Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 2015!  Finally!  After what appeared to be a hiatus, finally made it back for some quality time.  Thanks to my friend, Marc, I had a place to stay in Breckenridge.  The weather was pretty much the same every day--beautiful, clear, crisp mornings that gave way to clouds and rain by mid afternoon, and then followed up with clear skies in the evening.

On Day One, I fished a private access on the Middle Fork of the South Platte at DM ranch.  While the river is wide enough in some places, it can be a bit narrow in others.  I fished nymphs all day and managed to land about ten fish ranging from very small all the way to the 13-14 inch range.  After escaping to the Jeep and avoiding a deluge, I traveled to Buena Vista and fished the Arkansas as you travel Rt 24 North towards Leadville.  Had a section all to myself and managed to land a few more good sized browns.

On Day Two, I travelled around Breckenridge and Frisco making my way through Rocky Mountain National Park and stopping in Estes Park for a little while.  Had a good dinner and a glass of Moose Drool beer--Outstanding!  After this, I traveled to DIA to pick up fishing partner, Jerry.  He has been a regular on these trips and is an accomplished fishermen.  Jerry has managed to perfect the art of taking your time, reading the water and fishing it, always seeming to end up with more fish and larger fish than I.

On Day Three, we fished the South Platte River between Spinney Mountain and Elevenmile Reservoirs.  Disappointing!  CDW is doing stream remediation work and as a result the water was muddy and for the most part un-fishable.  We did manage to put in on the other side of the work and, well, I kept the kids busy while Jerry went after Mom, Dad and the Grandparents.  After a while, we escaped to Elevenmile Canyon.  Great water and outstanding fishing--landed four decent sized rainbows.

On Day Four, we fished the Arkansas just south of Buena Vista.  We started the day with a stop at Arkansas River Anglers.  If you find yourself in Buena Vista or Salida, stop by and give them your business.  Friendly and knowledgeable!

Day Five was adventure day!  We found our way to the trailhead of Cottonwood Creek and hiked in about a mile before fishing for the sometimes elusive Cutthroat Trout that Jerry has never caught.  Bingo!  After a stealthy approach and a non-stealthy hang-up in the trees around the creek, both of us landed a few with Jerry netting about an eight-incher.  Stunningly beautiful!

Unfortunately, that evening a dear friend and my spiritual mentor (and my boss at the Church) lost his battle with cancer and went home to the Lord.  Through the years, he taught me so much about ministry, humility and simple love of thy neighbor.  His wit, his charm and most of all, his humble presence will be sorely missed.  Needless to say, his passing, while expected, put a huge damper on the end of our trip.  The next day, we attended Mass at St. Mary's in Breckenridge and prayed for Msgr Art Valenzano, his family and his friends, and our parish back in Baltimore.

Our hearts heavy with the loss of Msgr Art, we returned home having once again accomplished what we came to Colorado for--peace, tranquility, and camaraderie that only fly fishing in Colorado can provide.  Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

June 2014.  It appears that I have not been here for quite some time.  That is true.  In the past year, my life has made a major transformation as I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.  I was assigned to the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland by His Excellency, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore.  This has been most rewarding, although it has kept me from traveling to the waters I so love.  I did make it out to Colorado late summer last year with my good friend and colleague, Jim.  We managed to fish the Colorado in several locations and the Blue River, as well as Pumphouse Lake, high above the town of Winter Park.  While the catches seemed to be sporadic, it didn't matter.  Jim and I had a fantastic time--that's all that matters!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

July 7, 2010. Unfortunately, I have not been able to fish as much this year as in the past. Higher priorities and commitments even forced me to schedule the annual trip to Colorado to this past weekend, as opposed to the normal weekend in September. The fishing was to put it kindly, "slow." We fished the Colorado, the Williams Fork, Muddy Creek, Willow Creek and the Fraser and only managed to hook a few biggies in Muddy Creek. There were a couple that I fought good and hard on the 17" - 20" range, but I was unsuccessful in landing any of them. Jerry was the big winner with a nice Rainbow about 17" long.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October 4, 2009. This past week I concluded the annual trip to Colorado with Al & Jerry. This year we were joined by our friend and colleague, Jason Mielke. Jason proved himself a skilled fly fisher and a good friend.

