Wake up, get dressed, head out. Our destination? The Dream Stream, Hartsel, Colorado. Our mission? Catch a bunch of huge fish. The fishing reports I had gotten from two different people said the rainbows were heading up the river. Hell, what could go wrong? I had already double checked to make sure I had all my gear, all the warm clothes I owned were packed, and even went as far as buying a fancy new spool of 4x fluorocarbon for the trip. Now, all we had to do was get to the river and catch a few fish.
Arrive at the Dream Stream, with only one car other than us. Luckily, they are not in the hole I was hoping to fish. I rig up, walk down to the water, and put in my first cast. Within five minutes, the ice is built up in my guides. What did the laziness of not taking my time to de-ice the guides cost? My rod tip. I head back to the lot, where there are now over 20 cars. Grab my backup and head out.
Still no fish. I've seen one lake runner all day, and it was no more than 18 inches. Time to make a call. I get reception and call my buddy Tad, who was here yesterday.
"Hey Tad. What's up with the DS?"
"Dude, I feel your pain. The fish just aren't there. They were a few days ago, but now they've just vanished. My guess is that they headed back to the lake."
I head back to the car and think about my options. No reason to waste two days casting for nothing, right? We decide the best bet is to head over to the Blue. We drive out of the lot just as I count the 32nd car enter.
We arrive at the Blue, tired and down. Its really crowded here as well. I pick my spot and fish for awhile. One 12 inch bow, that's it. Time for a break. I've decided my fate is sealed for today around 3:30 p.m., and head to the hotel.
Time for another shot at this. Today brings us to one of my favorite secret spots on the Blue, but it seems someone has caught on. There is another car parked toward the lower section of the stretch.
After two hours of casting and numerous fly changes, not even a strike. I've been contemplating the existence of man way too much for one weekend by now. We decide to head back to the section right below Dillon.
Things look a little brighter. There is only one other fisherman on the stretch, a rarity on this section. Also, I'm starting to spot more fish. I fish my way up to the infamous gage hole, and still see no one. I pick my spot, sit down, and re-rig. No indicator, 7x tippet, and a size 20 mysis shrimp. The fifth fish I cast on, I see the white of a mouth open. The line goes tight. The net dips down. Success.
Where is my f#$%ing net?!?! Back on the banks of the gage hole at the Blue. Of course.