Although we knew this wasn't going to be the ideal fishing trip, my daughter Rachel and I were both itching to wet our lines so we set out anyway. Beaver Creek is one of my favorite small streams - both the lower stretch near Penrose and the upper section out of Skaguay Reservoir. It is one of the most beautiful hikes and usually fishes well. After all of the rain and runoff, I was curious as to whether it was blown out, off color or in decent condition.
As any fisherman knows, an early start is usually best. But a prior commitment had us leaving late morning, then later morning due to the essential coffee stop (and of course, that created the necessary bathroom stop.) As we headed out of Divide, we noticed a particularly dark cloud that appeared to be very near our destination. As in most families, we have different perspectives: one of us is "glass half full" while the oher is "glass half empty." So "glass half empty" girl actually said, maybe we should head back home - this may not be the best idea. But we proceeded, with our eyes on the sky.
The rest of our drive consisted of more factors that had us thinking twice: a "Road Closed in 5 miles" sign once we turned onto the dirt road, a discussion of both the efficacy of expired epi pens and the distance back to the Woodland Park Hospital, and of course the darkening clouds that we now confirmed were directly over the reservoir. But we finally made it!
After parking, quickly assembling our rods and hoisting our packs, we practically jogged down the road from the dam. As with most small streams, the farther you hike from the parking area and the people, the better the fishing will be. In fact, this is the first time I assembled and rigged my rod in the parking lot - usually I hike in quite a ways first. But we were already feeling the first rain drops, and they were getting more frequent.
There was quite a bit of water coming over the dam, and the stream water level was fairly high, but the clarity wasn't bad and it was fishable. We hiked for a whole 10 minutes from the car (not nearly as far as I had hopeed) and decided if we were going to fish it was now or never, with the storm worsening. So we quickly found some decent spots - slower water near the bank or behind some boulders - and made the first casts.
With an olive Amy's Ant and a Parachute Adams, in about 8 minutes we had hooked, landed and released 4 fish! The storm was now upon us, so we agreed to play it safe, put our lighting rods away and headed back.
This was hands down, the briefest fishing adventure I can remember. But both of us were pumped - we had a fun mother-daughter adventure together, wet our lines, held some fish, and called it a day. The fact that in higher water and so close to the dam we caught fish after fish tells me our small streams are primed and ready! What are you waiting for?
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