and screwed up my rig (it happens so quick!) - I switched to a dry and missed my only take - but it sure felt good.

Sun is still cresting the east range at 8 a.m. (slowly moving back to the north thru the high part of a saddle), but now sets to the west at 5 p.m. - best time to be presenting frauds to these picky trout is still late morning to late afternoon - and that all depends on the water temperature. You can be in ice & sludge downstream, but just keep moving up and you will find warmer water - usually start the day near Deckers, then work downstream as the water warms

Week ending January 15th, 2009

Flow was raised on Friday from 125 cfs to 150 cfs., then back down to 125 cfs on Thursday morning. The higher flow (unusual this time of year) will help keep bank ice & sludge hatches to a minimum - meaning lots of open & fishable water.

Snow on Friday & Monday this week, with cold air temps - morning lows ranged from minus 12 on Tuesday to 20 above on Monday (snowed all day, 4" on the ground & barely reached 30 degrees)

Your DOW license purchased in 2008 is now good until March 31st, 2009 - changes were made this year - they use to expire on the first day of the new year, but will now be good from April 1st to March 31st of the following year - gives you a few extra months to pick up your new one for 2009.

Water temps have ranged from 36 to 41 degrees - the trout are sluggish in water lower than 38 degrees, but things really pick up once the temp reaches 38 - 1/2 degree increments can be very crucial to activity and feeding. Still getting good midge hatches (#20 - #26), but we have seen no surface action (also due in part to the higher flows) and the abundance of sub-surface food.

Jesse and I had a good, but short, session on Tuesday (Jeremy was stuck in the shop - but he even got a few in the afternoon - hung the "Honk Twice" sign on the door) - Jesse and I both nymphed from about 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. - about 20 good fat healthy trout were fooled (Jesse with the majority) - river looks soooo good. Correct weight and water temps were key - we utilize soft weight constantly - makes those minor adjustments very easy - but it can make all the difference, as we both found - and the thermometer was in the water more than a few times.

We found the trout this week taking a variety of patterns - all small - we did a lot of experimenting.

Sun still cresting the East range around 8 a.m., but setting to the west a little after 4:30 p.m. - days are getting longer. This weekend and into early next week look to be fantastic - predicted highs in the 60's, 125 cfs of gin clear water - we have openings for 1/2 day trips both Monday & Tuesday - just in case any one is thinking about playing hooky.

Never did try the dry dropper - at 150 cfs it seemed a little futile - stripping streamers will still produce, but I did somthing to my left shoulder that is aggravated by the constant stripping, so I started chucking weight - easier on the shoulder - and yes, it is a lot of fun (I sometimes forget how much)

Week ending January 8th, 2009

January 8th, 60 degrees by 2 p.m., lite winds, mostly sun - but some good clouds - 125 cfs of gin clear water - Rich, Jeremy & I were re-painting the shop this week - BUT NOT TODAY!!! - at least not Jeremy & I - Rich was stuck in jail ( jail = shop time - just to be clear) - started out at 10 degrees pre-sunrise, then turned into one of those days we sometimes see in the dead of winter - incredible.

Flow was bumped from 70 cfs to 100 cfs on Tuesday, then up to 125 cfs on Wednesday - what a great winter flow, probably about 140 cfs below Deckers - the river looks so good, great habitat, bunch of trout - but, on some days you might think that only a few are present, if any at all - then, the next day, you hammer them - life is good, hooking up is better - and the world is right, at least this world in Deckers.

Dead drifting nymphs in the mornings works best, then streamers start working after 1:30 if you decide to switch - some days (and sections) are better than others & water temps are another factor, which have ranged from 36 to 42 degrees.

Major sludge hatch on Monday (I woke to a minus 18 degree air temp), but as usual, it reached 40 degrees by the late afternoon. Snow hit Saturday afternoon and lasted on and off until Sunday morning - only about 3" on the ground - but it was a chilly day, even though it reached the mid 30's (back to "0" by 6 p.m.)

Should be a good weekend, a little cold, but the 125 flow will keep things open for most of the river.

No surface action this week, still lots of midges hatching though - I was tempted to try a dry / dropper at 70 cfs, but at 125 I think I would be pushing it - lots of casting with very little action, but I like to cast & I have the afternoon off - let you know next week.

Week ending January 1st, 2009

Flow was dropped on Tuesday morning from 110 cfs to 70 cfs - put the trout down for a while in the late morning / afternoon as they adjusted to the new flow - usually, any adjustment over 25 cfs will have that affect, especially if the flow was low to begin with.

Saturday started off at minus 8 degrees, but no sludge hatch emerged - hit mid 40's. The rest of the week was pretty ideal, despite some wind - Tuesday morning I woke to a balmy 40 degrees that rose to the high 50's. Water temp downstream from Trumbull was 39 degrees in the late morning.

Found a few risers on Monday in a back eddy sipping emerging midges - they were not very big, and my dry flies were back in the Jeep, so I did not switch out, but if you did you could have got a few on the surface, which is tough to do in late December.

Lots of anglers on the river this week - weather, holidays, new toys & open water - it was good to see (could have used a few more visitors in the shop though).

With that said, we wanted to thank all of you that did help support our efforts here in Deckers this past year - some of you were extremely faithful, either stopping by to pick up a few bugs, some gear, a hat or shirt - even if you didn't really need it -or taking a guided trip with one of us - every little bit helped and we all appreciate it - this is what we love to do, and will continue to keep an eye on the river for everyone - but we still have to pay the bills, which is pretty much all we ask for.

Best time to be on the river is still from 10 or 11 a.m. up to 3:30 or 4 p.m.

Strong a.m. winds today, but they died out in the afternoon and the air temp hit 60 degrees - on January 1st !!! - fooled & landed a bunch of trout in an afternoon session still casting & stripping streamers for the most part - and getting a little more competent each day - there are some tricks to it.

Week ending December 25th, 2008 (+ Friday & early Saturday morning)

Flow was dropped on Saturday the 20th from 110 cfs to 60 cfs, then back up to 100 cfs on Tuesday. The low flow produced a minor sludge hatch on Sunday, but it was mostly gone thru Trumbull by noon. Air temps have ranged from low 20's to below zero in the mornings (minus 8 today), and struggled to get out of the 30's all week - add the constant winds almost every day and conditions were kind of brutal on the river - but on the river we went.

Fingers were so cold on Friday that I poked myself with a streamer, twice, while releasing trout and didn't know it - until a few moments later when I saw all the blood - and confirmed it was mine. Had one of those casts, again with a streamer, that went terribly wrong during the back cast, due to the wind, and didn't improve through the forward part, due to my frozen reflexes and I whacked myself right in the back - to my relief it just glanced me and dropped at my feet - lucky.

Despite the cold & wind, the river looks great, and at times is fishing very well - Jesse & Jeremy are producing good trout dead drifting nymphs in the fishy spots, I continue to play around with streamers (and duck a lot).

Sunday was the first day of winter - shortest day of the year - and coldest of the week - started out at minus 10, never got out of the teens and dropped below "0" by 9 p.m. - but thats OK, 'cause the days will now slowly start to get longer. Right now the sun crests the East range behind the cabin at 8 a.m., and drops over the West at 4 p.m.

Watched a raven harrassing one of the Bald Eagles in flight on Wednesday - pretty rare, all the birds normally give them a very wide birth - but what was even stranger, tailing both of them was a small hawk - staying right in pace about 10 feet behind - lost sight of the trio around a bend - usually the ravens go after the hawks and owls - maybe the hawk was just waiting to see the Raven get whacked - I am sure that would have been the outcome.

Today looks like another cold one, but starting Sunday and all thru next week looks great - so break out those new Christmas toys and come on up, stop by the shop and get out and fool a few.

Week ending December 18th, 2008

COLD, COLD week in the valley - morning air temps ranged from low 20's (Saturday), single digits (Friday, Sunday & today), minus 20 degrees on Monday (20 degrees below "0" !!), minus 2 on Tuesday & minus 8 on Wednesday. Day time highs reached 50 on Saturday (but it felt colder) - most afternoons stayed in the 30's.

Flow was raised on Wednesday from 60 cfs to 90 cfs, then up to 110 cfs today. On Monday we had our first sludge hatch (frozen, but moving water - pretty impossible to fish through) & it lasted all day (usually dissipates late morning or early afternoon) - the Canyon was not affected by it, minor sludge on Tuesday & with the higher flow from the dam, it will take a very low temp to produce a major sludge hatch like we saw on Monday.

Sunday I woke to snow & wind and single digits, snow stopped at noon, then started again - about 4" all told & the temps never got out of single digits - had 3 very brave souls (translates to trout addicts) in the shop at 10 a.m., headed for the Canyon - said they were not sure if we would be open, I responded that I try to always open every day, regardless of the weather, at least in the mornings, to see if any one is desperate enough to try to fool a few - opened my arms wide & said "and here you are". I pretty much limited my activity this week to a few days in the shop, multiple trips to the wood pile, my favorite leather couch and a few good books.

Except for today, got a Jones, (and a minor case of "shack nasties") had to get out - snow flurries, but minor wind & close to 40 degrees - half hearted attempts with nymphs produced 1 strike, which I missed (just a tad late on the set), decided to try a few favorite streamers, 'cause I felt like casting and moving. Fooled some great trout, really surprised, missed a lot, landed some good ones - hard, quick strikes - very aggressive. I don't cast and strip streamers very often, but it sure worked today.

The sludge hatch, when it happens, will always be thicker the further you move downstream, so if it looks bad, just keep moving upstream, it will get thinner - Horse Creek is very ice jammed, and can add off color water on warmer days, which can cloud the river a little from Deckers, through Trumbul, but then dissipates. If you find cloudy water (higher flow should help keep things clearer), just move up, or downstream - clarity should improve.

Week ending December 11th, 2008

Flow was bumped up from 70 cfs to 100 cfs on Friday, then back down to 60 cfs on Monday, where it now stands. More like 80+ cfs below Deckers when you add the feeder creeks. Horse Creek still has a good flow for this time of year and can go off color on warmer days in the afternoon, but has little affect on the river.

We have had morning air temps ranging from below "0" deg (Fri & Wed) to the high 20's on Sunday & Monday - climbing in the afternoon to almost 70 on Sunday - 40 to 60 degree swings are not uncommon in the valley, especially on sunny days - figure our overnight low to be 20 degrees colder than Denver's, but our day time high is about the same as the flatlands.

We are now firmly into "bankers hours" as far as angling on the South Platte - 10 or 11 a.m. to 2:30, 3:30 p.m. is optimum - no sludge hatch yet, but looks like we might see the first one on Monday.

Had about 6" of snow on Tuesday, stopped at noon and the sun came out, most of it is gone and the roads are fine. Surface action has been slow to non-existent, but you can drag a few up with patience and dogged persistence - huge amounts of small midge larva and emergers in the water and adults in the air - trout are just gorging on them - which can also make nymphing tough - too many bugs in the drift.Water temps have been in high 30's to mid 40's

Friday & Saturday look like good days, then weather moves in on Sunday / Monday. A huge beaver continues to build a bank house in the back yard - this is a big old boy - doing a nice job of pruning the willows - spotted him perched on a mid stream rock on Wednesday morning while having coffee on the porch - looked like a bear cub.

Sun rises over the East Range at 8 a.m., sets to the west at 4:15 p.m. - close to its farthest track to the south, a few more weeks, then it starts moving back to the north, then its Spring - but I am getting a little ahead of things.

Week ending December 4th, 2008

Missed last weeks report due to "T" day - 20 at the cabin for the weekend - quite a dinner & pre-meals & post-meals & snacks (& in-between snacks, which most would consider meals)

Flow was bumped on Tuesday, November 25th, from 100 to 130 cfs, put the color off a little, and put the trout down for a while, but everything settled out by Wednesday. With the cold overnight air temps, Horse Creek has been icing up - on warm days when the ice melts, the creek can go off color, but has no major affect on the river downstream from Deckers.

We are still finding a few (very few into December) BWO's coming off in the afternoons - millions of midges hatching all day long - about a size 32 (no kidding), but also some larger ones mixed in.

Morning air temps have been in single digits, but warms to mid 50's if the sun is out - Monday, November 24th, started out right at "0" degrees, but reached well into the 60's that afternoon - excellent day, no wind, good surface action in the afternoon. Best time to be on the river is still around 10 a.m. until 3 or 4 p.m. - surface action is best after 12:30 (depending on water temps and bug activity) - higher flow wll probably slow that action down, which it did.

Very hard to drag any trout up at 130 cfs, but the flow was dropped to 100 cfs on November 30th & down again to 70 cfs on December 2nd, which should see risers to small dry midge patterns once again. Most Anglers are reporting tough conditions - ie - no trout - But we (Jeremy, Jesse & I, along with the rest of the guides) are still really getting into them.

Yes, I once again was dragged into "chucking lead" with small patterns along the bottom with constant weight adjustments and perfect drifts - "Winter Nymphing" - but I may have a chance this weekend to fool a few on the surface - 70 cfs, mid 50's air temps - that should do it.

3" - 4" of snow over the Holiday Weekend - then some nice days - hit high 60's on Tuesday, then today COLD and snow - but not as much as predicted - too COLD - happens at times, big front from the North, lots of potential, but it just stays cold, ice crystals in the air - but no blizzard.

This weekend looks very promising - mid 50's predicted & the trout have had a break the past few days.

Week ending November 20th, 2008

Flow stayed steady at 100 cfs all week, more like 120 cfs below Deckers Bridge - sure hope it stays that way thru the winter.

Friday started out cold & snowy, had about 2" on the ground by noon, heavy at times, then the sun came out & most of it was gone by 3 p.m..

Saturday started out COLD - close to "0" degrees at the cabin pre-sunrise, but the rest of the week was perfect - statring out in the low teens to low 20's, but reaching high 50's to low 70's - today was kind of nasty in the morning, but the afternoon was very fishable.

Surface action has slowed some, but it can pick up in the afternoon - BWO's trailed by a small dry midge can get a few to rise, where no rises were present - just drift the fishy water.

Correct weight and indicator distance are critical to nymphing - which can be slow to great depending on the water temperature (same holds true for dry fly action) a stream thermometer is a good investment for the winter months - we have some good ones at Flies & Lies.

Sun now crests the East Range in the backyard at 7:40 a.m. - The home hole is in shadows by 3:30 and the last rays of light quickly disappear over the East range, as the sun dips behind the West range, at 4:20 p.m. - best time to see any action is from 10 a.m. until that last chill takes over (and thru your fleece) at 4 p.m. - then back to a warm fire and early cocktail hour.

Week ending November 13th, 2008

Flow remained steady all week at 50 cfs, then was bumped today to 100 cfs - river remains gin clear with water temps ranging from low to mid 40's

Plenty of small midges still hatching - most of the day - double dry combo works well - lead fly in a #18 or #20, to help you locate the # 22 - # 26 trailing midge. We are still finding good hatches of BWO's in the afternoon (double dry covers both if you get the patterns correct) - even found some Trico Spinners in the air this week.

Sun now crests the range to the East at 7:30 a.m., drops down to the West at a little past 4:30 p.m. - air temps in the morning have been close to 0 degrees (on Friday, but it hit mid 50's) - to a mild mid 20's - no snow or rain this week, getting pretty dry again. You can figure that our overnight temperature in the valley will be about 20 degrees colder than Denver's morning lows, but we will generally match the afternoon high of the flatlands (sometimes warmer) - wind has not been too bad (except for today, so I managed to get some cabin projects done)

Dry / Dropper will be effective at the new flow, along with dead drifting nymphs - until you see some slurps or rises - then you have to decide if you switch or not. Decision is easy for me, I have rigged up a nymphing rod, but have yet to cast it - still having too much fun fishing nice looking water with a dry & being rewarded with an innocent rise and take.

Beavers have constructed a new dam on Horse Creek, couple of miles from Deckers - good size dam - a few have built a new bank house in the Back Yard - wish they would move up to Horse or West Creek - don't mind seeing them in the back, but we could really use the structures in the feeder creeks - good sediment traps.

Looks like a great weekend coming up, along with the beginning of next week (Tuesday high is predicted to reach 70) - great time of year for a 1/2 day trip, or just to be out on the river - flow could not be more ideal - stop by the shop and we can set you up with some deadly dry combinations (Jesse and I got in some good R & D this week) - Jeremy was stuck in "jail" (that is how we refer to shop time at Flies & Lies for the guides) - but someone had to cover & more often than not, you will see the "Honk Twice " sign on the door - meaning we are over at the bridge, fooling a few - so it isn't too bad - by the way, don't hesitate to honk if you need somthing - we do not mind at all - it just may take a few minutes if we have one on.

Week ending November 6th, 2008

DOW performed the annual trout survey this week. Recieved the call late Friday, so no time to place it in the weekly report - hope to have some results this month to post. Stations sampled were in the lower Canyon, above Deckers Bridge, below Deckers Bridge, Scraggy & Willow Bend.

Flow remained steady at 50 cfs all week - trout are spooked easily, so you have to be sneaky. Water temps have been in the low to mid 40's. Sun now crests the East Range at 7:30 a.m. - morning temps have ranged from single digits to mid 20's, but reach afternoon highs of 50 to 70 degrees. Afternoon winds can be bothersome, but not too bad.

BWO's have thinned out, but surface action can still be found with small dry midge patterns - Dry / Dropper is still effective with the correct patterns - dead drifting small frauds (which will change throughout the day) with the correct weight, has fooled the most trout (and the biggest)

Winter Bald Eagles arrived this weekend, migrating from the far north - later than last year, but pretty much on time for an average winter. Normally arrive around Halloween and depart mid April.

Even with the low flows & colder water, we are still finding trout everywhere - slicks, riffles, pools, back eddies - I fooled a fat 16" Rainbow this week, with a small dry midge, in an 8" riffle - late afternoon - I quit after that - time for a cocktail & sunset.

Week ending October 30th, 2008

Flow remained steady at 50 cfs all week, gin clear and beautiful. Have to say that this past week was one of the best I have been privledged to witness - mid teens at pre-sunrise, mid day in the high 60's, low 70's - Midge and BWO hatch very consistent, surface slurpers can be found from 10 a.m. until you can't see your drift anymore - but I still keep casting.

Next week looks about the same - it is good to be a fly fisherman, better yet to be a dry fly fisherman - right now, 'cause winter nymphing is right around the corner - Stop by the shop, we can get you the best advice & the best patterns - I promise, no other shop can - had a guy in this week that purchased a bunch from another shop, pulled them out all proud - I said, yes, those are real pretty - but they won't work here today - bought his hat from the other shop too. His daughter took it well, laughed quite a bit, actually - Dad was a little bummed.

Eagles that make the valley home for the winter are late - usually hunting from the dead Cotton Wood in the back yard by now - which should bode for a mild winter, temperature wise (same thing for the late departure of the hummingbirds) - but would mean a wetter winter, which we like - time release melt down - good for the Lilacs and Wild Flowers.

Clocks change this weekend, but the trout don't know we do that, or the bugs, so hatch times, sunsets & sunrise times will change - just keep it in mind for the next few weeks.

Week ending October 23rd, 2008

Flow was raised on Friday from 60 cfs, up to 110 cfs, then dropped back to 50 cfs on Monday, where it now stands. River is gin clear with a temp. in the low 50's most days.

DOW stocked 20,000 sub catchable trout from the cable hole to Scraggy view on Monday - these are 3 - 5" babies - an effort to replace young of the year that we lose during major blow outs of the river from the feeder creeks.

BWO hatch's continue, some days better than others - same with the locations - Lots of Midge hatching, and some of the surface feeders prefer them, or switch back and forth - all the surface bugs are small - keep a sharp eye in the slicks, riffles & seems - some are just sipping, some are more agressive.

Air temps have ranged from teens in the a.m., up to 80 degrees on Monday - had 4" of snow on the ground on Wednesday when I woke - snow off and on thru early afternoon - then it cleared and got COLD - single digits this a.m. - but the weekend is looking great

Dead drifting nymphs along the bottom is very effective, until you start to see some noses poking thru the surface - then you have to decide if you should switch, or stay with the nymph rig - or just start with a dry / dropper rig and the decision is a lot easier (and quicker) - great time of year to book a 1/2 day guide trip - really get to learn the river at these low flows, site fish and hone those winter nymphing & dry fly techniques.

Week ending October 16th, 2008.

Front moved in on Friday afternoon, by Saturday it was cold, windy, wet - an early taste of winter in the valley - wading boots left out on the back patio frozen & stuck to the limestone slabs, yup, that's winter. Nasty through Sunday, wind being the major problem - Monday was mainly clear, but cold - broke out the watch cap & fingerless gloves - and fooled some good ones.

Flow was dropped Monday morning from 120 cfs to 60 cfs - more like 80 cfs below Deckers, when you add the feeder creeks - gin clear down to the confluence with the North Fork.

Tuesday I woke to an air temp in the teens & overcast sky - furnace kicked in early - thought I had left some windows open, but didn't - had the first morning fire of the year. After the weekly run to town for supplies, I had planned on getting all kinds of chores completed at the cabin - but it was now in the high 40's, cloudy & no wind with a clear flow of 60 cfs from the dam & a water temp in the low 50's

Well, the roof doesn't leak, the foundation is solid - the rest is just fluff - and my wading boots had thawed out.

Started with a dry dropper around 11:30 a.m. and fooled a few on the nymph - but it was tough - then the first nose appeared, then another - splash here, plop there, couple of slurps - spotted a few Olives & lots of midges - switched to a double dry - # 18 Para Adams trailed 2 feet by a # 22 Para Olive - that was the ticket. Started casting to targets, but it didn't seem to matter, seemed like all the trout were looking up - and at 60 cfs, most all are close to the surface anyhow.

This turned into an epic BWO & Midge hatch, enough bugs to keep the trout keyed on the surface, not so many that your fraud got caught in the crowd and ignored - Humbling to see so many trout in sections that you know are good, but had no idea how many trout are actually there - and you had not hooked. Got in the Jeep to take a look at some favored runs - rise forms in some were in the dozens - at the same time.

Wednesday was bright, cool, with some steady wind - hatch started earlier (around 11:30) and not as many trout were on the duns, but enough were - more target casting than on Tuesday, with a few surprise takes. Seems that sunny days it gets going around 11:30 a.m. and runs off and on into the afternoon, much like this Saturday's forecast - but on overcast days it gets going around 1:30 p.m. and stays steady until about 4 p.m., like this Sunday & Monday forecast - take your pick.

Sun now crest the Rampart Range to the East just before 8 a.m., sets over the West Range right at 6 p.m. - Water temps in mid 50's, air temps range from pre-sunrise teens, to late afternoon high 40's to mid 60's - fat, healthy trout - some of the browns are spectacular with Fall colors - just like the whole valley.

Week ending October 9th, 2008

Flow was dropped from 200 cfs to 175 cfs on Monday, and dropped again to 125 cfs on Tuesday - the last drop of 50 cfs put the trout off for the day, but they seem to have settled in and fishing (catching) is really turning on.

BWO's continue to hatch, with the bright, sunny days we are still not seeing any consistent risers, but if you are in the right place when it starts, you can really get into them. These are small May Flies ( # 22 ) is about the right size for your fraud - hard to see some of the patterns in that size, so we cast double dries, with the first one very visible, and then we can locate the 2nd.

Dry / Dropper or double dropper is very effective in certain runs on the river - nymphing with the right weight is a more steady approach.

Trees have hit peak color this week in the valley - my favorite time of year - with the predicted front due in this weekend, surface action should be great (unless the wind really howls) - Morning air temps have hit mid 20's (on Tuesday I woke to low 20's, but by 3 p.m. it was in the mid 80's) - layered dress has been required - I even had to break out the gloves this morning on an R & D expedition - found myself wandering out of the shady areas I was stalking, into the sunlite, to re-rig or adjust my set up.

