Well as I said last time I was off fishing, it was Saturday morning and I needed to do a bit of soul searching! So off I went half-cocked, didn’t really know where exactly I was going. I drove up through Loveland, CO and up into the Big Thompson canyon, figured I would stop when the mood hit me! Well I ended up all the way up in Estes Park and still didn’t find the right place for the day. Since I was there I decided to call my friend Frank Drummond, “Wanna go up into the Park for a couple of hours?” I asked. “Sure, swing on by” he said. Well when I got there it was already 9:00 AM and the road into Bear Lake was already closed so that was out! Where we gonna fish today? Let’s go fish the meadow part of Fall River! So off we went. The flow is way down and we figured it would be a challenge, small flies and long tippets! I picked out a parachute BWO in a size 20 to start! Seemed like a good choice since it looked like it wanted to cloud up and it was a bit cool! The water was gin clear and real low. This ain’t gonna be easy! Well a guy’s gotta work on his skills once in a while even if you get skunked! I remember when I first started fly fishing, didn’t have a clue what I was doing so catching a fish was not an easy task and it was always easier to just put away that new fangled cheap fly rod with the miss-matched level fly line and pick up the ultra light spinning rod! Now we can catch a fish!… Well I realized that I had better tough it out and started leaving the ultra lite at home to force myself to either learn to use a fly rod or go fishless! Best thing I ever did for myself! Then I got to the point where it was always easier to put on a strike indicator and a beadhead. Now we can catch a fish!… Well I remembered my old lesson and gave away all my nymphs! Better learn to dry fly fish or go fishless! This is simply what I wanted to learn, I will be the first to admit I am not the best fishing partner as I can be a real snob! But I have become pretty good and when people tell me “you catch more fish with nymphs” well I suppose that may be true but I catch enough fish …and in the way that I like to fish. OK enough of that! We could see fish rising in the distance, the trick was to make a long cast putting the fly just upstream of the fish and not line them in the process! And get a decent drift without drag! This can be a challenge, but really it’s easier when the water is as calm as it was here! Much more challenging when you are fighting faster flow with those currents that go in several directions within the distance of your cast! Well it wasn’t long that we spotted a rising fish that looked like he wanted to play! I must have cast at that fish 6 times without putting him down! Just a bit short on the first one, that’s OK gotta get the range down without lining him! Next cast, not bad, he looked at the fly! Well I finally got one just above him with the right drift and he came up and ate the fly! This is just too much fun, just the way I see it in my mind’s eye when I am sitting at my desk dreaming about fishing! Oh yes believe me that happens… more often now than it used too! It’s a good place to go when the rat race is getting to you! Let’s call it my ‘happy place’… I was talking to a lawyer friend of mine and he told me “You know Joe, when the stress of the job gets to me I always remember that time when you and I were walking up both sides of the Encampment fishing dry flies and just catching a bunch of fish…that is my ‘happy place’ makes life just seem not so bad” I really liked that idea and have incorporated it into my life as well! So upstream we went, we kept going around each other and at times fished together, which really meant one of us was simply watching the other and enjoying the day! You notice that there is no mention of any kind of competition here? Not important who caught more or bigger fish! Just enjoying the day! That is what a good day of fishing with a good friend is all about…well at least for me! Did I mention that I may not be the best fishing partner? Too snobish! So we caught a few fish and all in all had a great time for about 3 hours, just about the limit for me. I don’t do the marathon all day on the river type fishing, getting to hard on an old fella! Besides that I mentioned to Frank that my thoughts were changing from fish and fishing to Cheesy Lee’s! Ah yes a ‘Fourteener’ (one of the items on their menu) Frank agreed that Cheesy Lee’s sounded pretty good right about now! So we walked back to Frank’s jeep and got our gear off and put away. We talked about the days adventure in the way that you would have a corporate meeting when writing a business plan, leaving nothing undiscussed, anylizing every cast and bend in the river! Our stategy was flawless! But like all meetings you need to move on to the next topic on the itinetary… Pizza !!!!!!!!!! We got to Estas Park and found our way to Cheesy Lee’s, what a great place! The owner asked “well how’d you guys do?” OK we said, caught a few fish, had a great time, now we are hungry… how about a ‘Fourteener’ and a couple of soft drinks? “Coming right up!” Well you know he had to come and sit with us at the table… he’s just too nice a guy and besides that he wanted a bit more detail on the day, whether he admited it or not! So we sat and talked about the day of fishing, and moved on to our passion for bamboo fly rods, dry flies, etc. And then here comes the eagerly anticipated ‘forteener’! What a way to end a great day of fishing with a good friend!
The answer to whether I should retire the first of the year still has not come to me! Kinda didn’t really come to mind at the time!
Here’s some pics, thank you Frank for taking the time to man the camera!
Click on any photo to start the slide show, or you can choose ‘stop slideshow’ at the bottom of any pic.