Hey, where did the summer go? | VailDaily.com

Hey, where did the summer go?

John Cochran

Special to the DailyMary Cochran shows off her brown trout that she caught on the Roaring Fork.

While the summer seems to have flown by – again – the most enticing time of the year is quickly approaching the Vail Valley. Fall brings a little less traffic on the road, a fewer people in the grocery store, and a fewer anglers on local waters. As we look back at this summer, we can remember the fantastic opportunities during the early season on the Eagle River right here in our own back yard.

The excellent water conditions made for one of the best fishing summers we have had in many years. The lack of drought, fires, or terrorist attacks has made for a good economic environment for which we should all be thankful. The Roaring Fork was nothing short of amazing and produced some incredible memories for many fly-fishermen this summer. My wife could not get enough hopper fishing on the shallow shelves of the Fork during mid-August. Our only day floating together this summer, we caught and released many fish, but one big brown trout was especially memorable. Giving some room to another boat on the river, my wife drifted a huge foam Fat Albert along a shallow shelf which I never chosen to fish before and hooked the fish of the summer.

The huge fish slowly slurped the fly, and I could barely believe what I was seeing in about six inches of water. After a long battle, and expecting to lose it, we eventually landed this bruiser of a fish and snapped a quick photo. The fish was returned safely to the water to gobble up more floating foam flies for days, and hopefully years, to come. I was so thankful for that one trout that day; my wife can carefully observe the photo on our refrigerator with her satisfied smile.

The Colorado has been equally good this year. We have seen awesome hatches of Caddis and PMD’s, as well as the plentiful Trico hatches of August. The Colorado may no longer be the wildest of rivers on the planet, but it sure has a sense of ruggedness, which is especially evident in the middle sections below State Bridge. The secrets of the Colorado are revealed little by little each year, and occasionally you will catch a glimpse of a huge, old fish as he swipes at your dry fly or experience a giant brown that might try to eat your 9-inch rainbow on the end of your line. I believe that there are many huge nocturnal browns in the Colorado, and the night float during the full moon with a mouse is the equation that might produce the fish of a lifetime. I look forward to trying to fish the harvest moon this October. I would like to thank all of the readers who gave us such positive feedback on our articles this summer, and we look forward to sharing the pursuits of trout in the Vail Valley next year.

If I am able to fish the full moon this fall, I will be in touch with the results. Until next spring, we are going to catch a few fish, hunt a few birds and replenish the insatiable need to find the next great spot on the map that will fill our desire for another day. We will continue to guide on the local waters throughout the fall and right through the winter.

For more information on this article or on fly fishing in the Vail area contact Gorsuch Outfitters at 926-0900 or visit them on the web http://www.gorsuch-outfitters.com.Vail, Colorado