Jeremy has had some very good trips this week, lots of happy clients - with the views, the scenery and fat bellied trout - you just can't miss this.

I even had a very brief double hook-up today - the first trout, the bigger one, sipped the # 22 Para Olive gently and slowly from the surface. at the same instant, a smaller rainbow jumped on the leading # 18 Para Adams - neither stayed on long - but it sure was fun to see.

Hatch can start as early as 11:30 a.m. and last well into the afternoon, seems to start later on cloudy days, with more trout keying in on the duns - small surface midge patterns can also be effective before the hatch of Olives begins. If you locate a surface feeder, pay close attention to the rise form, it can help you decide on the correct pattern to present.

Week ending October 2nd, 2008

Flow was increased from 370 cfs to 415 cfs on Friday morning - work continued on Roberts Tunnel, which has been shut down during the yearly maintenance (the tunnel drains water from Dillon Reservoir, the main source of water for the North Fork, which joins the main fork above Waterton Canyon at the old hotel) - so all the water needed downstream has been coming from Cheesman.

The Tunnel was opened on Monday, and the flow from Cheesman was dropped to 265 cfs in the morning, and reduced again on Wednesday to 230 cfs, then down to the present 200 cfs today - river is gin clear from the dam to the confluence of the North Fork at the old hotel. I expect the flows to drop even more over the coming weeks.

Heavy rain on Saturday afternoon had the river off color from road runoff, but she cleared quickly and was fine by Sunday morning.

Blue Wing Olives have been hatching all week, starts as early as 11:30 a.m., depending on where you are, it can be very good - but bright, sunny days have kept the majority of trout nailed to the bottom. Tricos have pretty much finished, but we are still finding odd hatches of other May Flies in sizes ranging from # 14 to # 20 - BWO's are close to a # 22 - the small Fall hatch.

Morning air temps have been in high 20's to low 30's, but warm up quickly after sunrise and have been hitting high 70's - perfect conditions - trees are peaking in color, bright blue sky, some light winds in the afternoon and a gin clear river at a great flow. A front is due in this weekend, so the surface action should pick up - has the potential to be a great weekend in Deckers.

Week ending September 25th, 2008

Flow was raised from 205 cfs to 310 cfs on Friday, put the fishing down with that large of an increase, but the river stayed clear during the whole event - then it was bumped up again to 370 cfs on Tuesday, went a little cloudy and again put the action off a little, but the river is now gin clear all the way to the confluence. We were surprised by the increase, so were the boys at the dam, should not be long before it is gradually dropped.

Another beautiful week in the valley. On Wednesday we started off at 30 degrees and reached 80 by mid afternoon. Fishable light from 7 a.m., sun rises over Rampart Range at 7:30, & sets over the west range at 6:30 p.m. with good light until 7 p.m. - good surface action from 5 pm until you can't see your flies anymore, with surface attractors - some good, but sporadic, Blue Wing Olive hatches all week, can start around 11:30 a.m.. depending on where you are.

Spotted the first Bald Eagle of the winter migration today, above the bridge in Deckers - all of the Hummingbirds have departed - Willows, Aspens, Cottonwoods are all close to peak colors - just a great time of year to be on the river - 200 cfs would be nice, but not required - you can still drag a few up, and fool even more with the right nymphs dead drifted slow & down deep.

Week ending September 18th, 2008

Heavy overnight rains on Thursday into Friday morning had the river brown with run off from Horse Creek, 4 Mile Creek and even Wig Wam creek - not bad above the bridge, pretty cloudy below Deckers, but by Sunday things had cleared out nicely & the river is presently gin clear down to the hotel at the confluence of the North Fork. The river & feeder creeks continue to recover quickly from major downpours.

Flow from Cheesman started the week at 400 cfs, then down to 310 Saturday morning (why a weekend morning I do not know, but it put the fishing down), Tuesday another drop to 260 cfs, then down to the present flow of 205 cfs on Wednesday.

Beautiful days this past week - morning temps in low 30's, afternoons in high 70's, lots of sunshine, some wind, but not bad - trees are turning - colors are showing, crystal clear river - should be a great weekend.

Good trico spinner fall in Deckers on Monday, with more trout up on them around 11:30 a.m., but still sporadic - spurting hatches of Caddis, BWO's, and other Mayflies throughout the day - seeing and hearing more hoppers along the banks - with the lower flows, dry dropper rigs should really come into play with more trout looking up.

Week ending September 11th, 2008

Flow has stayed steady at 400 - 408 cfs all week. River is gin clear from the dam to the confluence of the North Fork.

Nymphing is still producing the best results, with the right patterns - but we still continue to drag up good trout with surface patterns & the dry dropper is always a good bet.

Tricos are still present around Deckers in the mornings, but only a few trout are on the spinners - Good BWO hatch at Deckers on Monday, bank trout were on the duns and cripples.

With the high flows, you will find trout everywhere - riffles, banks, dark fishy areas - but with all the bugs on the menu, patience, patterns and moving are key.

Fall is starting at the cabin, Willows and Aspens are just starting to crown with color - cold mornings, warm afternoons, great evenings with occasional light showers & cloud cover - a drop in the flow would make things perfect - but no word yet on when that will happen - I think (& hope) it will happen fairly soon.

Week ending September 4th, 2008

Flow was dropped on Tuesday from 450 to 405 cfs. The river took a week to finally clear from the flash flood of Sunday, August 24th, but has looked fantastic all week long.

Once again caught the "Y" camp dumping brown water down 4 Mile Creek, once again they lied about it - but they stopped and I think they got the message - Douglas County Sherriffs helped get it across - new camp manager this year - seems they get one every other year and they all try the same crap - and they all lie about it - pretty disgusting.

DOW stocked about 20,000 sub catchable rainbows (3 - 5") a week ago between the Cable Hole and Scraggy view, in an effort (continuing over the years since the Hayman Fire) to replenish the young of the year that get displaced by moving, decomposed granite and flash floods

Tricos have made it up thru Deckers, with some major spinner falls, still not a lot of trout feeding on the surface - but the amount of bugs have been impressive & encouraging

Fishing (catching) has been a little challenging, with the fluctuating flows, colder water and off color - but I think we will see a gradual drop over the next few weeks from the dam, down to 200 or 300 cfs & things should really turn on then.

Sunrise at 7:15, sets to the west at 7:30 - fishable light from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. - Cold to chilly mornings (28 deg today, pre-sunrise) - water temps remain in the low 50's - river is gin clear down to the old Hotel at the confluence, beautiful time of year - should be a great weekend.

Week ending August 28, 2008

We were hit with some major storms over Saturday & Sunday - Saturday did not have much effect, but the one on Sunday was a major event. Hit South East of Deckers and the flash flood it caused forced the closure of Rt 67 between Deckers & Woodland Park until early Monday Morning.

Lots of Debris came down Horse Creek in the forms of logs & gravel - flood probably reached 200 cfs at its peak - 4 Mile creek was also hit hard and both are still brown, but the volume has dropped dramatically.

River below Deckers is clearing and fishable today, above Deckers is very clear and the Canyon remains gin clear, not affected by the storm - it just hit the wrong spot and was so strong, it blocked the satellite signal at the cabin - 3 or 4 times, 2 + inches in a short period of time.

Flow is now at 450 cfs from the dam, dropped from 650 cfs to 500 on Sunday & down to 450 cfs on Monday afternoon.

Lightning strike on Saturday hit one of the large pines here at the cabin, left a skunk stripe right down the side, stripping the bark down to the turf - lit the whole cabin up and scared the crap out of me - left stripped bark dangling in the limbs, but no other damage - that was close (& LOUD)

Still no major hatches, but the tricos have moved further up stream to Trumbull, some sippers when the water is clear - Caddis, Hoppers, odd Mayflies, Stones & Terrestrials are all on the menu, but nymphing is the best bet in the higher flow and slightly off color water.

River should be in good shape for the weekend - no rain in the forcast until next week, giving both Horse Creek & 4 Mile a chance to clear.

A few Hummingbirds remain at the cabin, but most have departed for the South, following the Swallows (long way to go on those little wings) - Had a small buck in the backyard today, chasing a smaller doe - that time of year - mornings are becoming crisp, but warm up nicely. Water temps have dropped to low 50's.

Week ending August 21st, 2008

Quite a week here in the mountains - rain, hail, COLD air temps and major increases in flows from Cheesman - it all started before sunrise on Friday with a major storm cell hitting the valley, river was OK, but it rained all day & never got out of the 40's - same story on Saturday & Sunday with creeks going brown at times, river was even off in the Canyon at times - I have never seen rain like that up here for that long - 3 days of it - snow yes, but not rain.

Flows were all over the place, 380 cfs on Friday, after heavy rains in the drainage, back down to 360 after things settled down on Saturday, but the rain started again and the flow hit 480 by Sunday morning. Then Monday the dam called with the expected dumping of the reservoir for some maintenance work. Robert's tunnel was shut down on the North Fork (which is now low & clear), and we hit 820 cfs by Monday night in Deckers.

The river went off color, lots of debris in the drift, but all in all not too bad - just a lot of water - by Tuesday morning the pipes outflow equaled the spillway over flow and we were back down to 680 cfs, then they cranked open the pipes to 850 cfs by that evening. Today, Thursday, they dropped the flow back to 650 cfs - not sure what the next week will see, but the river is clear and fishing well in the spots you can get too - and you can get to a lot more at 650 cfs then you could at 850.

Sun now crests the East Range at 7:05 a.m., sets at 7:20 p.m. - fishable light from 6:30 a.m. to about 8 p.m., morning air temps in high 30's to mid 40's but it hit 87 degrees by 4 p.m. today - water temps in the low 50's

Still lots of bugs on the menu, with Tricos the predominate morning hatch downstream, but with the high flows, not many trout are keying in on the spinners - with all the rain, hoppers are more common along the banks - seeing odd May Flies, Caddis and Stones. Nymphing is now the most productive method of fooling a few, but we still continue to drag them up with surface patterns (some times dropping a set of nymphs 2.5' below the dry) to cover a little more of the water column.

Week ending August 14th, 2008

Heavy rains on Friday did not affect the river, but some major cells hit overnight on Sunday and Horse Creek blew out pretty badly, along with some gully washers from the Oxyoke fire of a few weeks ago - came across the road by Platte River Campground - at 8 a.m. on Monday, the river was unfishable below Deckers

I went and checked the creeks and found that Trail Creek, that feeds directly into West Creek Lake, had a nasty flash flood out of the Hayman burn area - the water over the spillway at the lake was OK - but the water from the bottom draw outflow pipe was very ugly. Trout Creek, that joins West Creek 3 miles south east of Deckers, was clear - they both make up Horse Creek that flows into the Platte at Deckers bridge - by the afternoon the river was fishable below Deckers, (Horse Creek was still ugly, but had dropped down some in flow) - in a day the river looked great and now is gin clear once again, all the way downstream. Another quick recovery & very promising as we still bounce back from the devastation of the Hayman Fire.

Flow is ciurrently 355 cfs - 95 over Cheesman spillway, 260 cfs out of the pipes - but radical changes will occur next week - flow will be increased to draw the reservoir level down 20 feet to allow for some maintenance work - predicted flow will be between 800 and 1,000 cfs for a week or so.

Tricos have started to swarm in the mornings - started down by Scraggy View this week - good size swarms - like the old days, a few trout have keyed in on the spinners around 10 a.m., but not like the wolf packs of old - should reach Deckers this week, or early next - look for spinner sippers along the banks, slicks & back eddies.

Morning air temps dropped to high 30's these past few days, but warms up nicely - water temps range in mid 50's & the river looks great.

Most of the swallows have departed for southern winter grounds - a few remain along with some Purple Martins. This year's fawns are starting to lose the spots - have 2 orphans that are using the cabin as a safe haven - seem to be eating well, but do not think they were fully weened - they hang around most mornings, then hunker down in the willow thickets during the day. Black bear has turned over the shop's dumpster twice in 2 weeks - and left a little scat as a marker - reports of a few others coming in close to cabins - dry year, not many berries up in the range - bird feeders are prime targets.

More Hoppers are appearing due to last weeks rains - lots of other bugs on the menu - can get frustrating at times - but if it was always easy, well, wheres the fun.

Week ending August 7th, 2008

Major storm cells hit the area on Tuesday afternoon & the river went brown with run off from the feeder creeks. Looked pretty bad at first - At 4 p.m., Horse Creek went brown, but not high, 4 Mile Creek went high & brown, but the Canyon remained clear. By 7 p.m., Horse Creek was a little better, 4 Mile had dropped & cleared completely, but Wig Wam Creek blew out, so the river was still pretty ugly.

6 a.m. survey on Wednesday had the river clear & looking great & we are now back to gin clear - 12hrs and she cleared right out, very promising.

That storm also sparked a fire just over the Range, North East of the cabin - I called it in at 1:30 p.m. and they were up there with men and saws in less than 3 hrs - I was very impressed with the response time & it was not an easy access area - got to respect those guys. That was one nasty storm cell with plenty of power.

Flow hit a high of 380 cfs on Saturday, dropped to 354, then back up to 363 after the rains, then back down to 350 cfs where it now stands

Still no major hatch of any kind, occasional May Fly, Caddis, Stones, flying ants, hoppers & beetles - dry / dropper early a.m., switch to nymphs through late a.m. to late p.m., then back to dry - dry / dropper for the evening. Things can get a little slow during the day, depending on cloud cover.

Still have 260 cfs out of the pipes with 90 cfs over the spillway, water temps have cooled a little, down to mid 50's

Really glad to see the rain, still need more - and very happy the way the river responded.

Week ending July 31st, 2008.

Quick report this week, flow hit 461 on Saturday, then has gradually dropped to 395 cfs - this trend should continue over the next few weeks.

No major hatches, but still plenty of bugs on the menu - largs midge hatches in the early a.m., sporadic caddis, PMD's and stones all day.

River is gin clear and looks fantastic - trout continue to feed and grow - colors on some are fantastic.

Still no rain in the valley - place is bone dry - does not feel bad when you are knee deep in the river, but move 10 - 15 feet up a bank and the heat really hits you - along with the absence of wild flowers and the tinder dry grass.

Douglas & Jefferson County have installed fire bans, but the Forest Service has yet to follow suit.

We continue to drag great trout to the surface with a variety of attractor patterns - we now sell pre-rigged dry/dropper/dropper rigs at the shop - just tie the dry to your leader and you are ready to go.

Jesse (back from the PGA Tour for a few weeks), Jeremy and I floated the river once again this week - probably the last one for a while - below 400 cfs it gets a little thin & bumpy (had to get out at one point and walk the craft thru a series of rapids) - If we had hooked all the trout we fooled into a take (especially me), it would have been an epic float - count wise - but the ones we did manage to set on (along with 3 doubles), the company, the scenery, the laughs - well, it was epic.

Week ending July 24th, 2008

Flow peaked this week at 456 cfs on Sunday & is slowly dropping, currently at 438 cfs (178 over the spillway, 260 out of the pipes)

River is gin clear from the dam to the old hotel

Fire started near Oxyoke Ranch on Sunday afternoon, close to Platte River Campground, 5 miles north of Deckers - blew north west pretty quickly & really started to blow up - but the response was quick from all agencies (North Fork Volunteers were the first on the line) - 200 crew on site in 24 hours, with 3 helicopters and 3 air tankers - most of it stayed out of the trees, burning low to the ground in some really steep nasty country.

Rt 67 was closed until Wednesday, when the fire was contained - about 110 acres in all - looked to me like it started next to the road, but the investigation continues.

We had a good soaking rain on Wednesday that helped a little in the valley, but we are still bone dry here - Douglas County has issued a fire ban, but that does not include National Forest Lands - we all hope they initiate one soon - but the spokesman I met on Tuesday said that the data they collect does not warrant a ban yet - I think they are getting the data from the middle of Cheesman Reservoir. I know the area law enforcement agent for the Forest has already filled out the necessary paperwork - a month ago to be exact - just waiting for the powers that be to sign them.

The Oxyoke fire may have some effect on the river from the ranch, downstream, if we get hit with a major deluge, but it was not an extremely hot fire and the trees, for the most part, are still intact - so we shall see.

Besides the scare this week, the river is fishing great, with slow times being late morning thru late afternoon, depending on cloud cover - still lots of bugs on the menu, but no real consistent hatch of any one species

Week ending July 17th, 2008

Water continues over the spillway, but the flow peaked at 618 cfs last Tuesday and has steadily dropped this week to the current 435 cfs - seems to have stalled at this flow for the past few days (175 cfs over the top, 260 cfs out the pipes)

Water temps have been in the high 50's to low 60's

Stll no rain in the valley & conditions are VERY dry

Dry / dropper or double dropper has been very effective when presented correctly - no real hatch's coming off - PMD's seem a little late this year - but lots of bugs and terrestrials are still on the menu.

River is gin clear and looks fantastic - lots more habitat this year

Found the first re-established beaver dam on Horse Creek this week - hope more are constructed over the next few months - Horse Creek quickly recovered from the light brown color of last week and is again clear.

The trout we are fooling are fat & healthy - can't say enough about the colors, size and chubby bellies - this sure is fun.

Porch needs painting, lawn needs mowing, kitchen needs a new floor - but I just can't stay out of the river - Oh Well.

Week ending July 10th, 2008

Flow continues over Cheesman Spillway. I thought it had peaked at 608 cfs on Friday morning, but heavy rain in the drainage above the reservoir pushed the flows up to 618 on Tuesday.

Flow from the outlet pipes remains at 260 cfs, 314 over the top for 574 total cfs as of this morning. River is very clear, very fishable & producing great results with dry, dry / dropper or nymphs.

Strong storm cell hit the West Creek area on Sunday and Horse Creek went brown, but is having no affect on the river below Deckers.

I expext the flows to continue a steady decrease until it matches the outflow of 260 cfs over the next few weeks (barring any major deluge in the drainage). We still have not had any significant rain in the valley & the tinder dry conditions remain.

Survey on Wednesday showed Trout Creek clear, all the springs (that are flowing) are clear - West Creek Lake is very brown and Trail Creek, that feeds direcly into the lake is low and off color - that area is still very ugly - 6 years after the Hayman Fire. West Creek was still off color (light brown) but is slowly clearing.

Jeremy, Theo and I floated the river in Jeremy's drift boat on Wednesday afternoon (after they both finished productive 1/2 day trips) - covered about 5 miles to our pullout above Scraggy View. Seemed like a totally different river & we could get to all the spots that a walk & wade can't at these flows - fooled a lot of trout with dry flies tight to the banks, had one double (Jeremy & I, just before the pullout, with Theo on the oars)

We are looking into the ability to offer float trips on the river when flows are 300 cfs +

Bug menu remains varied - May Flies, Caddis, Stones, Hoppers & other terrestrials - we have a bunch of good patterns at Flies & Lies.

Week ending July 3rd, 2008

Cheesman began running over the spillway Friday afternoon, I thought it peaked on Sunday at 450 cfs, but it started to climb again - 500 cfs by Monday, a decrease to 480 Monday evening, then a steady climb to the present flow of 601 cfs - 266 cfs from the outflow pipes, 335 cfs over the spillway

Water temp downstream from Deckers on Wednesday was 59 degrees - surface water over the spillway is warm, we would much rather see the colder water out of the pipes

Initial push on Friday put the clarity off for a while (100 + cfrs in 12 hours) but after that, good clarity returned & the river looks great, just a lot of water.

All kinds of bugs on the menu these days - Caddis, big may flies (drakes?), some PMD's, midges, ants, beetles, moths - leaving the porch light on overnight reveals all kinds of night fliers - even a big & a little Stone Fly

At sunrise, they all turn into a buffet for the nesting birds - the little House Wrens even take time to remove the wings before returning to feed the babies.

We have had success on the surface with Hoppers, Stimmies, Caddis, Para Adams & the Aunt, but nymphing still produces better results - a Dry / Dropper combo works well in certain areas, fishing the right water.

We have had a few brief p.m. showers, a little thunder & a few lightening bolts, but the valley remains VERY DRY - we sure could use an all day North West drenching - all of the springs I check on a weekly basis are dry or down to a trickle - huge difference from last year, even though the flow on the 4th last year was a little less than this year (512 cfs)

Week ending June 26th, 2008

Flow was bumped on Tuesday from 100 cfs to 170 cfs, then again on Wednesday to 260 cfs. Talked to the boys at the dam on Wednesday, said they are 1 foot from the top & that about 400 cfs was coming in. I would guess that we will see 400 cfs coming out by this weekend. Good news is that the river went off color with each bump, but not bad - not bad at all.

We are hoping that they do not allow it to run over the spillway (warmer water) but that it all comes out of the pipes (colder water) - either way, once it hits the top, whatever they do not run through the pipes, will come over the top & the flow will at least match whatever is going into Cheesman.

Caddis are still present, but no real hatch's coming off except for small midges (light green). PMD's should be starting soon, Spring time BWO's have finished. Dragging trout up in the higher flows will be more challenging, but it can be done in the right places, with the right patterns.

Saw the first fawn of 2008 this week in the back yard - only a day or 2 old - mallards have started to hatch & some of the baby mergansers are getting big - but I found a new family - big one, 13 chicks, above the bridge today.

Days have been warm to hot - clouds usually start building around noon - some with lightning, some with rain, but not much of either - and we could use the rain - it is so dry in the valley & the fouth of July looms in the near future - I hope they ban any fireworks up here this year - it's getting very scary.

Mornings are still chilly, mid 30's to low 40's, but we hit 90 on Wednesday. Nymphing the right runs at the right depth has been very productive.

Week ending June 19th, 2008

Flow remained steady all week at 140 cfs, then was dropped to 100 cfs today, river is gin clear from the dam to the confluence with the North Fork.

Caddis hatch has tapered off, but enough are around to keep the trout interested & looking up, which in a way makes fooling them a little easier, if you can find an eager one.

No signs of any major hatch of May flies this week, but PMD's should be just around the corner

River is fishing nicely, lots of trout, but can get a little slow from 11 a.m. up to about 3 p.m. - especially on bright sunny days. With this low flow, they will get a little spookier, but a dry / dropper rig should start to be very effective.

No rain all week & the valley is very dry

Week ending June 12th, 2008

Flow was dropped on Wednesday from 158 cfs to 144 cfs - river is gin clear from the dam down to the confluence with the North Fork.

Caddis continue to hatch, swarm, mate & return to deposit eggs - millions of them - up & down the river. BWO's are still present - no real hatch of PMD's, but a few have shown here & there - R&D on Wednesday found a large May Fly - only caught one & not sure what it was - size 14 & dark.

Wind has been pretty constant all week & air temps pretty much all over the place - Tuesday hit 90 degrees, Wednesday morning stayed in the 30's almost all morning, then hit 60 - pre-sunrise has ranged from low 20's up to 40.

The Valley is VERY DRY, a little scary to tell you the truth - not much snow this winter & little, to no rain, this Spring & the wind just adds to the tinder dry conditions.

Mergansers have started hatching the ducklings - most this year since the fire - Mallards haven't started yet, but the gosslings are getting big (the ones that survive) - had a little carnage across the river from the cabin one night - probably the coyotes - couple of packs on that side of the river - from the looks of it, the adults put up quite a defense, just don't know how successful.

The trout have become very picky - some times the hatch's can be TOO GOOD, so many bugs on the menu, in so many stages, that getting a trout to take a fraud, let alone figuring out which fraud to present - well, it can be challenging (or humbling) - but eating they are - more like gorging - you can feel the bugs in thier fat little bellies - plump. healthy, scrappy - and the colors are spectacular.

