Holy river rise, Batman!  Halfway debating about taking Drake up the canyon for some more river play, I peeked at flows.  Gasping at the sudden rise, I ended the internal debate.  After Drake’s run into the water this weekend, there was no way I would risk a repeat episode.  As of this morning the Poudre flowed at 692 cfs; just two days ago we fished flows of 285 cfs.  Welcome to spring!
Each day Drake teaches us something new; something we could improve, or occasionally something we do right; much as life, and fishing for that matter, provides us limitless opportunities to learn.  Our time on the Poudre has been spent in relatively few spots; we spent time learning and mastering these honey holes.  These, our beloved stretches, brought many fish to the net; however, this season we have begun to learn the river in new ways.  Most of our sweet spots are places with limited, if any, river bank.  With Drake along, these old reliables just won’t do.  He needs to have space to play, especially if the fishing is slow.  Thus, we have took to reading water a little differently.  Instead, first we look for sand bars, islands, or ample bank space to set up shop.  Only then, do we read the water to determine if this a “good” spot. 
Our new method of searching brought us to an exceptional run this week.  Since the river was flowing pretty off-color, we had no idea what the topography of the riverbed was.  I suspected it might be a challenging day.  Much to my pleasant surprise, the catching was consistent.  Even better than consistent fish to hand, Drake had room to play, and both Dustin and I were able to fish simultaneously.  Jackpot.  Two patterns were all we needed; one was a stonefly imitation (#14/#16), perhaps Barr’s pattern.  The other, some kind of wacky purple thing Dustin designed.  He might have to jump in and comment to let you know for sure.  Each pattern caught equal amounts of fish, browns, browns and more browns.  Save for one!  The elusive rainbow decided to grace us with its presence.  It was of the stocker variety, the pale, ugly thing, but the rare occurrence made me smile all the same.   
Drake fished a bit, and played a lot.  He played enough to need a streamside siesta.  After he woke, the fishing slowed.  We decided it might be a good time to mix up the scenery. With that, we headed further up the canyon.  Our new method of searching brought us to a stretch of water which appeared to be phenomenal.  In my mind, I was already drifting my fly down the soft edge of a riffle, tricking a brown to slurp my offering; however, by the time I was rigged, a clap of thunder vibrated off the canyon walls.  Being as we were still in the burn area, we thought it best to head back to the car.  Getting stuck in a flash flood didn’t sound like a good way to end the day.
Depending on how flows work out this week, we might head back to this newfound stretch of water, but if flows stay high, and runoff has indeed begun, we will continue on our quest for new places. 
Until next time,

Written by Stephanie Mullins


Spencer Knibbe

Great post! Nothing like taking the little ones outdoors. I have two boys of my own and truly cherish those times! Keep up the good work!

Feather and Fin


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