Saturday, June 28, 2008

Runoff Continues

I have stopped praying for the end of runoff because it is obviously not working. The rivers continue to be blown out and there is some serious snow that is in no hurry to melt off the mountains. Some small streams and beaver ponds have been fishing well and we have been catching some nice brook trout. I have to apologize for my absence from the blog. I have been working two jobs, camping out, and just spent the last week visiting with family in Lake City which was a blast. Hopefully I can get some pictures loaded on a computer soon to give full reports. Until then I'll be fishing, camping and working. Keep your line in the water and enjoy the summer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Backcountry Fishing

I had a guide trip rescheduled this morning and should have headed out to the ranch I've been picking up extra work at but I decided to hit trail instead. I headed up to a nice lake nestled in aspen at around 10,000. I realized it has been a long winter about a mile into the uphill when my calves began to stiffen. After a good stretch I continued the hike, eventually getting my rhythm set. Once I reached the lake it was beautiful. Everything was green and half the lake was bordered by beaver ponds.

There were no signs of fish but I knew they were in there. While I was rigging up fish began rising everywhere as did my excitement. I tied on a parachute adams and made a cast. As soon as my fly hit the water the rising ceased and I thought I had somehow spooked every fish in the lake. While standing there confused a muskrat surfaced at my feet with a mouth full of brook trout and slapped the water before disappearing below. I decided to circumnavigate the lake while letting the fish mourn their fallen brethren and I was soon jumping over streams and balancing my way across the tops of beaver dams like a happy child. I made my way around part of the lake and resumed fishing. There were sporadic rises but nothing would take on the surface. I changed to a double nymph rig with a #18 pheasant tail trailed behind a #14 copper john. It wasn't long before I was hooking up brook trout on a slow retrieve.

Some were small and colorful and others were nice and fat. I did not catch anything huge and did not expect to but the fishing was awesome and the fish fought hard. The scenery spectacular as well and I hope to hit many more of the high lakes this summer. Sorry about the smudge mark on the button of the camera. I didn't notice until I uploaded the pictures.

Looking down on Lake City

Time to stretch

Check out the Lake

Colorful Brook Trout

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Catching Up

Sorry about the lack of posts lately but runoff combined with working everyday has really slowed things down for me. I have had two half days of work in the last two weeks and immediately went fishing. One day I hit deer lakes for a few hours and caught several small brook trout on my 3 weight before dark but I didn't take any pictures of the trout because they were too pretty to touch. Today I headed down a beautiful stream called Cebolla but forgot my camera. The water was high although I caught some nice browns in some beaver ponds that are on the verge of being washed out.

I ended up driving to a section of stream that is rarely fished but the water was high. After walking along the bank for a while I came into a small stand of aspen with a few tall cottonwoods and pushed my way through some dense brush. I came into a perfectly round opening between the trees and brush and layed on some soft duff amidst scattered elk droppings. The circle of trees left me with a window to the sky where cirrus clouds wafted over me like weightless shredded cotton balls intermittently turning the radiant sun into a blurred orange haze. The trees creaked and moaned, diluting the strong gusts of wind into the perfect breeze and the roaring stream sent the occasional boulder tumbling in a muffled clunk...clunk...clunk. While I stared through my private window the world outside was forgotten and forgiven and I slowly drifted off to sleep. It is a rare moment when I am perfectly content laying my rod down and falling asleep in waders without hitting the stream hard all day.