After I voluntarily took last weekend off from fishing, it took until Monday morning to regret that decision. Last week was productive for me and I got a lot of work done. I was also able to finally put in some elbow grease and get stuff done around my home. This weekend was perfectly primed and ready to go for fishing. I got some tying done, specifically on some midge patterns since we are moving into the colder months- but don’t tell that to the sporadic hatches coming off this weekend.
Saturday was an interesting adventure of sorts. All the reports over the previous week spoke highly of the Dream Stream. The flows were around 250 CFS and it couldn’t have fished any better by many accounts. Fast forward to 7:00 AM on Saturday morning… And 27 degree temperatures. The flows were dropped from Spinney Mountain Reservoir- not good. With the flows being dropped about 200 CFS, to a trickle at around 50 CFS, the fishing was awful. The whole dynamic had shifted in 24 hours. I hadn’t fished the stream last week, but my dad had spent a couple of days up there and said it was productive.
Luckily, I did not get skunked. I missed three small fish early on in the morning and walked out to the parking lot having gotten only one 3-inch brown trout to net. I would have taken a picture for laughs, but I was exhausted by that time.
The whole day was a challenge on the Dream Stream, but it beats a day of lounging around Downtown, Colorado Springs. When I got back to Woodland Park, my dad and I stopped in the local fly shop to complain about the flows being lowered. One other thing that I have failed to mention up until now is how ridiculously crowded it was up there. Remember I mentioned that all accounts of the conditions were positive? Well other people had heard the news as well. That brings me to Sunday morning, ‘take two’.
With everyone and their mother heading up to Dream Stream for a second straight day, Elevenmile Canyon was as empty as I could have hoped. On the drive up to the spillway, I counted 5 cars (it’s a 7 mile drive or so to the top). Since we have moved into the Fall, it’s gotten much less crowded than this past summer. Add that little tidbit to everyone going for the browns on the Dream Stream and you have a recipe for success.
The fishing was good up there on Sunday. It’s been better, but compared to what Saturday had taught me (check the flows before driving an hour away) it was a nice change back to normalcy. I will mention that Sunday was a day that I did get beat quite handily by my father in total fish and largest catch. I’m not bitter though, it was a nice morning to be out on the water and the weather cooperated nicely.
Fall can be an interesting time for fly fishing, at least in the past 4 years I’ve lived in Colorado. It has it’s struggles, and rewards. This upcoming weekend I may drive down to Pueblo to see how the Arkansas River has been. It’s been about a year since I’ve been down there. That place has become somewhat of a winter sanctuary for me, especially when the weather starts getting testy in the mountains.