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A tale of two rivers.

Posted on July 18 2019

Today I split time between the WB and the UE.

Fished the WB between the game lands and monument. It was foggy with some drizzle, an olive kind of day. There were olives, not a big hatch where they cover the water but enough to get fish rising. Fished from 1:15 until 4:30, saw one boat and one other angler. Did I catch trout? You betcha. Now ask me how big they were? Not very. Early I rose several good fish that didn't take. As the hatch progressed there were more big fish up but I never saw a nose come out of the water. They all were feeding below the surface. Was able to get a bunch of yearlings and a couple of two year olds to eat my fly but most ignored my offerings.

Drove over to the UE which was shrouded in fog with a steady drizzle. Olives again I thought - never saw a one. It was sulfurs that were hatching and the fish were up and eating - on top! I was barely in the water when I saw a good fish eat two duns. Threw the olive I was using on the WB at him and he never rose again. Changed to sulfurs and fish ate, lots of them.

What is the differences between the two branches? Lots of things. The WB has three times as much water, the water is more nutrient rich (it flows through farm land above the reservoir), it has more grass and algae and it grows more bugs and more and bigger trout, faster than the UE. These factors make the WB more heavily fished. The UE is not user friendly. It is normally too low to float, the riffs are too skinny to hold fish and the flow in the pools is so slow mending your line is a twice a day affair. Without the boats, wade anglers go there seeking the serenity it offers, but it does not give up it's fish easily. Anglers want to catch fish and many lack the skills necessary to succeed on the UE. They return to the WB and join the boats and the horde of wade anglers fishing there. The pressure on the WB makes the fish just as hard (or harder) to catch than their UE cousins.


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