Monday, February 15, 2016

Rocky Ford Creek Report: Life Is Good

Another mild Friday calls you to Rocky Ford. You make your way carefully through the fog in a southerly direction. When you get there you can tell the temp has hit it's predicted high in the upper 40's. That's better than the upper 30's, but with the damp and wind it just makes you long for that first really warm day. It will come.

You gear up and then take out that round packing tube. You ordered a new rod as a birthday present for yourself, and it got to the house just as you were ready to leave. Happy birthday to you.

Nothing fancy; in fact, a $49.95 special. But it looks good and feels good when you whip it in the parking lot. You string it up and hike down to the creek.

The chilly wind is making some lovely riffles. You tie on a muddler and begin to cast and strip, etching lines across the water's opaque surface.

A fish likes the look of that. It comes up from beneath and sucks in the fly.

Another fish likes it, too. This one lunges and comes down on the fly. It's a good, heavy rainbow that looks like it's been around the block a few times.

The muddler doesn't get any more attention, so you clip it off for another day. This is one of your muddler ties that survived the season at Trout Lake. It took its share of fish there. Good to see it still taking fish.

You try some dries. Bear's Paw and Callibaetis get a swirl or two with a brisk strip. But no hookups. You like the rod, though. It's stiff enough to easily shoot out the long line necessary for this Rocky Ford bank fishing, and it's 9 foot length keeps the backcast above the cattails--when the wind doesn't collapse the loop.

You go subsurface with a scud. There are days where the fish are on it instantly. This is not one of those days.

But you target rises and wakes and eventually fool an excitable teen.

You select the Red Tag wet, thinking you don't fish enough wet flies here. As if to confirm that thought, you get a quick take. Alan, at Small Stream Reflections, would be pleased. He said that would be the fly.

Then, in short order, another fish on the Red Tag. This one comes from the side, rolling to make the grab. It's one of those hits that make you exclaim with pleasure.

You think you've come up with the perfect system, but the house wins out again. No more hits on the Red Tag. You go back to a muddler.

It works twice. Both fish are wired. The second fish won't stay still for a headshot.

By then its getting dark. If they liked the muddler, they'd surely like a mouse. You tie one on and begin to work the water. Way out in mid river you get a series of bumps and misses. Little guys, you think, but they're hot. You keep going back to them, swimming that mouse under their noses, and get a hook up. Nice.

And again. Pretty.

You keep long-lining out to that channel, and number three hits and sticks. It's a mouse fest!

You work that mouse some more, probing the shorelines and the areas around the cattail islands, still hoping for that monster lying somewhere looking for a big meal. But that will do it.

You pack up and hit the road. The fog is still thick on the flats. You have plenty of time to reflect on a very good day at Rocky Ford.

It was a very good day, but it's going to get better. Twenty minutes from home you stop and pick up your grandson Sebastian.

He's coming to Grandpa and Grandma's house for another fun weekend.

Life is good.


  1. Jim, a few thoughts here.
    First credit for such an outing go's to the angler...second that fly rod at 49.95 is a dream...third your choice of a wet fly, a simple wet fly at that is to be commended....fourth that muddler needs to be retired and placed in a baggie to find it's resting place in your journal.

    And to to that your grandson, he'll be the recipient of all those stories grandpa will tell him.

  2. I've watched you fish the Muddler for several years now and Saturday when I was out at the Pond, I had 3 in my fly box that I intended to use and flat forgot about them. Maybe a note in the box would help this old Geezer remember.