The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Steamboat Springs - 5/26/2013

Upon arriving in Steamboat, I could see that the Yampa was in full runoff making most of the river very challenging to fish.  We investigated several areas including Sarvis Creek and the Elk River and found much of the area running with high, dark water creating a situation where using runoff tactics like dark streamers in eddies or shorelines was nearly impossible.  When this occurs, most fly fisherman would just pack up their gear and head for the nearest bar for a plate of fish and chips and a nice mug of some local brew.  However, all is not lost here!  Just outside of town, Stagecoach Reservoir offers some reprieve this time of year for those out there in search of some nice water and big trout.

At the tail waters of Stagecoach, you will find that flows are managed despite the snow melt. Fish congregate here in large numbers and are often fooled by a number of patterns like the Pat’s Rubber Legs, the RS2, and the Pheasant Tail Nymph.  The key here really is the approach and getting a nice drag-free drift.  Failure to do those two things will land you nothing but a short walk through some of the best looking country in Colorado….  Well, maybe that’s not so bad.

As expected, after all this was Memorial Day weekend, the crowds were a bit large for the area.  Coupled by the fact that much of the available river here wasn’t fishable, anyone needing to get their fly fishing fix had little other choice than this tail water.   The good news is that despite the crowds, it is really hard to find an area on this section of water that doesn’t house a trout worth snapping a few pictures of and bragging to your friends.  With nearly two full days of fishing, Alyssa and I were able to land nearly 40 trout, 5 of which exceeded the 20 inch range.

As an added bonus, there was a small pond near our campsite that appeared to be attracting more attention than a pond of this size should.  After a little investigation and a few casts of the rod, I was able to land a 30 inch pike, a first for me here in Colorado.


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