Thursday, August 07, 2008

One more Colorado story

It’s not like I’ve never fished before.

As a kid, I remember fishing with a cane pole, bobber and worm for bullheads in Clarks Creek, later running lines all night for channel cat at Reading Lake, catching walleye below the dam at Perry and trolling for white bass at Milford Lake. Heck, we even spent a week fishing for walleye at Canada’s Cedar Lake several years ago. Of course, there is Clinton Lake and the farm pond.

Until last week, I have never fished for trout.

We are camped in Routt National Forest west of Ft Collins, Colorado. The talk at the bait shop in Gould is people are catching trout on worms, salmon eggs and power bait below the dam at North Michigan Reservoir located in nearby Colorado State Forest.

Three friends from our party and I are on the road at 6:00 am the next morning excited about the possibility of catching our breakfast. I am dressed in a winter coat against the 35 degree morning. As we approach the lake, to our dismay, a car is already there. We peer over the dam to see the young family who told us where to fish the night before.

We begin the steep descent to the area below the dam. The adults already there are accomplished fly anglers, beautifully arching their lines to settle the bait wherever they want it. We have rod and reels.

The couple assures us they will share the limited space around the pool. My friends get their hook baited and in the water. I am struggling to get the hook tied with my cold fingers. Finally, we are all “in.” My friends each catch a fish. I am hung up.

Hook retied and baited, I am back in business. I feel the hit, jerk to set the hook and the trout flies out of the stream and lands behind me. Excited about the fish, but embarrassed about my performance, I hurriedly put the fish on a stringer. The young couple quietly asks their son to move closer to them.

Everyone is catching fish. I feel another hit. Excitement takes over and I yank—too hard again. The fish escapes. The hook catches on the side of my jeans.

Nothing to do but cut the line and leave the hook hoping no one notices. I tie on another hook and move to a different location away from everyone. I finally catch another fish. We soon leave as everyone except me has caught their limit.

We return two more mornings and catch our limit each time. I improve. When asked about the fishhook in my jeans later that first morning, I said I put it there so it wouldn’t get lost.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finally a Colorado story

I finally posted the story about our trip at our travel blog, wildlife, wildflowers and waterfalls.

I encourage you to click over and read about it but am linking the pictures here also. The North Park area of Colorado is new to Dan and I. It is beautiful and certainly we did not encounter crowds.

I think you will be surprised at the pine mountain beetle damage. It scares me to consider how Colorado will look in a few years. Their pine forests are being decimated by either the beetle or mistletoe.

Here are the pictures:

Colorado July 2008 1

Click on the picture for a slide show.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It was a mountain top experience

Since returning from the land of thin, dry air and cool night temperatures, I have been busy trying to catch up and put away. I am hoping tomorrow there will be time to tell more about our trip. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.