Last week I had a quick couple day trip to Colorado, while this trip definitely wasn't fishing centered I made sure to sneak up into the Rockies for at least one quick outing. Being one of the rarer and more beautiful salmonids, I set my sights on going after some greenback cutthroat and ran up to Rocky Mountain National Park for half a day. As this trip was a bit spurt of the moment, I decided to return to a stream that I had fished back in 2006.
Being the end of summer, the leaves were just beginning to change in the higher altitudes and there was plenty of wildlife out and about.
The hike into the stream was short and beautiful with glimpses of the surrounding peaks through groves of aspen, spruce and fir.
The trail in
Even being the late season, the flows were still higher then expected showing signs of the heavy snow pack that the west had this year. These conditions also seemed to treat the cutthroat well, as it didn't take long to spot some.
However spotting fish and catching them were two different things as a whole summer of fishing pressure seemed to put them on their guard. None of the fish were willing to rise recklessly to a dry fly like cutthroat are known for, but instead would track with it and inspect it for anything wrong. Luckily I had a couple patterns in my arsenal that they seemed to like and once I figured out that a little more stealth then usual was going to be required I started to get a few fish.
A dry fly eating Colorado Greenback
Given that I was on tight schedule, it wasn't long after I had figured the fish and really started getting into them that I had to start thinking of the trail back out. However one more beautiful greenback that fell for my old standby tellico nymph dropper made leaving a bit easier.
Last greenback of the day