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Trouts Journal

Black Friday Float Trip: Colorado River

Ivan Orsic / Dec 3, 2014

In preparation for Small Business Saturday a few days back (which THANK YOU to everyone who came by), we were closed on Black Friday. Given the unnecessary amount of food consumed the day prior, it only made sense to spend Friday burning off a few calories rowing a boat down the Colorado River. Flows were low, however we felt confident that we should be fine…and if we were faced with getting out and pushing the boat through the really skinny stuff, then so be it. Sure sounded better than being in a crowded city in a crowded mall.

Making a day trip to float the Colorado is always a sun-up to sun-down proposition, usually with a few extra hours tacked on either side, and Friday was no exception. The 5am alarm came quickly that morning and myself, Dave Mitchell (from the shop) and local angler Lee Molvie were headed West on I-70 by 6am. After a quick stop for breakfast and a sandwich-to-go from the Blue Moon Bakery in Silverthorne (which if you’ve never been there before, I sincerely feel sorry for you) we continued on.

The stretch of river du jour was Two Bridges to Catamount- a scenic 8 or so mile stretch that, given the 50 degree sunny forecast for the day, we felt confident would hold a few hungry fish. As we rigged rods, pausing every so often (or perhaps a whole lot) to throw a stick for Dave’s dog Blue, we had the boat ramp to ourselves and there were no fresh signs of tire tracks in the snow-covered parking lot. Needless to say, the lack of apparent recent angler activity, paired with the warming air temps, had us itching to get on the water.

Rods were rigged with the usuals for this time of year- streamers, nymphs and a small baetis dry in hopes of finding a few risers. The plan was to fish streamers out of the boat, saving the nymph rods for pulling over and wading any choice looking runs.

Approximately 3 casts into the float, Lee hooked a nice brown on a black articulated streamer. Based off this instant feedback, we were now even more excited to see what the day had in store for us…which thankfully was several more very nice Browns.

We never saw another boat the entire day and while the streamer bite wasn’t “on-fire” (not that we necessarily expected it to be) we stuck with our guns and threw the big stuff from put in to take out. Catching/turning/moving enough fish throughout the entirety of the float to keep us all more than satisfied. While we passed many great looking spots that begged for a nymph rig to be drifted through, and most certainly would have added more fish to the days total, sometimes it's not about the numbers. Once you’ve got a few on the streamer it gets tough to go back to looking at a bobber..….We’ll have plenty of time to do that all Winter on the Platte.

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