So sitting around the house being sick is pretty miserable, so after work, we packed up the car and drove into the mountains. Everyone knows about the Fryingpan River and it's monster trout. So we headed that direction. We pulled a "pirate camping" maneuver and slept in the car on the side of the road. It is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Boulder, so being able to fish at first light with nobody around is rare and pretty awesome. Unfortunately, first light was freezing cold! We put on every layer of clothing that we had and waited for the sun to hit the water before venturing into the river.
I pulled a 12" and a 14" Rainbow Trout out of some slow moving water behind a cluster of rocks. The fish seemed to be sticking together, so where you saw one fish there were a few more hiding nearby. We walked up stream and found hundreds of fish, but they didn't want to eat what we had. It wasn't until later that we realized how close the dam at Reudi reservoir we were. This has a major effect on our fishing as we didn't have any shrimp patterns. The fishing shops were closed when we arrived and we were already fishing when they opened the next day. Here is why we needed shrimp patterns:
|Mojdeh's fish of the day. It rose for a BWO.|
Mysis relicta is the sole freshwater relative of a saltwater shrimp which became stranded inland after the last Ice Age. They were stocked in the 1950's in Colorado reservoirs in the belief that they would support populations of Kokanee salmon and lake trout. Unfortunately the researchers didn't realize that the evidence they relied upon for this theory was misplaced and that in the Colorado lakes the mysis was not visible to the salmon during day time. Nopt liking sunlight, they moved to the bottom of deep lakes during the daytime when the salmon feed on the surface.
Worse still, at night the mysis moved back to the surface to feed on the Daphnia zooplankton which was a food source for the kokanees and trout denying them a food source. The only trout which benefited from the introduction of the mysis was the lake trout, a deep water feeder which reached the depths where the mysis were located in the daytime. However, in bottom release dams with deep cold waters such as Reudi, the mysis are sucked out into the tailwaters where they become visible in the daylight permitting the trout to gorge themselves.
There are a number of mysis patterns noted below which work well. The healthy mysis are translucent. As they die they turn white, so when fishing near the outlet of the dam, fish the more translucent patterns as the mysis which have just been expelled from the dam will not immediately turn white. The whiter patterns work better a little away from the outlet. The mysis shrimp has an exceedingly high nutrient value accounting for the massive growth in the trout that are able to feed on them in large quantities.
So now we know where to fish on the Frying Pan river. I saw two trout as long as my arm that must have been 8 to 10 pounds. I didn't understand. I didn't think that they existed. Those pigs just gorge themselves on shrimp. One day I will get back and go after them.
After fishing the Frying Pan, we headed home. But not without a stop at the outlet mall in Silverthorne. Most people shop here for hours ignoring the great fish that live beneath their feet. I have fished here 4 times and the closest I got was missing a hit that I didn't think that I deserved. There weren't as many fish as there usually are, and the biggest ones were eerily absent. I still fished a parachute adams in the places where I thought the fish should be and WHAMMY I hooked one. I landed him, showed him to the admirers on the bridge above, called it quits and went shopping.