Conejo Valley Fly Fishers

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Andy Purdy rented Larry Martinís Colorado Condo during this past June for a fishing vacation with his family. Here is his account:

The Roaring Fork, Colorado, and the Frying pan were experiencing flows that were extremely high for late June. We actually tried the Frying Pan one-day, which was clear for the amount of water that was rushing through it. We ended up in the quality water at the dam outlet. There were quite a few guides there with clients. The good spots seemed all to be taken. Those anglers with guides were hitting a lot of fish on mysis shrimp. We were skunked the entire day.

That left Sopris Creek on Larry Martin's "Ranch at Roaring Fork." From Larry's condo the creek is a short one minute walk out the door, down a farm road, and then behind the old red barn. A truly idyllic setting that is definitive Colorado stream fishing. The condo association has undertaken some stream side reconstruction that has added more cover and areas for the fish to hold. We had the most luck where the creek ran under a vehicle bridge from the main road to the private homes and in a wide pond like area of the creek that is circled by those same private homes. There is a public grassy area that is right on this portion of the Sopris and will comfortably afford room for two or three anglers to cast at once. We would get out there in the early morning for the caddis hatch and then again in the evening. The evening hatch was divided into two events. The early interval was a drake hatch followed by a one-hour lull. The top water action picked up when the mosquitoes began hatching. The trout went absolutely NUTS when the mosquitoes came off. They would gorge on the emerging larva and then the adults flying above the water. A lot of airborne trout were quite a sight at sundown. It was a dry fly paradise. My nephews were using small prince nymphs during the evening in narrow parts of the creek and the trout were taking them on the rise before recasting (as if emerging). If I had known that the Sopris was this good we would not have wasted our day at the Frying Pan.

My daughter is nine and her name is Amanda. She caught three browns in the size range that she is pictured holding, with my assistance. I would cast a #18 lightly dressed olive elk hair caddis out to where the fish were holding and together we would set the hook on a take and then I gave her the rod so she could strip it in. It was such a joy hearing her giggle with excitement when she caught one. There were a lot of streamside areas where I could show her how to cast a fly line. She still gets a little impatient, but she hasn't lost interest.

Amanda has gone fly-fishing with me to the Sespe on two prior occasions. She still does not have the confidence to cast a fly line yet, but she practices at home all the time in the back yard. She loves to fish.

My brother's name is Steve. He caught those browns on an olive bead-head woolly bugger stripped across the creek allowing it to fall into the deep pockets. The fish would take it on the arching move across the current. The take was really violent. I caught a nice rainbow using the same fly and technique, but unfortunately it slipped out of my hands and back into the water before I could have Steve shoot a picture of it. He is my only witness to that catch, and he wouldn't confirm it out of a sibling rivalry that dates back to the fifties. He seemed to have more luck on streamers on that trip. I was getting most of my fish on dries. The fact is that, although rare, I caught a lot more fish than he did. Again he will never confirm my fishing prowess on this trip and that the sibling rivalry that exists between us will always influence his ability to accept the truth.



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