…starting in a freestone & ending in a tailwater …

…click here to go back to the first leg…

~ second leg~    ~ third leg ~     ~fifth leg~

~sixth & final leg~

…this leg of the trip starts out on ‘ Cache de la Poudre”(Poudre River),

ends finishing up on the The “Big Thompson” below Estes Park…

 

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           “Cache de la Poudre”, or “place to store the powder”, gets its name from early 19th century trappers that stored their powder to lighten a load before winter setting in…now its known more for its natural beauty as a wild freestone river… abundant with game and a healthy fishery…closely protected by the DOW and Forest Service…

              The leaves were at their peak of color at the base of the canyon…the tree color for a moment reminded  me for a moment of The Airondacks, and not Colorado…we came on the perfect pair of days…but as we climbed up towards the higher elevations autumn was starting to come to a close…

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…a pretty female done with the spawn…and on a feeding frenzy catching up before winter…

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…not too much in life to complain about here!…

 …Fishing here is a real pleasure…rarely even seeing another angler…

…just myself and a friend …

 

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…the fish liked to hang near the edges and undercut banks…it was a challenge to coax the brown trout out…

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 …nice dark brownie…note the fin color…

…I have been told the darkness comes from dwelling in the shadows…that’s where he lives!…

 

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…typical bank & edge foliage here…we even saw a few caddis buzzing around still…still some grasshoppers too!

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…a typical 12-13″ female brown …some were bigger..

 

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 …lots of big open stretches too…but still totally OK to  wade …

…although there were a few really deep holes…

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…a really beautiful male…I would like to see him in a year or two!

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…another one that would not stay still for a picture…

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This is an old cabin that’s fallen out of repair we found on the Poudre…all hand cut logs, doweled door jambs, built under the ground I imagine to keep it warmer…Having done lots of “Timber Frame” work in my life, I would say all that was used here for tools were axes, buck saws and a brace and bit…the porch I think was a more modern addition…

Rumor has it this was the cabin used in the Mini Series based on James Michners novel “Centennial”…a story of Colorado’s history …oh well…It had more charm when I found it than now…thanks Deniese!…but it does answer a few questions I had about certain aspects of the construction…the series was shown in the late 70’s…which would date the cabin to more like 76-77…I wouldn’t mind spending a few nights here in the future…I did like that movie!

 

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 …some of the end grain cross cuts were a bit suspect..

…and the porch has an incredible view…

 

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I’m pretty sure in times past a few Elk, Moose and Deer had been harvested from this exact spot…(at least in my initial fantasy!)…not to mention a beautiful run to fly fish a few feet from your bunk!…

 

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…the spawn appeared over for the most part with females  really eating…

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               I fished my 8′ 3″ 6 weight here…you can see my old school Wright & McGill here too…not one of the rods I made especially for the trip, but an older un it I just wanted to enjoy here….rigged on the rod here is a Charlie Cravens “Hopper” with a small  emerger dropper…

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…even top dropper flies get some lovin’ too…a size 12 black stone fly nymph with some green flash got the take here…

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…the rods with their finishes really blend in with the water and rock colors…

              With the protective coating I put on my rods I don’t worry about them getting wet…I don’t know how long this reel will stay this pretty the way I am…I kept looking for patches of leaves or grass to lay it on while I was rigging up my rod…

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…my nicest fish this day…about 18″…looking out his very temporary holding cell a second before he darted off…

…he spit the tiny emerger out in the net, so no need to touch him at all…the perfect C&R again!…

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…”water, water…get yourself in the cool clear water”… (worth a google!)

 …crystal clear water with a new hole, bend or rock formation awaiting around every turn in the river…

…I fished upstream for almost a mile before I realized how late it was…then hiked back down to where we parked ,all I could say to my friend was how beautiful this place was, and how much I appreciated him bringing me here!!…

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…you can see the traces of the trouts slime here …

because of the optics of this lens, you can see some really cool things!

 

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 …both Rainbows and Browns inhabit this stretch…

…but this trip for me seems more like a brown trout experience!…

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 …sometimes I swear the fish are looking at me!…

…the reflection of the net in this trouts eye is incredible!

 

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…once the sun tucked behind the mountains it started to cool off right away…

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…the Poudre Canyon…a place I will for sure come to visit again…

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…an afternoon with your thoughts…

…the word “solitude”, comes to mind!…

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…next on to the…

…The Big Thompson...

known most recently for the horrific flooding that took place last year…a well known  tailwater that flows out of Rocky Mountain National Park  in Estes Park…the water right below the Dam is know for bigger fish, and even after all the turmoil it has recovered nicely…so have the crowds, so you can scratch that off my list as far as places to go fishing…unless you catch it early mid week…

However, regardless of those crowds,  there is plenty of beautiful public water though you can have all to yourself as you ride down the canyon towards Loveland…which is what I did for two days.

What is truly amazing is actually how quickly and complete the repairs were done…RMNP needs its visitors!

…lots of fish,12-13″ the norm, but still some 15-16″ trout to be had…and surely larger for those that are in the know.

           As I normally do I like to visit shops that serve the waters I’m fishing…having worked in shops for over 40 years I like to support them and also give praise where it is due…The Elkhorn Fly Shop in Loveland is owned by a fellow named Brian, and Managed by Deniese…Both very cordial folks that were more than happy to give some help along the way…Brian has his own line of rods and reels too that fill in some price points nicely…Deniese is a very Knowledgeable angler as well, with lots of stories and experience she shares willingly…a shop I look forward to visiting again when I’m in the neighborhood…

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…lots of incredible Geology surrounds you at every angle here…also there is some remnants of the recent work done to reconstruct the damage from the flood…but no where near enough to hurt the experience fishing here.

 

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…finally a rainbow for me! rainbows and browns were caught…

 

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            I did a lot of drifts here with no indicator and no lead…using some patterns really designed for Cheesman Canyon…but had excellent results…

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  I fished my three piece “RainMaker” series here…a 4/5 weight 7’9″ pretty fast rod(for bamboo)…I used a white Payne line for better visibility since I was not using any sort of strike indicator…whenever I go” RainMaker”…I use my zebrawood net…LOL

BTW…all the rods I made and used on the road trip will be sold at a very reduced price at trips end…

 ~road trip collection~

 … I really believe that drifts can be even more natural when using this technique…particularly with weary, wilder fish…

 

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…this pattern seems t be working everywhere right now…its called a… “Cheesman Emerger”, sort of a greenish Rs2, with a tungsten head and some green flash on it…size 20 has been the trick for me…using a black barr emerger or green caddis with some flash for a top fly…size 12 -14…and high sticking or stack mending with no indicator…

 

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 …a typical feisty female …on a feeding binge after the spawn…

 

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 …on the drive up 34 into the canyon…some incredible scenery…even for Colorado!…

…this stretch is known for brookies…

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…these fish were feisty!…I always imagined them before the net 5-6″ longer by the way they fought…

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…every kind of angling , from pockets, open water…faster…you name it…not at all boring…

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…mostly females were caught this afternoon…

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…lots of rock islands and foliage mid river too…adding a great place for caddis and grasshoppers at the right time…

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…a smaller male…

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another one a notch or two bigger…14-15″…

back tot he cabin for a few days…need to get firewood split & stacked…and maybe ht a few local waters to see whats up…

  …click here to see more about my philosophy on “Catch & Release”…

more to come!!

~all pictures on the road trip pages were taken by my Samsung Galaxy 4 phone!!!~

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