For the last eight years or so, I have traveled more or less regularly to spend time with friends and family in southern Colorado to get my fix for mountains, trout, and all that makes that region such a gorgeous spot. It is truly a special place for me.
Last year I took a hiatus from Colorado to spend some time in Tanzania on a mission trip, a journey that I will never forget.
But I was very much looking forward this year to getting back to the mountains. And being someone who likes to have things pretty well planned out, I began testing the waters to determine cabin availability, what rivers were flowing well, hatch chart alignments, and when Kip’s Grill would be open in Creede. Unfortunately conflicting family milestones, work deadlines, and difficulty synchronizing my vacation time with my wife’s, made it nearly a certainty that my Colorado drought would extend to two years in a row.
So I did what
every guy does a few guys I know do. I went to my local flyshop to commiserate about it and get some understanding head nods from other similarly afflicted trout bum wannabes. Personally I am a trust fund trout bum wannabe, but why split hairs during a crisis?
As fate would have it, my local flyshop owner was similarly afflicted, and we started talking about a quick trout fishing fix to the Lower Mountain Fork in southeast Oklahoma. That conversation was quickly abandoned when it appeared that we both has a break in our schedules the same week, which also coincided with an opening at my friend’s cabin. So within 2 days we went from famine to feast and the plan was set.
In short order my truck was packed with all the trappings a fly shop can produce plus two friends. We pointed the nose of the urban assault vehicle northwest….
|Diesel was expensive, but the locals were smiling …|
|North Clear Creek Falls|
What followed was an epic week with lots of great memories of cutthroats, Hatch green chilies, cows, the malt shop, people and high mountain pass jeep trails that were not made for the mass of an F250. But we made it through (barely), with a few years scared off our lives to show for it.
|Another canvas of God’s creativity|
We didn’t fish every day. One day we too a side trip to Montrose to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Scott Fly Rods, Whiting Farms, and a too late visit to Ross Reels. More about that day in an upcoming post.
|Where the magic happens at Scott Fly Rods|
|PB and J’s never taste better than after chasing cutties at high elevation|
Unfortunately most good things come to an end, and where Colorado is concerned, that occurs all too quickly.
|Eastbound and down near Blanca peak in the Sangre de Christo range|
Planning for next year’s spontaneity has already begun…