It was time to take matters into my own hands. It had been too long since I had held a fish in those hands. I knew where a river ran ice-free and steady all winter long, so I packed up and drove to Rocky Ford Creek.
The Rocky Ford Rainbows were out in force, jumping and rising and leaving big wakes as they moved up and down the waterway.
I started sub-surface with a pretty little bead head Woolly Bugger I'd tied up the night before. It was soon plain that the fish weren't interested in that. So I went to my default mode and tied on a big dry that I had on my vest patch.
It floated high and slow and right away got some bumps and nudges. I stayed with it, and after a long drift a fish came up and mouthed it. I raised the rod and missed. I was able to flick the fly right back to the ripples of that first rise, and the fish came back and took it with authority. Pop went the sound of its mouth closing.
This time I got the hookup.
What a beauty, big and heavy and a challenge to bring in. This fish singleheandedly made up for the last month and a half of fishless days.
Here's the fly that did the trick, a little the worse for wear.
I air-dried it and worked it some more, then decided to try out the "Grizzly Adams" I posted awhile ago. There was a series of rises and swirls out in front of me, so I set the fly down in the middle of them, and a fish instantly came half out of the water and took it.
This one was not as big, but just as beautiful, just as spirited. And just as willing to take a dry fly in December.
The clouds had closed in, the wind had picked up, I was getting cold, and I wanted to get a good start for home before dark. So I reeled in and headed for the truck--a new man.