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The Back Side

Living near a variety of different water is nice, although, most of it can’t easily be checked by the simple drive by. To get there has to be intentional and it's time consuming. For instance, this little quiet stream that I’m fond of is approximately 35 minutes from town, asphalt to where the dirt road starts. Next, it’s about another 30 minutes at 20 mph max to the head water where the spring fed stream starts. But that’s not it, you have to go another 30 minutes on that same road further down stream just to find a large enough spot to get off the road.

I learned to bring a pack just in case the fishing is off. Many times I just walked the bank, scouting the pools and runs finding possible spots. I even camped there a few times only to wake to a curious pack of coyotes scoping me out or young bull elk jockeying each other not more than 15-20 yards from my sleeping bag. Once, I spotted the ass-end of the elusive badger just before ducking into its den.

As this place feels remote and wild at certain times, it’s also crawling with ATVs and the obvious “out-a-owners". I’m going to refrain from elaborating on that but that’s Colorado in the summer. Even the local fly shop will guide here if requested. At least this lovely valley is large enough to accommodate for all.

The cutthroats here are wild and spooked by anything that isn’t a fish. Stealth and patience is the only way and like other small wild places, I’ve blown the pool by accident many times... However, one time I got everything right, even down to the presentation. You know when you have the right fly on because when it lands on the water, the action is quick and instantaneous. For small wild trout they are quite mighty in their fight. When brought to the net, their coloring is truly amazing with just a dash of red to indicate their strain. After the release, I always feel grateful for the opportunity, not only to be here, but to be graced by their presence.

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