The first fishing trip of the year is usually a total crap shoot. You just never know what to expect in terms of weather, fishing, road conditions, gear reliability, etc. Fortunately here in Colorado we can fish all year round so one doesn't typically get too rusty between hanging up the waders in November and heading out for that first day on the water which for me is usually around late February. Fortunately, today most everything went about as well as one could ever hope for the first day out, particularly in February at 8600 ft of elevation!
This time of year I usually head up to one of my favorite places, Spinney Mountain Ranch on the South Platte. This section of river, a three mile stretch between Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir, is called the "Dream Stream" due to the huge trout that come in from the lake to spawn in the spring and fall.
Now in regards to getting the bugs out on the first day of the season... well the weather was superb - no wind, bright and sunny, and about 45 degrees. The roads were clear, no snow and the dirt river access road was dry (when its muddy, it gets really nasty!). The fishing really couldn't have been better for this time of year - I landed 4 and lost 2 in the period of about 3 hours. Unfortunately today was my day to pay tribute to fly fishing gods by jumping into an icy stream on an excellent fishing day with a pair of very leaky waders. This of course poses an obvious dilemma and after chasing this fish down the river with one leg full of water and a small chilly trickle starting on the other leg I started to wonder just how long one could really go without any feeling in their feet before any permanent damage set in... As it turns out, longer than I would have thought!