Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On the range

This weekend, I discovered the truisms of some of the songs I learned in grade school. Italian and I ventured out to Colorado to celebrate our 10 wedding anniversary and during the trip, we found home. The West remains uniquely American and the Rockies were the most beautiful background to a remarkable trip.

For starters, we checked into the Highland Haven Inn, where a cute little cowboy duckie greeted us.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


Bear Creek, one of the many trout streams around Denver, not only ran directly through the town of Evergreen, but also ran through Highland Haven, making the place even more serene.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


On our first night in Evergreen, CO, right outside of Denver on the western side, we gazed in amazement at the purple mountains. When the sun sets, the fading beams hit the pinkish granite of the Rockies and the mountains are washed in purple which fades from a light lavendar to a deep rich purple. It was awesome in the purest sense of the word.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


After sleeping that night with the cool mountain air filling the room from the open window, we woke up to head to Cheesman Canyon, our first fly fishing destination. To get to the river, one must hike half a mile into the Canyon. At the top of the hike, we stopped to take in the view.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The South Platte winds its way through the canyon and is punctuated with large bolders in many places.
From Fly Fishing Colorado

Those boulders you see are as tall as a person, and provided perfect places for hiding fish. Italian, landed the biggest of the day.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


All of the trout we caught were wild trout, so they fought with a gusto and zeal hatchery trout just don't possess. Occasionally, they would take us on long walks along the river as we worked hard to land them. The majority of the streams in this area are also catch and release, which means that each of the fish are returned to grow bigger.

While at Cheesman, I did put my pole down a couple of times to capture a few sights.

Denver was experiencing a swarm of ladybugs.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The wildflowers were beautiful.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


From Fly Fishing Colorado


I also managed to catch a few trout.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The second day, we decided to do something completely different, and our guide, Pat Dorsey, gave us the experience of fishing a meadow stream. Wow. Really, wow. The drive to Spinney was one of the most incredible drives. From Evergreen, we wend our way through the mountains, going higher and higher until we reached an elevation of 8600 ft. Towards the end of the mountain pass, we took a slight turn until the mountain on our left cleared to reveal an expansive prairie beneath us. Italian and I, who weren't saying much to beginning with as we took in the sights, both stopped breathing, gazed, and then exclaimed, "Wow!" There are no words to describe what we saw. We did immediately start singing "Home on the Range," though.

Fishing Spinney was quite different than fishing Cheesman. For starters, the scene is an expansive meadow of wildflowers and wild sage.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


Cutting through the meadow is another winding stream, punctuated every now and then by old farm buildings.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The sky was cloudless when we first arrived, but as the day progressed, clouds began to build up and roll along the expansive blue above. Pat, our fishing guide, had an incredible knack for seeing the trout in the water and taught us how to fish in lots of different conditions. If you ever go fly fishing in the Denver area, call the Blue Quill Angler. Their guide service is top notch, stacked with friendly knowledgeable guides.

Finally, on the last day of fishing, we had the luxury of fishing the North Fork of the South Platte. Again, the view was picture perfect.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The stream is nestled against the side of the mountain, with a bit of pairie on the other side.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


Pat again helped us land beautiful fish and his strike indicator really is the best one we've used.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


From Fly Fishing Colorado


At the end of the day, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to stop by the Coney Island hot dog stand, complete with boardwalk.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


The view we had while we ate our elk sausage dog only added to the wonderful flavor.
From Fly Fishing Colorado


Yep, we'll be going back soon.
From Fly Fishing Colorado

3 comments:

gwensmom said...

Happy Anniversary! these pics are gorgeous!

Diane said...

Congratulations, couldn't be more beautiful. 2 lovely people who love each other and the great outdoors.

lynseym said...

looks like so much fun! i miss seeing you!