Sunday, March 6, 2016

Rocky Ford Creek Report: Time and Tippets

You get up ready to hit the road for Rocky Ford.  Things start popping up demanding your attention, and, before you know it, it's past your optimum etd. You go anyway.

It's beautiful at the creek. You're pretty sure the 60 degree barrier has been broken.

It's going to be a short day, so you get right to it and immerse yourself in fishing while the swallows have a circus over the water.

Fish are active, but they aren't easy. There are mays coming off and the fish are on them. You decide to actually match the hatch for once. At the first fly change you clip off the remaining tag of 5X tippet, go to the spool for more, and realize you're out. You can't find any spare spools. You think you might have 6X somewhere in one of your pockets, but you don't.

So much for matching the hatch.

You embrace the 4X (you have plenty of 4X) and tie on a #14 Lady McConnell. You work the feeding fish and get some reaction hits, and a couple of short-lived hookups. But the Lady finally comes through, and a jacked up fish goes for the big bite. You get him in the net. On the first thrash the hook falls out of his lip.

You keep fishing with your heavy gear, and the swallows keep putting on an aerial display. You get your first mosquito bite of the year.

You tie on a #14 black Humpy. It takes some more concentrated effort, but you catch another fish.

As the afternoon fades away you hear a deep gronking from downstream. You look down to the midstream rock thinking the pelicans may have arrived. But it's a pair of cormorants. The rock only holds one bird at a time, and they're arguing about who gets it. Reminds you of Bird Rock on the Henry's Fork, which always had a single cormorant perched on it.

It's dusky now, and you start throwing a small muddler. You get enough bumps and swirls that just before it's too dark to see you tie on a mouse. You work it until you can't see it anymore, and then you work it by ear. You want to stretch out the short day.

Back at the truck, all packed up, you crank the engine over and look at the clock. It's a half hour later than you expected it to be.

The day wasn't as short as you thought.

The world is spinning closer to the sun. In a week we'll turn our clocks ahead an hour. Like the seasonal waterfalls flowing off the high rock walls around here, more and more light is flowing in all the time. The days are stretching out like the green shoots already breaking out of the ground.

Next trip, you'll have plenty of time to stop off and pick up some more 5X and 6X tippet material.

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