Saturday was slated to be a great day, as the weather man "said we would have several great days of high pressure , nice sunny days, meaning the weeks of buttery, snowy, windy weather might be behind us treating us to a fantastic day.
With the alarm ringing at 6:15, optimism soon went out the window, as I looked out the wind, and saw the flag straight out, and overcast skies not a good sign at this hour. Although the morning temperatures were very warm at 50. I decided I, would wet wade on the float trip for the first time of the year, to enjoy to float and rid myself of the waders.
Although the wind would blow, and blow, the bouts in between were wonderful, and the fish were on.
The headwind did make it challenging to row straight and cast, but that is fishing.
A great friend would share his favorite caddis pupa pattern with use for the float to test out and see how it "fished". Well god damn it fished fantastic. Ed "One Hand" Caddis Pupa was a killer this weekend , railing many really nice fish to net.
Hat's off to Ed for tying so spectacular flies and sharing them.
Forecast was calling for "winter storm warnings" for all of Colorado. Estimates for snow were going to be measured in feet, and the totals could be epic. With all the hype, folks would either be set up for disappointment by the weather forecasters or it would be winter wonderland everywhere. This sounded the a challenge and a photo opportunity for Flatfishes. One that could not be passed up.
The weather would present terrific conditions to throw meaty streamers and pound the banks and deeper foam pockets, this had my heart in a pitter patter state. With a nice rain the night prior, water levels would be bumped slightly, giving us slightly more water to navigate the rocky, but more technical rapids at low water.
Fishing would prove to be mediocre, turning many fish, but they seemed to be more interested in chase the streamers than eating. At times the heavy snow fall made visibility difficult in casting and seeing down the river. Although there was not wind, I had never been on the river in such heavy snow fall. The scenery, river, fish and photo opportunities were out of this world.
My wife the Storm Trooper always has a smile on her face, always happy to be on the river.
Got the invite from our great friends to come out and witness life on the ranch and shot some photos of the spring calves. Alway intrigued but never witnessed we finally joined the party. Of course the soft patsy hands could not handle the true work the true cowboys and cowgirls do day in and day out
to keep the ranches and cattle of the country moving.
This is definitely and art of the past.
Incredibly hot branding iron, putting on the brand of the ranch of over 100 years.
The calves are might tough, as they hate this shit, they do not like the hot prod, shots and the snip. As you can see , they will do anything they can escape their checkout.
The part that makes any man "wince" . A skilled veteran at the helm of the pocket knife.
137 sets down!
No worse for the wear and tear, flying his new "gang" sign, ears clips, balls chopped, ready to go find his momma now.
You have to learn sometime, Young 7 year old , Dillon, was right in the thick of things, getting to wrestle a few of the smaller calves. One tough little fella, no sign of fear, and loved every minute of it.
Sometimes the crowd gets giddy when the young calves go "one" up on the cowboys. A little stomping , snorting and leg-kicking from this fella tells the story.
Here all consulate fishing Guide, teacher and cowboy, Larry Feidrichs, lends his hand to the next generation of cowboy, teaching him the tricks of the trade. Putting the right pressure on the leg, subduing the calf until the branding iron makes its way over and shots are given.
Warmer weather is starting to bump the gauges around the states. Love this time of year, as the water will stain a little, now we can throw some begger meatier steamers for our finned friends. Now we should have the trifecta our on the streams with the baetis getting with it in full steam, you can always get down and dirty with your stonefly rig, and now you can lob and strip a few streamers.
The river is a buffet line right now with the sheer number of bugs , emerging, clinging and swimming in the river right now. The buffet of midges, caddis , sow bugs, beatis and stones or the many other critters wondering about, will start to really fatten the fish up.
To sweeten the kitty the water is borderline for floating at a mere 245CFS, one must be very adept on the oars, to dodge all the rocks, it also helps to have the boat very light , as dragging it places will not be out of the question. Casting way ahead of the boat is a must, as the simple dry, dropper, dropper rig is really working the best. This is putting very little stress on the fish and will allow them to spread all through-out the river as it progressively warms. Looks like its going to be a fantastic April and May of fishing.