Sunday, December 16, 2012

Trout Fishing on the South Platte River...

Our dear friend Susan generously organised for Garry and I to spend a day learning how to fly fish on the South Platte river in Colorado. This was an incredibly kind farewell gift because she also was minding Yasemin and Max so we could enjoy the day child free!

We left early on Sunday morning to meet our guide, Dave. We headed to the popular area know as Deckers. Deckers is an area situated along The South Platte River, considered s a Gold Medal Western trout river on the Eastern Slope of Colorado. The river is well known for its wild trophy population of Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. As a result of the close proximity to Denver, the river sees thousands of fly fishing enthusiasts each year. With seven dams on the river, the South Platte is considered a tailwater fishery.

I knew it was going to be a great day when we spotted two Bald Eagles flying in the sky from the car. Dave has a number of favorite spots he favors and we went in search of one free from fellow anglers. When we found a suitable spot we started to layer up. It was not a warm day, and the previous night had dusted the area with fresh snow - the water was super cold! Thick wool socks, thermals covered by Marino wool clothing followed by fleeces which were then covered by waders and boots were hopefully going to keep us warm. Dave thoughtfully provided Garry and I with hand warmers - which he placed inside the fingerless I was wearing. These were fantastic!

We were fishing catch and release, which in my mind eased the pressure because we didn't need to catch our dinner. We started the day learning the finer points of casting, mending the line and striking. Garry and I were enjoying the beautiful landscape while working on practicing the basic fishing skills  and focusing on assisting the little white indicator to float down stream as naturally as possible. This was more difficult than it sounds and I was beginning to understand why Fly Fishing is recognized as a sport.

The water was freezing and it was not long before we couldn't feel our toes but we ignored the pain because we were truly having a great time. I actually was so busy concentrating on my technique that sometimes I forgot we were out to catch fish! Then all of a sudden Garry landed the first fish of the day - a lovely looking Brown Trout.

We continued on and we both had a number of bites but no more luck landing any fish. The best feeling was to get into the car and thaw my feet on our way to another fishing spot. This place was even more beautiful than the first! Susan was great with the kids and they had all kinds of fun playing in the snow on the riverbank.

Being the competitor that I am, I was determined to catch a fish because Garry did! Dave was great to have as he was always checking our techniques, changing the line weights and adjusting lures. While Dave was helping me Garry hooked a second Trout which he didn't land. I couldn't believe it - now I was more determined than ever  and then it happened! But it became the fish that got away story. I didn't release the line quickly enough and the line broke. The enormous trout jumped out of the water and swam away with my lure. Bummer!

Eventually my patience was rewarded and I landed a rainbow trout. It was a great moment as Susan, Yasemin and Max cheered from the rivers edge. The obligatory photo will appear asap when Dave emails it to me.

To be continued...........

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