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Lower North St. Vrain 3/12/20

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

Well after waiting a couple years to get my Euro rod, it finally happened. I woke up late, and to an overcast day. I decided that I would head over to Rocky Mountain Anglers and pick up my new rod, an Echo 11', 3 weight Shadow X (see the whole review in the blog section). I did quite a bit of research on the Euro rod selection and after much deliberation I decided on the Shadow X.

I was planning on heading down to the Ark today, but with the weather I didn't feel like putting in the drive. So after stopping by the shop and picking up my new baby and relining my 3 weight Lamson with an Airflo Euro specific line, I headed north towards Lyons. I have been there a few times over the last couple of weeks with mixed results and decided that this would be a great place for me to really compare the Euro rod with that of my usual, short comings of a traditional rod that I had been using since I started Euro nymphing a few years back. Does a Euro rod really make that much of a difference?

I rigged up in the parking lot, which took some time as I had to balance out my rod to my reel with the included washers. I decided to change up my fly selection. I wanted to go with some Euro flies specifically; if we're gonna do it, let's do it right, right? I tied on a Euro specific size 16 Frenchy that was tied by me, but taught to me recently by Jake Oe at a fly tying event. A real simple pattern, but super sexy and durable with it's thread body and slim body. A Frenchy is always a great go to and a pattern that I have nymphed with several times. Above that, I tied on a CFA original. To be honest, I don't remember tying it, but one look at it and I decided that the look and weight of it would be the perfect lead fly. The fly has no name yet but will once it's added to the CFA fly shop line-up. Below the Frenchy, I tied on a red floss worm, which has caught quite a few trout for me here lately.

I went to the first hole and upon the first cast I could feel the difference. It was very accurate casting it and had a great feel as you led the flies through each pocket. The long reach didn't hurt either. Within about 5 drifts, I had my first trout on. It was a real small guy but I was pleased with that as I have long suspected that I was missing several bites with my non-Euro specific rods. This helped confirm that notion. I managed to pick up one more in the first hole and even lost another. I was picking them all up on the Frenchy.

I continued to fish on and caught a handful more, including a nice 12" rainbow; which is above the norm for here for sure. I fished on and made my way up around the bend where I had recently caught a real nice 16" or so rainbow; definitely not the norm for here. I fished the same hole and had no such luck.

I made my way up over the levee to the canyon wall. This hole had given me problems recently as I just didn't have the reach to fish it without spooking the fish by getting too close. If I let out more line, it would just drift back to me as again, I didn't have the reach and thus the right angle on my leader. I fished the lower deeper section, and had no hits. I moved up to the head of the hole and it looked super fishy. It just looked like a prime hole. I cast to it about 3-4 times and got a couple decent drifts but wasn't quite getting my flies right where I wanted them. On the 5th drift I saw my leader lift instantly and tighten up. I knew before I even set the hook I had a nice trout on. Sure enough, after a good 3 minute fight I got a real nice 18" bow to the net. A beautiful fish, he put a great fight and it really put my light and sensitive rod tip to the test. Definitely had to ginger him in and really use the drag on my reel.

The New Rod Paying Off

It was the ultimate topper to the day. I couldn't have been more happy and realized that indeed the Euro rod makes a world of a difference. The sensitive tip really helps detect the lightest hits and the longer reach helps enable proper drifts. Money well spent I would say for sure.

I fished my way up, further than I ever have in this section and in the next hole I was landing my flies underneath a rock outcropping on the canyon wall and was amazed by the casting accuracy. I ended up losing another 12" or so bow before I did hook into a nice 16" bow that I landed. I sat and enjoyed victory. I texted Jake and thanked him for the pattern as it had been the ticket all day. I fished the hole about 10 more minutes with no takes and finally lost my whole 3 fly rig in the tree behind me on a false hook set. With my hands growing numb, the temos now getting down to the lower 40's, I decided I had put in enough work for the day.

I headed back to the ride with a smile on my face as I had set out to more or less kick some trout's ass and I accomplished that feat for sure. I couldn't be more happy with the rod. It was the perfect ending to a 3 day weekend that I had been in need of for some time. Can't wait to get some more experience on the Shadow X. It is definitely a real fishy rod. I also need to spend some time at the bench and fill my arsenal of jig flies and Czech flies. Until then...

Tight Lines and Fish On!

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