Monday, August 27, 2012

Upper Colorado and the Fraser River

Gore canyon

 I set out this weekend to catch some bigger fish.  I have spent most of the summer exploring small creeks for native fish and fishing the Poudre.  I decided to fish Gore canyon up stream from the Pumphouse put in the Upper Colorado.  I went on a float trip up there in June and caught some really nice browns that mostly went about 13-15 inches.  I got camp set up by 1 and fished until dark.    I tried just about everything I could think of, most two nymph rigs with various larger heavy flies trailing other smaller nymphs.  I didn't have much success.  I caught two smaller browns but nothing of size.  Just before dark at my campsite there were a few risers and I picked up my largest fish of the day (all of 11 inches) on a para Adams.  I did hook a decent sized fish right at the launch by he got off after a few good thrashes.  Almost counts.

I'm sure with more experience in the area I would do better or at a different time of year maybe.  It's still a beautiful place with lots of places to explore.  Gore canyon did have quite a bit of pressure, which I was not expecting way out there.  I saw at least 7 other fisherman along about a mile of river.  Way to crowded for my taste.  However, that probably means there are some big fish to be had if they are eating. 
My camp site right next to the upper colorado. Beautiful.  

Amtrak passengers with a great view of the river.

My next stop was the Fraser river near Tabernash.  I had heard there were big fish to be had around there so I guessed on a spot and ended up getting lucky.  Unfortunately, the Fraser is a slimed cesspool of didymo and algae.     Every rock, branch or log in the river was covered in slime an inch think.  Nearly every cast I had to clean off my flies.  The filth sluffs off in the current and keeps the visibility at about 3 feet.  On top of all that, no cutthroat either.  I caught one big rainbow and one decent brown but will not be going back.  Maybe someday I'll find a beautiful clean mountain stream that has big native fish but for now, that seems impossible, in CO at least.  The rainbow was pretty big though.  I'll have to do some measuring in the photo but the fly I caught her on was a #20 so I might be pretty close to the famed 20/20 club.  
Fraser river.
Looked at a bunch of rocks and there were case building caddis everywhere.  I bet that hatch in May or June is epic.  

Nice brown.  Nice close up of the slime that covers everything too.  

My big Rainbow.  Doesn't look very big in the picture unfortunately.  Sort of curled up in the net.  She was too big for me to get my hand around to lift up. So, yeah, pretty big.

Lots of pictures from a float trip with my buddy down the Colorado.  We floated Pumphouse to Radium.  


  1. What a great float! Nice browns, man!

  2. Hi, I'm a freelance photographer. Have shot for Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, Southwest Fly Fishing. I am looking to hitch a ride on a dory for float trips down the Colorado to shoot pictures. If you have an empty seat I would be grateful. Steve Collector.