‘Whale’ hunting on the Yampa | VailDaily.com

‘Whale’ hunting on the Yampa

Dan Davis

Warm days and cool evenings mark the beginning of fall and the gateway to another ski season. The tourists have generally left town, with the exception of a few gapers and RV enthusiasts taking in the fall colors.For locals, this slow time of year “off-season” if you will means it’s time to break out those road maps and start researching last minute airfare specials for a fall getaway before the snow flies.But if your bank account is barren and your surviving off a cash reserve, it doesn’t mean that a great adventure can’t be had. Just look a littler closer to home.A short drive to the north on Highway 131 near the rival ski town of Steamboat Springs the great whale hunt has begun on the Yampa River.The brown trout are starting to spawn, with lunkers up to 28 inches in length surging upstream. The warm daytime temperatures provide good insect hatches and the big rainbows that this river is famous for aregorging themselves before the cold winter months.”The section of the Yampa that cruises through (Steamboat Springs) holds big browns and rainbows,” says Jarett Duty of Bucking Rainbow Outfitters. “With plenty of public river access.”As the air temperature heats up toward noon, so does the fishing. The warmer temperature allows for a blue wing olive hatch that can cause a rainbow-tinted Moby Dick to rise out of the depths and to the surface to start sipping small bugs off the film.If you hook one of these monsters, you’re in for the fight of your life and might wish that you had brought along a harpoon instead of a five-weight fly rod. It only takes catching a few of these behemoths to make a great fishing day.”There’s less kayaking and rafting traffic on the river this time of year,” says Duty. “And the fall foliage and dry fly hatches make for a great fishing experience.”For more information, contact Bucking Trout Outfitters at (888) 810-8747.

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