I had to fish on a day that was going to warm up to the high 70's. I decided to go back to Rocky Ford after cutting short my last visit.
Along the way and at home balsam root is beginning to carpet the hillsides. We don't usually see these until May.
I shot past Lake Lenore. There were guys there, but I decided to hold it in reserve a little longer. A lake near home, one I call Early Lake, will open on April 1, so I'll launch the tube there for the first time this year. Later in the month, before Trout Lake opens on the last Saturday, I'll make one more drive south to sample the waters of Lake Lenore.
It was downright balmy at Rocky Ford, another shirt sleeve day. Everything is turning green.
I started fishing with an indicator, but with the amount of surface activity I soon took it off to try my luck on top. I greased a peacock herl soft hackle, began to strip it in slowly, and this pretty little fish was all over it. Then it stopped working.
I tried a little Adams, a mayfly spinner, an elk hair caddis, and a small stimulator with no results. Then I tied on something I worked up the other night inspired by a little black stonefly pattern.
A very nice fish poked his whole head out of the water to intercept it on a brisk strip.
This little guy took it with a splashy rise.
And a second good fish also hit the fly on the strip, this time with a beautiful porpoising take.
As the afternoon moved toward evening the fishing slowed down. Pelicans enjoyed some preening after a long day covering lots of water.
Mosquitoes came out.
And sandhill cranes flew over in long wavy lines.
The fish had stopped rising, so I went back to an indicator and hung a scud under it and fished that as twilight deepened into dusk. I got one little pull, and that was it.
I headed back to the truck. Along the way I passed a garter snake exploring the world after a winter's hibernation. It reminded me of Rocky Ford's reputation for rattlesnakes in the summer.
I won't need to worry about them. With local fishing beginning in just a few days, this was my last trip to Rocky Ford until next winter.
Unless I'm tempted to come back sooner by memories of those big, beautiful Rocky Ford Rainbows.