We are finding trout in all the fishy spots - all the way down to the old hotel - and some surprisingly big ones in places you might just pass by - but we are spoiled - we get R&D days - we get to check those spots - that look really fishy - the rewards are worth the walk - most times.

Week ending June 05th, 2008

Flow was dropped from 216 cfs to 150 cfs on Monday - conditions are ideal. Caddis (in the thousands) continue to hatch or return to deposit eggs - pretty much goes on all day, but best surface action is an hour or so before sunset, up to the point where you are setting on sound & instinct, 'cause you can't see anything.

BWO's are still hanging around (good double dry combo is a caddis trailing an Olive imitation) - and hoppers are starting to work (drifting them with one or two droppers) & we have found a few PMD's - all kinds of bugs out there & a bunch of beatiful, hungry trout.

Morning air temps in high 30's to low 40's, but warms up quickly on sunny days. Today is rainy, chilly and a little windy - should be great - I have a long "To Do' list to accomplish around the cabin - but that is gonna have to wait - Today I fish.

River looks great, best since the fire & all the creeks are holding up nicely - clear & low.

Heard on the news that the Hayman arsonist, Barton, was released from Federal Prison this week - a little early as far as I am concerned - the river still has a long way to go to reach pre-fire conditions (habitat & population) & a major deluge in the wrong area could set all that back again. Many of us continue to pay for her ignorance, greed & stupidity - for the past 6 years.

Fishable light from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., water temps range from high 40's to low - mid 50's.

Week ending May 29th, 2008

Flow was dropped to 205 cfs on Friday and has remained there all week - river is gin clear all the way to the old hotel at the confluence of the North Fork.

A week of some rain, some wind, a few chilly days & a few perfect ones, but the best one, Tuesday, was cold and rainy & just happened to be my R & D day. Mornings can still be below freezing, but usually warms up quickly - water temps in high 40's, low 50's with fishable light from 6 a.m. to well past 8 p.m.

Caddis, BWO's & more Caddis - a whole bunch today - little ones and Big ones - on Tuesday, downstream from Deckers, I found trout rising to both, so I tied on a Caddis, trailed by a Hackle wing BWO & fooled a whole bunch - then I tried a Royal Wulf - got some, a different Caddis - got some & a big ole ugly rubber leg thing - got one.

Best time for surface action on caddis is in evening or early morning ( & cloudy days) - Olives start as early as 11 a.m., & Caddis around noon.

Nymphing is still the most productive way to fool a bunch, but dragging them up, when no nose is present, is too much to resist - so we cast to a fishy spot and wait for that surprise explosion.

Week ending May 22, 2008

Flow was bumped from 290 cfs to 385 cfs on Tuesday, then back to 290 cfs on Wednesday - a 24 hr bump - the reservoir is now 14 feet from the top of the spillway - which means flows should remain the same or maybe drop a little, but that all depends on what is left to run off in the very high country. 14 feet means a lot of run off can enter Cheesman before they have to raise the flow & the North Fork is dumping a lot of water through Waterton Canyon, so not much should be needed from this side

The North Fork is very high & very brown - at the peak of her run off, but the main fork looks great from the dam all the way down to the old hotel - I drove it all today, after a 1/2 day trip that was very productive.

I have been fishing dry / droppers or dry / dry with some success, but nymphing has been very productive - still a few more weeks (and lower cfs) from getting more trout interested in surface activity, but Caddis and Olives are hatching every day - just a matter of time and patience.

With all the reports of "Run Off" and "Flood Warnings" around the state, we feel pretty lucky - the flow is almost perfect, clarity is briliant & Trout are just about everywhere (that looks fishy) & some places that don't - just having a ball. This is one beautiful river & valley - the Aspens, Willows, Lilacs & even my 2 front lawn Elm trees are all starting to leaf out - getting very green around here.

Sunrise over the east range is @ 6:30 a.m., sets to the west @ 7:45 p,m,, fishable light from 6 a.m. up to 8:30 p.m. - Caddis are best just an hour or two before sunset - H2O temps are high 40's to low 50's.

Week ending May 15th, 2008

Flow was dropped from 500 cfs on Friday to 450, then down to 400 on Monday, down again to 340 on Tuesday and a final drop today to 290 cfs. The river looked great through all of these flow adjustments, and has been fishing almost like old times (pre Hayman times).

We have had rain, snow & more wind this past week, but the trout certainly did not mind any of it - BWO's are still coming off & on the cloudy days, rising trout could be found here & there - at 290 cfs I am sure we will find more - I ran a double dry these past few days and did well - and that was at 350+ cfs - tons of small hoppers continue to appear on the sunny days - still have only had minor interest in my hopper frauds, but a caddis pattern trailing an olive imitation has fooled a few - actually, more than a few.

Pre-sunrise air temps have been in the high 20's - day time temps have hit 70, but some were barely to 50. Sun rises over the east range at 6:40 - fishable light at 6 a.m. - all the way to past 8 p.m. Caddis hatch, when it happens, is best in the later afternoon - hasn't really started yet - not like we think it will, but a bunch have been coming off. BWO's can start as early as 11 a.m.

Dead drifting the correct nymphs on the bottom has been outstanding - but the fly selection, weight adjustment & indicator placement are key to hooking up. or just having a nice outing - and it is nice - the valley is turning green, river is clear, flow is dropping & trout are feeding.

The big flush of 915 cfs has changed things - some for the better, some not - some old holes filled in with decomposed granit, other runs cleared out and exposed good habitat - I still need to do a more complete survey down to the hotel, but I do not think it was a big enough push (1200 cfs would have been good) or long enough, to get the results we were looking for

All that said, the river has not looked this good (and all the feeder creeks) since the Hayman fire - and full of trout that are getting fat and big.

Week ending May 8th, 2008

Flow from the dam peaked at 915 cfs on Friday, then down to 900 on Sunday, to 700 on Monday and 600 on Wednesday, then down to 500 cfs today, where it now stands. Reservoir level is now about 11 feet from the top of the spillway, which is very good - 2 weeks ago it was right at the top & now flows should stabilize or lower as they try to re-fill the lake. Run off in the high country, which eventually finds its way into Cheesman, has not finished - just have to see how things go.

Even with the high flows, the river looked great & fished well in many areas - you just had to find the spots that looked fishy - and they were. The further downstream you went, the clarity deteriorated more & more - takes a while for a big push like that to finish moving debris and bank fluff.

We won't really know the effect of the flush until flows get down below 250 cfs, but it did move things around & it was a good clean flush.

Caddis & BWO sub surface patterns have been the key, along with Candy Canes, San Juan Worms & RS 2's.

Pre sunrise air temps have gradually climbed - last 2 days right at 32 degrees - water temps are in the mid to high 40's, day time air temps have ranged from mid 40's to mid 60's. - snow last Thursday did not amount to much, light rain on Wednesday and today, just enough to wet the valley down with no effect on the feeders or river. Conditions should be great for the weekend.

BWO's and caddis continue to hatch, still not much surface action, but that could change as the flows diminish.

On Monday, between the cabin & the shop (less than a mile), I had to inform 7 visitors to the river, that bait was not allowed in this section - one, in a group of 3, was about to string up a 12" rainbow he had just landed on a night crawler - so I also had to inform them of the bag, possesion, & size limit restrictions for this section of river.

Stop by Flies & Lies for the latest hot patterns and conditions - these days things can change day to day - sometimes even quicker than that.

Week ending May 1st, 2008

We are in run off - flow on Friday was raised from 122 cfs to 522 by 6 p.m , then on Monday up to 750 cfs, another bump on Tuesday to 896 cfs & up to 915 cfs by this morning - 6 days and an increase of 793 cfs - but, the river looks great, good clarity, I was really amazed - the initial increases did look ugly, but she cleared nicely & we have not seen this outflow from the dam in years.

The flows had been higher through Deckers last year, but that was due to feeder creek run off along with dam release & it was really ugly - but the creeks are running low & clear this year (Horse Creek is a little cloudy, but not bad at all and has no effect on the river below Deckers), so the flow from Cheesman is just what we need - a good flush.

May 1st and I am at the cabin, in front of a fire, while a near total white out exists here in Deckers - started at 7:30 a.m. - heavy wet stuff, but we really needed the moisture down here in the valley & I would rather see a time release melt, than an all day downpour. Snow stopped in the early afternoon, only about 2" on the ground & a lot of that has already melted - should be a good weekend.

The high flows have made things very challenging - at 750 cfs we were still getting away with dry / droppers along the banks - that will be a little tougher at 900+ - but a lot of the trout have moved to the slow sections behind sweeps and tight to the banks - basically we have 3 rivers - the right bank out 5 feet, the left bank out 5 feet & the middle - with the middle being pretty much unfishable, but that is OK, 'cause the trout that are down deep out there are getting fat & less wary - just have to wait for the flows to come down & expose them.

Swallows continue to feast on BWO's up & down the river from 12 p.m. on throughout the afternoon - these are big bugs - a solid #18 - good Caddis hatch on Sunday at the Deckers Bridge with more to come in the next few weeks - not too many risers due to the fluctuating flows, but emergers & pupa do well underneath & when you do hook up, hang on, 'cause if they get out in that current you will find yourself into the backing pretty quickly.

As the trout settle into the high flows, I am sure that risers will again appear along the banks and in the slicks. On the warmer afternoons we are finding more & more hoppers & leaving the porch light on at night has attracted all kinds of night flying bugs - some downright scary looking.

Jeremy & a buddy launched his Klackacraft on Tuesday and floated about 5 miles of the river - the innaugural run - and did OK, but mainly just scouted out a route - we may offer float trips when the flows exceed 400 cfs - still working out the kinks.

Hummingbirds arrived at the cabin on Wednesday (just in time for todays blizzard), with morning air temps still mostly below freezing (average this week about 18 degrees), I have not been able to fill the feeders for them - maybe by the weekend - water temp in Deckers on Monday was 46 degrees - air temps have reached mid 70's this week (except for today and Saturday, which never got out of the 30's) - wind again has been a pest off and on, but all days were fishable.

I am once again finding poachers in the restricted areas, as we do every year - if you come across someone who is using bait (in the flies & lures only section) or keeping undersized or illegal trout, please inform them (politely) that they are breaking the law - if they look a little dodgy and un-approachable, just come by the shop & let us know - we can get someone to look into it fairly quickly.

Week ending April 24th, 2008

Flows were all over the place this week - Friday went up from 200 cfs to 255 (of course a Friday), next bump came on Monday to 300 cfs, then on Tuesday morning, up to 335 (which put the river off color for a few hours), then the flow, that afternoon, went from 335 at 10 a.m., to 250 at 2 p.m., to a final flow of 122 cfs, where it now stands.

The reason for the low flow is for DOW to perform sediment surveys on the river bottom, which should be completed by Friday, which should then see the flows going back up. The surveys are the continuing effort to gather data from the Hayman fire impact.

The reservoir, on Friday morning, was only 18" from the spillway - she filled up very quickly in a few weeks (5' from the top to 1.5' is a LOT of water in a few weeks). Due to the decrease out of the pipes & the increase from run off, I expect her to start spilling over the top sometime Friday.

The radical flow changes made things very challenging this last week - downright tough on some days - you really had to work for a strike.

BWO's continue to hatch, a little thinner this past week with only the occasional riser - dead drifting nymphs is your best bet. Wind and bright sun have kept most of the trout from keying in an any surface morsels, but at 122 cfs that could change. Flow is about 160 cfs below Deckers.

Swallows continue to arrive and feast on the BWO's from the river surface up to about 50' - the wind does not seem to bother them.

Horse Creek continues to run pretty clear (last year at this time she was at 105 cfs and very ugly - now at about 25 cfs and looking great) - I even cast a dry / dropper into her this week upstream from Deckers - no takes, but I know some trout have moved up from the Platte - just a matter of time.

First buzzard of 2008 arrived this week - no humming birds yet, but I did spook a lone Bald Eagle down by Scraggy this morning - one of the last hold outs or a new resident - good hunting down there - good fishing all along the river.

Pre-sunrise air temps have ranged from 10 degrees up to 32 degrees, day time highs have hit 70 degrees, but felt colder with the strong winds on some days, all in all, pretty pleasant. Water temps have ranged from low 40's to high 40's.

Flow increases of 50 cfs or less do not seem to impact the clarity, most of the bank fluff and loose soil has now been moved up to 335 cfs, but as the flows go past 335 you can expect off color water for most of that day - increases usually hit Deckers 3 to 4 hrs after they open the pipes, but she clears pretty quickly.

Week ending April 17th, 2008

Flow was bumped from 100 cfs to 200 cfs today (Thursday) - river went off color (that is a big bump) - but not bad at all & should be OK by Friday. Started snowing on Wednesday at 2 pm (hard) and went until 8 a.m. today - about 5" on the ground, but all open areas and south facing slopes were clear by the this afternoon - Horse Creek went a little higher & darker, but not much & did not affect the river at all - a very good sign.

BWO's continue to hatch in the afternoons - some days a bunch of trout are on them at the surface, some days, not so much - last Friday & today they were really up on them (managed a few on the clock at 1 p.m. - too much fun). Started using a dry dropper the rest of the time (when no noses are poking up) and had good success - might be a little harder with the 200 cfs flow (more like 250 cfs below Deckers Bridge)

These BWO's are big - about a #18 - 20 - Jesse, Jonathan & I caught one in front of the shop and placed it on the fly counting sheet - dropped a # 18 Hackle wing next to it - a perfect match.

Water temps have had large swings - from a cold 36 degrees up to 50 degrees - air temps have ranged from low 40's to high 70's in the afternoon & pre-sunrise temps have run from 5 degrees on Saturday to 25 degrees on Wednesday.

The first Swallows of the Spring arrived this week - not the family group that will nest at the cabin, but these did stop to feast on airborn BWO's. A Bald Eagle soared past the cabin this a.m. - beating wings to the north - one of the last left of the winter migrating group.

Have a nesting pair of Red Tail Hawks across the river - watched one of them run off an Osprey that wandered too close (I spotted the Osprey earlier stalking the aquarium hole from the top of a pine while having coffee on the porch). They were both struggling in the 40 mph wind gusts, but the Red Tail ran him off just the same.

Still seeing some Stone Flies and the occasional adult caddis - and more & more hoppers on the warm days - watched one get blown into the river this week - made it to the waterfall unmolested, then I lost sight of it - but I'll bet some lucky trout got it - way too tempting.

Sun now crests the East Range at 7 a.m., drops over the West Range at 7:15 p.m. - fishable light until almost 8 p.m.

Weekend forecast looks great - lots of healthy trout, incredible colors on the 'bows & browns - beautiful river & it is Spring, even if the storm on Wednesday dumped more snow than we have had this year.

Week ending April 10th, 2008

I want to take a few words from the report and welcome Jeremy Hyatt to the family at Flies 'n Lies & South Platte Outfitters - Jeremy (formerly of "The Hatch" fly shop in Pine Junction) is one of the finer men & fishing guides I know. I can't express how happy we all are (so I won't try) to have him join us. With Jesse out on the PGA tour most weeks, carrying the bag for his brother, Jeremy's knowledge and dedication are a major bonus - to us and all who want a quality day on the river - He learned how to fly fish on the South Platte - born & raised in the area - this is his home river, as it should be - for any guide who will work to put you on trout - you have to know your home river, under all kinds of flows & conditions - Jeremy does.

Flow was raised to 100 cfs on Friday afternoon, about 140 cfs below Deckers bridge - pretty ideal. Water temps have hit 50 degrees this week and the BWO's have started to hatch - can start as early as 1:30 pm & goes on all afternoon - not real heavy, just enough to get 'em looking up & boy is it fun.

Morning air temps have ranged from single digits to mid 20's, with snow, wind, rain & some more snow most of the week, but also some very pleasant afternoons in the high 50's - low 60's. Today was the exception, with snow all day, strong winds and it never got out of the 20's. No real accumulation, just mainly a dusting, but tough conditions.

Found even more hoppers in the yard and along the river this week when the temperature went above 55 degrees - Jeremy & I have also found some large adult Stone Flies on the surface, along with the BWO's (Stones are about 1" long - huge!!) - BWO's are a solid # 20, but I got away with a # 18 on some trout,'cause it is early & they have not gotten wise yet.

Had 3 days of R&D this week - Saturday with my buddies Tim & Marc - nymphs all day and a bunch of trout - Marc didn't even stop for lunch - Tim & I had cheeseburgers. Marc missed out and admitted it grudgingly before dinner, which we had early, 'cause he skipped lunch. Tuesday afternoon, after the weekly run to town, I started off with nymphs, then saw a few surface splashes, paid more attention & yes, they were on the surface & in the air - the big spring Olives - yeah me!

Wednesday afternoon I started with a hopper dropper, got one to splash the hopper - but I was surprised & missed - switched to a Peacock Stimmy with a dropped Barr emerger & P-Tail, had 2 swipe the Stimmy and 2 solid on the Barr's - then around 2 p.m. the Olives started again. I fooled a whole bunch of trout that afternoon - from a 5" brown to a fat 16" hook jawed buck "bow - in a back eddie, facing downstream, deep fast water in-between, pile cast upstream, quick lift of the rod - just a bitch of a spot - I like that spot.

River remains clear all the way to the old hotel - water temps have reached 50 degrees this week - feeder creeks are running strong, but mainly clear - all the springs are gin clear.

Week ending April 3rd, 2008

Flow was dropped from 100 to 80 cfs on Tuesday. Water temps have ranged from low to high 40's - day time temps were another matter ranging from low 40's to high 50's with wind and snow mixed in off and on all week - but the fishing was still great. Pre sunrise temps have run from a cold 5 degrees (Tuesday & Wednesday) to a balmy 30 on Saturday morning.

Saturday was the warmest & nicest day of the week & also brought big crowds to the river - more anglers than I have seen in a long time & most were hooking up with nice trout, but if you wandered downstream aways, you could find a little solitude, some great water and more agressive trout.

A few BWO's have been spotted, along with a few rising trout, but nothing really steady yet - maybe a few more weeks, maybe sooner - the water temps are certainly in the range.

Ospreys are moving back to the valley, now that most of the Bald Eagles have left for the North - funny how they swap out seasons, but they do - just one of those mysteries, but really, how do they know? Swallows should be arriving soon to nest & make babies - that usually signals the meat of the BWO hatch.

Give the Geese a wide berth - it's that time of year - they are OK if they do not feel threatened or spooked - but trust me, they are FAST - like electricity - and they do bite, hard.

Feeder Creek survey on Tuesday found all normal - I am very optimistic - Horse Creek went run off color on Sunday & Monday, but has cleared nicely, most of the snow that impacts her drainage has melted & all of the springs are gin clear. The river looks fantastic.

As I finish this report on Thursday afternoon at the cabin in front of a warm fire - it is a near total "white out" from an April snow storm - big wet springtime flakes - some as big as silver dollors - but that's OK - it is April - it is Spring - Spring in the Rocky Mountains - tomorrow will be sunny & 60 degrees - with a few clouds I may even fool a couple on the surface, with the "honk twice" sign on the shop door.

Week ending March 27th, 2008

Flow was raised from 100 cfs to 126 cfs on Tuesday morning (below Deckers it is closer to 150 cfs) - the increase did not affect clarity at all & the river remains clear for the entire length. Horse Creek is running a little high, but very clear. Most of the snow in her drainage has melted, so we should not see much of an increase in her flow until more snow or rain hits the area.

The flow was then dropped back to 100 cfs this (Thursday) morning.

Typical March week in the mountains, light snow on Saturday night, morning temps in mid teens to a warm 30 degrees on Monday & high air temps from mid 40's to high 60's. We experience 40 to 50 degree swings in air temps these days.

Water temps have warmed nicely - from 43 to 46 degrees & a lot of trout are moving up into riffles and actively feeding. Wind has been a minor problem off and on all week, but definetly fishable. No surface action this week, the "big midge" hatch has petered out, but a few are still around - BWO's should be just around the corner.

TU has started some re-planting & restoration work in the Trail Creek area near the hamlet of Westcreek - this is the area that still impacts Horse Creek from the Hayman burn area & I thank them for the effort - I took the reps into the area last year and explained the problems that still exist & now they are doing somthing about it - quickly & with no fanfare.

On Tuesday, the warmest day this week, I found Hoppers in the back yard - very early for them, but I hope it is a good sign for things to come.

Sun now crests the East range at 7:30 a.m. & drops over the West peaks at 7 p.m., with fishable light until 7:30 or so.

Bunch of hungry trout all over the place.

Week ending March 20th, 2008

Flow was raised 25 cfs on Friday up to 65 cfs, then up to 100 cfs on Wednesday afternoon, more like 125+ cfs below Deckers and remains clear all the way to the North Fork. Boys at the dam tell me they are about 5' from the reservoir level reaching the spillway - that is a lot of water, but we all know it is coming, run off in the high country has yet to start.

Big midge continues to hatch in the afternoons (size 18 or 20) - some sections see good surface action, others not much - you gotta hunt them out and be very observant (and patient) to be successful. Dead drifting correct patterns with the right weight has produced large numbers of trout all week.

Morning air temps have been in single digits to high teens all week, snow on Friday & Sunday night into Monday - about 4" total on the ground & most has already melted.

Tuesday was a beatiful Spring day, Jesse & I went exploring on a stretch that neither has worked for years, downstream of Deckers & found major schools of trout, ranging from 6" up to 15" on average, but a few were an easy 18" - we could not believe our eyes at first (I thought it was a bunch of sticks from a beaver house until they started to move) - over 50 in one pod, at least 50 in another - we had takes in every fishy run, riffle and hole during the whole trek.

Water temps have ranged from 37 degrees to mid 40's, again depending on time of day and section being sampled - further downstream you go, the colder it is.

First day of spring today & first mountain blue birds were spotted at the cabin - Canadian Geese are already starting to pair up & a few of the migrant Bald Eagles have departed for the north. Some days have hit low 60's, we have had some wind, but not bad - just very pleasant days out on the river.

Week ending March 13th, 2008

Flow remained steady at 40 cfs from the dam, 70 + cfs below Deckers, gin clear above Deckers, just slightly off color below -The river just plain looks great & is fishing beautifully.

The big March midge started hatching this week - looks like a BWO in flight, but catch one and you will see - Para Adams trailing a For n Aft or dry midge does the trick - starts after 12 p.m. and last off & on through out the afternoon - depends on where you are, but a lot of trout (and some real good ones) are rising to them up and down the river.

Except for Friday (minus 5 degrees and good sludge hatch) all mornings have been in the teens and the river has been sludge free - day time temps have hit 70, but mid 50's are the average - water temps have ranged from high 30's to mid 40's - all feeder creeks are running high, but pretty clear - very promising.

Sun crests the East Range at 8 a.m. and sets to the West at 6:30 (changed the clocks on Sunday, but the trout and the bugs don't know we do that) - fishable light until 7 p.m. Light dusting of snow early Sunday morning, but otherwise dry all week.

On the warmer days, trout are moving into the deeper (18" +) riffles and feeding agressively - but with the low flow, they are still easily spooked.

Dead drifting patterns along the bottom with correct weight is still the best way to fool large numbers of trout, but it sure was fun to tie on some dries and take a few on the surface this week.

Monday, I hung the "honk twice" sign on the shop door and went to fool some at the bridge when the hatch started - found a good one just underneath a suspended sheet of bank ice - tried to get a cast under there for a decent drift - I was 3" too long & the trailng For n Aft hung up on the shelf, with the Adams dangling just above the river surface - as I was about to flip the rod and free the midge, a fat 14" "bow lept up and inhaled the Adams - 2" out of the water - I don't know who was more surprised - I do know the trout was not happy, fought like a whirling dervish.

