Getting away

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Posted by LeeH on 2011-08-05 12:05:43

Every summer I try to get away, solo, for a trip to the mountains, and this summer is no exception.

My buddy has no idea how to fish with a fly rod. He and his wife troll worms, lures, or whatever it takes, to catch trout. However, he understands that I only fly fish, and generally, it takes some dry fly action to get me going. Anyway, my gear buddy has been telling me about a big reservoir that has a short stretch of shallow shoreline that has consistent hatches and feeding trout.
Ok. I'm in.

We met up at "the reservoir", loaded my stuff in his boat, and he motored me and my float tube to the "secret shoreline". Nice.
Well, there were no trout rising, but it looked promising, and I was able to dredge up some very nice trout with a T-8 line and a small streamer.
As I worked down the "secret shoreline", I located some weeds and submerged rocks, and switched to a sink tip line, and proceeded to do very well on the rainbows, ranging 13-15". Nice.
As it turned out, the trollers were not doing well, and they observed that I was catching fish regularly, so they moved in. It was hilarious watching folks get hung up in the rocks and weeds, and I don't think they caught even one fish on "MY" shoreline. (Yes, I have a mean side!)

Since I was fishing near 9,000 ft. there was quite a bit of snow around, so I decided to drop down in elevation and explore some new country.

Well, the sign said, "Swamp Lake 4 miles", and when I came to a locked gate (area closed for deer dropping their fawns), I decided to grab my stuff and look for "Swamp Lake" on foot. Yes, I found a grassy meadow with water, but no lake. It might be there...somewhere, but I never found it; or maybe that was IT.

As I headed down the road, I crossed an unmarked stream that looked promising, and it didn't take long for me to break out the 4 weight (should have been smaller!) and make my way through the alders to see what this stream might produce. Well, this stream was loaded with small browns and rainbows, and they were looking up! I had a fantastic afternoon throwing small dries, and catching trout just about everywhere in the small stream.
As I sat down to eat my lunch, watching a pair of small browns pick off ants, I had to chuckle when I thought about the 100 lb. tarpon I caught back in November. What a contrast, and both experiences equally rewarding and satisfying!!

Then...the unexpected happened!
I noticed a flash of brown, across the stream, and up in the trees. Mmm? Looks like maybe a deer coming down for a drink......Nope.

To my surprise a massive cinnamon-phase black bear jumped up on the log directly across from me! (Keep in mind this is a SMALL stream!)
Ok. No problem, right?...
....but when the newborn cub jumped up on the log next to HER, my idyllic afternoon suddenly switched to great concern! Trying not to panic, I started to "talk" to her, and with the stream noise she couldn't figure out where it was coming from. However, it didn't take long for her to discover me perched on a rock, directly across from her. Fortunately, I was on the opposite side of the stream!
As soon as she spotted me, she bolted up the mountain at full speed. Frantically, I grabbed my camera, I was able to snap a fleeting shot.

Wow! What a great get away weekend, filled with just about everything I was looking for....and more!


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