I've spent some time in Colorado, but I've rarely fished there. Now that my son lives in Dolores I've had the opportunity to fish the Dolores River a few times, but only one other river up until a few days ago. Recently I visited a friend in Edwards, Colorado and added a new fishery to my list, the Eagle. It's one I've driven by a hundred times back in my skiing days, yet had never stopped or had the opportunity to fish this beautiful river.
This fishery and many in Colorado have been quite warm, but temps since arriving we're cooling off, there had been some rain, yet we still picked the coolest day from the forecast to fish to be on the safe side. We awoke to a crisp morning that was overcast and promising the day we decided to head out. So far so good. We were planning on fishing Eagle fairly high up in the drainage. Blue Wings start early here in Colorado compared to our waters in Utah. When we arrived, both of us were just happy to be on the water regardless of how the fishing turned out. The towering cottonwoods danced and swayed in the gusty breeze that NOAA had promised we would experience, yet it wasn't a deterrent. Looking up and down the beautiful corridor there were two other anglers downstream, but by the time we got in the water they had moved on.
To our delight Blue Wings started coming off about noon. They were quite small, smaller than what I had in my box, #22-#24's at least upon first glance. Since this wasn't a fishing trip, I didn't put a lot of thought into what I might need and I found myself scrambling through my fly boxes looking for a BWO patterns that I might have some confidence in.
The first fish to rise were the rivers smaller rainbows and it took me a while to find a decent fish that was worth casting to, but that's not unusual. When I did it wasn't in the easiest of places to get a fly into, maintain a drag free drift or keep my fly out of the trees, but it was a fish worth targeting. Between the cross wind and overhanging alder that I was tucked behind, I needed to crawl up behind the nice brown and being limited to a very short cast.
I'd put a few hundred casts over this fish when I noticed that my legs were seizing up from kneeling in the water for so long. I'm not as young as I use to be. I had shown the fish a number of different patterns and didn't even get a hint of any interest. Finally I moved on and focused my attention on another fish I'd seen rising consistently a short distance from my perch. This fish was much more cooperative and ripped me through the gin clear pool before it slid into my net. It was a better fish than what I had expected from this fishery. Between the nice rainbow that I was fortunate to landed and the big brown that gave me fits I would have to say I was pretty impressed with the Eagle and what it had to offer.
After releasing my fish, I wander up to join my fishing partner who had a pretty good pod of fishing that he was casting to. Blue Wings continued to pop as I watched him fish until the hatch stopped. As the river became quiet we headed home, both content with the day and the fly-fishing opportunities. I know this won't be the last time I'll fish this river. Unfortunatley it will probably have to wait a year before I can do so again.