Week ending March 6th, 2008

We just went thru a typical week in March on a river in the Rocky Mountains. Friday started out at 10 degrees, hit 60 in the afternoon, had some wind, but pretty pleasant - Saturday started at 22 degrees, hit 70 at 2 p.m., river looked great, no run off from the feeders, gin clear all the way downstream, the feeling that Spring has finally arrived, all was so close to perfection - then....

Sunday I woke to 25 degrees - the snow started at 6 a.m. - by noon we had 6" on the ground & white out conditions - turns out that 25 degrees was the high for the day. Monday I woke to minus 18 degrees, major sludge hatch in the back, but it hit the mid 50's in the afternoon - which started feeder creek run off, got pretty brown below Deckers that afternoon, same on Tuesday, which started out at 12 degrees & hit mid 40's but run off was not as bad. From Saturday's high of 70, to Mondays low of minus 18 - an 88 degree swing in 36 hours - March in the Mountains!!!

Wednesday, woke to 10 degrees & 4" of fresh powder on the ground - hit mid 30's, until the snow started again at 5 p.m., another inch overnight.

Most of this March snow melts rapidly, the south facing slopes are back to tundra by the afternoon, as long as the sun stays out, which it usually does, unless it is snowing. I always enjoy finding game tracks in the new stuff - something small (fox?) came right up onto the porch Wednesday night, and a HUGE beaver leaves his tell tale swath in the back yard every morning as he transits the island.

R & D on both Tuesday & today - both very productive, mainly in the Deckers / Trumbull sections - dead drifting lots of different patterns on the bottom in 2' to 5' deep holes - some were really eaten up, most were accepted - all are available at "Flies & Lies" - today was COLD, water temp at 38 degrees, takes were light and most felt like initial snags, even the smaller trout, but if you stay with them, they explode - even the smaller trout - nice to see some good Browns (except when they take the top fly and do that alligator roll , which they always do, and tangle everything up)

No run off from the feeders today, Horse Creek & Trout Creek were very clear, West Creek still has some nasty ice to melt off, but was running strong and just a little off.

Week ending February 28th, 2008

Flow remained at 40 cfs all week, still 60 - 70 - cfs below Deckers, when you add the feeders.

River and feeder survey today - up to Westcreek Village, the lake is still frozen, no water over the spillway, but the bottom draw pipes were running very clear, a good sign. Some restoration work has been done above the lake, but Trail Creek could still be a problem in heavy rains. This morning she was running clear, but the road following into the back country was snow bound, so I could not investigate further.

A lot of ice still clogs Westcreek down to the confluence of Trout Creek, where they become Horse Creek ( 3 miles from Deckers ), which becomes less ice bound and is flowing heavy & clear to Deckers ( I even found some beaver sign, but no dams yet)

Even with the warm afternoons, Horse Creek did not affect the water clarity below Deckers all week, another good sign. Tracked the river all the way to Night Hawk & she was gin clear. Hit a favorite spot down there and had takes on allmost every drift. The river is mainly ice free to that spot, some bank ice still hangs on, some of it at least 18" thick, but 95% of the river is ice free.

Morning air temps never went below 0 degrees all week, most were in the teens, Wednesday, the coldest, was 2 above, but today was a mild 32 above. Some minor sludge hatches on colder mornings, light snow on Friday morning, 3"on Saturday morning & 4" on Tuesday morning, but most of it is all gone. Water temps ranged from high 30's to low 40's, depending on where they were taken and the time of day. Air temps have hit mid 40's to high 50's all week - pretty sweet, after such a bitter cold run this winter.

Midge activity & hatches are picking up, no evident risers, but lots of spent shucks on the surface.

Spotted many trout on todays expedition down stream, most all were still podded up in deep holes & easily spooked ( Just gotta spook one, the rest get the message) I had takes in all areas that I stopped - even switched to a dry ( BIG) & dropped nymph later in the afternoon and got a few more ( on the dropper, no looks or refusals on the dry, but I was casting once again, so it was fun )

DOW stocked a bunch of 4 - 5 " yearlings last week from the cable hole down to Scraggy - not sure of the exact numbers, should have more info next week.

Summing it up. the river looks great, water is clear, trout are starting to feed more & more - the right patterns in the right spots are sure to produce - wish I had a few more days for R & D - so, more often than not, you will see the "Honk Twice" sign on the shop door, while I go get a few at the bridge.

Week ending February 21st, 2008

Slight typo on last weeks report, sun now crests the East Range at 7:20 a.m. and sets over the West a little after 5:00 p.m., not 4:30 - sorry for any confusion.

Flow still remains at 40 cfs from the dam - more like 70 + below Deckers, when you add the feeder creeks. Warm days will see Horse Creek in run off color, Tuesday was pretty bad below Deckers in the afternoon when temps hit high 60's - on my weekly supply run to town today, I checked all the way to Westcreek village and was happy to see that the creeks are all running clear in the morning - the dark color is coming from all the black bank ice that melts down and clouds things up - still a lot of it left to melt, but I am optimistic from what I saw today.

Had an R & D session on Tuesday with Jesse & Jeremy in the run off water below Deckers and did OK (but the clarity was pretty ugly, above Deckers to the dam remains gin clear). Then another session today in the same sections and really lit 'em up (Jeremy couldn't make it, but Jesse and I smiled all afternoon like kids on a playground) - huge change in clarity today from Tuesday, no run off from Horse Creek, water was gin clear - Orange Scud, our shop San Juan worm, Candy Canes, Miracles, Brassie, Mercury, Red midge larva, and the most productive - P-Tails. These trout were beautiful, even landed a small wild brown with a Brassie.

Biggest today was an easy 18" electric Rainbow - one of those sets when you think it is the bottom (but this time I remembered to stay with the snag until I was sure) - & sure 'nuf, the snag started shaking its head - a little bit - then a lot - then Hello!!!

Sludge hatches had been a problem all week in the mornings except for today when I woke to 10 degrees above 0 - the rest of the week, pre sunrise air temps ranged from minus 8 to 2 above - water temps have ranged from 36 to 40, depending on time of day and where you take it.

Walking the banks on Tuesday, waiting fore the sludge to melt away, I spotted many big trout above Deckers & all were actively feeding, even with the ice bergs passing above them. I saw 2 trout rise today to some small midges in the slow bank water.

The river has opened up nicely (ice free) all the way down thru Scraggy View.

Just a reminder, If you have not yet obtained your 2008 license - I have had quite a few customers in the shop lately who forgot to renew - and were reminded by the DOW while on the river - if you do want one from Flies & Lies, remember to bring cash - we do not accept credit cards or checks for license purchases.

Week ending February 14th, 2008

Flow remained at 40 cfs all week, 60 to 70 cfs through Deckers below Horse Creek.

This was the first week since Thanksgiving that we did not have one morning below "0" degrees - Friday & Sunday were right at "0", the rest of the week, mornings were in the low to mid teens - Tuesday & Wednesday were beautiful - some wind at times, but not bad - day time temps hit high 50's.

The river has opened up nicely through Deckers and Trumbull. Some minor sludge present in the mornings. Watch out for ice bergs when wading - large slabs can break free of the banks and whack you real good (had a big one scare the crap out of me this week)

Some light (and very small) midge hatches on the nicer days, but nothing rising that I saw. I almost tied on a few small dries to give it a try, but then somebody honked twice and I headed back to the shop.

Small midge or nymphs are still the key, down on the bottom in the deeper runs. Water temps are also key - anything below 36 degrees and getting a take is tough. I took a reading of 38 degrees in the back yard on Tuesday & fooled a few good ones.

Pretty nasty all day today, with snow on & off and air temps in the low 20's - but this weekend, especially Saturday, look very promising.

Horse Creek can discolor the water below Deckers on the warmer days, but I checked her all the way to the village of West Creek on Tuesday and she looked pretty good, it is just the dirt covered bank ice melting and road run off affecting the clarity. The rver is gin clear above the bridge all the way to the dam.

Sun rises over the East Range at 7:30 and is setting to the West around 4:30 p.m.

Week ending February 7th, 2008

Flow stayed steady at 40 cfs all week, I have tried to make calls to find out any immediate future plans for releases, but no headway as yet - Friday started out at 22 degrees above 0 and a lot of open water, morning temps were in single digits, but above 0 until Wednesday (Tuesday had 3" of fresh powder on the ground and snow until noon, with the temps never out of the teens all day).

Then Wednesday the bottom dropped again - minus 20 pre-sunrise, major sludge & new bank ice - today (Thursday) it was minus 18 with a major sludge hatch that lasted all day in the back yard (even though the mid day temps hit high 40's) - but all should be good this weekend - the new bank ice that developed over the past 2 days will break up quickly with the predicted highs & we have not had the winds (or gusts) that the rest of the Front Range has dealt with - we have had wind, but not enough to interfere with an afternoon session.

Should be a nice weekend on the river, from Trumbull up through the Canyon, if the temps hit the mid to high 40's as predicted, and the overnight lows stay above 0.

Week ending January 31st, 2008

Friday started out at minus 5 degrees with a flow of 40 cfs from the dam - we had sun all day, but the river remained iced in below Deckers, fishable in some spots above the bridge, and good in the Canyon - two consecutive warm days (started out above 0, and hit mid 50's briefly) really helped conditions, and by Monday afternoon (which started out at 30 degrees and very windy) the channel in the back yard was again 15' wide (it had been frozen bank to bank for 9 days - that has never happened - I don't recall it ever being solid bank to bank)

Tuesday & Wednesday both had mornings in single digits, but single digits above 0 is good - the river opened up nicely through Trumbull, then Wednesday afternoon it started to snow and I woke this morning to minus 18 degerees, 2 inches of fresh powder, some new bank ice & a major sludge hatch in the back yard - Oh well.

As things started to melt and run off, Horse Creek went off color and disturbed the clarity below Deckers a little - worse day was Saturday in the afternoon, but now it is starting to freeze over again - the rest of the river remained gin clear.

The trout are very sluggish until early afternoon - all depends on water temperature (Sunday, the water temp started out at 33 deg - by 2 - 3 pm it hit 37 deg and activity really increased) - this time of year water temps are critical (if you don't have a stream thermometer, it is a good time to pick one up at the shop - we have some good ones at Flies & Lies) - Fly selection, presentation & stealth are the other keys - but below 35 - 36 degrees, it is a real struggle to induce any takes.

When you do find open water, tiny midge patterns down deep are the best bet - try a # 24 Pheasant Tail trailed by a Miracle or Mercury, then adjust from there - Disco, WD40, Black Beauty, Blue midge have all produced.

Be very wary of bank ice, some of it is suspended above the river and will break off, sending you down an escalator that you can't walk back up - other sections are very thin, but don't look it. Best way is to find an access area close to the bank, below the section you want to fish, then walk up to the area in the river - walking along the top of ice (and breaking through) can spook trout yards away from you - and you will never know, unless you happen to see those shadows bolting in all directions

Week ending January 24th, 2008

I failed to mention last week that the minus 33 degree pre sunrise temp last Thursday was the coldest morning I have experienced since living on the river full time - and I honestly think this has been the coldest winter I have been through (for consistent mornings below "0" for such a long duration)

This week so no improvement with a.m. temps of minus 10 on Friday, minus 22 on Saturday, minus 2 on Sunday, 0 on Monday, minus 22 on Tuesday, minus 12 on Wednesday & minus 18 this morning.

The river is pretty much iced in except for the Canyon - the 15 foot wide channel in the back shrunk to 5 feet on Saturday morning, when I returned from the shop that afternoon, it had stopped flowing completely, packed with ice flows. By Wednesday it was solid ice from bank to bank - the aquarium hole is still open, but closing in steadily each day.

Flow was bumped from 40 cfs to 50 cfs on Saturday, but it had little positive effect due to the overnight temps., then today the flow was dropped back to 40 cfs - which is definetly not helping. We have had some afternoons in the mid to high 30's, but not long enough to help break up the river. I don't recall the back ever being completely iced over, even at our normal low winter flows.

Jesse & Jeremy hiked into the Canyon on Wednesday and found lots of open water, got a few, even a couple on small dry midges tight to the banks. They did mention it was "pretty dang cold" - so it must have been - those two are immune to cold and nasty weather. With the day time temps forecasted to be high coming into the weekend, the river above Deckers, down to the South side of Trumbull, should open up - at least to be somewhat fishable - right now it is just plain tough.

Week ending January 17th, 2008

Friday started out nice, morning temp was 2 deg above, hit 40 deg by 1 p.m. and the river was open & looked good - then the bottom dropped out again - Saturday & Sunday mornings minus 10, Monday minus 12, Tuesday minus 5, Wednesday 2 deg above & snow all morning - never got above single digits all day (some days earlier in the week briefly hit high 30's in early afternoon)

Then today I woke to a pre-sunrise temp of minus 33 degrees - man, that is COLD - river in the back yard has a channel about 15 feet wide - and full of sludge - just upstream of "Hole in the Wall" it is frozen bamk to bank (as it is further downstream) - the closer you get to the dam, the more open water you will find, further downstream you go, the worse it gets.

I have not wet a line for quite a few days - activity has been pretty much limited to going to the shop or out to the wood pile - shack nasties are starting to creep up on me.

When anglers do find open water, they are still hooking up, but it is very challenging - be extremely wary of bank ice - flow has stayed at 40 cfs all week - that flow combined with the air temps - well, Spring isn't THAT far away.

Depending on any increase in flow, or major rise in air temps, things could be tough for the next few days - I do not see much of a warming trend in the forcasts - but you never know - a flow of 75 or 100 cfs would open everything back up pretty quickly.

Week ending January 10th, 2008

Due to some host problems, the report is a little late this week

Air temps were a little more forgiving at the start of the week, woke to a balmy 32 on Saturday & 20 on Sunday, but the bottom started to drop again on Monday with a temp of 3 deg above 0, then Tuesday a minus 10, Wednesday 3 deg above & today back to double minus digits at negative 12!

All of the bank ice had melted due to day time highs, more sun than not & all looked good - but the Guys at the dam called on Wednesday morning, I thought great!, another 25 or 50 cfs and ice and sludge will be less of a problem, if not eliminated thru Trumbull - but NO, going down 9 cfs - 9 cfs, that's right, down 9 cfs to 41 cfs out of the pipes - I was dumbfounded - so were the guys at the dam - water level in Cheesman is a few feet below the spillway, and filling quickly.

Combine 41 cfs and a minus 12 morning temp (pre-sunrise) & the sludge hatch is a major problem, except for most parts of the Canyon. If the overnight temps drop below 0 degrees it could make things tough until afternoon downstream from Deckers.

Good news is that when you do find open water, you will find feeding trout - and real good ones, too!! - fat, colorful and spunky.

Takes are very light. Stealth, patience & focus are the keys to winter nymphing - along with the correct pattern presented perfectly.

DON'T FALL IN - trust me.

Week ending January 3rd, 2008

This was one brutally COLD week in Deckers - Friday started out at minus 25 at the cabin, never got out of the teens all day - then the mornings hit minus 20, minus 15, minus 10, minus 25 & minus 18 - today, Thursday was the first morning above " 0 " - at 10 degrees!!

The river has iced in pretty badly through Deckers with major sludge hatches, due to the overnight lows & the steady flow of 50 cfs all week.

The Canyon has ice, but not as bad as the lower sections & remains the best bet for open water.

You can find open water down thru Deckers, but the bank ice can be shaky, and you need to walk out on it to get to the open channels - so be careful!

When you do find open water, small midge or P-Tails are doing great down deep.

Week ending December 27th, 2007

Flow stayed steady all week at 50 cfs from the dam, more like 75-80 cfs through Deckers & it is gin clear.

It has been a week of snow and very, very COLD air temps - Last Friday was a beautiful morning, blue sky & 42 deg by 11 a.m., I was just about to hang the "honk twice" sign on the shop door & go get a few at the bridge, but then the wind really picked up, clouds built to the west & it started to snow at 2 p.m - by 4 p.m. we had 20-30 mph winds, total white out & an air temp of 13 deg.

Saturday I woke to minus 15 deg reading and a major sludge hatch in the back yard - Tuesday had a balmy temp of 15 deg to start - and total white out from the Christmas storm (that was predicted to be minor flurries at best) - snowed all day, then Wed. the pre-dawn temp was minus 23 on my outside thermometer.

Through all of this, once the sludge disipated, we were still hooking up, dead drifting in the right places - some really nice, healthy trout were brought to the net. Miracles, Mercuries & small P-Tails were all producers. No hatches of any numbers were evident, occasional small midges were spotted here & there.

Water temps below Horse Creek were mid to high 30's all week, lots of bank ice is now present & all of the feeder creeks have really iced up. Dress warm, be prepared for radical weather changes, pinch down the barbs on all flies & try to keep the netted trout in the water as much as possible - and DO NOT fall in.

Week ending December 20th, 2007

Flow has remained steady at 50 cfs all week - river is gin clear to the confluence of the North Fork at the old hotel.

Snowed all day last Friday, but only about 4 inches stuck, air temp never rose above 20 deg, started off at minus 9, then on Saturday I woke to a temp of minus 20 and a major sludge hatch and lots of new bank ice, Sunday was minus 18 in the morning, but warmed up nicely - sludge continued until about 3 pm in Trumbull, but was OK above Deckers by late morning, Monday minus 5 and sludge until late morning.

Past few days have started out above 0 deg (today it was a balmy 20 above) & the nymphing continues to be excellent, especially after 12 p.m., depending on the overnight low. Afternoon temps since Monday have hit low to high 40's, low 50's today. Water temps have been mid to high 30's, again depending on time of day and overnight temperatures

Have not seen any rising trout this past week, only the occasional hatching midge, but sub surface activity is really going off. Same patterns on last weeks report are still the producers - setting up the nymphing rig properly and being very stealthy are critical.

Sun now crests the East range at 8 a.m. & sets to the west at 4 p.m. - Friday will be the shortest day of the year, then the days start getting longer, the sun starts moving back to the North over the East range, a little further each morning, and Spring is just around the corner!!! - Hard to believe when I leave my wading boots on the back patio in the afternoon and they are frozen (solid) to the flagstones in the morning.

Week ending December 13th, 2007

Flow was dropped to 50 cfs last Thursday and has remained steady since. Flow below Deckers is about 80 cfs, when you add the feeder creeks - gin clear & beautiful (the Bald Eagles are in raptor heaven - plenty of trout, easy spotting - I have seen 2 trout taken this past week - one good 'bow in the back yard - Jesse saw a big brown nailed above the Deckers bridge on his way to the shop)

Had our first "sludge hatch" of the winter on Sunday, when I woke to a reading of minus 12 degrees on the outside thermometer ("sludge hatch" refers to frozen, but moving water - pretty impossible to fish through, but it usually disipates in the early to late morning, the colder the overnight temps get & the lower the flow from the dam, the more often it will be present - usually not a problem in the Canyon, but can become a pain in the *!! further down stream). That same day the air temp reached 44 afternoon

4" of snow on Tuesday, even though it snowed all night and into the afternoon. A light, dry, powder, not like the heavy wet stuff we will see in February / March. Another "sludge hatch" on Wednesday with a start temp of minus 10 deg. Water temp was 39 deg below Trumbull.

Dead drifting nymphs is now the norm, though both Jesse & I managed a few good fish this week with para adams, snow midges, Fore n Aft or Griffins Gnats during the afternoon midge hatch - some were not even rising, just drifting them over a fishy spot was enough. Some favorite patterns that have produced this week (in deep fishy runs, or slight depressions in deeper slower riffles) - Buckskin, small Flash Back P-Tails, WD40's, Miracles, Black Beaties, UFO midge. Jesse's Nuclear Egg, our San Juan Worm or a Bead Head Caddis Larva all worked as lead flies.

We are not fooling the numbers of trout that we had earlier this year (partly because we are not on the river for as many hours in the day - 10 a.m to 3 p.m. are the optimum times) but the average size has certainly increased - I had a brace of 20" plus Rainbows on Friday, and I was not in the canyon, fishing a dry / dropper rig (both were on the droppers in 2 feet of water), nothing on the dry attractor.

The trout are as spooky as ever, I am amazed how they can detect our presence at such great distances - you gotta be sneaky.

Unless we see a good midge hatch with some noses poking up, we are dragging weight on the bottom, some sight fishing, some blind in deep pools & runs - I admit I went to nymphing kicking & bitching, but now that I have the feel back I am having a blast, forgot how much fun it can be to set on a flash or tickle to the indicator, then feel that weight and that head shake before an explosive, reel screaming run.

Week ending December 6th, 2007

Flow was bumped up to 200 cfs on Friday afternoon (from 100 cfs), back down to 100 cfs on Tuesday morning, then down to 75 cfs on Wednesday afternoon where it now stands.

Dry dropper may come back into play at this low flow, it worked OK at 100 cfs last week, but most of the trout are holding close to the bottom in deeper runs and holes. Nymphing with small P-Tails, Miracles, Black Beauties, RS2, Barr Emergers's etc. are best bets for most of the day - Caddis Larva, Buckskins are a good lead fly. Egg patterns work in some sections, but not very well in others, just depends an what the trout are seeing in that drift.

Found some bank sippers on Wednesday afternoon here & there - took 3 on a Para-Adams & one on a trailing Fore n Aft - a very satisfying 1 hour session - could not wander too far, or I would not hear the "horn honks" from the shop - but at 75 cfs, I am sure more were out there to be fooled.

Midge hatch's are fairly constant from noon on into the late afternoon - have not seen any BWO's lateley, but the trout I fooled with the Adams may have been greedy, or saw somthing I didn't.

Saw one of the Bald Eagles nail a nice Brown trout on my way home Wednesday afternoon, just above Brush Creek - crushed it to the river bed, then took off downstream when I stopped too long to watch. When I got home, he was in the dead cottonwood in the back, still had the death grip on the Brown as he finished it off.

Mon, Tue & Wed the air temps reached mid 50's to low 60's - hardly any wind, light cloud cover most of the day - just perfect, allthough the mornings are still starting from single digits to high teens. Water temps have been right around 40 deg & the river is gin clear and looking great - at 75 cfs, it should be a fun day to fish the water with dry flies and hunt out the slurpers.

Week ending November 29th, 2007

Missed last weeks report due to the Holiday, had 18 for dinner at the cabin, quite the group - one big long table in the great room - lots of stay-overs, had to rent a cabin in Deckers for the over flow.

Flow had reached a high of 250 cfs last Friday, but has now been dropped back to 100 cfs. (Wednesday the 28th in the a.m.). COLD mornings, the bottom really dropped out the day before Thanksgiving - minus 12 was the lowest, but no morning has been above 10 degrees - some afternoons we have reached 50, but usually only up to high 30's, mid 40's. We have had some snow, but nothing significant - most has melted, except on the North facing slopes

Horse Creek had frozen up pretty good, but when it gets warm, the anchor ice lets go & can put the river a little off color downstream from Deckers - but not bad at all - no ice or "sludge hatches" above Scraggy (except when Horse Creek lets go), but if the flow stays low, and the nights that cold, we may start to see some. Water temps have been right around 40-43 degrees. Sun now peaks the East range at 7:45 a.m., sets to the West at 4:15

You can pretty much guess that our overnight lows will be somewhere around 15 to 20 deg. lower than Denver, but day time highs are pretty much the same.

Fishing (catching) has become a little tougher these past few weeks - mostly nymphing the deep runs that hold habitat - FB P-Tails, small Barr Emergers, RS2's, Miracle, Mercury or Black Beauties have all produced - wanted to get out today with a dry dropper in the low flow, but never made it - Goddard or Royal Stimies have still been working on the surface, with 2 nymphs dropped off with a micro shot - but not very well when the flow is over 150 cfs. Still seeing some BWO's and quite a few midges. Streamers, San Juan worms & Egg Patterns are also producing

Our R & D days have been used playing around with some new indicators (that we really liked) - Czech rigs (which did OK) and different nymphing rigs, which all produced - correct weight and distance from flies to indicator is critical (no indicator on the Czech's rig)

We pretty much try to stand in the sun, and fish to the shade, whenever we can. The trout we do hook are healthy and fat, beautifully colored & very energetic - stalking, patience & presentation are now the key.

