Last Sunday I had some free time and headed up to the high country for a short hike and fish excursion. Of course, the camera came along with the fly rod. The road in was rough. I intended to not take my new car on any tough roads for a while but the lure of big trout in an alpine setting kept me going. The trailhead was definitely full but surprisingly there did not seem to be that many people around.

The first lake was only perhaps a half a mile up the trail. It had a couple of fish rising in the middle but was very low so I continued on to the next lake. This lake was gorgeous. The water was smooth as glass and every few minutes, a big fish would swirl near the far shore. My side was pretty shallow so I quickly worked around the shoreline to where the fish seemed to be working.

Some caddis were around. Every time one landed on the surface, it started skittering its way across until a fish interrupted its journey with an explosive rise. I don't have a great selection of caddis dries right now but an EHC seemed appropriate considering the light hatch and fish action.

My second cast resulted in a cutt slamming the fly but in my excitement I pulled the fly out of its mouth. Then came a long dry spell. By the time the next fish hit, I was looking around enjoying the scenery. Because of my distraction, I heard rather than saw the next take. The delay gave me a perfect hook set and the battle was joined.

The fish surged hard into the deepest part of the lake with my reel screaming. I would gain a bit of line only to have the fish pull more out. Slowly, the fish became tired and I regained line. I jumped in the lake since I did not carry a net and did not want to drag such a magnificent fish up on the bank.

Later I managed a couple of brook trout from a nearby lake but they were nowhere as large as the big cutthroat. Storms were building up near the Continental Divide so it seemed a good time to hike out. I'll be back again though. I like this new place!!!