Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fly Fishing

Journal Entry: Twenty One, Fly Fishing

There are more numerous sites to fly fish in Colorado, than there is time to name, my Amateur/Professional Fly Fisherman son informs me. The Denver Post now rates the Arkansas River as one of the state’s best places to fish for brown trout. The Arkansas River provides some of the best brown trout fishing in the west.

The Arkansas starts just north of Leadville. The first 150 miles of the river, from Leadville to Pueblo, is prime trout water. Conditions vary widely along this section so the river is broken up into 4 sections; Leadville to Buena Vista, Buena Vista to Salida, Salida to Canon City, Canon City to Pueblo. The Arkansas drops over 5000 feet in elevation over this 150 mile stretch from Leadville to Pueblo. The Arkansas boasts high catches of browns and rainbows up to 20 inches. The brown trout and the sea trout are fish of the same species. They are distinguished chiefly by the fact that the brown trout is largely a freshwater fish, while the sea trout shows anadromous reproduction, migrating to the oceans for much of its life and returning to freshwater only to spawn. The high dietary reliance upon insect larvae, pupae, nymphs and adults is what allows trout to be a favored target for fly fishing.

The spring and summer are prime seasons for the voracious mackinaw, the larger species of trout found here. But early spring is one of the most eagerly awaited seasons for fly fishermen in that the caddis fly is hatching and the trout literally go crazy, swarming to be the first to dine on them.

Just being a spectator of fly fishermen and fisherwomen, one witnesses a beautiful showing of

elegance and serenity. There is a hushed expectancy, as the fisher people, ceremoniously arc

their colorful lines high over their heads and suddenly cast their flies into the fresh water

hoping to see the mouth of a trout jump out of the cold liquid river to meet them. I have

learned that this type of fishing is not for the person who wants to bring home a large cache of

fish fillets. A large amount of Colorado is catch and release.

Most people are standing in the rushing river with their hip waders on for the serene experience. This is not a team sport with high fives and a lot of loud locker room banter.

This sport takes a person with patience, who appreciates the quiet, serene beauty of being in attendance with Mother Nature, not to take from her, but to join her.

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