Week ending November 15th, 2007

Flow was bumped up to 165 cfs, from 100 cfs, on Friday, then back down to 138 cfs on Tuesday, where it now stands.

The river is in a transition period, with colder water, the trout are becoming a little sluggish, harder to get them to move to the dry / dropper rig (but it still does work, later in the day) - small midge patterns on weighted nymphing rigs are becoming more effective, especially in the mornings. Some canyon sections of the river are not seeing any sunlight all day (we tend to cast from the sun, into the shade, when we can).

Along with the Shop's "Winter Hours", we are moving to "Bankers Hours" with our guide trips - 1/2 days are the norm - starting at 10 a.m. & running to 2 p.m. - little nymphing in the morning, then surface action when the BWO's come off, any time after noon - just depends on the section being fished. Midge swarms are tapering off a little, but we still find bank sippers in the slow water and back eddies - double dry (BWO with a trailing midge or emerger works well - single dry works better, but those little dry midges are hard to see!)

River looks fantastic, gin clear all the way to the North Fork - lots of habitat for the bugs & trout. Decomposed granite still covering in old spots in the slower sections, but I found a boulder that had been completely covered by the stuff for a few years, now re-exposed to its old state, with a great deep holding area behind it - for years all that was exposed was its tip, the river continues to recover nicely. Conditions are as close to perfect as they can get.

Week ending November 8th, 2007

Flow was dropped to 100 cfs on Thursday, Friday down to 75 cfs, then Sunday afternoon it was bumped all the way up to 230 cfs, Monday it was dropped to 125 cfs & on Tuesday, back down to 100 cfs - where it now stands. We are told that survey work at Strontia Springs to determine future dredging work is the reason for the latest fluctuations - whatever the engineers call for, is what they get.

Jesse & I had an R&D session on Tuesday, we tried new areas all the way down river & found trout at every stop - some places we found trout on every cast - with dry / double dropper rigs. We also found risers in slow areas to midges & BWO's (emergers, cripples & duns) - I had a few hit the Goddard Caddis & finally hooked & landed a fat 12 incher - on a # 16 dry fly in November - I think I missed the others 'cause they surprised me.

Trout were landed on nymph rigs & double dry rigs (Parachute Olive or Hackle Wing with a trailing Foam Top Emerger or For n Aft) - but the dry / dropper was the most fun - we saw some trout that were easily over 20 inches - decided to save them for future explorations - but we know where they are - they will not be easy - they have many little friends that spook first, alerting them to our presence - by little, I mean 10 - 15 inches, but little compared to the hogs.

The river looks fantastic, gin clear and very fishy - and not many anglers - at all - we never had to pass a spot that was already occupied.

Short line nymphing can be very productive, make sure your weight is correct (adjustments with soft weight is an easy solution), and keep the indicator as close to the flies as possible (takes are subtle & rejections are immediate - set lightly, but quickly, on anything funny)

Wednesday morning, coffee on the porch at first light, I watched a big Buck chasing a Doe on the other side of the river, chased her across the river to the back yard (but he stopped for a quick drink - gotta stay hydrated) - pushed her all the way up to the garden, his breath visible in the 8 degree air temp. - followed her thru the front yard and, eventually, across the road - then her 2 yearlings appeared at the garden fence - looking very confused - they also followed, but kept a discreet distance.

Sunrise over the peaks to the East at 7:15 a.m., sets to the West at 4:30 p.m., water temps in the low to upper 40's, air temps from low single digits to mid teens early mornings, but can reach mid 60's, low 70's by mid afternoon.

Week ending November 1st, 2007

Flow was bumped from 185 to 230 cfs on Saturday, then dropped to 185 on Monday. The increase had no affect on clarity & the river remains clear all the way to the old hotel.

R & D morning session on Tuesday in a section I have not had a chance to fish this year, an old favorite spot - I did not count, but found many trout, from 9" to 15" - Goddard Caddis with a Bead Flash Back Pheasant Tail & Caddis Larva dropped off with a micro shot. One spot I did count, backside of a little waterfall, 6 casts, 6 trout. Majority were on the Caddis Larva, the P-tail was a close second, but enough smacked the Goddard on the surface to stay with the set up and fish the water.

I found sporadic hatches of BWO's & little midges, some Caddis & other bugs - changed the nymphs out once, 'cause they were so chewed up - even the Goddard was pretty ragged after 3 hours

Talked with Jeff Spohn on Tuesday - DOW area aquatic biologist - he will not have the hard data from the survey done on the 18th, until the end of November - he and his crews are still in the field until Thanksgiving - but preliminary thoughts are what we have suspected - plenty of trout, the population is extremely healthy, just not as big on average compared to pre-Hayman floods. Enough young of the year to notice the natural spawning and reproduction is working again & good habitat in most areas.

Some of the trout I fooled on Tuesday were definetly wild & stream born, with those distinct neon colors, but every one was healthy & beautiful, fat little bellies, some with shoulders - the 3 weight I was using (built by Dick Johnson) really let them show off.

Midge hatches at the Deckers bridge continue to be massive around 4 - 5 p.m., mixed in are a few Caddis and good counts of BWO's. Small midge patterns are producing all day, down near the bottom with enough weight - tight line with the indicator as close to the weight as possible, RS2's, Black Beauties, Miracles , Mercuries, Gun Metals, Barr Emergers & Flash Back Pheasant tails.

Flow was dropped to 132 cfs on Wednesday morning - great BWO hatch around 12 p.m., Jesse found rising trout from Twin Bridges up to Deckers. I found rising trout at the bridge, hung the "Honk Twice" sign on the Fly Shop door and went to get a few - and I did - 3 on a Hackle Wing & the best one on a trailing #24 For 'n Aft - some were on the duns, some were on midges - you could tell by the rise forms - almost. As we refer to it "getting them on the clock" (when we really should be tying & filling the bins at the shop)

Jesse finished his half day with a very happy guest from Ireland (with a fine Hardy rod & reel) an excellent fisherman, & great guy (He wanted to know if what they had done was "Matching the Hatch", that he had read so much about - Jesse "yup, that was it") - then Jesse rigged up and went out on his own - hard to pass on a hatch like that.

The river looks great, healthy and clear, bunch of hungry trout.

Week ending October 26th, 2007

Sunday's storm left about 4" on the ground, came in heavy at times, first real snow of the year, but Horse Creek was only a little off due to the initial melt on Monday & Tuesday. Flow was dropped to 150 on Monday and I woke to an air temp of 0 degrees - coldest morning yet - did not get much above 40 deg all day, but the BWO's loved it - great Olive and midge hatches all week - plenty of surface feeders, so perfect in the gin clear water.

Flow was dropped to 110 on Tuesday, then up to 140 on Thursday and to 185 on Friday, but these increases had no affect on the river's clarity or trout activity (a bump or decrease of 50 cfs or less is ideal for conditions to remain unchanged).

Water temps remain in mid 40's - air temps have reached mid 70's this week - absolutely perfect afternoons, but start off COLD in the a.m.. More Eagles have arrived, had one fly over the shop today, very low - you could hear the wings pounding the air.

Hatches and rising trout can start as early as 10 a.m. & continue on throughout the day right into dusk - they can be sporadic though, so you have to do a little exploring - Para-Adams or Olive trailing a Foam Top Emerger has been very effective - Surface action on Hoppers, Stimies & Caddis has dropped off, but we still fish them with 2 droppers - serious nymphing is just around the corner, so we still like to cast the dry if we can - Jesse has come up with some pretty effective combinations - and yes, every once in a while a trout will take an aggressive swipe at the dry.

No report yet on the population survey done on the 18th, hope to have something in next week's report.

Week ending October 19th, 2007

Busy week, so the report is a day late. Sunday 14th, saw rain snow mix in Deckers, and a great BWO hatch with lots of surface feeding. Those that braved it had a big reward. The flow was dropped to 175 cfs on Monday & again another good BWO hatch, mixed with a small midge hatch - trout were on both (starts anywhere from 11 a.m. on through dusk).

Tuesday the flow was dropped to 60 cfs, I think through some mis-communication, for the DOW survey, because DOW was down in Waterton Canyon, so they bumped the flow back up to 200 cfs on Wednesday morning, then that evening it was dropped back to 50 cfs & the survey was done on Thursday. That evening, the flow was bumped back up to 200 cfs - seem confusing? I can't imagine how it seemed to the trout and bugs.

Friday morning (19th) the flow was taken up to 300 cfs - the river was a little off downstream due to that last bump, but shoild be great this weekend. Look to slow seams, back eddies & slicks for rising trout from 11 am on - may be tougher in the higher flows to locate them, but Pheasant Tails (#18) trailing an RS2 or Barr emerger below a caddis (2 1/2 feet) or weighted and deep will produce nicely.

Ollives & midges have been present all week (Friday at 5 p.m. the midge hatch at the Deckers bridge was massive)

A few more bald Eagles have arrived, Jesse found one lunching on a big 'bow down by Sugar Creek this week, after it had finished he checked the carcass, about 16" and full of eggs! not a Brown, a Rainbow. The deer are herding up & are very fat & healthy.

Water temp this week was down to mid 40's, air temp from 10 deg early a.m., up to mid 70's in late afternoons. Sunrise now cresting the East range at 8 a.m. (a little further to the south each morning) and sets over the West range at 6 p.m.

We have had big days guiding this week - many, many trout to the net - with dry / dropper rigs - 20 + trout on our 1/2 day trips are the norm - too much fun - this is one healthy river & such a great time of year.

Week ending October 11th, 2007

Flow was raised on Friday the 5th to 420 cfs, no discoloration, but lots of bank fluff and pine needles ended up in the drift, Then, on Monday, the flow was dropped back to 350 cfs (just a nice bump for the weekend!) where it now stands.

Monday morning I woke to a temperature reading of 10 deg, Tuesday 15 deg and then back up to 20 deg on Wednesday - but each day warmed to the mid 70's and low 80's. COLD mornings, great afternoons, incredible evenings

The river looks fantastic and is fishing beautifully - just an incredible time of year. Still getting away with dry / dropper rigs - BWO's from 11 a.m. on, some caddis still around - not many risers, but you can sure drag them up in the right spots with the right presentation

DOW population survey has been postponed indefinetly due to ongoing work on Roberts Tunnel - this may be awhile - the maximum flow of 150 cfs to perform the survey may not be seen this fall

Week ending October 4th, 2007

Flow was bumped up to 370 cfs (from 345) on Friday and has remaiued steady all week. The green tint from the reservoir is gone and the river (allthough still high) looks fantastic all the way down to the old hotel at the North Fork & is fishing great. Looks the best I have seen this year & the Fall colors just add to the experience.

Hoppers with droppers are still working in the right spots. Still finding isolated swarms of Tricos and the Blue Wing Olives are picking up, but rising fish are still hard to locate. COLD most mornings (low to mid 20's), but the air temps reach high 70's to low 80's quickly. Water temp was 54 deg yesterday, downstream from Trumbull. The sun is now cresting the East Range at 7:50 a.m. and dropping over the West Range at 6:15 p.m.

Major midge hatches in morning & late afternoon all week & we are still finding Caddis here & there - even with the cold overnight temps, the hoppers are still present in all the field areas - basically - lots of bugs around.

DOW population sutvey now has the 10th & 11th of October as target dates for the work, but that all depends on work being completed at Roberts Tunnel (still ongoing) - the flow from Cheesman can't be dropped until the flow through the tunnel is resumed. If the survey can't be done on the selected days, they will be moved to the 16th & 19th.

Week ending September 27th, 2007

On Friday, the flow was again bumped from 440 cfs to 530 cfs - river was off from early afternoon, first time above 500 cfs since mid August - then, on Saturday morning, the flow was bumped again to 625 cfs, putting the whole river off for the rest of the day & weekend. Then, on Monday, the flow was dropped back to 495 cfs, Tuesday down to 395, and Wednesday down to 345 cfs. The river is clearing nicely, but still has a green tint to it from the outflow of Cheesman reservoir.

Flows in review

Tue. 18th - 320 to 290 (down 30)

Thur 20th - 290 to 440 (up 150)

Fri 21st - 440 - 530 (up 90)

Sat 22nd - 530 - 625 (up 95)

Mon 24th - 625 - 495 (down 130)

Tue 25th - 495 to 395 (down 100)

Wed 26th - 395 to 345 (down 50)

Kind of looks like, if the flow was left at 400 - 440 cfs on Thursday, the same results would have been achieved, without the disruptions over the weekend - but that is just an observation

Did some R&D on the North Fork on Monday, flow was low and the river is gin clear - small Rainbows and Wild Browns on Dry/Dropper rig (# 16 Goddard & # 14 Bead Head Prince) - the scenery down there is beyond description. No major hatch present, but I did find some large Drakes here & there - # 16 Para Adams also produced.

Major midge hatches in the Deckers area this week, both mornings and afternoons - BWO's still present after 12 p.m., Tricos seem to have thinned out. No consistent risers present due to clarity & flow, but the bugs seem to be doing just fine. At 530 cfs on Saturday, Jesse managed to get his clients 15 trout to the net in the morning, just ahead of the bump to 625 cfs.

Mornings are cold, but days warm up quickly - fall colors are close to peaking - still waiting on final word for the DOW population survey due the 2nd week of October, once the days are firm I will post them. The flow will go down to at least 150 cfs for the survey work.

Flow at writing is 345 cfs, water temps in the mid 50's - this is a great time of year to be on the river. You can still drag a few fish up with surface patterns - works better in the very early morning, or later in the afternoon.

Week ending September 20th, 2007

Flow was bumped to 430 cfs on Friday morning - a 200 cfs increase in 24 hours (230 - 350 on Thursday, then 350 - 450 on Friday) due to repair work on Roberts Tunnel that shut off the flow to the North Fork, requiring Cheesman to release more water. This increase put the river off color on Saturday, but was still fishing OK.

Monday the flow was dropped back to 320 cfs, then on Tuesday, down to 290 cfs, until this morning (Thursday) when it was bumped all the way back up to 440 cfs !!, where it now stands (Thursday afternoon was pretty rough, that was a big increase). Horse Creek is as slow and clear as I have seen it this year, but the Platte is a little off color - a slight green tinge - I think from the reservoir turning, or an algae bloom. Water temp in Trumbull today was 56 deg.

Tricos are still present, but sporadic, spinner fall anywhere from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.- If you see some risers, try a para adams #20-22 or a trico spinner. BWO's hatching off and on in the afternoons (had one on the porch screen last evening, #22) along with a few PMD's - hoppers are thinning out with the cold nights (28 deg. at the cabin on Tuesday morning - woke up early to the furnace kicking in - too many windows left open)

Back yard is becoming very colorful, another week should see it start to peak in full fall mountain splendor

Week ending September 13th, 2007

Flow was dropped on Saturday evening to 230 cfs - nice, 1st time I can recall a flow adjustment in the evening, the perfect time - gives the river & trout, time to settle down for the next day. The river looked and fished great for the entire length - we were finding trout in all the "fishy" places using dry / droppers.

Tricos continue sporadically up & down stream with more sippers present due to the lower flow - Para Adams with a trico spinner trailing on the surface or just below was the ticket. Spinner fall heaviest between 10 and 11:30 a.m. BWO's are present from noon on through the afternoon, with a few trout lunching on the duns.

Flow was raised this morning (Thursday) back up to 350 cfs (not a clue why - that is a significant increase) and the river was a little off in the late afternoon, but should be fine tomorrow.

Spotted the first Bald Eagle of the season on Tuesday down by Scraggy, a little early for thier return, the main groups usually arrive around Halloween. Elk are bugleing in the pre dawn hours across the river from the cabin.

Morning air temps are very chilly - low to mid 30's - and most days are just incredibly beautiful - great time of year to be on the river. Water temps remain in the low 50's.

DOW will perform the annual trout survey in Deckers & surrounding areas - target week is October 8th thru 12th - but the schedule is still fluid at this time. I will update as the dates become firm, and if you want to participate (educational & fun but not easy work) I will post those details as well (we usually meet at the shop in the morning & go from there)

Week ending September 6th, 2007

Flow was raised to 460 cfs on Friday morning & the river was off color most of the day, due to the increase washing out the remnants of last Wednesday's flash flooding, which reached an estimated 400 cfs at its peak (above a flow of 250 cfs). Saturday the river was clear, but not perfect & on Sunday the flow was dropped to 360 cfs and things looked a lot better & by Tuesday we were guiding down past Scraggy in good water.

The river's ability to rebound quickly still impresses me - that was a major event on Wednesday Aug 29th. This Tuesday afternoon the flow was dropped to its current 300 cfs. Rain threatened all day this Wednesday, and started around 4 p.m. - heavy at times, but had no affect on the river on Thursday morning - a great sign - river looks good all the way downstream from Deckers - not gin clear (like it is above Deckers to the dam) - but pretty nice & very fishable.

Finding sporadic Trico hatches and Spinner Falls - with the lower water, a few more bank sippers should show themselves - BWO are hatching, but sporadic, up and down the river - Caddis are thin, but still present - Hoppers are all over the place

Overnight temps have been as low as 34 deg in the early hours, but still warms up quickly to 70's and 80's during the day - water temps remain in the low to mid 50's

Only one swallow group still present (at the Deckers Bridge) - most of the Humming Birds have departed - the fawns are growing up fast, soon the solo groups will start to herd up - really feels like Fall - some of the Cotton Wood tops are already getting some color.

Stop by Flies & Lies and we can set you up with the best patterns & latest conditions

Week ending August 30th, 2007

Flow was dropped from 450 to 400 on Sunday, then down to 250 cfs on Monday. The river looked great down to the old hotel at the confluence of the North Fork on Wednesday morning, and we had no significant rain since the weekend, Horse Creek was as low and clear as I have seen it this year.

Then we were hit hard by some nasty cells on Wednesday afternoon - 2 inches fell at Cheesman in 30 minutes - from the Canyon (probably Schoonover Gulch) on down, the river went brown, and up, about 100 cfs at its peak. Washouts across the road required a grader between Deckers and Wig Wam Club - Wig Wam Creek went high and ugly from the downpour - 4 Mile Creek was brown, but not too high, mainly from road run off. Horse Creek, amazingly, was not affected.

Thursday morning found the river fishable - barely - with nymphs, then the flow was raised from Cheesman to 350 cfs, and the river was brown the rest of the day, due to the increased flow washing down the bank remnants of the flash floods. Wig Wam Creek was still pretty bad. I think the river should be OK by Friday & good through the weekend, which is supposed to be dry.

Sun is now cresting the East Range at 7:15 a.m. and setting around 7 p.m. - early morning air temps have been in the low 30's to low 40's but it warms up quickly to the 80's on most days. Water temps remain in the low to mid 50's.

Tricos continue to hatch and swarm, with spinners hitting the water around 10 or 11 a.m. - still only finding a few bank sippers, but sipping they are.

I took a representative of Trout Unlimited on a tour of the West Creek drainage (that has been the trouble spot feeding Horse Creek) - more on this area in future reports - along with efforts to remove some of the decomposed granite from the South Platte down to Scraggy

The family group of swallows that reside at the cabin have departed for the south - some family groups remain in the area, but not many - the humming bird population is thinning out as they also depart - seems like they just arrived.

Week ending August 23rd, 2007

We took major hits both Friday & Saturday night from very intense storm cells. Wig Wam Creek went high and dark along with 4 Mile creek above Deckers - the Canyon was not affected, but from Wig Wam Club downstream, things were pretty ugly on Sunday - Horse Creek was only slightly affected - by Wednesday, we were able to guide all the way down to Scraggy - and today the river looked great - fishing great above Deckers on Tuesday - from unfishable on Sunday.

Flow is now at 450 cfs, from a high of 500 cfs on Sunday (went from 375 cfs to 440 on Saturday), all out of the pipes, (no longer over the spillway) water temps are 50 - 52 deg in Deckers and the water is gin clear. Horse Creek has continued to drop & clear, and has little effect on the river downstream of Deckers.

Trico mating swarms are staying steady - all the way down to Scraggy View - Spinners begin to fall around 10:30, and we have found a few bank sippers, but not many - fooled a few with #22 para adams - black flash back RS2's work well nymphing all morning - these are not the swarms of Pre Hayman, but are very encouraging, some are pretty thick - males and females are about a # 22 or 24 - hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other terestrials work well on the surface later in the afternoons. Dry/Dropper with a bead caddis larva are a favorite, even with an RS2 off the bead nymph

We are also seeing some BWO's from late morning throughout the afternoon - PMD's have become pretty scarce.

Week ending August 16th, 2007

Flow has steadily dropped to a current 375 cfs in the canyon. Horse Creek is still running brown, but also dropping and clearing, river looks good through Trumble, the further down stream you travel, the water gets darker - mainly due to rain events that have continued to hit the area all week - some incredibly heavy deluges - on Monday afternoon, the parking lot in front of the shop was a 6 inch deep pond from rain & hail!!! I continue to be impressed with the recovery of the river after these events, all the feeders from the west come clear over night, the feeders from the east are the problem areas (except for 4 Mile Creek) - on Monday the whole river went brown, but had cleared out in the morning

The river is clear from Deckers upstream to the dam. I have started to see isolated swarms of mating Tricos in Deckers and in Trumble around 10 a.m. - nothing like the pre-Hayman fire swarms, but very encouraging to see them back

With the lower flows, the dry dropper rig will come back into play - Caddis with a bead nymph - then try trailing an RS2 off of the nymph - a little clumsy to cast, but very effective. Dead drifting nymphs will be easier and more of the river will be accessible - the flow has not been below 400 cfs since my return in April.

Water temps remain in the low 50's - air temps start off early mornings in the 40's or high 30's - but it warms up fast - mid to high 80's

Week ending August 9th, 2007

Flow had dropped to 405 cfs by Friday, then it started to rain - a lot - flow steadily increased, but all the creeks were holding up until Monday night, then too much hit in all the wrong places.

Trout creek blew out all the way from Woodland Park - on Tuesday morning it was flowing out of Manitou Lake brown - 20 miles away - West creek was the same - good news is that above the Deckers bridge all was OK, but below was unfishable on Tuesday morning - flow from the dam went up to 690 cfs by 2 p.m. on Wednesday - almost 300 cfs in 4 days. Horse Creek is slowly dropping, and clearing even slower, but dry hot days will help - flow in Trumble reached over 750 cfs at the height of it all. This is brown water, not ash or mud - and most of the brown originated out of the burn area

Flow is currently 650 cfs from the dam - 325 out the pipes, 325 over the top - water temps dropped back to 52 degrees in Deckers, Above the bridge and the Canyon are fishing well, may be until the weekend until things clear out below Deckers to be fishable, All the reservoirs in the drainage are full - Antero, Spinney, 11 Mile, Lake George & Tarryall.

Nymphing is your best bet in the high flows, buckskins or Caddis Larva, P-tails, RS2's, brassie - We still try to drag them up with Hoppers or Caddis patterns, but it is tougher than ever - saw the first BWO's of the summer / fall this week - have had reports of some Tricos, but have not seen any myself - huge swarm of flying ants in Deckers on Wednesday evening - all over the place

Saw the first buck of the season in the backyard this morning at daybreak - spectacular rack - working upstream across the river

Week ending August 2nd, 2007

Flow peaked at 540 cfs on Monday afternoon - 300 out of the pipes, 240 over the spillway - all due to recent storms in the area draining into the reservoir. Flow is currently (Thursday) at 425 and dropping fairly steadily each day.

