A New Fishing Buddy?

3 minute read

This will be a short post, as I only put in a half day at Deckers after work. I decided to cut out early from the office since Tuesday was a holiday, and I figured that most people wouldn’t be out on the water - they would be getting ready for fireworks or traveling or maybe even setting up cookouts.

In general, I was spot on - the drive down from Centennial was easy and there was no one in the parking lot when I arrived. It was really hot, so I wore my rice patty hat to give me some needed shade. I decided since I only had a few hours, I would shoot straight to my favorite spot from last trip - the Island.

I cut across the meadow and easily waded across the river and began casting. No more than 3 minutes into casting and walking, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought it was another fisherman who had snagged the tailout spot where John and I had hooked fish. As I looked closer, I nearly jumped out of the water. Right in the exact spot where John had hooked his hog bow was a large male moose eating some vegetation in the river. I had to snap a video just to show how majestic he looked and how close I was. I posted it to my Instagram page, which you can see below:

A post shared by RyMo (@rymoio) on

I didn’t want to cause a scene - especially since I was by myself on the water, so I took a few steps backwards and fished the fast water before the island. The water was super clear, mildly cold, and the perfect flow rate for nymphing. I heard some lazy river tubers coming down the river, so I turned to tell them about the moose, and I missed a really large bow that had taken either my scud or my PT. I guess my good Samaritan act was worth losing a big fish?

After about 15 minutes, the moose moved back into the small meadow on the left, so I fished my run more normally. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking behind and beside me every ten seconds. That moose was big, and a lot faster than me in the water.

As I moved down the river, I wasn’t getting anything to bite. Where the water opens up a bit, I think the full sun and hot temperatures were really slowing down the fish. I must have waded past 20 rainbows just hugging the bottom near the sandbar. It was about this time that the moose popped out again, and - I think in an act of curiosity, not aggression - started to move out of the meadow, into the water, and straight towards me. I waded down river, and then across the river, and the moose actually started to follow me. Now I was a bit scared. This section of water is a bit deeper, faster moving, and the far bank is nearly straight up. I wear pant waders, and I’m not great at scaling scree embankments. Luckily, a family in a raft floated down and caught the moose’s attention long enough to let me cross back over and into the meadow.

I great shot of my friend crossing the South Platte
I great shot of my friend crossing the South Platte.

I tried fishing the slow bend and the flats, but the light was making it hard to see, and I wasn’t seeing many fish feeding. The water was absolutely gorgeous however, so I decided to wade back upstream to have one last try at my island.

I ran into another fisherman down from Parker who was taking pictures of the moose for his kids. The moose was now laying down eating brush, so I felt a bit safer to wade back into the river and up the bank. It was about 5:30 PM at this point, and the temperature and light had turned down a bit, so I got a number of bites. I had a rainbow on for about 30 seconds before he jumped out of the water and spit me. Then I saw some flashes in the tailout next to the bank, so I put on griffith’s gnat and tossed a few times near the bank and hooked into a nice and lively brown.

A nicely colored brown to end the day
A nicely colored brown to end the day.

All in all, it was a great half day of fishing. I met a moose, a caught two fish, and I didn’t have to work all day!

Updated:

Drive time: 70 mins

Take I-25 S towards Colorado Springs and get off at Exit 187 for Happy Canyon Road. Continue until you see signs for US-85 N, then turn left onto CO-67 S. Bear right onto W Pine Creek Road, then left onto N Platte River Road. The spot is on your left as you come up over a hill.

Parking: The parking spot fits 3-4 cars. If you can't park here, you can likely park at the camp ground you pass on the drive in.

Other: There is a path from the parking spot down to the river. Make sure you follow it - it has a very easy grade down and to the right.