Colorado – Day 2
August 23, 2008
Woke up at 5:30am and headed for Ft. Collins then towards Continental Divide. Was supposed to hook up with bamboo rodmaker Matt Schliske for some angling adventure. We got to the parking area at 8:30, about 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet. At 9:30 I wrote “Matt Schliske Sucks” in the dirt on the back glass of the rental car and we went fishing.
At first, we couldn’t catch a cold. Heck, we didn’t even see any fish other than the hog 13″ greenback that Chris caught out of the gate. Then, as if the gods smote the water with their grace, the bite was on. It was a small creek, maybe ten feet wide, and in places casting was difficult. But I had my six foot four weight and Chris was fishing the six foot one weight I’d made for him (both bamboo of course) and the brush didn’t come into play as much as getting a good drift. By lunchtime I had caught an even forty fish with about 75% being grayling and about 25% being greenback cutts. Chris caught about the same amount. These grayling were huge. At least in relation to the 5″ grayling I caught in Grebe Lake in Yellowstone last year. And the color! On “The Drake” some guys had fished this same stream about a month prior to us and one of them noted that these grayling were the laughing stock of mother nature since they were so easy to spot. They weren’t kidding, sight fishing for these guys was a piece of cake and made for huge fun. The turquoise scales and dorsal fins stuck out like a lightbulb and they were hungry.
Like the clockwork we’d soon come to expect, by early afternoon a big black cloud parked itself overhead and the rain began to fall. We bailed from the stream despite the bite and headed back to the car for grub. As soon as we emerged to the road we looked downstream and at that moment Matt Schliske and his daughter emerged as well since they had been following us. We all sat around the car and enjoyed a nice lunch conversation while the raindrops dispersed.
After the storm Matt invited us to fish with him after he and his daughter pitched camp. So we barrelled over the pass looking for cell signal so I could call my daughter on her third birthday. We didn’t find any. Surprised? We came back and met Matt, but along the way we saw two HUGE bull moose feeding alongside the same creek we’d just fished.
He took us to a small tailwater where the water was absolutely raging and frigid. It was simply unfishable and the urge to call my daughter on her birthday caused us to leave behind more biting fish to head back to Ft. Collins so I could make the call. It was the responsible thing to do and how many fish do you need to catch in a day anyway?