I transitioned to a new role at work as the manager of several R&D teams in an organization that is being built from scratch so work has kept me off the river for too long this year. I missed the window on the Poudre so I've been focusing on the Big-T. The Big Thompson is technically considered a tailwater due to the dam in Estes Park, but I find that it fishes more like a freestone than a traditional tailwater. To me it's the best of both worlds. The section of river that attracts the most attention from anglers is the first quarter mile directly below the dam. Everyday that section gets hammered by dozens of anglers - it's pretty ridiculous and the closest thing to combat fishing we have here in this area. Anglers arrive early, claim a spot and then hang on to it. Not my idea of what fly fishing is about so I rarely go up there anymore. Instead I focus on the lower and middle sections of the canyon where I can have solitude.
4/1/11 - Pocket water just above Drake
I had decent couple hours of fishing with no wind and perfect conditions. It was sunny and there were no noticeable hatches to speak of. Water was clear and still in winter mode and I didn't check the flows but I think she was running right around 50 cfs. In the 2 hours I fished I caught 2 rainbows on a #20 Jujubaetis and 1 rainbow and 1 brown on a #22 zebra midge emerger. The zebra emerger is one of my all-time favorite flies for the Big-T. The zebra emerger consistently outfishes the zebra midge and the only difference is the the small tuft of white antron for the emerging wing - a small detail that the trout seem to notice. So I only tie and carry the emerger now.