Sunday, August 28, 2011
Mike and I tied on our favorite flies and watched the water, waiting for something to happen. We worked our way through our favorite runs and riffles, but struggled early to find fish. I was enjoying the morning breeze and my time with a good friend. I was also in the midst of one of those days. You know, the days where no matter how hard you try not to, you keep screwing up.
I spent more time this morning digging flies off of snags and out of trees than I have all summer. I would snag something on the bottom of the stream only to have it come lose and end up in the trees. I have always believed that if you do not spend some time in the trees then you aren't fishing hard enough, but today was a bit ridiculous on my part.
After making a move, Mike and I were fishing below a parking lot when we heard a vehicle pull in. The door slammed and soon I saw a shadow on the water. Within a few minutes a younger man was headed over the bank to check out the river. What he wasn't anticipating was the lose gravel that took him for a ride while he lost his balance and slid and rolled frantically toward the river. The look on his face was that of a slightly scared man along with a load of embarrassment. I acted like I didn't see it while he dusted himself off and collected what was left of his dignity and headed back up the bank.
Mike thought I was being attacked when he first heard the noise and the two of us held our laughter until the man was out of sight. When he returned to the river ready to fish it was time for us to move. We laughed the whole way to our next spot. I would soon pay for that laughter.
We arrived at Macochee Creek to see if we could get some footage of rising fish. We found two or three really nice trout in their feeding lanes, but not rising. Mike decided to stay on the bridge with the camera while I crawled into position for a cast. I was almost to where I wanted and had placed my left hand on a spot where I thought there was ground. There was plenty of grass between me and the stream, but there was no ground. My left hand continued to pushed downward and soon I was rolling off of the bank and right into the water. Thankfully, Mike did not catch that on camera, but he did get me dragging my soaked body back to shore. To make matters worse, I spooked every fish in that run.
In two hours, Mike had enough footage of me to create an hour long blooper video. All I could do was wring out and laugh.I did manage to hook a really good fish as it turned on my fly and headed right for me. It was a short fight and the fish was soon gone.
As always, I enjoyed my time on the water with a good friend. Mike and I never fail to have fun. It was a good day and one that every weekend should have. I look forward to more time on the river and a little bit of butter to make it even better.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I am very fortunate to have friends that fish. Some enjoy fly fishing while others just enjoy fishing. Today, Morgan and I had the pleasure of doing a little fishing/wading in the lower end of Clear Creek with a couple of those friends. The water and shade were a welcome respite from the heat of the day. The fishing was slow, but the fellowship that we shared was fantastic.
I am not as familiar with this portion of the creek, but I hoped to find a few small mouth hiding in its shaded pools. There were very few fish, but the water was cool, the stream was shaded, and the girls seemed to enjoy themselves. The day ended with a good pizza and many good stories. Morgan and I are both looking forward to spending more time on the creek with Trevor and Taylor.
Don't worry Mike, I practically caught that fish for Trevor too!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Mike and I made an evening escape and ventured west for a trip of trout. We made it to the river late in the afternoon and found ourselves alone on a familiar beat. The water was very clear and it became evident quickly that we would have to go slow and steady to find fish. Some were found with nymphs while others rose to the surface to sip small terrestrials. It was a good evening.
Trout on the Mad #2 from Mike McNeese on Vimeo.
By the way, I practically caught that fish for him. I built the rod, I tied the fly, I…
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It had rained at the house last night, but I did not think that it had done any significant damage to the local streams. It seemed harmless enough. However, upon arriving we found the river to be a up a little and still quite stained. I am not a big stained water fan. It is just a personal preference. I like to see fish.
We were there and it was quite a drive to just turn around and go home, so we geared up and headed for the river. I put my rod together and grabbed my box of flies. I rigged up Morgans spinning rod and we set forth to find some smallies. I quickly hooked up and lost a fish while Morgan took pictures of the scenery. We moved upstream and crossed the river. The water was swift and I decided to give Morgan a ride on my back. Unbeknown to me, I lost my fly box in the swift water while navagating my way accross the river casrrying two rods and a thirteen year old. I did not even realize it until I lost a fly later and reached for the box of flies-oops!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
With confused emotions I have both dreaded and longed for this day. The last day. I would hike out today and immediately miss the mountains. I would also have the chance to speak to my beloved family that I had missed so much. I thought of them every step of the way. I missed them more with each moment. I longed to hear their sweet voices and feel their warm embrace. However, I had fallen in love with the mountains: their beauty, their deafening silence and majesty, their solitude and their gift of trout. I would miss them too, but I will return.
The trip out was pretty uneventful. We had a quick and easy hike back down the valley. We fished very little and stopped once again at Big Pool. My fishing would end where it had started. Two more cutthroat trout and I packed my fishing gear away, ready to complete the rest of my journey. The conversation turned from mountains and fish to family and cheeseburgers! It was a quiet hike out for all of us.
Our last look at the river.The drive back through the park was slow and quiet. It was much busier than our early morning trip from the first day. I was just as impressed and even more appreciative than I was before. I was thankful that God had created such a place for us to enjoy. I was greatful for the expirience of having been there. It was truly an amazing journey and one that I will never forget.
Steve and his wife Kerry were two of the most generous and gracious hosts you could have ever asked for. They welcomed us into their lives and homes and I was grateful for their kindness.
The Mighty Colorado River in its infancy.It was time to go. The plane ride home was quiet and reflective. I could not wait to see my lovely wife and beautiful children. I was greeted with a "Welcome Home" sign, a newly landscaped yard, freshly mowed grass, and newly painted shutters. Oh yeah, and an exhausted and cheerful wife.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
I struggled once more to find sleep. The excitement and exhaustion from the day before were of little help in my quest to find some rest. Once again, I was first from the tent and I made the short journey for the bear vaults. This morning, Steve would be making sausage and egg burritos for breakfast. After last night’s dinner, these would be a welcomed treat. The air was chilly at forty-six degrees and I longed for the other guys to wake. Soon enough they would both emerge from their tents to begin their own morning rituals.
Today’s fishing would consist of a much easier hike and for the first time this trip there would be no need for a back pack. This would be a welcome respite from the burden that has seemed to attach itself to my back. Free from the weight of my back pack, I felt as if I were dancing between the rock and along the stream.
After breakfast, we rigged up and headed for the river. We would hike upstream quite a ways before starting our fishing this day. In a promise to my friend Larry, I decided to tie on his favorite fly, an Elk Hair Caddis. He asked me to catch him one of those pretty cutthroats and that is exactly what I did. I am not sure how many I caught on his fly, but it was somewhere between one and thirty.
Friday, August 5, 2011
The trail was steep and slow as we navigated the dead fall and switch backs along the way. The scenery was once again spectacular as we climbed in and out of the trees. The sounds of long waterfalls echoed through the valleys and the smells of fresh wildflowers filled the air. It was a wonderful climb that rested at Lake Nakoni.