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View Full Version : RMNP Fall Colors


David Knapp
10-01-2012, 11:33 AM
The trees are rapidly changing colors and then loosing their leaves just a few days later it seems. Stands of aspen that were at their peak just last Wednesday were missing most of their leaves by yesterday. The colors have been great while they last though!!!

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6470_zps27e448f8.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6491_zpsd78cddcc.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6564_zps586db498.jpg

With the rapid transition in season comes the great fall fishing. Blue-winged olives have been hatching in the canyon sections of local streams and the browns are getting fired up and aggressive towards streamers. They have been dressing up in their fall best as well. Yesterday I fished two streams in RMNP for browns. On the first stream, I was able to be the first person to fish a short section of water and the fish were sitting out feeding.

The day was perfect with just a little wind and the elk bugling for background music. The north facing slopes still held some snow from a few days earlier making it difficult to choose between photography and fishing. In the end, fishing won out...mostly. I did stop to take a few fish pictures and stream shots.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6739_zps046587a5.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6745_zps42c0900b.jpg

The fish were mostly in the 14-16 inch range with a few smaller ones thrown in. By the time another angler jumped in ahead of me I was ready to explore on another stream.

The next stream also contained a meadow section. I was hoping that its deep pools and undercut banks would also harbor some nice brown trout.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6767_zps831f4da5.jpg

My initial efforts nearly led me to quit, but persistence is always the key to a good day, and I stuck with it. One 10 inch brown flashed on my streamer which told me there had to be some larger fish present. Where there are small browns there are normally some larger fish even if they are rare... Two pools upstream my suspicions were confirmed as a big 21-22 inch fish shot out from under a rock to follow my streamer before slamming its mouth shut and vanishing into the depths.

Moving upstream, I continued to find a few nice fish. Finally, it happened. I found one out looking for a meal and presented a small streamer. Carefully bouncing the streamer along, I saw the fish come over and inhale it. Soon I was taking pictures of a beautiful brown and was convinced that this was a stream worth returning to. In fact, if I didn't have to work I probably would be back today.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6748_zpsdf3052c6.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_6760_zps9db0ad04.jpg

I hooked several other nice fish between 14-18 inches but couldn't seal the deal. Eventually I'll be back, maybe even later this week. Of course, with so many other places to explore I may opt to wait until next season. Regardless, I'm glad for the discovery!!!

NDuncan
10-01-2012, 04:21 PM
Another great report, David!

I'm gonna have to head out west this summer for sure and do some fishing out that way!!

silvercreek
10-01-2012, 04:27 PM
Beautiful scenery and nice fish. Is it too late for hoppers? That would be a rush to watch a good brown come out and smash a hopper.

David Knapp
10-01-2012, 05:45 PM
Another great report, David!

I'm gonna have to head out west this summer for sure and do some fishing out that way!!

Give me a holler if you make it to Colorado. Maybe we can get together and fish...

NDuncan
10-01-2012, 05:51 PM
Sounds good! I've got some family in boulder I have been wanting to visit with, so I may just do that

David Knapp
10-01-2012, 07:21 PM
Beautiful scenery and nice fish. Is it too late for hoppers? That would be a rush to watch a good brown come out and smash a hopper.

Hoppers are still around some in the grass on the east slope streams. I haven't fished any but would imagine that they would work well. Next summer perhaps... :smile:

ChemEAngler
10-01-2012, 09:53 PM
Excellent report as usual

ijsouth
10-05-2012, 10:42 PM
Nice fish, nice report....on a more somber note, did you catch this in the news?

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_21622897/pure-greenback-cutthroat-trout-confirmed-remote-colorado-stream

Turns out all those Greenbacks we thought we were catching were hybrids - Colorado River/Greenback mixes. There were thoughts that this might be the case for years, but this study proves it, and worse yet, the one remnant population is confined to one 4-mile stretch of one stream. I hope they can keep them going.

David Knapp
10-07-2012, 12:56 AM
Nice fish, nice report....on a more somber note, did you catch this in the news?

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_21622897/pure-greenback-cutthroat-trout-confirmed-remote-colorado-stream

Turns out all those Greenbacks we thought we were catching were hybrids - Colorado River/Greenback mixes. There were thoughts that this might be the case for years, but this study proves it, and worse yet, the one remnant population is confined to one 4-mile stretch of one stream. I hope they can keep them going.

Yeah I saw this recently. It amuses me a little after all the hard work they've been doing but as you mentioned, this has been suspected for awhile. My only question is how did they rule out every other "population"....? Did they literally catch cutts from every possible Greenback population and do the genetics testing? Just wondering although I would also wonder what their baseline for the Greenback genes is as well. Is it possible that the "pure" strain genes they are testing against originated in the same creek? I would be very interested to find a copy of the actual scientific paper and see how well done everything was. Might be pretty interesting...

MBB
10-09-2012, 03:59 PM
Great photographs, thanks for sharing!

