Fishin' Pics

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Conejos Update: 7/31/12

Summer is here in full force and so is the realization that August is upon us.  Guide trips have been busy lately and the fishing has been good, so long as you target the right stretch of water.

With the lower flows and higher air temps, the water temperature has been rising quite a bit throughout the day.  As you are all aware, trout are cold water fish, so these rising temps play into your tactics quite a bit.  A good rule of thumb is to carry a pocket thermometer with with to check the temp while you are fishing.  Trout will typically eat as the temp gets closer to 68, and will occasionally eat when it is higher.  The problem that results is that with the higher temperatures, there is a lower dissolved oxygen concentrations which lead to very stressed trout.  Do everyone a favor and hang up to rod and move up river when the temperatures reach the 69-70 degree mark.  Not only will the fish will be much more active in lower temperatures, but you should increase the number of hookups as well.  If not, you may be releasing some floating fish.

That said, early the is the name of the game recently.  Plan your days so you can be on the water earlier rather than later, and you can get off the water during the heat of the late afternoon.  Also, think about the colors you are wearing before you head out.  You may have been able to get away with the red hat or orange fishing shirt while the water was higher, but those fish are boogieing as soon as they see something unnatural now.

On the lower river small mayflies, terrestrials and attractors have been the ticket for dries.  For nymphs use small stone imitations such as a Salvation #16, or Pat's Rubber Legs in lighter colors.  Mayfly nymphs such as a Iron Lotus and Oops have both been productive as well.  If you find the fish still refusing your offerings, throw some smaller emergers such as Barr's Emergers, and Flashbang Midges.

Below the Meadows:  This pocket water has been fishing fairly well recently.  We have been using a dry/dropper set up almost exclusively with the excepting of nymphing deep in the plunge pools.  There are many smaller adult mayflies that are hatching throughout the morning.  PMD and BWO patterns #16-20 are effective.  Yellow Sallies are also fluttering around and coaxing some fish to the surface.  For the nymphs, bring s wide selection of both attractors as well as natural imitations as the fish seem to change their minds often on which they prefer.

Meadows:  Fish early and break out the 6X.  These fish have earned some college credits this season and are onto the 5X game.  Precise, delicate casts and slow movement through the water will keep these spooky fish from fleeing.  Small mayflies and some small hoppers are taking fish on top.  Underneath try using some Zebra Midges, Flashbang Midges, Tailwater Tiny's, and other small midge larva.

Hope that helps, let me know here in the shop if you have other insights.  As always, I love getting reports from you all so stop in the shop after the trip and let me know how it went.   -Joe

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fishing 101: Info EVERY fisherman should know

Alright, it is that time to remind everyone of the unwritten rules you choose to abide while you are enjoying your day on the water.....Fishing Etiquette.  As more and more anglers get out there this summer, it is important for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to sharing the water.  Here are some thoughts to keep in mind from all of our guides who spend everyday out there:

  1. Be courteous!  Follow the golden (fishing) rule.  Treat other anglers the way you would like to be treated.  This means do not fish directly above others, intrude too closely to those who are already fishing, or be rude.  
  2. If you see a vehicle parked at a spot you were planning on fishing, move on to plan B (or C or D).  Our guides always have backup plans and you should as well.  Get out and explore a new stretch.  We have plenty of water here to share.  
  3. If you encounter another party on the water, go talk to them.  A brief conversation about sharing/splitting the water helps you maintain peace of mind and they go smoother than you think.  
  4. Do not turn any situation on the water into a confrontation.  Keep cool and simply explain that no one wants people fishing ahead of them. 

It is as simple as that, so remain courteous and you will be blessed with some good fishing karma.  If not, you will most likely get a flat tire in a rain storm after being skunked.  Tight lines!

This gentleman was really rude to others and jumped ahead of people on the river all day.


Fishing Report July 13th, 2012

So, here is the info you all have been calling about... The updated fishing report!  Jon and I have been busy both here in the shop as well as out on the river so we apologize for the delay.

