Saturday, November 21, 2009

1-70 Grizzly Creek to Glenwood Springs

I went down to 1-70 yesterday for a float on the Colorado below Shoshone with Scott Richter. Scott hooked up with our last blemished hull in the early summer. We got on the river about 1 and pulled off at 4:30. This was a mission to get in a float during the warmest part of the day. I always try to be on the sunny side of the street when heading into missions like this. There wasn't any slush in the river, but plenty of ice on the edges. The rocks where the creeks come in were iced over in a real winter kind of way, and the snow was not melting very fast as far as I could tell. Check out that deep canyon in the background. Beauty.

The temps started at 11 degrees and warmed up to 46. That's pretty balmy in the sun with a couple of layers of fleece and gloves. I have not floated that stretch much. I like it. It's dramatic. The canyon run has plenty of riffles, pour overs, and ledges, and some super fishy water. Just enough rowing dodging stuff to keep you warm. One of the perks floating now is there are no crowds. We saw a couple of duck hunters walking the bank who were watching their dog on the other side of the river looking for a duck, an Amtrack train, and that was about it for humans. The fishing was predicted to be slow, and it was. The water temp is in the high 30s. We saw a dozen or so fish come up in a foamy seam for a light colored midge we saw hatch for about half a mile. We had the best luck having fish chase a size 4 yellow streamer with a lot of feather. I was psyched to see a couple of fish get riled up that were holding in a couple of feet of moving water over rocks off the bank. I know it sounds small, but this time of year with everything around here heading for the deep freeze it's cool to see it. Always on the sunny side of I-70.