I had some help this Friday with my internal conflict between the river and still-water. The river was very good to me last weekend but one look at the flows Thursday night and it was obvious. Find the still-water action or stay at home and pick my nose. It was still-water in a land-slide.
I had to try lake A first which I currently love to hate. Love because it is a crystal clear lake with a shale bottom, scenic beauty and some very large carp. Hate because it is has become clear that it is only good between the last week in May and the first week in July. %$^&#$.
I have a whole different love/hate relationship with lake B. Once again the carp are large but that is where the similarity ends. Shallow feeding fish are available throughout the season but because it has a mud bottom and is fed with urban runoff the water varies unpredictably from off-color to chocolate milk to algae covered felch. You are almost always fishing to dust plumes and bubbles. If you are lucky you get a momentary glimpse of a tail or a shadow. The carp frequently seem to be grazing mindlessly through the muck and even if they are able to find your fly they often seem disinterested. This makes finding the zone, refining the presentation and detecting the take much more difficult than usual!
I have put fair bit of time on lake B and so far it has been a struggle. Relative to past experience Friday was a huge success with two very nice carp landed and a large Koi hooked briefly. The first (nicely sized at 12lb, 28") was landed on a size 8 black / olive Backstabber on the first small strip after dropping the fly by it's head.
The second (a hefty 15 1/2lb, 29") took a size 6 olive Primordial Carp-Stew on small slow 2" strips cast in the general area of a dust plume with a shadow in the middle.
In both cases park-walkers rushed to see what was putting such a bend in my rod and were kind enough to take pictures.
I wish I could provide some profound insights into how to fish the front range mud-pits (AKA reservoirs). If I had them to give I would, but Friday was strictly a matter of perseverance. Darker flies (olive and black) presented very slowly and patiently seem to be beneficial but there is so much more to learn!