2011 fishing report

2011 Fishing Highlights
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The newly formed 'Team BAS'  is composed of Al, Aug, Chester and Mike.  By definition, a team activity is one that includes any one or more members conducted for the purpose of catching fish, scouting out potential new expeditions or improving the overall expertise of the team. 

The following recollections are exactly that……recollections.  Accuracy is not necessarily guaranteed but, as is often said, perception eventually becomes reality.  No out-and-out lies are included but an occasional embellishment just might pop up.

6/9 Al and Aug kick off the season with the traditional trip to the Poudre at "Pork Chop Creek" (aka Upper Landing).  The purpose of this annual sortie is to bombard the local residents with worms, lead and a variety of 25 year-old hardware attached to spinning rods loaded with mega-test line.  The fish are so eager to be caught that, by days end, our heros actually feel like honest to goodness fisherman having landed rainbows and browns too numerous to count (maybe 9) with some even big enough to eat!  This all in spite of the 3300cfs flow rate!

Unlike in 2010, no fisherman were impaled during this episode.  However, excess worms were reserved for future (non-team) trips.

6/22 Now confident in their piscatorial abilities, Al and Aug (armed with fly rods) venture to Lily Lake (aka 'The Best Drive Up Trout Lake on the Planet').  Although Al objects to the circuitous route taken to the lake, we eventually get there. However, unlike the easy pickins' at Pork Chop, the fish here are more wary…or perhaps the fisherman less adept without live bait.  Still, after several hours each has landed one trout.  Aug decides to sit down and smoke cigarettes and let Al win high hook.  The strategy works perfectly.

Fortunately, Al keeps the post-trip gloating to a minimum on the trip back to McDonald's where the now famous 'Hey Al, where's your rod and reel?' exchange occurs.  It is at this point that the team's 'Stimulate the Economy' program first comes into play .  It is a mere harbinger of things to come.

7/27 Having waited more than a month for the raging waters of the run-off Poudre to subside, the same pair journey up the canyon to take on the Poudre with fly rods for the first time.  Alas, the river looks even more ferocious than in June so the venture turns into a scouting trip all the way to Joe Wright Reservoir.  Careful observation of a Normandy-like assault of float tubes leads to the conclusion that this place might be worth a shot in the future.

In an effort to at least put a line in the water, the pair stops at Pork Chop for a few minutes only to be grilled by "Ranger Rick' on their fishing licenses.  Naturally, being the American Sportsmen they are, all was found to be in order.

8/2 Chester joins the team just in time for the first fishing attempt at Joe Wright.  Armed with Royal Wulffs and Elk Hair Caddis, the trio has moderate success at 10,000 feet and at least no one has a heart attack in the thin air.  We all catch our first ever Arctic Grayling in Colorado.  Al takes careful note of where Aug is fishing and declares this 'his spot' for the rest of yet-to-be recorded history.

8/9 With the fishing tales now beginning to pile up, Mike tentatively agrees to sign onto the team. Armed with a spinning rod, a lawn chair and a vague promise from Al to give him fly fishing lessons, he joins the team (the membership is now closed unless someone buys an RV).  Once again arriving at Joe Wright,  everyone watches Al (firmly implanted in Aug's old spot) reel in fish after fish while Mike flails the water, in vain, with a borrowed fly rod.  I recall it was a 12wt. Rod with size #1 salmon flys.  Aug attempts to impart his own limited knowledge to Mike who is eventually able to cast 12.3 feet.   But the seed has been planted.

8/17 On behalf of the team, Aug ventures to Joe Wright once again with the primary objective of scouting sites along the Poudre.  The secondary purpose is to give Diane a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.  The thunder, lightning and wind does not keep him from landing 5 nice grayling but the joy is lost on his wife who sits in a lawn chair wrapped up like a mummy complaining it's too cold.  She proclaims that this is her last fishing trip (mission accomplished J).

Some notes are made on suitable Poudre locations and later published to the Team.

8/29 With Mike now sporting $1625.00 worth of new fishing equipment, the team hits the St. Vrain River for a practice session.  While Mike and Aug stand streamside discussing the first rule of fly fishing (do not enter the water, observe, commune, plan your strategy etc.) , Al jumps in and takes off up-river like Sherman attacking Atlanta.  Fish are seen exiting the river in a Polaris-like manner and crashing down headfirst onto Route 7.  Although the river is now completely devoid of life, Aug and Mike are able to spend 9 minutes covering the techniques of drag-free presentations, dry fly, nymph and streamer fishing (not to mention terrestrials) while Chester quietly fishes a likely pool.  Aug manages to hook (and lose) one fish while Al covers 4.7 miles of the river using the famous 'Blitzkreig' approach. 

9/7 With Al and George now safely sequestered at Red Feathers Lakes, Aug, Chester and Mike hit Stephen's Gulch on the Poudre for a nice rainy day experience.  With water and air both at 51 degrees and fire hose pressure rain, the team manages a few nice fish mainly sub surface.  This in spite of the fact that some fish literally exploded from the water asking to be caught. But our heros were not tuned into the hatch of tiny flies happening around them and continued to pound the depths with 'Underwater Thingy' (patented Chester description) flies.  Mike and Aug did enjoy an Argentinian Tango with one trout with Aug so excited he lost his wading stick to the river (more economic stimulation). 

George and Al, on their way to join the group, decided no one would be stupid enough to fish under these conditions and went scouting up at Joe Wright!  They now know that our stupidity (and Chester's tenacity) are limitless.

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