Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Swan Creek - Breckenridge, CO

This a follow up to the beaver pond fly fishing day outside Breckenridge, CO.

I had finally got a chance to fly fish a beaver pond. It was a lot of fun. The first cast landed a nice brooke trout.  In all, I netted 7 in just a couple of hours.  Then - all the action just stopped.  I didn't really see a hatch. There were no fish rising. It just stopped. 

N. Fork Swan Creek

The first thing I did was to scout the nearby creek.  The beaver ponds are actually along the North Fork of Swan Creek.  As you can see from the photo, its a fairly small and shallow creek.  Not much in terms of bigger pools or deep pockets. So, I decided to follow Swan Creek downstream and fish the main creek instead.

There is a rock quarry along the creek. At first, I drove upstream, scouting the creek. But much of this area is private property and is posted. So, I went downstream, below and away from the quarry.

I found a pullout, and just picked the first hole I saw.  I still had the same mayfly on.  I was flip casting in a small hole, kind of checking for a hatch, noticing the wind, looking up and down stream, trying to figure out where to go, and I had a hit. Since I wasn't really paying attention, I missed the fish.
Swan Creek Brooke trout

I saw a promising hole upstream about one hundred yards. I cast upstream, and sure enough. I netted a little brooke. 

Just around the bend I saw a really nice looking hole. The creek flowed over what looked like a broken beaver dam, and into a pool.  I tossed into the headwater - and let the fly drift through. BANG. I saw the strike, hooked the fish, and netted him. He was small, but fun to catch.  However, I continued to cast into the hole, and proceeded to catch five fish on the following few casts, and they were much nicer fish.

This is where the story takes a tragic turn. 

Above this hole, which had been very lucrative for me, was an even better hole. And - I saw fish rising in it. As well as I had been doing, this was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel!  I was so sure I was going to get great action, I reached once again for my cell phone to roll some video.  But - IT WAS GONE!! Where was my phone? I had it in my pocket a moment ago.  I looked along the bank and along the rocks.  It was nowhere. Then, I turned and spotted it - at the BOTTOM OF THE RIVER!

I grabbed it out. It was still on and working. I shot this quick video of that nice hole just to test my phone. After that I quickly and thoroughly dried my phone and turned it off. I was too bummed about my phone to fish the sweet hole. I left the area and went downstream.

Nice Fishin' hole

The rest of the day I had no way of taking pictures and showing the fish I caught.  Remember, I had caught seven in the beaver pond.  Along the creek I soon had nine more - 16 total. I decided I wanted to make it 20 for the day.

I went from hole to hole, looking for a few more fish. But now, other anglers had arrived. I tried to find secluded stretches of creek.  In some places the bushes were too thick to even get to the water.

Nice little brookie

Eventually, hole by hole, spot by spot I landed 3 more fish. I had 19. I wanted one more.  I was making my way back to the car. Finally I arrived at what would be my last chance at 20. I cast upstream and let it drift, and finally - one little guy hit.  I had my 20. I called it a very successful day, and I headed home.

My phone? Well, it still works, but it isn't as reliable as it had been. It does some funky stuff these days. I'm in the process of getting a new one. I gotta go go-pro and a headband. 

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