August 2, 2012

Where Skunks Don’t Stink

We dropped into two sections of the South Platte River last week, hunting for trout in the cold mountain waters of Colorado:

First, the Middle Fork just outside Alma, which bills itself as “North America's Highest Incorporated Town” (@10,578ft); come to think of it that may be a play on the local dispensaries... the marketing materials don't exactly make it clear. Then, the Dream Stream, a three-mile section that flows out of the Spinney Mountain Reservoir; the name portends greatness and I can tell you firsthand that the letdowns are correspondingly painful.

Eight hours spent alongside the banks and wet-wading up to the crotch, and nothing doing either day. Why they call it “fishing, not catching” was the sentiment that comforted us. That and shitty warm beer. ‘Course, no one likes to go o-fer, though with these views in the foreground it was hard to get too upset.

That Filson I’ve had now for over seven years. It’s a great field bag that rarely sees the field; cut its scuffs along the thirty bus route and on most days it’s relegated to a repository for files that go with me from work to home and back again. It is occasionally stuffed with dove and shells. Wish it carried more flies and reels. I’ve vowed to get more into the sport that requires such things, as one does, certainly after a trip like this.

My dad was an avid angler and it was easy to channel his passion as I casted, over and over and over, enjoying a coveted moment of solitude when time makes no demands and concentration meets no break but for the ripple of water over rock beds and the trout that won’t rise.


GSV JR said...

Ha! We call it "casting," not "catching." If you want to facilitate your move off the deep end, fully embrace flyfishing. It's a moneypit, incredibly frustrating, takes years of practice and knowledge, and sometimes, maybe, you land a fish the size of your foot.

Beautiful photos. Actually makes me want to go out an cast. Maybe.

Amatourist said...

afraid that move off the deep end is in motion.

last time in Colorado I landed a fish so small that anywhere else it would be called bait. I called it a good day out.