South Park not the cartoon
Something to take your mind off of the tragedy in NY. I just got back from a fishing trip to South Park. South Park is a high valley at 9000 feet about 3 hours southwest of Boulder. It was in the 70's during the day and 30's at night. We fished the South Platte River in a couple of very famous places, the dream stream between spinney and eleven mile reservoirs and the section below eleven mile res called eleven mile canyon. My friend Gary just built a cabin on an acre of land in the woods not far from there. On Wed we went looking for big browns that come out of 11 mile to spawn. We could not raise any of these big fish during the day; I took a bright rainbow on a size 18 BWO parachute. At night however the big fish came on the prowl and would rise from the depths of their pools to slash at streamers. None were landed. The next day we fished the dream stream during the trico hatch, it was non stop action for about 3 hours during the hatch and spinner fall. I took at least 25 fish on dry flies during that short time. I was working two sections of the river, I would catch a bunch until the fish were put down, move to the other area fish there until it slowed and then move back to the first spot. These were not large fish but were very healthy and fought great for their size. Around 11:30 the fall ended and so did the catching. I got a few more fish sub surface during the day including a super colorful rainbow that went about 16 inches and was fat. The next day we hit 11 mile canyon and we hammered them. The trico hatch came off but the fish do not rise in the canyon. However, they went into a sub surface feeding frenzy. I was fishing a size 18 RS-2 that I tied the night before in a plunge pool below some rapids. I took about 12 nice fish from that pool and began to work the fast water above the pool. I would take a step, make a cast, hook a fish that ran down to the pool, land the fish and start all over. I must have taken 20 fish before noon, big and healthy. I lost some really big fish that ran down stream in the fast water so that too much pressure was on my 6X and they just broke off. The afternoon was quiet; one guy caught a 20-inch Kokanee on a 16 copper john. In the evening there was a hatch of small mayflies and I was able to trick half a dozen on a variation of AK's quill body that I tie with hares foot. Finally on Saturday morning I returned to a different section of the dream stream and only caught 8 fish on the trico hatch but they were really big fish around 16 inches and very well fed. It was a real challenge on my 3 weight with 7X tippet. It was a great trip catching fish and catching up with a friend that I do not get to see very often.