Monday, November 18, 2019

November 17, 2019
Flow: 92
Water temp: 47-51
Winter water storage has begun my friends and things are lookin’ good.
For those of you new to an agricultural river (as opposed to a municipal waterway) we see a lot of dramatic changes in flow during the summer months. It’s all dependant on what the farmers and ranchers call for in their water rights downstream and what exchanges are transferred above. Water is a commodity here in the high desert and every drop has been claimed a long time ago.
Guiding on an agricultural river is like guiding a freestone (natural) river on drugs. If a call comes in the flow can go from 100 to 4000 in minutes at the dam and can take up to half an hour to realize you’re standing in a flood five miles down. So when winter water storage starts we have two goals, see how healthy the trout are and learn what spots have changed. For us, however, that’s easy, three of our four guides live within walking distance of the water. So, when you want a guide to put you on fish, who ya gonnna call? the spotted faced kid from Colorado Springs “guide school” , a guide from Denver or the a descendant of the people that actually founded this state and county.
Fishing today with my compatriots was a mixed bag. We had had spotted hatches of bugs all day long from great clouds. We fooled around and caught a few on dries without much fuss but getting below them was the trick. Olive midges and zebras put them in the net.
This is going to be a great season and we’re ready for it. We’re ready for it and ready for our wonderful guests. Are you ready?
Tight lines,

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Flow:  183 CFS
Water Temp:  53Deg
Clarity:  Green (Algae)
Hatches:  Midges & BWO’s
I had an incredible day with Norm Hicks, our newest member of Team Steel City Anglers.  He is really a good guide, fly fisher and he is really patient.  We started out at the Nature Center Norm on dry flies and I was fishing midges and a #20 Pheasant Tail.  The little dinks were all over the water, since the BWO’s have been hatching all day.  That was fun but no large fish.  We proceeded to the 100 Yard Run and began hooking into some nice 14 to 16 inch bows and browns .  Because the water clarity was terrible you had to literally put the bug on their nose.  Bugs of the day:  Sz 20 BWO dry,  Sz 20 Olive Midge,  Sz 20 Zebra Midge and Sz 18 BH Pheasant Tail.  Norm seined the runs and found web caddis larva and BWO nymphs.
Stay off the redds!
See the pictures accompanying the report.  Right in front of the Nature Center there is a small redd!  After fishing the run for a couple of hours I walked up to the third J Hook and caught a few dinks but walked a little above the J Hook and there are redds everywhere!  Please give them a wide berth.  The browns are in full spawn mode and we want lots and lots of babies from them! 
Sad Note
The flag hole, one of the finest holes in the tail water is completely gone.  The first weir is ninety percent filled in and no longer directs the thalwag to the center of the river.  So the flow is toward the north bank and has filled in the rock structure and the island that we used to guide on is half  gone.  By next summer high flows we could see Nature Center flooding.  The high flows against the island has created a seam in the calm water that does hold some fish but you need to be on the south bank standing on top of the rock structure to fish it.
Happy Note
We are thirteen days from winter storage, hopefully the river will clear some and the fishing will be excellent.  Go to and book a trip with Norm! You will be glad you did!
Tight Lines

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Flow:  273.6
Water Temp:  43 Degrees
Clarity:  Gin Clear
One Note Bug
The day dawned clear and cool with the Nature Center was in it’s spring  glory!  There was a gusty cold wind out of the north which encouraged a light jacket.  Brad and Dennis are members of Pikes Peak Fly Fishers and were the high bidders for the donated trip from Steel City Anglers  in their annual auction.  Arriving at the Flag Holes south bank we noticed a BWO hatch in progress so I tied on an olive RS2 and olive midge for one rig and olive midge and zebra midge for the other.  Dennis promptly landed three on the olive midge.  It took Brad a while to land one on an olive midge.  Then Dennis landed a nice 16 and 17 on an olive midge and Brad moved to where Dennis was fishing and landed two more on an olive midge.  We moved to the 1st weir and on the third cast Brad landed the fish of the day on an olive midge, a gorgeous 19 inch bull.  Dennis took a dink on the north bank on an olive midge and we broke for lunch for some incredible burgers at the Coyote Grille.  After lunch we fished the rock structures below the 100 yard run Dennis landed two on an olive midge and hooked up a pig in the 2nd weir in the 25 inch class on an olive midge.  Finally Brad landed a dink in the rock structure below the second wier on an olive midge.  I thought that was a high note so we ended the day. 

In all the years I have been guiding I have never had a day with one bug.  It was a fun day with two really great guys.  One thing, the flows are going up so book your trip like next week or so.  As of this writing the flows are in the 700 CFS area the highest this spring. 
Tight Lines

Friday, March 8, 2019

Flow 63.5
Water Temp 45
The more things appear to change the more they just stay the same.  I do not know how many times I have listed these two flies the Olive Midge and BH Pheasant Tail and it absolutely is a must now!  I arrived late, 12:00 PM but the conditions were excellent.  A small beatis hatch was on going and the daily midge hatch.  I started out deep nymphing with a SJW and Blood Midge, nothing, and yes Steve even the BH Green Copper John!  That told me they were suspended and I switched to the aforementioned flies and immediately hooked a 25 plus hen setting in a fast water seam after 30 seconds of incredible joy and a break off I pitched into that same seam right above a drop off and the result is the bull in full spawning colors.  The hen took the Olive Midge and the bull took the Pheasant Tail. After a couple of dinks the mandatory union break was a must.  The wind came up to 38 MPH gusting to 50 MPH so I pulled the plug.
I highly recommend you book your trip now!  We are eight day away from end of winter storage and massive flows.  The snowpack is at 134% of average and Pueblo Reservoir is 45000 acre feet from maximum storage.  So the water release will be huge.
 Tight Lines Lou

Friday, March 1, 2019

February 28, 2019
Flow 66.5
Water Temp: 38
We’re not (wimps)! That’s what we heard from Terry, Jeff and Jim as we met on a very brisk Wednesday morning. At nine it was seventeen degrees. So I thought OK it’s your dime and we suited up. When they booked the trip the weather report said sixty degrees. I never got above 24. In a very short time the tailwater has gone to full spawn mode, large redds are all over but in the mornings trout are in the fast water above and below them. It was a great day with seasoned anglers teaching more advanced techniques and showcasing our river. Thanks to Phil for stepping in and helping out.
Early large worms and eggs worked well transitioning to size 20 olive midges in the afternoon.
As is customary this time of year we always suggest watching your step and leaving the redds alone. The rainbows are bright, big and beautiful. Now is a great time to get your day with us on the calendar.
Tight lines,