February is on the way out. I want a few more of those Rocky Ford Rainbows before it's gone so I make my usual Tuesday trip.
I've come to enjoy the drive, especially since hazardous weather has not been an issue since the first week of January. I make a quick stop at Dry Falls to take a look back into the Pleistocene.
Then it's on to Rocky Ford and the present.
It will be a scud day. A half dozen small trout want a taste of scud, and only scud--though I try to tempt them with other flies.
I keep looking for a better fish. In the evening light, one finally comes--also to a scud.
I close out the light with dries. No go. If only I had a scud dry...
On the walk back to the pickup I hear Killdeers. One more bird to add to the Spring bird list.
Rocky Ford has been my winter option in years past. This year, with an unusually mild winter, it has been my spring option. I discovered as early as the end of January that my tried and true cold weather strategies no longer applied here. I have had to dust off techniques and flies I haven't used in awhile (indicators and nymphs, for example) in order to keep up with the trout as they adapt their feeding patterns to warmer weather and the earlier development of hatches.
You're never too old to learn. And I still have some things to learn. I've seen one old timer here at Rocky Ford--it seems like the same guy even though I've seen it happen several times--very quietly and calmly come out on the bank across from me, make one or two casts, and hook, land, and release a beautiful fish. Then quietly move on. No fuss, no muss.
I would like to learn the ways of this fishery well enough to be that proficient some day.
I hope to make one more February trip. Then I'm really looking forward to continuing my education in March.