Scott Spencer
01-12-2013, 03:53 AM
Sorry to bump and old thread but David, I was wondering if you might recommend a good 3 or 4 wt line to use in the park? I've recently acquired a 7'9" TFO finesse in 3 wt and will be spending a week is estes park just after July 4th.

Thanks!

Scott

David Knapp
01-13-2013, 09:10 PM
Sorry to bump and old thread but David, I was wondering if you might recommend a good 3 or 4 wt line to use in the park? I've recently acquired a 7'9" TFO finesse in 3 wt and will be spending a week is estes park just after July 4th.

Thanks!

Scott

Scott, I think you will enjoy RMNP. On light rods, I often recommend that people consider getting a double taper line since you normally won't be casting far. Personally I stick with SA and Rio lines with probably the majority of my lines being Rio. Also, consider the action of the rod when choosing a line. A lot of lines today are made a half size heavier. Since the finesse is a rod with a softer action, overlining is probably not the best idea. I would choose a true 3 weight line. If you're not sure if the line that you are considering is a true 3 weight or a half size heavier just check with the fly shop staff. Daniel at LRO can help you here...

Also, if you are interested in company on the water when you are out here, give me a holler when the time gets closer and if I'm around I'll see if I can join you and show you some of the water I fish for a day.

tnflyfisher
01-15-2013, 07:24 PM
I was wondering if you might recommend a good 3 or 4 wt line to use in the park? I've recently acquired a 7'9" TFO finesse in 3 wt and will be spending a week is estes park just after July 4th.


Great dry fly rod... although not much for battling the wind and or dry/dropper rigs.

I own the 4wt and 5wt with the 5 being my favorite of the shorter Finesse rods due to its versatility.

For strictly dry fly action, SA Mastery Trout in a 3wt hands down... :cool:
If you don't mind your line singing to you when you fish... the new SA Trout Stalker in a 3wt performs fairly well as an all purpose line. It will help with mends, wind, turnover and distance all a bit more than the Mastery series...

Tight Lines,

Scott Spencer
01-15-2013, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the tips and advice. My other rods have Rio line and I think I'll try to stay with that. If I can't then I'll go with the SA.

I've been to rmnp a couple of times David but never fished it. We're flying in Jul 7 and leaving the 14th. Can't remember the name but we're staying about 2 miles from the park. I plan to bring my TFO 5wt pro and the TFO 3wt. My wife is bringing her 4wt Ross.

I'd love to fish with you and thanks for the offer!! I will definitely get in touch before we head out there.

Scott

tnflyfisher
01-22-2013, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the tips and advice. My other rods have Rio line and I think I'll try to stay with that. If I can't then I'll go with the SA.


Scott, I wanted to jump back on here and mention that while Rio makes some popular fly lines, they are often not true to line weight. While the Rio Gold is actually advertised to be a half weight heavier, the other lines are also heavier just without being advertised as such...

The only reason I mention this is due to you having the TFO 3wt finesse. Again, they are soft rods and at times often benefit from being underlined. I am not trying to start a Rio vs. SA battle because Rio lines also fish extremely well but in the case of the finesse, I would recommend you give the 3wt Mastery Trout a try. It is a true 3wt line and will feel like heaven while tossing small dries to those hungry mountain trout...

Tight Lines,

David Knapp
01-22-2013, 03:03 PM
The only reason I mention this is due to you having the TFO 3wt finesse. Again, they are soft rods and at times often benefit from being underlined. I am not trying to start a Rio vs. SA battle because Rio lines also fish extremely well but in the case of the finesse, I would recommend you give the 3wt Mastery Trout a try. It is a true 3wt line and will feel like heaven while tossing small dries to those hungry mountain trout...

Tight Lines,

Good point. For some reason I thought the Rio Grand lines were true to the proper weight. Anyone know anything about that?

tnflyfisher
01-22-2013, 05:36 PM
Good point. For some reason I thought the Rio Grand lines were true to the proper weight. Anyone know anything about that?

DK -
I confused my lines actually... sorry, I don't use Rio. I meant the Rio Grande is in fact the line that is advertised as a half weight heavier, like the SA GPX. The Rio Gold however is not advertised as being heavier but really it is as well. Even the Trout LT series is a bit heavier from what I understand. I like SA lines but it is just a personal preference. About like Canon vs. Nikon in the photography world, both are great camera systems and both have die hard fans... ;)

That's why the SA Trout is a very nice true trout line for the weight listed. It is however more of a dry fly line so keep that in mind on your intended use. I will say that after fishing the troutstalker, I am going back to the mastery trout when it comes time to change out my line again. I recommend it for anyone who hasn't tried it yet... :cool:

It is just hard to find a true line weight these days without actually weighing the head yourself...

Tight Lines,

Scott Spencer
01-22-2013, 07:12 PM
Excellent info on the Rio lines!! I'll go with the SA mastery trout and hopefully that will do the trick.