I had to run down to Glenwood Springs on Thursday, and close the loop on a Yeti front seat retrofit on a guide boat. I always volunteer for this trip, because of good friends in Glenwood, and the chance to float the Lower C. Glenwood sits on the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers. The 'Fork comes out of Aspen proper. Being recognized and managed by the state as Gold Medal water, she's busy for good reason. I love floating the 'Fork, but I really love floating the Colorado. The Colorado runs beside I-70, and is scenic in a big vista kind of way. There are old growth Cottonwoods in places, and above Glenwood, and downstream of Grand Junction there are big canyons, but between Glenwood and Rifle she rolls out into the open sage country bordered by I-70. This is not a typical postcard stretch, but I'm lucky I guess, because I hardly notice cars and trucks going by at75. Whenever I look up to relax my eyes from staring at the water I see thin clouds stretching for miles, and far off 1000 foot tall gray buttes, and farther away hills covered in Pine. I've learned to try not to take my eye away from the game for long on this stretch of the Colorado, because there are some old fashion big fish that swim down there. I have seen what myself and two other people on the boat believe to be a 20 lb Brown trout swim by us in a slough while we were looking for Carp. At first we thought it was a beaver. When it passed us 30 feet away we all knew Brown trout, and not a carp or beaver. Last week a guide caught a legitimate 10 lb Brown down there. The float on Thursday was tough on us with blue skies, lots of bright sun, and a 20 mile an hour wind for a chunk of the afternoon. We kept hooks in the water all day, cut knots, and retied. We caught a bunch of Brown trout, one rainbow, and no really big ones. They ate the girdle bug all day, an olive and white bunny, the nymph formerly known as, and even the big foam terristicator. I had a blast. We didn't see one other boat all day.
I had the pleasure of floating the Yampa last night. It was a float trip with a couple from Colorado Springs who bid on the trip at a Project Healing Waters fundraiser. We are a month or so ahead of schedule this summer as far as run-off. The flows down in Milner are close to 500 cfs. This is low for us down there but doable. Last night the river went off like I haven't seen in quite awhile. We had a little shower roll through around 4 which put the caddis and sallies down. They were coming off pretty good, and the fish were up on them. It was good, and steady, and they were catching fish. If we didn't catch another fish at this point it would have been a good day. We waited out the sprinkles, and about an hour after the shower the wind totally disappared. The air had a real, real still feel to it, and the temperature came up a little bit in the last of the sunshine. I don't know all the reasons, but this made for a perfect situation for pmds, caddis, sallies, and two colors of a big drake to come off in thick thick numbers.The fish responded. My passengers aimed at the slurpers. I can still see a big bubble the size of tennis ball on the water's surface after a big head slurped a Drake off the top. The bubble traveled down the foam line for a second or two when a little brown literally leaps over it to snatch a Caddis out of mid-air. Everywhere there were fish lining up with bulging backs, slurping heads, and mid-air theatrics... It was a circus!!!