Sunday, August 23, 2015

Breckenridge Beaver Ponds:

My dad used to tell me how much fun it could be to fly fish a beaver pond.  I had never done it, but I always wanted to try.  I finally got my chance outside Breckenridge, CO.  After a little internet research I located a few beaver ponds, and headed out.  I had no idea what to expect.

3 Beaver Ponds
Note to self: beaver ponds can be a little treacherous.  I would not recommend walking on the dam itself. Which I didn't. Too unstable. Getting to the pond can be an adventure. The backside tends to be  marshy.  That often means cattails, or tall grasses and thick bushes, as well as muddy, mushy ground. There tends to be a lot of little feeder streams coming into the pond.  But with the thick brush and tall grass, its nearly impossible to see these fingers of water.  One false step and you could be talking sprained ankle, or worse.

Never-the-less, I made it to the beaver ponds. There was a series of three in a row. I decided to try the largest first. If you look at the picture you will see a smaller pond to the far left, a middle sized pond in the center, and the largest pond is to the far right. That's the one I tried first. 

The dam wall was pretty impressive. Several feet high with well established, tall green grass across the front. 

Breckenridge, CO beaver pond

I entered from the backside and made my way to the edge of the water, finding a spot with fairly solid footing.

I had no idea what kind of fly to use. I didn't really see a hatch. So, I selected a nice, generic, blue winged olive (BWO) mayfly.  I tied it on, and tossed it out. BANG!  I don't even know if the fly actually it the water, but before I could even gather my thoughts, my rod was bent and I had a fighter on.

That worked well.

First cast - first fish.
Every now and then I'd see one rise, I'd cast in the general direction - and bang - fish on.

The first one was a fairly decent sized brookie.  I proceeded to cast and catch. I didn't get a hit every single cast, but I was getting lots of good action. Some of the fish were small, as most brookies tend to be. But they are so aggressive and feisty, that I was having a great time.

There was a fair amount of moss growing in the bottom of the pond. Every time I hooked a fish, its first instinct was to dive into the moss. That meant I was not only reeling in a feisty fish, but also a glob of moss.

At one point I tried to shoot cell phone video of the strike.  But it was impossible. The fly would hit the water. I'd quickly reach for my phone, but before I could even hit the record button I'd have one on. Trying to reel in line and not drop the phone was too much. Check out the link below.

I had netted seven fish when things went quiet.  I saw no more fish rising. The sun was high and the day was getting hot. The action just stopped. I decided to try the middle pond. It took some doing to get through the marsh, the grass, the busses and unsure footing, but I got there. But like the first pond, there was no action at all.

I had had my fun.  I decided to break, have a snack, and drive downstream to fish the river. But that story is for another time.

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