Horse Creek got pretty ugly, due to a major hit on Trout Creek in the North Rainbow Falls area, but she has dropped and cleared and has little effect on the river below Deckers. The river is clear down to Scraggy View, where it begins to go off color again, but is slowly clearing as the flow decreases. River is gin clear above Deckers & into the Canyon

Still fooling trout with Caddis or #18 or #20 mayfly patterns (para Adams) in the early hours, things tend to slow down on the surface during mid-day, then pick up again in late afternoon - even with Hoppers along the banks or in shallow riffles & pockets. I have seen very few risers, but you can drag them up fairly easily.

Nymphing with San Juan Worms, RS2's, P-Tails, Buckskins, Barr Emergers, Hares Ears, Prince nymphs, etc. works all day.

Had an angler in the shop last week who had been doing really well, camped at Lone Rock and fishing dries above the bridge to the Cable Hole - told of one 20" 'Bow that snapped him off 50 yards above the bridge in our Research & Development area - I asked him what pattern he lost & he said a black beetle - I asked what was the color on top - he said 2 red tufts - I reached into my vest hanging off the chair, pulled out a box, opened it up & tossed a black beetle with 2 red tufts onto the counter and asked if that was his fly? His eyes got pretty big, said yes, that was his fly (with one lost leg) and asked where I got it - I told him out of the mouth of a 14" 'Bow 50 yards up from the bridge - we both had a pretty good chuckle - The name of the shop IS Flies & Lies - or flies & a little imagination.

Week ending July 26th, 2007

Major storm cells hit the Deckers area this week - most notably on last Thursday, which left the water below Deckers off color from Horse Creek run off, but all was clear in 48 hrs - another one - huge - hit Saturday night & browned the whole river up within hours, but again was clear in the a.m..

The cells were not too heavy in the Trail Creek / West Creek area, so we dodged a major bullet. I continue to be optimistic with the rivers quick recovery from these potential washouts.

Flow had dropped to 360 cfs on the 21st, but increased to 430 on the 22nd due to runoff from the storms into Cheesman reservoir - a lot of rain - but she steadily drops during the day. The Dam called today to say they would be increasing the outflow pipes from 250 cfs to 300 cfs in an effort to get the water off of the spillway - at 400 cfs that will leave 100 over the top

Hoppers are starting to work, along with Caddis patterns on the surface - PMD's are still around, starting at 10 - 11 a.m. & I have seen a few risers on them, close to the banks - we continue to drag some pretty trout up to the surface by drifting through the fishy spots - we are finding trout up & down the river, just depends on that days clarity if we can lure them to the top.

I can't recall a summer with so many fawns in the area - seems like all the moms had twins this year. The swallows around the cabin have left the nests and are learning how to nail a caddis or may fly in mid flight at full speed - incredible to see, when they get it right - funny to see when they try to pick my caddis pattern off the surface.

Week ending July 19th, 2007 (includes 2 weeks from July 5th)

Very busy with shop & guiding, so missed last weeks update. The river continues to drop (fell below 400 cfs on Sunday the 15th for the first time in months). Water temps in Deckers are dropping, due to the lower amount of surface water from Cheesman coming over the spillway. On the 18th it was 57 deg. in Deckers. Horse Creek took her time clearing from the events of July 3rd, then got hit again, but she is now down and fairly clear, having little to no effect on the river clarity below Deckers.

River is gin clear above Deckers up to the dam through the Canyon. Flow is at 370 cfs & clarity all the way down to the confluence with the North Fork is excellent. We are finding trout in all the fishy places up and down the river & continue to fish dry / dropper rigs, even on the guide trips.

PMD's still active & Caddis continue to swarm, hatch & mate - returning to the river to deposit eggs. Depending on cloud cover (none) and crowds (weekends) things can get a little slow on the surface in mid afternoon, but picks up again in the evening. Nymphing works well all day in the deeper darker runs.

Storms hit the valley just about every day from 3 p.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. - heavy at times, but none have affected the river - if they hit the wrong spot (south east of Deckers) and are too intense, then that drainage can go off, but not for long.

Reports that I hear of the water below Deckers being unfishable are completely wrong, being written & reported by people that arrive a day after a storm and see the off color and think that is the norm - it is not - if they came back 1 or 2 days later they would see the quick recovery, we, that live on the river, witness every day.

Another report that I hear is that the river is all silted in - which is also misleading - the major problem is decomposed granite that has filled in some of the old favorite runs, but up or downstream of these areas you will find good habitat and great fishing - the river has changed, so you have to look at it a lttle differently - and adapt - and you will catch trout - and some very good ones.

Week ending July 5th, 2007

Flow had dropped to 484 by Tuesday the 3rd and was as close to gin clear as I have seen it this year - and beautiful - all the way down to the old hotel. Then a few big storm cells came into the area - one hit with the wrong amount of rain in the exact wrong location & Horse Creek turned brown, which in turn, made things pretty ugly below Deckers on the 4th - by Thursday - today - there was only slight improvement. Flow went from 484 up to 512 over the spillway due to these storms, but had dropped back down to 475 cfs by Thursday. These cells were no worse than many that have hit the area - actually seemed less intense than a few others - it just hit the wrong spot.

Wig Wam Creek went a little off, but was clear by Thursday - 4 Mile Creek was not affected. I followed Horse Creek up the drainage on Thursday and found Trout Creek was OK, followed West Creek up to the lake in the West Creek development, the lake is the same color as the creek - light brown with no clarity - followed the inlet stream up and found it was clear above the confluence of Trail Creek - turned and followed Trail Creek and knew she was the problem - a few dry gulches were flowing pretty ugly water down into West Creek and the lake - this could take a while to clear out.

Above Deckers and the Canyon are fine and fishing great - Caddis continue along with PMD's - I have had trout take different types of Caddis patterns on the surface and really slam emergers dropped underneath about 2 1/2 feet below the dry, presented fairly close to the banks or mid stream slicks. Lots of very healthy trout, lots of fun.

Stop by Flies & Lies for the latest updates and patterns.

Week ending June 28th, 2007

Flow from Cheesman dropped below 600 cfs this week, but went back up to 610 cfs due to some heavy rain in the drainage, but I think the main run off has peaked. Storms had no effect on the river , Horse Creek is a little darker and higher, but the river remains clear to Scraggy view and the fishing is great - just a little more challenging with the high flow.

PMD's continue to hatch from late morning into late afternoon. Caddis are present all day, but fish best in late afternoon. We continue to fish dry or dry / dropper with steady success - tight to the banks, with the occasional mid stream surprise.

Elk Hair, Foam body or Goddard in size 16 to 20 with PMD emergers, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns or Prince nymphs as a dropper. On a morning R & D session this past week, I worked a section of about 100 yards - fished a dry upstream - I would fool a brown or rainbow, move up 3 feet, cast, and fool another one, move up 3 feet & repeat - I even removed the dropper, because the Caddis was working so well - sizes ranged from 8" up to a healthy, surprised 14" Brown - He actually chased the Caddis from his holding spot and was looking right at me when I set the hook - then he exploded - airborn & downstream - felt like old times.

Stop by Flies & Lies for the latest info and patterns of the day

Week ending June 21st, 2007

Flow from Cheesman fairly steady at 650 + or - all week - still 250 out of the pipes, the rest over the top.

Water temps have reached 62 deg. in Deckers - mainly due to the water over the spillway - flow below Deckers close to 775 cfs, and was clear & fishing great, but Horse Creek browned up this afternoon from some isolated cells - will know in a.m. of Friday if it clears as it usually has, or if another reason is the cause

Caddis continue mating swarms in late afternoons & PMD's are hatching all over - size 18, starts around 11 a.m. - not many risers, but you can drag them up. DRy / Dropper still works great in the right spots - nymphing with Pheasant tails, Barr Emergers, Prince nymphs, San Juan Worms & RS2's is very productive

Found a huge May Fly on the porch Sunday night - Drake or Red Quill, not really sure- size 12, biggest May Fly I have ever seen near the river - found another one on Monday night on the porch - then on Tuesday, when I was dropping off supplies at Flies & Lies, Jesse found one on the tying table - flew right in the door - these things are HUGE.

Sun is cresting the East range a little after 6 a.m., light by 5 a.m., sets to the West at 8:30 p.m.\

Week ending June 14th, 2007

Flow at 6 a.m. today was 628 cfs - 250 out of the pipes, 378 over the top - water temp at 54 deg in Deckers. The flow had dropped to 571, but major storms and increased flows from upstream have the flow very high - down stream of Deckers is about 775 cfs. Flow went from 571 on Tue at 2 p.m. to 622 at 6 p.m. due mainly to the following storm reports.

Major storm on Sat. had no effect on the river, but a big cell hit on Tuesday and the river was brown from the Canyon on down - Wig Wam Creek really blew out - at 5 p.m. it was pretty black and ugly - by Wed at 6 a.m. Wig Wam had cleared & the river looked great through Trumbull - very quick recovery, very promising. Horse Creek continues to drop and clear slowly, even through the latest storms - river looks great down to Scraggy and holds a lot of trout.

PMD's are starting to emerge, along with little Golden Stones - Caddis have been very sporadic, but continue to hatch and return to lay eggs. Dry Dropper works in the slicks, banks & pockets, but nymphing with the correct weight really produces in the right runs. The high flows make it very challenging, but the river is fishing great & I am starting to see some new habitat being exposed

Doe's have started dropping fawns - had a baby next to the garden on Wednesday morning - could only have been an hour or 2 old, mom was very attentive - swallows are eating bugs and starting to nest up - seeing a lot of little grass hoppers in the meadow stretches - leaving the porch light on at night has attracted an amazing (& large) collection of Caddis, Moths and other unknown night bugs - even had a small BWO on the porch screen on Wed evening - about a # 22

Week ending June 7th, 2007

Flow from the outlet pipes at Cheesman was dropped on Monday the 4th to 250 cfs from 295 - which put 256 cfs over the spillway for a total of 506 in the Canyon - By Tuesday evening the flow was up to 550 cfs

Flow this a.m. was at 598 in the Canyon - mainly due to high flows on Tarryall Creek & increase through Dream Stream, then 11 mile and Lake George into Cheesman & over the top - still a lot of water coming,

River is clear & looks great through Trumbull & on down to Scraggy - even with some major rain events that had no affect on the river or feeders - fingers still crossed. We are finding trout in all the fishy places and dragging quite a few up to Caddis patterns, even with no visible risers. Caddis are still hatching, but it has dropped off from the past weeks.

Guided on the private ranch & water we have access to on Wednesday - still very high and off color with run off, but Jesse & I managed to get the 2 clients into over 40 trout & one 20" Pike that ate a Prince Nymph. This place is fantastic & for as little as $200.00 / night you can rent the streamside 2 BR cabin and have almost a mile of private water included - give us a call or send an e-mail for more details - I think we will be spending a lot of time up there this year

Horse Creek continues to drop & clear nicely - be great when the beavers get back to work and build a few ponds. Flow through Trumbull is close to 700 cfs, but lots of slicks, pockets and slow spots to float a caddis with a dropper

Week ending May 31st, 2007

Flow over Cheesman spillway peaked on Thursday the 24th at 730 cfs (450 out of the pipes, 280 over the top) & has steadily dropped (about 40cfs / day) to a flow of 472 cfs on Wednesday, the 30th at 6 p.m. Flow went back up to 509 at 6 a.m. on 31st.

Major rain & hail event on Tue. the 29th at 2:30 p.m. - 1" at the cabin in the first hour - river went brown for a while, mainly road run off, 4 mile creek was off a little as was Wig Wam - rained off & on all night - in the morning all was back to the day before - clear above Deckers, a little off color below the bridge- 2 years ago, that deluge would have blackened the river for weeks

River is now fishable down to Scraggy View & beyond - Horse Creek is now at 105 cfs at Deckers dropping & clearing nicely - add 4 mile & Wig Wam & the flow through Trumbull is about 600 cfs

YMCA Camp Shady Brook, AGAIN, released black water down to the Platte through 4 mile Creek on Friday night, Saturday morning - very, very ugly & on a holiday weekend - shier complete disregard for all that enjoy the river is appalling & has continued for 4 years - I called every agency I could and the water was redirected within hours - My thanks go out to the DOW and Douglas County Sheriff Dept for the quick response - but the water below 4 mile was ruined for most of the weekend - I will be seeking support in the near future to finally resolve this chronic problem. I understand the camp has been impacted by the Hayman fire - but enough is enough - I can only imagine how much they got away with during my 1 year absence.

Caddis continue to hatch & swarm up and down the river - now that the flow has dropped, surface action is picking up in the afternoons - an Elk Hair with a Hares Ear dropper is a great combination.

I have heard that the PMD's are starting in the Canyon, just have not had a chance to hike in & take a look.

I was extremely impressed by the results of the Tuesday impact on the river - especially Horse Creek, which seemed to not be affected at all - I remain very optimistic & you will see the sign on the Fly Shop "Fishing at the bridge, honk horn twice, I will come right over" more often than not - "Research & Development" is very important.

Friday, April 29th, 2005 - relayed from a phone call from DOW Biologist Jeff Spohn this a.m.

New Zealand Mud Snails have been found in Elevenmile Canyon. The DOW is asking for all anglers to help in slowing the spread of these invasive creatures by having all anglers clean any equipment (waders, shoes, boot cuffs, etc.) that can & do transport them to other bodies of water and streams - use a solution of Formula 409 and water in a 50 / 50 mix and wash (soak) the gear for 5 minutes. All of you can help, I hope you do, it is extremely important to try and isolate this outbreak as quickly as possible. You can get more information on these nasty buggers by going to

Thanks in advance


Week ending May 24th, 2007

This past weekend, Cheesman went over the spillway

Flow went from 450 cfs on Friday the 18th, up to 620 on Saturday and this morning to 728 at 6 a.m., it has dropped to 719 at 10 a.m., so it may have peaked, but we had some snow in the high country, so that run off has yet to happen. Flow from the pipes is 450 cfs, so all the rest is over the top.

Allthough high & challenging, the clarity is not bad all the way to Deckers Bridge & fishing well, just differently - I am even dragging a few up with a dry/dropper rig (in the right places)

Caddis continue to hatch, swarm, mate & return in abundance - very few risers, but a well placed imitation will fool a few - nymphing with Caddis Pupa is very productive.

Wig Wam Creek is very high, but has good clarity, 4 mile was clear, but browned up a little after Wednesday's snow/rain mix. Trout Creek continues to drop & clear, now all the way to Rainbow Falls Park & I can see the boulders in the riffles in areas of Horse Creek that were hidden last week. Barring any major deluge, that drainage should be clear in a few weeks at most - downstream from Deckers is improving & fishable down to Scraggy, just not very pretty - be careful wading anywhere you go - if you can't see the bottom where you want to place your foot - don't!

SJ worms with P Tails, RS2's Barr emerger, etc are good in a.m., Caddis pupa in afternoons

A major key to recovery from the Hayman fire is a ridge top south east of the cabin that I view every day from the porch - it burned so hot on that ridge, it sterilized the soil - one of the hottest spots - for the first time in 5 years it is green, the grass has returned - 5 years - but as that ridge grows, so does the recovery - I am very optimistic

Week ending May 17th, 2007

Flow from Cheesman went from 600 cfs to 500 cfs on the 12th, then down to 450 cfs on the 15th, where it now stands.

Rain, heavy at times, on Mon., Tue. & Wed. did not affect the river or feeder creeks, we have some heavy clouds & cells in the area today, so we will see what happens. Looked at all the feeders this a.m. - Wig Wam Creek is very high, but only slightly off color - Four Mile Creek (from "Y" Camp) is dropping and clearing more each day & has acceptable clarity. West Creek is also dropping & has almost a foot of visibility before it joins up with Trout Creek (4 miles from Deckers) to make up Horse Creek, which is brown, but clearing - I estimate flow into the Platte at Deckers bridge at 150 - 175 cfs

Last week I found Trout Creek, flowing out of Manitou Lake, to be brown & not changing in clarity all the way to Horse Creek, but picking up volume. Today, the water is clear out of Manitou & stays clear to the research station 1 mile down stream (looked very fishy), but at North Rainbow Falls Park (another 5 miles down stream) it had turned brown again, & flow was a little higher. At the confluence with West Creek, she was a little heavier in volume but same clarity. All of the feeder springs into all creeks (even from the burn area) are gin clear and extremely beautiful to see

Caddis hatch on Wednesday the 16th at Deckers was incredible - thousands hatching and flying around - reports I heard had it all the way down to Scraggy View. No risers to be found, but I dragged one up (after I closed Flies & Lies at 5 pm) on a #18 Goddard Caddis - one was all I needed. Hatch starts at 2 - 3 p.m..

The Canyon is gin clear, above Deckers is good, but a little off color, below Deckers should be fishable by the weekend, barring any major deluge in the drainage. Water temp on Wednesday was 48 degrees - air temp in the mornings range from high teens to mid 20's, but warm up quickly, depending on cloud cover.

Week ending May 10th, 2007

Flow stayed steady from the dam at 500 cfs all week, then was bumped this a.m. Thursday the 10th, to 550 cfs. Add all the feeder creeks and it is close to 800 cfs below Deckers Bridge. That's a lot of water

As usual, Denver Water bumped the flow at the worse time of the day, the morning. I know of 1 guide who lost a full day (turned into a 1/2 day) because of the increase - too much junk in the flow

Good news, it did clear out above Decker's by 3 p.m. - this is not gin clear water, but fishable. The Canyon, prior to the last increase, was gin clear & fishing great & should be OK by Friday morning, just be careful wading, no matter where you go - if you can't see the bottom, do not go there.

I checked all the feeder creeks today, Trout Creek, which flows through Manitou Lake near Woodland Park, is run off color (brown)as it comes out of the lake - it stays the same until it meets West Creek, which is also run off brown - good news, neither creek gets any worse as it goes through the burn areas, they actually improve, due to the incredible clarity of all the springs that feed both creeks.

I am very optimistic - 2, maybe 3 weeks, barring any sudden huge storms, and all the river should be clear & fishing great.

We have so any cased Caddis on the bottom, I can only imagine the dry fly action as the water clears - especially in the evenings.

Olives continue to hatch during the afternoons (1 p.m. and on) and the last 2 evenings, the swallows have been feeding on some emergers in the back yard around 6 - 7 p.m. - I am guessing Caddis or Olive Spinners. - but in the brown, high flow it is amazing the birds can spot them - I have not yet, but will focus on it tomorrow

We have some hot patterns at Flies & Lies, that work well in the high flows - come on by

Week ending May 5th, 2007

I am back, actually, I arrived back at the cabin on April 3rd, 2007 - I spent 1 (one) year on O'ahu, setting up a beautiful sailing catamaran company for eco tourism - it was a long year & it is good to be home.

The river looks good, but we are in spring run-off & in an effort to keep the water overflowing Cheesman, Denver Water keeps adjusting the flows - we are currently at 500 cfs from the dam (went down from 500 to 450 cfs 2 days ago, then back up to 500 today at 9 a.m.) - more on flows in next weeks report.

Horse Creek is high and brown, but has peeked and is slowly going down and clearing - blizzard on April 24th really blew her & other feeders out - only 4" in the valley, but 18" to 2 ' in the drainage, then it warmed up to 70 deg - wet snow, hot sun, flow increases = brown water. From Decklers downstream the flow is about 700 cfs & not really fishable.

GOOD NEWS - We have reopened Flies & Lies on the rivers edge in Deckers on April 14th - we will be open 7 days per week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., guaranteed - We are now the local owners (we all live on the river) & will resume the customer service & honest guidance that the shop was known for prior to the last owners tenure. We hope you all come back - we know how bad it became, but that is now in the past.

Swallows are back this week at the old nests, hummingbirds have arrived en-mass these last few days, Spring Time - the swallows come to eat the BWO's & they began to hatch 2 weeks ago - High flows are keeping the surface feeders at a minimum, but emergers are working well, especially at the end of a good drift.

Report will be updated each Thursday as usual - it really is good to be home (did I already say that?)

Week ending March 29th, 2006


I am back at the river I love & the cabin I cherish.

I have spent the last 10 weeks working as a consultant to a new Ocean Activity Venture in Hawaii - I was to be gone for only 4 weeks - but the contract was exteneded to 10 weeks - They made me an offer I could not refuse, so I did not. The venture is a brand new "Americas Cup" sailing catamaran - passenger capacity of 80 - and she is faster than the wind - a very incredible yacht & it was fun to be back in some old stomping grounds, seeing old friends, who are still pretty young.

If you ever have the chance to visit Oahu, don't miss the chance to book a sail on this vessel, the "MAKANI" - Captain, Crew & Vessel are all 5 star, go to for a look.

Now the important stuff - the river looks great & is fishing the same - flow was increased this past week to 200 cfs from 98 (over 5 days) so more water is available to prowl - which is good, 'cause I have not seen this many anglers since prior to the Hayman Fire - it is getting crowded! - but if you know where to go & have alternate sites, you can do very well & feel very isolated.

Midge hatches start after noon and risers (in the lower flows of last week) could be found and stalked in the slow, shallow water - man, it was GREAT!!! - with the higher flow, it gets a little more sporadic - but rise they do. Try a #22 Para Adams - I have even made it work to fishy spots without a nose poking up - Fore & Aft or Griifins Gnat if your eyes are sharper.

Water temp of 50 degrees on Tuesday - which surprised me - felt colder - but then I have been spoiled these past months.

Nymphing is still the best bet - weight & indicator distance from the flies are very important - adjustments are mandatory - depending on the run you are working.

Winds have made things challenging these past few days, air temps are mid 50's to 60's during the day, overnight as low as high teens. River is gin clear & ice free all the way to Two Forks.

Had a few small dark caddis around the porch light last night - little early for them, and I am finding even more cased caddis in the river bed this year than last - & last year I had never seen so many.

It is good to be home.


San Jaun Worms (Brown, Pink, Red #14,16) Brassie (Copper, Red #18,20,22)

Pheasant Tail, Bead Head, Flash Back(#18,20,22,24) Black Beauty (#18,20,22 - plain, emerger, diamond or gunmetal bead)

RS2 (#18,20,22 - grey, olive, brown - plain, flashback or bead) San Juan Emerger (#20)

Barr emerger, Miracle nymph, Mercury midge (#18,20,22) Buckskin (#18).

Red, Green or Cream midge larvae

Bead Head Pheasant tails, Hares ears, Prince nymphs, Copper Johns ( #16 or #18) when fishing dry / dropper


Para Adams (#20,22,24) - sink it at the end of the drift - you may be surprised!

PMD's & BWO patterns (#20, 22)

For n Aft (#20,22,24) Snow Midge (#20), Griffins Gnat (#20,22,24) for any midge hatch

Goddard Caddis (#16,18) Dark (olive) Elk Hair Caddis (#18,20) Stimulators - Excellent if you are trying a dry / dropper rig.


Wooly Buggers (Black, Olive, Brown, Black/Olive) Matuka (Olive)

Week ending January 5th, 2006

Flows were gradually raised this past week from 50 cfs to 100 cfs on Dec. 29th, then up to the current flow of 126 on the 5th.

The Water talk number has been on & off all week - I called in and they did not know that it was down & fixed it right away - It was OK this a.m., but still seems sporadic.

Fishing has been fantastic - even some good surface action in the late afternoon with small midge patterns - wind & big gusts can be a problem - just be patient & don't try to fight it. Clients have fooled and even landed some beautiful trout these past few weeks - a few approaching 20", and we were not in the Canyon.

I will not be updating the weekly report again until early to mid February - But we will continue our guide services during this brief hiatus.