We started our trip with a visit to the Colorado River between Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby. This stretch has always been productive and this year was no different. We all managed to catch and land quite a few fish with Jason hauling in a submarine around 16 inches long. I hooked a biggie, but didn't land it, though Jason and I did get a chance to see it and figured it to be around 15 inches long. Al landed a biggie, too, and even tried to kill it by slipping on a rock and landing in the water, net and all!

On Monday, we ventured near Rabbit Ears Pass to Muddy Lake. While it started out slow, the fishing picked up quickly and we all netted quite a few before heading to lunch down in Kremmling. After lunch we traveled on to Muddy Creek--a beautiful river that has a lot of character. There, we all managed a productive afternoon of fishing. We even took a few for our Tuesday dinner. We ended the day with another trip back to Muddy Lake and a few more fish.

Tuesday was an exciting day! We took the trail to Corona Lake. At 12,ooo feet, there are 3 alpine lakes within proximity of each other. Huffing and puffing, we made our way to an unnamed lake adjacent to Corona Lake and had a wonderful time fishing Brookies. I even landed my first fish on a dry fly. We hiked over to Corona Lake, but had no success. By the time the day was over we were all out of breath, but excited about our adventure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10, 2009. On Memorial Day weekend, I traveled to Colorado with my brother, Chuck. Uncertain as to what lie ahead, we found the conditions to be cool and wet with extreme runoff issues. Despite the runoff, we fished the Fraser, Colorado and Williams Fork Rivers, along with Delaney Buttes lakes. Chuck found success on the surface of the lakes, while my fish were all caught nymphing on the rivers. The conditions were challenging, but we managed to land ten fish between the two of us and lost just as many. Having said that, the old saying, "A bad day fishing beats a good day at work!" still applies.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 3, 2009. Since my last post in March opining about the weather, spring finally arrived after a mixed beginning. Since then I have visited the Special Management Area of the Patuxent River twice.

For the first, it was a warm, sunny Friday afternoon and I couldn't let the day go by without wetting my line. I was fortunate to have the river to myself and managed three Rainbows. I even got one in a hole that for years eluded me--even though I suspected there were fish in the hole.

My last trip was this past Wednesday. I played a little hookie from work in the afternoon and fished the Patuxent, again, but this time in an area I had never fished. After a few hours, and nearly getting swallowed by a huge mud hole, I managed two Rainbows and a Smallmouth. Next trip--Colorado!

Monday, March 09, 2009

March 9, 2009. So March has been strange! The month started with the heaviest snowfall we've seen all winter--around 7.5 inches here in Central Howard County. Other parts of the state ended up with over a foot. It was immediately followed by two days of bitter cold temps and then voila! The temps made an about face and headed north and by the end of the week the snow was gone and the temps were in the 70s. Perfect for a little early season fishing. So off we went--that is, my bud, Al, and I. We headed to Morgan Run in Carroll County. Apparently, it had been stocked with a late winter stocking. I was delighted to be back on the river and my patience paid off. Within the first few minutes I landed a nice Rainbow, and then another--both on a Woolly bugger. I moved into another area that Al had been fishing and caught two more--these two on a Bead headed Nymph with a little weight added on. After fishing that area, I went on a bit of a hike to find the next area. Morgan Run appears to be broken up between very narrow areas that provide excellent cover and then occasional pools. It was through this discovery that I found another area to wet my line and caught my fifth--again on the nymph. Unfortunately, Al didn't have as much luck. However, the time spent with an old friend is always worth it, regardless of the fishing outcome.