Today was a go for fishing. After skiing the past two days, it was time to wet a line. The temperature was around 15 degrees and the sky was overcast: perfect winter fishing conditions. I made the two mile walk from the parking lot to the tailwater section of the Stagecoach. It was truly a labor of love; the access road had about 1 fresh inch of snow on it. By the time I remembered that I had snow shoes in the car, it was too late to turn around. I pushed on through.
After the last bend, I finally hit the tailwater. The water had a lot of structure: pools, pockets, and slicks. It was perfect trout habitat. I setup my rig for standard indi-nymphing. I used two flies that I designed last year winter fishing the San Miguel outside of Telluride, CO. A 8 Simple Stonefly at the end of the leader. Off the eye of the stonefly, I tied a size 20 variation of an Al’s Rat (red wire body and dubbing on the thorax). All using 6.5x TroutHunter Fluoro.
I worked my upstream, nymphing for about 200 yards. The fish were scattered everywhere. I had to keep adjusting my split shot and indicator for the different conditions for each pocket or pool or slow riffle. The adjustments paid off. I pulled out 8 nice rainbows, indi-nymphing my way up. Two on the stone and six on the midge nymph.
The beat that I worked had a decent amount of surface activity from the fish. After I pulled out that 20 incher, I wanted to try some dry flies. After re-rigging, I had a size 18 Grey Comparadun attached by 7x TroutHunter mono. I worked two medium size slicks, and stuck two and lost two others. It was surreal casting dries while it was snowing.
It was an amazing day, but it was a haul to get back there in the winter. 10 bows in total and some dry fly action to boot!