Some winter fishing tips in the meantime - Keep in mind that air temps in Deckers are generally 10 to 20 degrees colder than the overnight temps in Denver (Thursday Deckers @ 9 deg - Denver @ 28) - but day time highs are typically the same as Denver ( 40 to 50 degree swings are common in the valley from a.m. to p.m. - we hit 48 on the 5th, a 47 degree swing ) Combine the low temp. with the flow and you can get a pretty good idea of river conditions. An overnight low near "0" with a flow below 75 will mean significant ice & sludge hatches through Scraggy View. This will dissipate during the day - depends on sun and temperature swing - sludge is typically gone through Deckers by 10 - 11 a.m., if it appears at all. The higher the flow, the warmer the water and less chance of ice & sludge developing.

Water temps below 38 - 39 degrees will mean very inactive trout - optimum times will be from 1 to 3-4 p.m., with action some days picking up around 10 a.m. - just depends on conditions. Work the deep fishy looking runs with enough weight & watch the indicators like a hawk - most takes will be very subtle.

The further you go downstream from Cheesman dam, you will find colder water and more ice / sludge - but fewer anglers !


Week ending December 29th, 2005 ( Covers 2 weeks from December 15th )

Flows were all over the place starting at 154 cfs on the 15th, up to 203 on the 17th (Clouded the river up by 2 p.m. through Deckers), then down to 126 cfs on the 19th, 110 on the 20th, 80 on the 21st & down to 50 cfs on the 22nd where it currently stands.

Water Talk phone # has been out since the 21st, I have not been able to find out why, but I am trying.

Had the last morning below "0" on the 19th, then air temps began to warm up - most mornings have been in the teens to mid 20's - daytime highs have reached 60 - pretty incredible change from the first few weeks of December.

Things remain pretty slow until noon or so - water temps start off around 36 degrees, and the trout do not really get active until 38 - 39 degrees - with the lower flow that takes a few hours of sunlight. Ice has not been a problem down to Scraggy - depends on sunlight & overnight temps if it forms up further downstream - be careful of high bank ice - it became very thick downstream at 200 cfs, as the flow was dropped, it remained & is very deceiving - you walk out on it and find yourself a foot above the river on some pretty shaky stuff !

Trout have been rising to great midge hatches this past week - starts around 1:30 - 2 p.m. in the slow bank eddies and seems along fast water - a #22 Para Adams, For - n - Aft or griffins Gnat have fooled most - this is pretty demanding & will test your best efforts - presentation, patience & persistence are the keys.

Dead drifting (slow drifts) with the correct weight (in the correct location) will produce nicely through the p.m. hours - the trout are VERY spooky with this low flow & gin clear water - your approach to fishy spots is very critical - watch your shadow, wading, height above the water - stay as low as you can

The day after Christmas, the area saw more anglers on the river than I can recall since the Hayman fire - the Gill Trail lot was almost full by 9 a.m. & fly rods were seen in most every stretch from Deckers to Scraggy View - guess everyone wanted to try out their new Christmas toys - this past week has not been as crowded as Monday, but still more than I expected.

On the 20th, I had a Great Horned Owl visit the cabin. Landed on the garden rail an hour before sunrise - tried a few perches - then settled on the south west corner - slept all day (even with a pack of Stellar Jays harassing him off and on in the a.m.) - at 4 p.m., just as the sun drops over the west range - he woke up, did a little preening (huge talons) & took off for the nightly hunt - quite a site - this is a large raptor - close to 2' head to tail - the bunnies are in big trouble.


Week ending December 15th, 2005

Flow was raised on the 9th from 80 to 110 cfs, then bumped again on the 15th to 154 cfs. That last increase clouded the river up pretty badly by 2 p.m. through Deckers but should be fine by Friday the 16th. Flow has not been this high since the 29th of September. The North Fork at the tunnel continues to flow at 31 cfs, making that fork unfishable for most of it's length due to thick ice and sludge.

Water temperatures have ranged from 35 to 40 degrees this past week - the trout do not seem to be very active until it hits 39 degrees - you can still fool a few at the lower temps. but it is a challenge.

This past week I have had no mornings above single digits, 5 of them were below "0" with ( - 10 ) on both the 9th & 15th - the woodpile is quickly disappearing - and it isn't even officially winter - coldest December in 5 years - hit a high of 50 on the 11th, but mainly mid 30's to low 40's - add just a little wind and it is pretty bitter standing in the river - but as usual this time of year - if you are hooking up it feels 5 to 10 degrees warmer.

With the higher flows I have seen no major sludge hatch & most of the bank ice has melted down to Scraggy View, but the further you get away from the dam, the colder the water gets & the ice becomes a problem.

I still come across little midge hatches in the mid afternoons if the water temp is right, but only an occasional riser - at 154 cfs your best bet is to drag midge patterns right along the bottom - watch the indicator like a well tuned lab - the takes are very light, and keep an eye on the slow water along ice banks & cut backs for the subtle midge rise - it does happen.

Best action for any trout comes between 1 and 3 p.m. - the sun is up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the more open sections - the tighter canyon sections may not see any sun at all - still plenty of snow on the ground - if you hit it just right it can be outstanding - quiet, serene, clear water & that mystical feeling when you set & feel that head shaking on the other end of the leader.

Week ending December 8th, 2005 (covers 2 weeks from November 25th)

Flow was raised from 35 cfs to 70 cfs on the morning of November 29th, then dropped to 50 cfs on the 2nd of December, but, thankfully, back up to 80 cfs on the 5th - with the higher flows, sludge has not been a major problem most days upstream of Scraggy View.

Had the first a.m. temperature below 0 deg ( - 2 ) on the 29th of November, but it climbed to a high of 48 deg. by that afternoon - then this last week the bottom dropped out - On the 5th, 6th & 7th I recorded early a.m. temps of ( - 8 ), ( - 4 ) & ( - 12 ), respectively - no days were above a high of 32 degrees. Then this morning it just plain got COLD ! Minus 26 degrees, 26 below "0", and that is not applying any wind chill.

Storms over the weekend left about 6" of snow on the ground, then high winds on Tuesday (50 - 60 mph gusts) made some deeper drifts, had flurries off and on but no more accumulation - roads into the valley can be pretty slick in areas.

We are due for a thaw this weekend - highs in the mid to upper 40's, so you can expect some clouding of the river as bank and feeder creek ice melts - sludge and melting ice could be a problem depending on the overnight lows - more so the further you move downstream from the dam. Water looked great through Deckers / Trumbull yesterday around noon - that was with a high of 10 degrees - by 5:30 p.m. the temp was ( - 5 ).

Before this latest drop in temps I had found some very nice midge activity, bringing some of the trout to the surface around 1 p.m. - small For-n-Aft, Para Adams or small dark Hackle Wing did the trick - found some sitting right off a shelf of bank ice - very tricky cast & drift & even when you got it right it was not a sure thing - but we fooled a few.

Nymphs and midge patterns right along the bottom are now the rule - until you see a nose poking up ! Stay low, watch your shadow & generally be as sneaky as you can - takes are very light and very quick - but taking they are.

Week ending November 24th, 2005

Flow remained steady at 45 cfs until Monday, 21st, when it was dropped to 35 cfs. The flow downstream from Trumbull is closer to 50 cfs when you add the input from the feeder creeks.

With this low flow, coupled with the overnight low temperatures (many mornings in the single digits) the sludge hatch gets pretty thick below Sway Back Ranch (frozen, but moving water) - most mornings the river is unfishable below Bridge Crossing until late a.m or early p.m. I am taking morning water temperatures in the mid 30's, but most days it warms up to the low 40's.

I have not seen any May Flies for the last week or so, but have found some great midge hatches & isolated pods of trout sipping them off the surface form early afternoon on through to dusk. The sun now crests the east range at 7:45 a.m. & drops over the west at 4 p.m. - some sections of the river in the tighter canyons are seeing little to no sun during the day.

Most days warm up to low 50's - on up to low 60's - bright, sunny, crisp days with little to no wind. I have pretty much given up on the dry / dropper for the year (with the exception of the midge risers, then I cast a single imitation and squint very hard - these are a small midge - the biggest hook size I could get away with was a #22)

With the low flow and gin clear water, I have been casting a weighted nymph with a trailing midge or emerger, using a very small indicator about 3' above the nymph, and working from my knees most of the time. I add some weight when I get to a deeper, fishy looking run, then remove it to fish the shallower sections.

Week ending November 17th, 2005

Flow has remained steady at 45 cfs. With the low flow and the very COLD nights, I have found the first "sludge hatch" of the year (frozen but moving water on the 16th & 17th) almost impossible to fish through until it melts off around 9 or 10 a.m. - longer the further downstream you get from Deckers. The river remains gin clear (except for some ice/snow melt causing light brown water in Horse Creek on the 16th, from snow storms on the 14th / 15th).

I recorded an air temperature of 4 degrees in the early morning hours of the 16th, and 12 degrees on the 17th - that was with the sun out - then it started to snow at 11 a.m., true blizzard at times - water temp. of 37 degrees (first time below 40 degrees this season) - and yes - I was guiding, once again in a blizzard - but it is so beautiful & the wind was really not too bad & the client kept hooking up.... so you keep going 'cause you know that just around the corner is the cabin & a warm fire... and we kept hooking up!

Surface action is slowing down, but Blue Wing Olives can still be found hatching here & there - usually after noon - lightly weighted nymphs & midge patterns have been the best producers - The dry / dropper is getting tougher to pull off - but I continue to try. My client on the 16th, Peter S., fooled half a dozen with a Para Adams during some brief surface action in a favorite run of mine - that was a bunch of fun.

Air temps warm up nicely on most days - mid 50's to 60's (except for the 17th when it reached 35 in that blizzard)

I am sighting the Bald Eagles every day now - some tandem aerial shows have been spectacular - like old friends meeting at a favorite stretch of river - except 50 to 100 feet up - and it seems - really happy to be here.

That big buck is still around - He and his new harem were camped out on the property on Monday morning the 14th - they spent the night - one doe in the terraced wild flower garden - he under the old "C" band satellite dish, another doe out front, and 3 yearling fawns (I think the triplets) all bedded down just south of the garden.

If you happened to be on the river below Wig Wam Club (actually TP Club) on Saturday the 12th and saw the river go greenish brown for a few hours - and very unfishable - you once again have the folks at the Y.M.C.A. Camp Shadybrook to thank - they were, again, with complete disregard to those that recreate downstream, dumping foul water from the pond on the property into 4 Mile Creek, then into the main river. I drove up to the Camp, but was denied access to inspect the cause by the resident director (female this time) - when I asked HER to check what was happening, she said "nothing, we are doing no work" - when pressed to explain why the creek was now high and brown, when at 8 a.m. it was clear and low with no rain in the area - her response was "Maybe God" - I am not kidding - I had no response, but I once again reported them - nothing has been done to date.


Week ending November 10th, 2005 ( Covers 2 weeks from October 27th )

Flows have remained steady at 45 cfs from Cheesman dam - more like 65 cfs below Deckers bridge when you add the still high flows from the feeder creeks. River remains gin clear from the dam to the old South Platte Hotel at Two Forks. I am surprised that the flow has not been raised - went to 45 cfs on October 10th - I thought just for the DOW population surveys - but an increase has not happened & on the 9th of November the flow from Roberts Tunnel on the North Fork was cut to 30 cfs from 100 - It does make the top of Waterton canyon very appealing.

Took a water temp on Nov. 6th of 38 degrees, but the average has been mid to low 40's. Morning air temps are still mostly mid 20's, but ranging up to high 50's - 60's and even low 70's by the afternoon these past few days - pretty incredible. Strong winds on the 3rd & 4th made things difficult - but those have been the exception. Sun crests the east range just after 7 a.m., and drops off to the west by 4 - dark by 5 p.m.

Sunday, the 30th of October I guided a client from the East Coast - excellent angler - and we went a full day - through a.m. sun, then some light rain, then some wind, then heavy rain - more wind - then snow - we didn't even break for lunch. Fooled a bunch of trout, got soaked, but one riser that I spotted taking Blue Wing Olives just inside of a rip current behind a rock - a challenge - I had 2 rods rigged for him & switched the dry / dropper to a single May Fly pattern - 4th cast landed perfectly (such a bitch of a spot) 2 foot drift, slurp, set & yes - 15" electric colored Rainbow - fish of the day - not the biggest hooked - but the most rewarding - I had a raging fire going at the cabin 5 minutes after we opened the door to break down the rods.

On the morning of the 4th, as I sat at the desk replying to e-mails, a HUGE RACK drifted by the window - between the cabin & the garden - I could have reached out & pinched him. From my angle, all I saw was the rack - got up and went to the next window - sure enough, he was following a pretty little doe - at a respectful distance - this buck was bigger than the one mount hanging in the cabin - absolutely regal - and definitely strutting his stuff - watched him go down to the river and make a BIG show of swiping his antlers on a dead cottonwood covered with vines - she ignored him - but they were back that night & the next morning - guess it worked.

Hatches of Blue Wing Olives have been steady, depending on where you are - when it is good the trout slurp them off the surface with complete abandon - the right drift with the right fraud gets 'em most times - action can start as early as 11:30 a.m. and goes all afternoon. With the low flow and clarity of the water you really have to be sneaky - you would be amazed at how many trout you have spooked - and you will never know it.

I still cast the dry dropper, but until the trout are looking up, it's pretty slow - working small midge & nymphs in the deeper runs produces all the time - but I sure like casting that dry to fishy spots and waiting for that surprise.


Week ending October 27th, 2005

Flow from the dam stayed steady all week at 45 cfs - more like 60 cfs below Deckers bridge through Trumbull. Water is crystal clear, could use a little more flow, but it has been as perfect as you could want.

Had the first overnight temperature below 20 degrees on the 24th ( 17 to be exact ) - but I have also recorded some mornings in the high 30's. Day time temps have reached high 50's to mid 60's with the occasional windy mid afternoons - usually dies out by 3 or 4 p.m.. Water temperatures remain in the mid 40's.

I continue to cast a dry with a dropper, although demonstrating my nymphing techniques to a client on Monday, we picked up a lot of trout working the deeper runs - takes are slower in the a.m.'s, but activity really picks up by 11 on through to dusk. Blue Wing Olives continue to hatch from late mornings until late afternoon with occasional caddis - but the caddis seem to be winding down for the year.

Keep in mind that the clocks are changed on Saturday night, so the sun will be cresting the east range an hour earlier - 7 a.m. - but falling away over the west at 4:30 or so - the bugs don't know we do this - so the hatches should come off a little earlier by your watch.


Week ending October 20th, 2005

Flow stayed steady all week at 40 - 45 cfs and the river is gin clear from the dam to Two Forks. I expect the flow to be increased now that the DOW Trout population surveys have been completed. Water temps have been in the low to mid 40's, morning air temps remain in the high 20's reaching anywhere from mid 50's to 70's - still plenty of colors on the Aspens & Cottonwoods - absolutely picture ( & fishing ) perfect.

Storm on 19th had no effect on the river, we had light a.m. rains in Deckers, clouds all day and some wind, pretty chilly, but that was about it.

I participated in the DOW survey on Monday, checking the lower section of Cheesman Canyon. Very humbling to realize haw many Rainbows and Browns are in a stretch of river, and most days you only get a few of them. Netted some fantastic Trout - one big Brown had a Barr emerger and 6" of tippet hanging from his jaw - which was removed and saved by Angus, an excellent guide & one of 5 volunteers from the Peak Fly Shop, including Brad, who pulled one of the carts this year (I volunteered, honest, but after 2 years as cart puller, I guess I was promoted this year to back-up netter - next year I'm gonna try for a probe position)

Jeff Spohn and crew did the usual efficient & proffessional job - fun to work with these guys - steady regulars & even Greg Gerlich was on the front line, up to his waist & enjoying the day.

They also supplied me with 6 signs to post regarding the "No Bait" & "Bag & Possession Limit" restrictions from Wig Wam Club to Scraggy View - I should have them up by next week. I have been, on a regular basis, catching poachers & politely informing them of the restrictions - except for 2 guys that killed and gutted 5 beautiful Rainbows from 10 to 15 inches just upstream from Sway Back Ranch - caught on worms - Canadian Night Crawlers as I recall - I was NOT very polite.

Mark M. visited the guide service this week from Ohio. I rented the 2 bedroom cabin adjacent to my property for him as a base camp for Tuesday & Wednesday night. Our p.m. session on Tuesday had ( conservatively ) 30 Trout hooked - 90 % on the surface - a.m. session on the 19th had another 20 - mainly on the dropper ( I left at 1 p.m. while he continued on his own - he returned to the cabin at 6 p.m. and said he had at least another 20) - now these are conservative estimates of Trout hooked and this is an extremely fine angler - cast, mending, line management, drift, set ( a few goofy ones at first, huh Mark ) - all top notch. At times, if we didn't have a take after the 3rd drift, we became concerned and checked the flies.

I continue to cast a dry / dropper all day - Blue Wing Olives hatching from 11 a.m. on with Caddis here and there & trout rising happily up and down the river.

If you have ever considered a trip on the South Platte River - this is the time.


Week ending October 13th, 2005

Flow from the dam was dropped radically this week from 150 cfs to 50 cfs on the 10th, to a final current flow of 43 cfs. This low rate really gives you an idea of how much gravel has intruded into the river (from the Hayman fire) & how much habitat has been lost - very concerning, especially from Wig Wam Club down to Scraggy View & even some sections of the Canyon.

The flow is down mostly due to the annual DOW population surveys being conducted this upcoming week. The first day of the electro shocking will be Monday the 17th. Jeff Spohn, area DOW Biologist, has told me they have enough crew for the 17th, but could use a few more for the 18th & 19th if any are interested. Start time on the 18th & 19th will be 8:30 a.m. at Flies & Lies in Deckers (look for DOW trucks in front or behind the shop). Dress WARM, bring waders (not hip boots) & expect to cover a 100 yard stretch while pulling a trout cart through the river - great exercise - then the process is repeated - at the same site.

Water temps have remained in the mid 40's. I have recorded sunrise air temps as low as 23 degrees, but except for a few days this week, the mid a.m. temps have been very comfortable. Still plenty of color left on the trees & shrubs. The snow storm on the 10th (all day long - started here in Deckers Sunday night around 11 p.m.) did not leave much on the ground (3 - 4 inches) and did not affect the river at all - the creeks are still low & clear & conditions are as near to perfect as it can get from the dam to the old South Platte Hotel.

A reliable report from the Canyon (I still have not gotten in this fall) has it fishing great. May Flies (both Pale Morning Duns & Blue Wing Olives) coming off from about noon on through the day - with some fantastic action to be had. I have found the same conditions up & down the river - not too many PMD's, but Trico spinner falls (sporadic) & some major Olive Hatches - Trout start rising around 1:30 or 2 p.m. - cloudy, cooler days are best. I continue to fish a dry / dropper until I find specific targets - then switch to a single May Fly imitation.

Roberts Tunnel flow has also been cut to 50 cfs - so the North Fork should also be great for some surface action.

First of the Bald Eagles have arrived for the winter. I have spotted one mature bird & one immature bird this week along with at least 4 different Ospreys, a few Red Tail Hawks & one other Raptor that I could not identify.

Week ending October 6th, 2005

Flow was dropped on the afternoon of the 29th from 175 cfs to 103 cfs (has not been that low since late April, 2005). The river has been gin clear all week, conditions were perfect - except for the afternoon winds. Flow was increased to 150 cfs on Thursday afternoon (6th), but should not affect conditions from the Canyon to Two Forks - actually should be a little better.

Water temps have remained in the mid to low 40's, with air temps ranging from high 20's before sunrise, all the way up to low 80's - but we have had windy p.m. conditions (Tuesday the 4th had gusts up to 50 mph, knocked out power here in Deckers for a few hours) - found a few downed trees & limbs up & down the river. Had some scattered rain showers, just enough to wet down things, but not enough to affect water clarity.

Blue Wing Olives continue to hatch each day starting around 11 a.m. on through the afternoon, but locating risers can be tricky, if the wind is up & the sun is out it is a real challenge. I have seen isolated Trico mating swarms up & down the river - some have been huge - just like the old days and Caddis seem to pop up at any time.

DOW will be conducting the annual Trout population survey this month - week of the 16th is the target - the flow is scheduled to be dropped to 50 cfs on that Sunday and volunteers can call 303-291-7368 to sign up, but all are welcome to observe. It is a real eye opener to participate & always a great crew from DOW and the Forest Service.

I continue to fool Trout al day with a dry / dropper set up, most are on the dropper until 11 a.m. or so when the action really picks up. If I locate steady surface feeders I switch to the single imitation and cast to targets, but even if I see only sporadic splashes, I have had a fine time casting a para Adams to fishy spots and being rewarded with a beautiful rise and take more often than not - with the clear water and low flow it truly is a sight to behold - out of a seemingly vacant spot, a form appears, it turns into a trout - and eats my offering - sometimes so innocently one might even hesitate to set the hook.

Yeah, right.

Week ending September 29th, 2005

Flows stayed pretty steady all week, dropping from 335 cfs to 235 cfs on Friday the 23rd and then down to 175 cfs on Wednesday afternoon the 28th. Water clarity was off due to rain on the 22nd, but was clearing nicely by the afternoon of the 23rd & was looking great at 235 cfs until the heavy rain in the early morning hours of the 28th (started around 3 a.m. until 5 a.m.) turned Horse Creek brown & 4 Mile Creek was very ugly ("Y" Camp again?)

Above Deckers Bridge was fine by Wednesday afternoon & I found an "Old Time" Blue Wing Olive hatch mid afternoon - risers everywhere - 50 degree air temp & still cloudy - just about perfect.

River survey this morning, Thursday the 29th, showed all creeks clear and the river perfect at 175 cfs all the way downstream (I stopped at Scraggy) but it should all be fine - fast recovery, great flow rate, clear water - If I wasn't guiding an afternoon trip, you could not keep me out of the river with a dry fly today.

Have again had some great clients to work with. Most of the time we have been able to cast a tan hopper with a bead head nymph about 2 feet below and fooling lots of Trout, but nymphing still produced the biggest.

Spent the day with Bud & Jerol on the 24th - really nice couple - lots of laughing while trying to wade through the 235 flow in hip boots - at one point Bud yells out "I've got two" as he hooked another rainbow - I thought to myself you've had a lot more than two so far - but he meant two on the line right now! - Honest, in one drift he managed to fool TWO RAINBOWS - one on my famous San Juan Worm & the other on a Pheasant Tail - I netted them both, and this was the first time either had ever cast a fly.

Last of the Hummingbirds have departed for the south. The Does & this years Fawns are starting to herd up. The triplets and mom are still going solo - all four were on the back slope this week, headed down to the river - 5 minutes later a nice Buck was right on thier trail - 20 feet from the lunch porch - that time of year. Had a group of 12 Does & Fawns on the front lawn Tuesday morning - I love to watch those big herds cross the river - the little ones are getting pretty good at it.

The Aspens, Cottonwoods, Willows & shrubs are all getting close to peak colors. Air temperatures remain in the mid 30's in the early mornings, reaching highs of 70 to 80. Winds have been gusting in the mid afternoons, but usually go calm from 4 or 5 p.m. until dark. Water temps have stayed in the low to high 40's all week.


Week ending September 22nd (covers 2 weeks from September 9th)

Flows from the dam have been all over the place these past 2 weeks. On the 9th it was bumped up from 247 cfs to 275 cfs, then just as quickly dropped on the 10th down to 237 cfs - on the 14th it was back up to 300 cfs, down to 200 cfs on the 16th, up to 279 cfs on the 20th, then up to 340 cfs on the 21st (Roberts Tunnel on the North Fork has been undergoing similar fluctuations).

