Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Streams

Great Smoky Mountain National Park -

It had been two weeks since my last expedition and another week would not be missed. Extreme heat directed my attention to the higher elevations, so I went up to the Park to explore some streams. I figured I would shoot for Walker Camp Prong but was stopped, as always, by the inticing Little River on the way up. Many monster brown trout have been pulled out of the Little River, but I have yet to lay my hands on this secret gold, and the River would have me wait longer. I fished awhile with no luck in the Little River before moving up to Walker Camp. I climbed down from the road through some poision ivy and thorns, and dropped into a nice area of the stream. I hiked up the stream a bit and found a perfect run. I was extremely cautious approaching this run, even more so then usual. I sat down and observed the run for a bit and noticed two fish feeding on the subsurface. Amazing what a little patience will do. Regardless, I missed my first two bites, and could tell my small stream fishing was a bit rusty. So I sat back, tied on a new fly and dropper and fooled a couple out of the hole. One rainbow and one brookie. I decided to hop over the mountain to the larger 'Luptee and try my luck there. David is not very fond of this river, so I try to hit it up when he is not with me. I pulled a couple nice rainbows from there, the largest of which I didnt get a picture of. The browns that I was searching for didnt come out to play, but they will in due time. "A day on the water is like a day in paradise" one great man once said....oh wait I just made that up! til next time....


Light peaking through Walker Camp


Tiny Brook Trout took a hares ear that barely fit in its mouth

Another Rainbow from Walker Camp

Higher flows than usual

Waiting in the net

Rainbow took the Prince Nymph

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



A long weekend gave time for our latest expedition into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. We had juggled with the choice of fishing for some large tailwater fish or hiking up into the mountains with a chance at some wild greenback cutttroat trout. We decided to take the wild route hiking up into Rocky Mountain National Park. Since this was a sort of spur of the moment trip, we started planning only 2 weeks before our trip. The high snow levels didnt look promising, but we were set to get to some of the harder to reach lakes in the park. We were greeted on Thursday morning to awesome vistas of the Continental Divide, as we settled into our campsite at Moraine Park. We quickly noticed the very high flows on the Big T, almost making it unfishable completely. As we wandered around some of the smaller streams we realized we would need to focus our efforts on the high altitude lakes. The runoff was just too quick too fish in. Thursday we hiked up to an alpine lake just under 10,000 feet and spotted out a number of cruising greenbacks. Just as soon as we made it to the lake we noticed a storm cloud come over the towering ridgeline. We decided it was most likely a pop-up shower and would wait it out, having just hiked up the trail. Quickly the temps dropped about 30 degrees and the rain and wind picked up. We staked out a spot near a slightly overhanging rock, and try to wait it out. the storm started to spit hail at us after a while, and me and david then realized this storm wasnt going to pass. After freezing in the rain for about 30 min we ran out, to a disappointing fishless first day. Friday we hiked up to couple more alpine lakes, and had some decent luck with the cruising greenbacks. I fished the inlet to Spruce lake and did very well there. On Saturday I was struck with a fever and a very sore throat, most likely from freezing in the rain the day before. Sunday, I woke up and felt much better and we made the trek to the west side of the divide. We hiked up 5 miles to one alpine lake only to be turned around by enormous snow drifts and the inability to identify any trail. David managed to catch a small brookie out of the North Inlet but its flows were extremely high as well. All in all it was an incredible trip, though the fishing left some to be desired. Most if not all of the lakes we had planned to fish were still snow covered when we were there. But at the end of the day the spawing colors of the greenback cutthroat is something that might be unparrelled in the world of trout, and we were able to catch a good glimpse of that, and I can find peace at that....til next time


Moraine Park

Making my way out to the Big T, in runoff flows

A good look at the flows of the Big T


Throwing a delicate cast into Dream lake

The storm coming of the ridge at Dream Lake

First Greenback Cutthroat from Fern Lake

Fern Lake

Fun greenback from Spruce Lake

David ontop of Forest Canyon

A good look at all of the snow levels

Cache la Poudre River in the Valley below

The Loch