Fishing is holding strong and we are still throwing big dries on our guide trips...well most of them.  As the hatches have moved upstream, so has our attention, but we are still having great luck on the middle and lower river with smaller dries and droppers.  There are still plenty of stonefly nymphs clinging to the rocks, so using them under a larger dry or in a double nymph rig has been paying off.

Also, with the almost daily rains, be sure to have an assortment of tungsten g-strings, two-toned san juans and our hot-spot SJ for when the water turns a little off color, regardless of the section you are fishing!

Lower River:
The action on the lower river has been good, but make sure you are getting an early start.  The warm days will also warm the water by mid-afternoon, forcing those fish to the bottom or into the middle of the fast water.  You can still catch them in the heat of the day, and nymphing for them is the most productive.  We have been getting some much needed moisture throughout the watershed almost each night which is also creating a nice little cool front in the late afternoons and evenings.  Even though the wind may be howling as a front rolls in, the fishing picks up dramatically as the cloud cover increases.  Swinging your favorite streamers during this time has coaxed some nice fish to eat as well.

  • Parachute Madam X - Peacock Body
  • Various Crystal Stimmy's
  • Black Hippy Stompers
  • Hoppers
  • PMDs - Extended body PMD and Crack Back PMD for a dropper
  • Golden Stone nymphs - Tungstone Golden and Tan/Brown Jimmy Legs
  • Salvations #12-16 in green and golden brown
  • Streamers - Slumpbusters, Sculpzillas (#4-8) and Boufaces (#8) in olive and black and Flashfry in olive #6
  • Marc with a nice football bow on the lower river
Another nice bow on the lower river
Middle River:
The middle of the river has been fishing well lately, as the water has dropped creating the obvious holding spots for the fish to ambush your dries (and droppers).  Always make sure you are fishing a dry dropper set up in the pocket water and riffles as plenty of fish will be taken on the dropper.    Work the water from the areas closest to you, out into the current as you pick your way up the river.  Make sure you cast to virtually all sections of water until you dial in where they are hanging out.  Do this before you take any steps up the river!  I have been reminding clients on recent trips to cover ALL water before we move and it pays off!  You will be surprised by the locations of some of the fish.  
  • Yeagers Tantrum #12 in both golden and tan
  • Parachute Madam X #8 with orange body
  • Parawulff Dennis Adams and Royal Wullfs to cover your general mayflies you will encounter
  • PMD's and Mahagony dries
  • Depth Charge Bird's Nest #12-14 in the olive and natural colors
  • Faux-Hawks #16
  • Little Green Machine PT #16 
  • Golden Stone nymphs
Hugh putting on a dry-dropper clinic on the middle river
Upper River:
The upper river has been experiencing some mood swings as of late going from virtually shooting fish in a barrel, to fishing like you were trying to buy a keg in Utah....tough.  Every day is a new one, and yesterdays epic fishing may be today's challenging but rewarding day to the most patient anglers.  As a general rule up there right now, have a 9' 5X leader and be willing to add sections of 6X to it to settle the nerves of the spooky trout.  You may have luck with large green and grey drakes, or you may result to flies that have you feeling like you are fishing the San Juan.  Regardless, the fishing has been great if you work at it enough to crack that day's code.  Better yet, hire a guide for a day and beat that learning curve.  Here are some flies to be stocked on:
  • Green and Grey Drakes - Adams Superfly #12-18, Green Paradrake #10, Killer Green Bug #10
  • Kern Emergers #12-14
  • Yellow Sallies - Mini Hot Yellow and Clown Shoe Sally #16
  • Baetis dries and droppers #18-22
  • Midge dries and droppers #20-24 in black, cream, red and brown
Great fishing when you put on the hiking boots!  The recent rains have helped out and are keeping the high country fish very happy.  Pack in your 7'6"-8' three weights and have at it.  Using 5X will increase your hook ups as the water drops a little.  
  • Yeagers Tantrum #12 in both golden and tan
  • Yeagers Neversink Trude Red #16
  • Various Beetles
  • Various small-medium hoppers
  • Droppers - Green hornet, yellow robbin, micromay electric yellow all #14-18
  • Stimulators on a trib!

Young Dante taking a rest during a taxing day in the shop - tough life getting love from EVERYONE coming through