I was able to float the Gunnison River on Thursday. Below the confluence with the North Fork of the Gunnison. Indicator nymphing, Mono-Rig nymphing, Mono-Rig with soft hackles, conventional rig with soft hackles, all produced a lot of fish.
The caddis action stated at 9:00 AM. I had been nymphing for a couple hours and picked a few fish. I started with an indicator then switched to a Mono-Rig. Both worked well. At 9:00 I switched my Mono-Rig to a soft hackle setup. My 30 yards of 20lb Mono ending in a micro loop where I change my tippet. For tippet I am using Seaguar Fluoro, 6lb, .009 diameter. The point fly is 6 feet from the micro loop. 24 inches above that is my next SH, 24inches above that is the top fly.
The top fly was a Partridge and Yellow. The middle fly a Prairie Chicken and Hare, tied with Florescent Orange thread. The point fly was a Tan soft hackle. The Tan SH took half the fish in this set up. I dedicated this rig to upstream, and upstream and across only. I tried to target active feeding fish, and as long as I did my part to keep the drift drag free the fish rewarded me with eager takes. My brother in-law was swinging wets down and across the entire day and was having good results as well. I could manage some 30 foot down and across casts with this set up, but it was a chore and even impossible for me when the wind blew, so I stuck with upstream presentations.
I got a little jealous watching my brother in-law casting down and across and getting that violent tug, so around 3:00 PM I set my 11-foot rod aside and grabbed my 10-footer which was rigged with a 4wt WF line. Connected to that is my 9-foot 3X tapered leader. The only change in the fly pattern set up is, I made a Purple and Dun my point fly. Then proceeded to cast down and across. Sometimes to the middle of the river, sometimes to the bank. It all depended on where I positioned my raft. I immediately got in to fish and it continued that way until 6:00PM when we finished the float. A big smile crossed my face when I hooked my last fish. A gorgeous 17 or 18, thick Bow! It took the Purple and Dun.
The next day I floated the Roaring Fork River. I approached it the same way as the day before as far as nymphing, mono-rig soft hackles and down and across. I caught fewer but bigger fish, and more Rainbows. The Hares Ear and Partridge along with the Muskrat were the top producers, with a Partridge and Purple taking the two largest fish.
Yesterday after noon I wet waded the Gunnison River above the North Fork from 3:00PM until 6:45 PM. Straight down and across. The Yellow and Partridge and Muskrat took center stage until the sun set behind the rim of the canyon. I added a bead head (blasphemy) Purple and Black. At that moment I knew Davey Wotten, Oliver Edwards, and Jesus Christ hated me. I pounded trout with it.
All three days the fish were eager to strike if given a proper presentation. Sloppy and or inaccurate casts were rarely rewarded with fish. The caddis action was phenomenal as I thought it would be. I have a 50/50 chance it will be over when I return home in a few weeks from work. If the madness is over when I get back, I will have a wicked grin on my face for another year remembering it. In my mind, for three straight days I was a flyfishing GOD!
I rambled. Back to work for me starting tomorrow night.