Needless to say, these radical fluctuations have made angling a bit tough, but on Tuesday the 20th it was about as perfect as it gets (before the increase to 279 cfs from 200). The river was clear and fishing nicely through Deckers today (22nd), but still off color down through Scraggy (due to the increase from 279 to 340). Seeing Caddis, May flies & midges throughout the day - depends on clarity and flow, if the Trout rise to any of them - pay close attention to slow water areas (2' deep or less) and tight to the banks, if you want to try a dry / dropper - otherwise get enough weight on and drag the deep holes.

Had the first air temperatures below freezing from the 15th through the 20th (low of 28 one morning) - pretty much wiped out the vegetable garden - but it was a good run, all the vegetables came in nicely - even the corn. Managed to keep the deer & bunnies out this year with some creative fencing, then one evening the bean plants started to sway - but there was no wind - went out and found a #@!?*&% gopher had tunneled UNDER - he was taking bean plants off at the trunk and dragging them (whole) down into his tunnel! - I was out of .22 rounds - only had the shotgun - and if I used it I was gonna wipe out the beans anyhow.

He ended up getting most of them - but now I have some ammo for the .22 (hollow points !!) - sure hope he enjoyed his been salad.

Water temps have ranged mainly in the low to high 40's & clarity has been OK to excellent, depending on flow & how far downstream you go. Had pretty good rain today and on the 14th and overnight on the 21st, but it had no effect on the river.

The Aspens, Cottonwoods & Willows are all turning - pretty incredible with all the colors - my favorite time of year - have had some great days with clients fooling plenty of Trout, hopefully the flows will drop and stabilize from the dam - the next 8 weeks should be incredible.

If you happened to be fishing the morning of Monday the 12th, and saw the river turn brown around 10 a.m. below Deckers, it was not from a flow increase - it was from the people at Y.M.C.A. Camp Shady Brook - draining the camp pond once again into 4 Mile Creek and into the river. Their total (continual) disregard for those who recreate on the South Platte below 4 Mile Creek is nothing short of appalling. I have caught them at this time & time again - one incident resulted in the management of the Camp being cited by law enforcement for illegal discharge - but they just do not seem to care.


Week ending September 8th, 2005 (covers 2 weeks from August 26th)

Talked to the boys at the dam on Aug. 26th and they said the water clarity out of the pipes was clear, but the river through the Canyon was still off on September 3rd when I hiked in for a morning session. Wig Wam Creek has remained unaffected by all the storms and had been flowing gin clear, Horse Creek cleared by the 2nd. 4 mile Creek continues to run brown & ugly, but not too high.

The river has been fishable all the way to Two Forks, just not very clear. Flow remained steady at 194 cfs for the past 2 weeks & the off color has been a little baffling - I still think the water out of the dam is slightly turbid.

Then on the 7th (yesterday) the flow was bumped to 250 cfs late in the morning & by 2 p.m. it was unfishable through Deckers. This latest increase will have to move all the residue left from the high run off from 2 weeks ago, but should be clear ( fishable ) for the weekend & hopefully by today.

Heavy rains and Thunderstorms on the afternoon of the 6th did not affect the river - always a good sign.

I am finding small, isolated Trico spinner falls in some sections, but not like pre-fire days - good news is that they ARE still around. Fall Caddis are starting to hatch up & down the river and returning to lay eggs - some good surface action can be had from early p.m. on to dusk. Blue Wing Olives, Pale Morning Duns and assorted other unknown May Flies can be found from 11 a.m. on through the afternoon.

The river bottom is thick with cased caddis - they are all over the place in assorted sizes - some as long as 3/4 of an inch.

I have been "fishing the water" with a dry / dropper rig and having a ball, even with the water off color - tight to the banks, back eddies and deeper riffles are all producing. With the higher flow, nymphing will still be the most productive, but if I think I can drag a few up to the surface, I stay dry.

Worked the private ranch over the past few weeks and it was incredible - lots of action and some very large Trout - again the dry / dropper was deadly when fished correctly - this is a very technical stretch of water - challenging (to say the least) for the competent fly caster - but very rewarding when approached correctly.


Week ending August 25th 2005 (covers 2 weeks from August 11th)

This has not been a banner 2 week period for river conditions. The river was gin clear all the way downstream on the 12th, then the first of 3 - 4 major storm cells hit the area that evening, the flow was raised to 275 cfs during the 13th and the river was unfishable below the Canyon. Started to clear by the 15th, then the flow was raised to 335 cfs and once again she was unfishable. Another strong cell hit on the night of the 16th - biggest of the year - hail, wind, rain - back to unfishable through a.m. of the 17th, but it started to clear by that evening.

Flow was dropped to 279 on the 18th & it was clear through Trumbull by the 19th, managed to get in some good trips through the morning of the 21st (Sunday) - then all hell broke loose in the burn area - negligible rain in Deckers, but this cell was so intense that even the Canyon blew out. Sitting on the porch at 6 p.m., I watched the new gravel bar across the river disappear under black water - in one hour - the flow had been dropped to 220 during the day, so the deluge must have come in between 150 & 200 cfs.

Monday a.m. survey showed Horse Creek & 4 Mile Creek ugly, but not too high, water was still ugly through Wig Wam Club, but found Wig Wam Creek gin clear - did not have time to hike in, but the dry gulches (Schoonover probably), must have blown out.

River was unfishable all the way, started to clear through Deckers by Thursday evening - have not been able to reach the boys at the dam, trying to confirm that the water leaving the outlet pipes is clear, because this latest brown water is lasting a long time, much longer than expected. We have had rain, heavy at times, every night for the last few weeks - and it all depends on where it hits, and how hard - the storm on the 21st hit due south east of Deckers - could not have been in a more vulnerable spot.

I expect the river to clear by this weekend & once again to fish great - as it was before & in between these storms.

Still have not seen Tricos in any numbers, (like I am on other sections) but seeing scattered Pale Morning Duns and Blue Wing Olives - got into a great hatch & rise in the afternoon of the 19th - trout all over the place - Parachute Adams #20 did the trick, even took a few (1 big brown) on a Caddis pattern.


Week ending August 11th ( plus Friday, August 12th )

By the 5th the river was clearing, then the flow was quickly dropped to 100 cfs (to my great surprise - I had predicted it to go UP) - and it did, 24 hours later, to 200 cfs in one a.m. flush out - of course that was a Saturday morning & the water was unfishable in Deckers by 2 p.m..

Just as it started to clear through Deckers, it was bumped again, Sunday morning, to 260 cfs - had the same effect as Saturday - by noon the water was again way off - and so were the trout.

Things started to clear by Tuesday through Trumbull, but it was still off color from Scraggy downstream on Thursday - then the flow was dropped to 200 cfs Thursday a.m. (where it now stands) - by Friday the 12th, the whole river was clear and beautiful - all the way to Two Forks - and it fished great - right up to about 7 p.m.

Then, with no rain in Deckers, but some pretty nasty storm cells over the burn area, Four Mile & Horse Creeks blew out badly - I had not seen that color water, that high, for a long time - last year as I recall. It was ugly - and I thought the drainage had finally cleared out all of the nasty stuff - but I was wrong. This must have been an intense cell - and as far as I could tell, it did not affect the Canyon, or even the upper drainage of Horse Creek - seemed to be centered directly south / south east of Deckers. I won't know until an early Saturday survey, how bad it was, but it looked pretty nasty.

Due to the inconsistent flows and the on / off rains the fishing was pretty tough all week. Depending on the flow (up or down) the trout move - and when they do, they do not feed consistently - this is especially true of radical increases or drops (like 50 to 100 cfs at a time !!!) - a spot they were holding and feeding in at 200 cfs does not have enough water at 100 cfs, so the trout finds a new, more comfortable lie, but then at 200 cfs the new spot is too much to hold in - so off they go again - of course they meet, push each other out of the best lies - and pretty much ignore your best efforts.

I expect the river to clear in a couple of days, but more rain is in the forecast, so it all depends on how much, but more important - where it hits - I was very pleased with the conditions & recovery so far this year from all of the storms - but this one will be a real test - fingers crossed - because on Friday, when things had settled down - it really was beautiful, and trout rose to attractors all day, then to a Parachute Adams in the evening during a small hatch.


Week ending August 4th (Covers 2 weeks from July 22nd)

Heavy storm cell up in the wilderness area on the night of July 24th caused Wig Wam Creek to flash flood (up about 18" in a matter of hours) & clouded the river up below the Canyon for the day, but it dropped just as quickly, then the flows from the dam began to become erratic - all the way up to 292 on evening of the 27th (from 162 cfs on the 21st), so I called the boys at the dam to see what was going on. Reply was that they were releasing exactly the flow that was entering the reservoir, to avoid any flow over the spillway. That's a lot of water coming from somewhere.

These higher flows put the clarity off (and some of the action) until the 30th, and all was gin clear again by the 31st of July. Flow was dropped gradually back down to the current 203 cfs, but after the rains over the 3rd & today, I would think that the flow will be increased again.

Now for the latest storms on the 3rd & 4th - At 3 p.m. on the 3rd, 4 Mile Creek blew out pretty badly and the river through Deckers was unfishable by 4 p.m., by 8 p.m. the brown run off had clouded the rest of the river down to Two Forks (Old South Platte Hotel). Heavy rains over night had me very concerned, but my 6 a.m. survey today showed a surprisingly unaffected river - it is by no means gin clear, and it still continues to rain this a.m., but only 4 Mile & Horse Creek are brown & not too high. Cheesman Canyon down to 4 Mile Creek is gin clear, above Deckers is fishable, and below Deckers is borderline - I expected a lot worse.

Dry / Dropper set ups were working great when the flow is less than 200 cfs (really good at 170 cfs or below) and the water is clear - gets a little tougher when the flow is over 200 cfs or the clarity is off. Dead drifting the correct nymphs has been producing a lot of takes & some frantic action.

Bugs - Pale Morning Duns continue to hatch every day - from 11 a.m. on, best around 3 to 4 p.m., on into the evening - seeing occasional Blue Wing Olives and Caddis during the day, and then, yesterday, I saw the first Tricos around 10 a.m. - only a few, but I caught one and it sure enough was.

Some of the swallows have already departed for the south (at least the group that uses the cabin as home base) and the triplets (3 fawns born to one doe a few weeks ago) are growing rapidly and extending their explorations around the cabin. Bear sightings continue to come to my attention - 1 small one (150 pounder) is becoming a little too inquisitive around some of the cabins in Trumbull and Deckers.

I am expecting flows (raised) and clarity (off) for a few days - but you never know - could be great by tomorrow - If I finish some overdue chores today, I may go out for a little R & D this afternoon (I call it Research & Development, my friends call it *!@#%*! off)

Week ending July 21st, 2005 (again covers 2 weeks)

Flow rates continue to be controlled by the outflow pipes, eliminating the flow over the spillway and keeping water temperatures in a very productive high 40's to high 50's - depending on time of day.

River remains gin clear from Cheesman Dam to the old South Platte Hotel, despite some good rain on the 14th & 15th, and light showers on the 17th - mainly incredible blue skies, HOT afternoons, very beautiful, but very DRY - please be careful with ANY open flames.

Overnight air temps drop into the mid to high 40's, but we have seen some days in the mid 90's - typical for the valley - 40 to 50 degree swings are an every day event (even in the winter)- Hats, Sun Block (I use SPF 70 - I am not kidding) & Polarized Glasses are the rule of the day.

Things can slow down during early afternoons (late mornings) - but I continue to get clients into some great dry / dropper action and steady nymph fishing through the whole day - usually back to the cabin for cheeseburgers and a break at noon, then back out for the p.m. session.

Flow from the dam is currently 162 cfs - just about perfect - hit a high for the past 2 weeks of 174 on the 13th, from a low of 138 cfs on the 8th - just does not get any better than this & soon the tricos will start & the fall Olives soon after - boy do I love the fall.

Roberts tunnel (the North Fork) has been as high as 614 cfs on the 10th, then down to the current 175 cfs, still pretty high for good action (usually dry attractor season) but things should improve as the rates stabilize through the next few weeks.

Have not been in the Canyon in weeks (mainly due to crowds - the new parking lot can be full by 10 a.m. - that's 30 slots!!!) so I continue to work other sections - no crowds - great action - and on the 19th, a 17"+ 'Bow (taped), on my Caddis, in almost 3' of water - she slammed it - fought well, the angler was good (and patient) - pictures were taken - big old belly & shoulders - morning session, no hatch going on - just fishing the water.


Week endung July 7th, 2005

Flow is now controlled by the outflow pipes once again & boy did it cool down the river. I had taken temps in the mid to high 60's when it was mostly over the spillway, now I am seeing high 40's (in the a.m.) to high 50's later in the day. River is gin clear throughout and at a great flow of 140 cfs I have once again returned to fishing a dry / dropper rig and having a ball. Chucking weighted nymph rigs will still produce more & bigger trout as always, but sure is fun to drag a few up just fishing the water.

Most success is slow drifts close to the banks - I use a favorite Caddis pattern with a bead head nymph on a 2 foot dropper - works best in a.m., evening or when the clouds form up during early afternoon.

Finding Pale Morning Duns here & there starting around 11 a.m., sporadic spinner falls in the early evenings and still finding the Caddis hatch from 6 - 7 p.m. until its too dark to see (and the noises in the willows all sound like bears)

Lots of boomers in the late afternoons, but no significant rain in or around Deckers - air temps are still in low to mid 40's in a.m., but gets HOT during day - high 80's to 90's.

Robets Tunnel was reopened this week & the North Fork is really raging. Flow from the tunnel is now 530 cfs (can't recall when it was that high), 615 cfs at Grant & estimated 700 cfs when it meets up with the main Fork at the old South Platte Hotel - sure am glad the main fork is in great shape.


Week ending June 30th, 2005 (covers 2 weeks from June 16th)

Flows continue to fall over the spillway from Cheesman dam. Depending on rain in the area, so goes the flow downstream. In the 2 week period the flow has been all over the place, from 269 cfs on 16th, to 198 on 19th, back up rapidly to a high of 287 on the 25th, then down to the present flow of 185 cfs (lowest since the end of April)

The water clarity has been fantastic to unfishable, depending on area rains and where they hit. Hit pretty hard on the 20th, then it cleared by the 23rd, then hit very hard that night & the following evening (flow went from 225 to 287 due to those 2 storms) - but it is presently clear and fishing great down to the old South Platte hotel ( Two Forks ).

Then, this a.m., I received a call from the boys at the dam. They are now starting to open up the outflow pipes in an effort to eliminate the flow over the spillway - the outflow is presently at 50 cfs, the spillway at 130 cfs - the plan is to open the outflow in 50 cfs increments, until the outflow exceeds the spillway, the reservoir level drops, and once again the flow will be regulated only by the outflow pipes. This will have a cooling effect on the river which is a good thing - but until it is equalized, the flows will be up & down - love it when these decisions are made over weekends - especially a holiday weekend.

Good news is that the river clears quickly, much faster than the past 2 years, due to the higher flows from the dam & the feeder creek run off that is a more normal brown after heavy rains, rather than the dark brown to black water of the past 2 years (and the feeders do not get as high - with the exception of 4 Mile Creek, that rose almost 3 feet briefly overnight on the 23rd) but the spreading decomposed granite is still a real concern.

Still, plenty of trout if you know how to approach it, and the evening to dusk caddis hatch is as thick as I have ever seen - bugs in my ears, nose & eyes - and a bunch of trout gorging on them - big old bellies too. - best from 8 to 9 p.m. if the wind is down & you find it - but it seems to be happening up & down the river.

Great group from Dallas on the 23rd, fished with me last year & returned - lots of action, some nice size Trout & sure enough, the rookie Aric had the most productive day & his 2 man group (He & Greg), with lead guide Mark Murphy, really slammed 'em. Lots of smiles and hootin & hollerin - always a fun day.

Another doe down in the bunny thicket has had triplets - looks like a real handful - they can't be more than 2 feet tall - all 4 grazing (and hopping) on the front lawn this a.m.

Nesting blue birds (1st time at the cabin) and a pair of house wrens (annual event in the same house) have completed the cycle, raised the babies (3 each) and are now out in the wild - seems to happen so fast. I leave the porch light on overnight, to see what bugs are hatching (bunch of caddis) & it also acts as an all you can eat sunrise buffet for the nesting parents - easy pickin's - nest to light to nest to light - makes big, noisy babies.

Week ending June 16th, 2005 (covers days from June 4th to date)

Flows continue to be erratic and over the spillway. Went from 316 cfs on 4th, to 282 on 10th, then back up to 374 on 12th, and finally down to the present flow in the Canyon of 269 cfs. These flows all depend on rain in the higher elevations feeding the creeks that flow directly into Cheesman reservoir.

We have had some good showers in the Deckers area - some real boomers - with hail on the 10th at mid day - but the storms have not affected the lower feeder creeks as yet - a very good sign. The river is currently gin clear to very clear from the dam down to Two Forks - first time since early April that the whole stretch has been fishable.

Seeing a bunch of Caddis in certain sections throughout the day - Pale Morning Duns are coming off from early afternoons to evening & I have also spotted about a dozen HUGE may flies over the past week - size #12 at least - possibly Drakes, have not caught one, so I am not sure what they are, but they are BIG. As the flows abate & the river clears, more Trout are reacting to surface activity.

Bad news is that as the river drops, I am seeing more habitat covered with gravel (decomposed granite) from above the Deckers Bridge all the way through Trumbull & Sway Back Ranch. Some habitat still exists, especially in the faster sections and pocket water, but the amount that has spread downstream is pretty depressing - good news is that I am not seeing any more heavy deposits of gravel in most of the major feeders & it does gradually move out of areas - but some old favorite runs just are not there anymore.

Good news, I am finding Trout everywhere I look - from 6" to over 20" and the Canyon has been producing some incredible action - Dry, Dry/Dropper & Nymphing.

Saw the first fawn of the year in the back yard yesterday - baby was bouncing all around while mom watched, then would bolt back to the willow thicket that seemed like home base - then bolt back out again - same thicket where most of the bunnies hide - must be like a Walt Disney cartoon in that thicket.

Week ending June 2nd (plus Friday June 3rd)

Run off at the dam (and over it) peaked on the 31st of May at 484 cfs (close to 600 cfs in the back yard), then it rapidly dropped to the present flow of 316 cfs - but it seems to have stalled at that rate. This is probably due to some heavy rains this past week in the higher elevations. We did get hit at times in Deckers, but it has not affected the feeder creeks below Cheesman Canyon.

As the flow decreases, the river is clearing nicely - very fishable through Deckers / Trumbull, but still off downstream at Scraggy. River surveys this week have both Horse Creek & Wig Wam Creek very high, but clearing nicely. Four Mile Creek and the other small feeders are low & gin clear. Bad news is that more of the gravel (decomposed granite) has washed down and filled in some of the slower pools. I will not know the full affect until the flow drops more - hopefully this week.

Captain Gary B. and His lovely bride Holly returned again this year to fool some Trout with me (the Captain, not Holly) - river was still high and off in the area, so I took him on a "Fish Along" - (he is an excellent angler) to my alternate site. Rigged up, waded out to a favorite rock, said "chuck it up there" (we started with nymphs), and he did - first drift - Boom - nice Rainbow, 2nd drift nothing, 3rd drift - Boom - nice Brown! Patted him on the back, pointed to a few more runs, and we both got into them. Switched to Dry / Droppers and still slammed them - must have had 40 fish in the 4 hours we stayed - too much fun.

As we were heading back to the trucks (& Holly and the dogs) I spotted a solitary riser (We had been fishing the water with the dry and dragging them up) but this trout was feeding, not a lot, but he came up twice. The Capt. (USAF active) did not see him, but I gave him 2 coordinates (5 feet off that big boulder, 4 feet upstream) and he proceeded to lay out a perfect 40 foot cast - so perfect that 3 feet into the drift a 13" 'Bow rose, slurped and was hooked - a true thing of beauty - what a way to end a day.

We went back on Monday & repeated the performance - such a great alternate site, but I still miss the back. On Friday the 3rd I went out in the area for a little R & D (I get to fish) and did surprisingly well with a dry / Dropper rig (equal number of Trout on both) then switched to a nymph rig to really see what was around - I fooled a lot of Trout - some very nice - yup, it is almost back.

Had a client on Wednesday that had never held a fly rod - started out with some basic instruction with nymphs, he picked it up quickly & started to hook fish (note - the catching / landing came a little later, but not much). He had so much fun, was amazed that this really worked! Switched him to a dry / dropper for the last hour (1/2 day trip) and he made that work too! Missed more than he caught - but now he is hooked!!

Water temps are in high 40's, mid 50's - overnight temps have been mid to low 40's & day times have hit 70. Still seeing light to heavy May Fly Hatches (Olives & PMD's) and many, many Caddis (Small, dark - about a #18) - I have seen some risers in the area, but still nothing consistent (water still too high & dark) - but you can drag them up if you work it correctly. I have not been in the Canyon but reliable reports have it fishing great (if you use the right patterns with the correct weight)

Keep in mind that this is still a very high flow rate. Be carefull wading (basically, if you can't see the bottom where you want to place your foot next - DON'T) unless you know the river VERY WELL - and even that will get you in trouble - the river bottom has changed again after this latest run off.


Week ending May 26th, 2005

Run off continues from Wig Wam Creek and over the Spillway of Cheesman Dam. This run off originates in the higher elevations of Lost Creek Wilderness. Most of it drains direcly into Cheesman, with the exception of Wig Wam Creek, that enters the river at the bottom of the Canyon - the creek you cross over on Gill Trail. The good news is that Horse Creek is slowly abating & clearing (enters at Deckers Bridge & drains the lower elevations from the south & east - also the Hayman burn area via West & Trout Creeks, which join up to create Horse Creek 3 miles from Deckers) . All other feeders are low and clear. We have had no significant rain in the area this past week, just some light sprinkles here & there.

Flow from the dam has risen steadily all week from Friday's flow of 254 to the present flow of 380 cfs - has not been this high since August 9th, 2004 - flow in the back is in the high 400's. The water clarity is not good, but it is fishable (barely), but the high flow makes it a real challenge.

Looks like the North Fork run off has peaked & is coming down slowly. Two Forks (confluence of the North & Main Forks at the old South Platte Hotel) hit 1,000 cfs on the 23rd. Water temps have ranged in the mid to high 40's, overnight air temps were high 30's to high 40's (first week it did not drop below freezing at the cabin) and the highs reached 89, but closer to 70 the majority of the week.

Seeing major Caddis hatch in the Deckers section in a.m., along with sparse May Flies in the afternoons - but no risers due to the clarity. I have not been in the Canyon, but reports have it much clearer than the lower sections & fishing well.

DOW continued the effort to replenish the Trout in the lower sections this past week - on Tuesday they planted 15,000 sub-catchable Rainbows from Deckers down to Scraggy View (5" to 6" ) and another 1,500 catchables below Scraggy - I estimate that combined with last years plantings, DOW has introduced over 30,000 trout to the water from Deckers down to Two Forks (over 2,300 / mile) - a huge boost to the population - and they grow pretty fast too.

Worked the private water on the ranch on Sunday with a client - a good angler - flow was perfect, clarity very good and the caddis were boiling off - rigged two rods, 1 for nymphs, 1 for dries - but we stayed with the dry most of the day - fooled a bunch of nice Browns with the Caddis in the a.m., added a dropper in p.m. and the action continued - when we reached a deep bend hole, I handed him the nymph rod - landed a 17" 'Bow in one & had a bigger one on earlier, but he threw the hook - an incredibly great day - I highly recommend these one mile sections for a days outing.


Week ending May 19th (plus Friday May 20th)

Run off continues - even though we have had no significant rainfall this past week. Four Mile Creek is low & c