Friday, April 6, 2018

What's for Dinner - Two Creeks in Colorado April 5, 2018

What Trout were Eating in Vail and Denver April 5th and What I Offered Them.

4/5/2018  Gore Creek runs through the center of Vail, Colorado and has been nicely preserved as a wild stream in the center of a village. It has been screened from the highway and developments by large pines and open meadows. The freestone stream has been left quite untouched except for short stretch near the center of town. I've caught rainbows, cutthroats, browns, and brook trout in the village. 
Gore Creek Brook Trout took the Trico Dry.
This west slope stream flows to the Eagle River which joins the Colorado River to flow to the Gulf of California and the Pacific or to irrigate the produce patches of California. At an elevation of 8,100 feet a rainbow trout was eating mature mayflies, midges (adult and nymph stage) and mayfly nymphs. You may be able to identify other species.  I found a pool below a riffle that had many trout taking emergers. My three fly rig had an Elk Hair Caddis indicator fly, a Trico dry than was sometimes floating, a tiny blob of sink putty, and a foam back chocolate emerger. I caught a brook trout, brown, and a rainbow from the pool shown below drifting down the center and along both seams. Air temperature was about 40 degrees, water temperature was 39, water was crystal clear. This Gore Creek water is very near its Rocky Mountain source from the snows on Vail Pass.

A pumped rainbow was feasting on this during the "Taste of Vail"
Later in the day on Clear Creek just upstream of Golden Colorado at an elevation of 5725, and air temperature of 65 and a water temperature of about 44, and the water was clear. There was no surface activity but the same three flies caught 10 fish, including this nice brown.  Clear Creek drains to the South Platte which eventually joins the Missouri and enters to Gulf of Mexico or winds up on a crop circle of wheat or soybeans in Colorado. This water is 40 miles from its source and has traveled through one former superfund site, two small towns, and 40 miles of Interstate 70.

A Clear Creek Brown also took the trico.
My first sample of a small brown yielded just this midge and an annelida.
A small Clear Creek brown had just eaten an adult midge and a red annelida.
 My second sample of a 10 inch brown showed almost the same composition as the stomach sample 2,400 feet higher in the West Slope drainage.  The fact that the bug sample is very similar is quite amazing. The fact that the same rig of flies was attractive to fish is also amazing. The fact that there was no surface feeding on Clear Creek is puzzling to me.
A 10 inch brown had eaten these in Clear Creek.

My offerings in both stream. Three fish took the foam back chocolate emerger. Seven took the trico dry which was fished below the surface.

Gore Creek rocks provided the cover, but brookies, rainbows and browns were all hitting emergers in the center of this photo.

Fine Clear Creek habitat. Each seam held fish.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tenkara in Japan with the Eiji Yamakawa

Fishing with the natives.

       Two weeks before departure it looked like it wasn't going to happen. I'd googled "Tenkara in Japan" in dozens of forms trying to make contact with a fly shop or guide to take me out for a day from Osaka. The only thing I'd been able to determine was that the fishing season sort-of ended in September but private stream fishing was possible until the end of October. I was surprised it was so difficult.
       But then reading the material sent by Overseas Adventure Travel, I discovered I was facing a cultural problem. The shy Japanese nature does not allow the easy connections Americans might expect with others with similar interest. You needed to be introduced by a mutual friend or acquaintance. Aha. Like the old days in US fly shops where you couldn't even buy flies unless someone vouched for you.
       Luckily, Daniel Galhardo, Tenkara USA, finally pulled my email plea from his junk mail and connected me with Eiji Yamakawa, a tenkara angler living near Osaka who, once introduced, was more than willing to take some time off and take me out on a stream in the mountain. The language of fishing is same the world over even without a common tongue. I've had a lot of fun engaging with native anglers for hours using only the props of our equipment, fingers pointing at the stream, and swapping rods and flies.