Arriving in Estes Park, Colorado and locating a trout lake I found myself in an alien landscape. Standing knee deep in cool water I saw trout cruising and rising all about me; the antithesis of a trout stream. I had been cautioned not to chase trout but instead to watch the patterns of their wanderings and cast to where I hoped a trout would come by. So I did just that.
And it worked.
The particular lake that I was fishing was full of Greenback Cutthroats. I'm a big native species angler so I was excited to come and fish for this threatened species.
The existence of the Greenback is somewhat of a miracle. It's the most eastern variety of cutthroats and exists solely in the South Platte and Arkansas River basins. Between water diversions, mining pollutants, and other human activity it resides in less than 1% of its historic range. In fact, before the 1930s it was thought to be extinct. Fortunately, a remnant population was found in the Big Thompson River and subsequent efforts have repopulated it to other areas including the lake I fished.
|At the finish.|
|Cruising the edge of the weed beds|
|Rises in the Sunset|
I didn't get to fish any rivers while I was in Colorado which if you asked me before the trip would have been a huge disappointment. But discovering the joys for fishing for trout in still waters was more than compensation for standing in a stream casting to all the usual places.
|Best fishing; end of day.|
|First cast, fish on.|