Cody called me last week and said ” hey man you should think about coming down to Deckers for a day next week.” My reply was a simple one ” or you could come up here and we could fish the Eagle.” It was my turn to drive East so I crossed over two icy mountain passes to meet Cody in Evergreen.
After making a winding trip from Evergreen to Deckers we were surprised to see the parking lot full of anglers. We were hoping to find a less crowded river during our mid-week fly fishing excursion but it looked like every one had the same idea. Despite the overwhelming amount of Titan Rod Vaults in the parking lot we were able to find plenty of water with willing fish. The morning bite was slow but things picked up once the BWO hatch started to come off around 1pm. Most of the fish we hooked were suspended in deeper pools while some were in faster pocket water gorging themselves on emerging Baetis. The BWO hatch consisted of both dark and light bodied adults ranging in size from 18-16. Fish were willing to come to the surface but not consistently. If we had some cloud cover I am confident we would have seen a lot more fish poking their nose through the surface film.
Due to the high sun, which made for excellent sun tanning, Nymphing was by far the most effective technique. A lot of fish were suspended in the water column so there was no need to go real deep with your nymph rig. The best bugs were flash back Barrs Emerger trailed by an flash back RS2 (Grey or Black). It was difficult to detect strikes by watching your indicator, I know it doesn’t make sense. You could see fish feeding below the surface and more times than not our bobbers would not move when a fish ate our stuff. So we resorted to watching our flies underwater as they approached the fish. This was very fun and at times frustrating. In certain areas we could watch the fish open it’s mouth and inhale our offerings while in other areas we watched for a flash as our presentation drifted past the fish. This was a key to our success. If we kept relying on the bobber I am sure our hook up numbers would have gone way down.
If you plan on fly fishing at Deckers, there isn’t any reason to get there real early unless you want to have some solitude or it is the weekend or…maybe you should go early. A lot of anglers pealed out around 2 o’clock right when the fishing got good. I can only assume it was to beat the traffic in the city. The BWO hatch seemed strongest between 2-4 and it could have gotten better but we left the river trying to keep our wives at home happy. If you have an overcast day I would expect to have some good dry fly fishing. While the Blue Wings didn’t come off in good numbers until the afternoon there was a decent midge hatch in the morning. As far as fly selection goes the early morning angler should have plenty of smaller 22-24 midge larvae patterns, seems strange with all the bigger bugs in the river but thats what they were keyed in on. Once the Blue Wings start rolling – Sparkle Wing RS2’s, Flashback Barrs Emergers, Micro Mays and more of the like are all good patterns to be throwing under an indicator. For the dry fly guy don’t leave home with out some basic Adams sizes # 20 #18 #16, Foam Back BWO Emergers, BWO Sparkle Duns as well as some Adult midge patterns such as the Griffiths Gnat and Roy Palms Special Midge Emerger. Thank you to Lateral Line Media for the photos and excellent outdoor videos.