Holiday Rambler.

Before the holidays, before the traffic, before the house guests, before the last minute gift buying, before the football-watching, before the prime rib-eating, before the wine-drinking…before all that stuff came to a head, I was actually able to get out and enjoy an afternoon on the water. Which, for me at least, isn’t that easy this time of year.
With all the aforementioned holiday-oriented activities brewing, along with a steady schedule of work, December historically proves to be a tough time to enjoy the river. Luckily for me, I happen to live in a place that helps subside the heavy feelings of both holiday-related stress and cabin fever a bit more easily than some.
My daytrip included a 9 foot, 5-weight, which is a bit too heavy for this river, but it happened to be pre-rigged and easily accessible hanging in my garage, so 5-weight it was. No waders were needed, as the 9 ft rod could almost reach entirely across this section of the St. Vrain. Plus, I was incorporating a leisurely stroll with my wife and wanted to present me fly fishing as a “secondary” activity to the walk. You know where I’m coming from…
After about a mile of meandering into a sharp breeze with my shivering wife, the wind settled down and I turned my attention to a couple small noses poking through the river’s film. I managed to manipulate a handful of micro-currents slivering through the canyon and present my #22 dry to said noses…but to no avail. They nosed it alright, but no take.
I switched to the subsurface variety on the reverse side of my fly box, and got the attention of several nice little browns. The fly that enabled me to pull these brownies from their rock bottom happened to be a size 18 BLM Nymph, in case you’re wondering.
Pinpointing the highlight of my day is a tough one. Is it the coffee and breakfast calzone that I enjoyed in Lyons? Is it the beautiful wild brown with the white-tipped fins that inhaled my BLM? Is it the 18 incher that darted up from the boulders to take a swipe at my caddis? Yes.
All of them, yes.