Monday, August 18, 2014

Colorado: Pumphouse to Rancho Del Rio

Fishing just above a canyon section
My friend and I recently did a float trip from the Pump House to Racho Del Rio. These put-in and take-out locations were names that I had heard bantered about from other fishing friends for years but had never seen myself. Finally the opportunity came up to fish this stretch. It was good fishing, particularly for good Browns, and I would love to go back. The one drawback to this stretch is that it can get a little crowded with rafters.

A few of the many rafts that we saw
Total Float: 11.15 miles
Start Time: 1:30 PM
Take Out: 8:15 PM
Total Time (including breaks): 6h 45m
Approximate fishing speed: 1.65 mph
Approximate drift fishing speed: 2 mph

Shuttle: $30
Parking at Pump House: $5 (free for America the Beautiful pass holders / military)

The day we went the flows were around 1175 cfs and the temps around 57 °F.

Pumphouse to Radium
Pumphouse: 39° 59.360'N 106° 30.536'W
Radium: 39° 56.944'N 106° 33.394'W
Distance 4.9 miles
Loss: 89 ft (0.34%)

The first section has a couple of decent rapids, but nothing that the Super Puma could not handle at 1175 cfs. We started with nymphs but eventually switched to a double hopper pattern. This produced a couple of nice browns. The fishing was solid but not spectacular. We did not stop in Radium but this would have made a good short float.

Nice brown landed on a hopper pattern
Radium to Rancho Del Rio
Radium: 39° 56.944'N 106° 33.394'W
Rancho Del Rio: 39° 53.695'N 106° 36.509'W
Distance: 6.25 miles
Loss: 67 ft (0.20%)

The 2nd half of the float was a bit mellower. There was a set of rapids that we were told about, but at 1175 cfs they not that bad. The hoppers continued to produce but the light was starting to wane. Right at evening we started to get a nice spinner fall and the browns started rising. Unfortunately, daylight was waning and we had to get on back.

The hound overwatches Justin releasing a brown
If we had to do it over again I would have gotten closer to Rancho Del Rio so that we could have spent more time in the evening fishing for the risers. The stretch right about the canyon below Radium was also a good spot to slow down on.

Fading light as we headed towards Rancho

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