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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Willy
Willy's profile picture
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
Willy on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 11:41 am EDT
I'm having my bachelor party in Colorado. We're renting a ranch outside of Ft. Collins and enjoying some time away from the cities we live in. My buddies aren't fishermen, so I didn't want to center the trip around fishing--but I did decide to extend my trip a few days to make sure I get to see the best of what Colorado has to offer.

We'll be at the ranch May 2 - May 5. The North Fork of the Poudre River runs through the ranch. I know there will be fishing opportunities here, but I'm not sure how much I'll get to enjoy them. I'll probably take the guys down and give them a few lessons.

I have to get the guys back to Denver on the 5th, and I'm going to the Yankees - Rockies game on the night of the 7th.

Otherwise I have no obligations, and a desire to catch fish. I enjoy fishing technical water, and the harder the better... as long as I have a good shot at catching fish. I prefer dry fly fishing to nymph and streamer fishing, but that's just a preference.

I don't quite know when runoff typically starts, but it sounds like I'll be there pre-runoff and should be seeing some BWOs on most rivers.

Where should I go?

My Dad's cousin lives on the Blue and has access to private water. He invited me to fish on his property and said he might join me for a day.

Should I do that? What other options do I have within a few hours of Denver?
Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 12:03 pm EDT
Hi Willy -

Aren't you being buried in snow right now?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Willy
Willy's profile picture
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
Willy on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 12:37 pm EDT
It's raining and mid-50s here in Chicago. Sounds like it's been snowing in the Denver area lately, but it is supposed to push towards 80 this weekend.
Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 1:07 pm EDT
Oops! Sorry, Willy... I thought you were writing from Denver (should have looked closer at your avatar). I would imagine the amount of snow they've had this Spring is gonna make things a little rough until the Summer. If you are right about the 80 degree weather settling in this coming weekend, that can't be good for your fishing chances the following week. The Ranch should have info on all this; check with them a day or two before your trip to figure out what gear you want to bring (if any). We have some Coloradans who are regular contributors to the forum, so hopefully they'll check in. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 1:20 pm EDT
My Dad's cousin lives on the Blue and has access to private water. He invited me to fish on his property and said he might join me for a day.

Should I do that? What other options do I have within a few hours of Denver?


Access to private water on the Blue? Go for it. Options within a few hours of Denver? The sky's the limit. Runoff? That could present a problem this time of year. Good luck, hope you get a chance to fish, and if you do lets us know how it went.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 6:34 pm EDT
Bachelor party...? Shouldn't we be sending along congrats? And here I thought we might meet on the Holy Water sometime...those days maybe over young man. :)

If someone is going to show you their water and its private to boot. That should be a no brainer. Those chances don't always present themselves.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Willy
Willy's profile picture
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
Willy on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 8:09 pm EDT
Spence, I told her that we couldn't get married in June because that's fishing time. I'm still headed to Gates for a week of Hex fishing (or maybe sulphurs if the weather stays like it has been), but we are getting married June 1st... so she kind of won. It looks like we'll be in Chicago for the time being, and that means lots of trips up there for me. Marriage won't change much in terms of fishing. In fact, we're getting a hunting dog in July which may increase the frequency of trips up north. Once we have kids though...

I was fishing the Holy Water last week for a few days. It fished pretty well. Then did a day of steelheading in Indiana... yes, Indiana.

Sounds like the Blue is a good bet. I fished the stretch once a couple of years ago for about two hours and it seemed pretty good. It's literally in his backyard (it's a housing development, so it's not truly private, but it's private in that you have to live in the development to fish the water). The fact that it's a tailwater has to help with the potential runoff situation, especially earlier in the season.

Still looking for more ideas though. Hope some Colorado guys chime in.

Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 8:49 pm EDT
Marriage won't change much in terms of fishing.

Hey Spence, not only does this guy deserve a big round of congratulations, but maybe we should be sending some gifts.

Congrats Willy.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 23, 2013April 23rd, 2013, 9:54 pm EDT
Marriage won't change much in terms of fishing.

Ha! Not as long as she knows what she's getting. Have you been honest, Willy? Come to think of it, even if she does and you have - it's what follows that usually changes things! :):) LOL
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
DUBBN
DUBBN's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 47
DUBBN on Apr 24, 2013April 24th, 2013, 5:49 am EDT
Willy, unless we have a serious heat wave in the next 10 days any of the rivers you just mentioned will be fishable. The BWO's are coming off now on the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers. I am sure they are hatching on the Blue aswell.

Having pvt water on the Blue does not guarantee fish. Especially if the river access is only the size of a lot (back yard). Get ahold of your dad's cousin, and find out. If he has plenty of river to fish go there. I would, as you have a chance at fish that will go over 5 lbs.

Good luck fishing if you are able to after the party.


Wayne
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 24, 2013April 24th, 2013, 8:42 am EDT
Kurt..."if you have been honest with her"...Ha! We are anglers here and predisposed to the fib. At my club we used to have a tall tale night and the best BSer got a prize. Now that's honest...Admitting we know we are lying. :)

Good luck young man. This weekend my wife and I are celebrating our 25th. I will admit I'm spoiled having captured this wonderful person I married. No one can see through my lies better than she can. She knows the difference though between a basically harmless bullshitter and something way more serious. Being seriously honest where it counts goes a long way in maintaining trust. If the proverbial shit where ever to hit the fan, she knows which man will show up.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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