Monday, September 28, 2009

Fishing with Duke and Rowdy

This past weekend we spent three days in Colorado at the wedding of a friend of Kim's from high school. It was a real treat to have an excuse to fly in to Durango.

Saturday morning I spent a few hours fishing the La Plata River near town. Since I had such a short time I arranged the services of a guide through Duranglers fly shop. I arrived at the shop early Saturday morning and was greeted by Duke, my guide for the day.

Allow your mind to conjure an image of a Colorado backwoodsman. The image that appears in your mind's eye will be very close, I wager, to the reality of Duke. Somewhere in age between 45 and 65, face obscured by a long, grizzled beard and felt fedora mounted atop his head, Duke was every bit of what one could hope for in a guide- knowledgeable not only of the location, and indeed he knew every inch of the river we fished- but also affable and willing to offer tips and opinions. Duke's golden labrador Rowdy joined us, so I really had two guides for the price of one.

We spent the morning working our way upstream, fishing pocket water in this lovely freestone creek at an elevation of nearly 8500 feet. Duke had warned me when I arrived in the morning that the cold weather- mornings in the mountains this time of year generally have 30-40 degree temperatures- would have the trout "rolled up in their sleeping bags" until the sun rose enough to reach down into the canyon and get the fish active. He couldn't have been more correct- I didn't catch the first fish until nearly 11 o'clock.

I love seeing brook trout- and at this time of year they are particularly lovely with their highlights of red from spawning- but it would have been even neater to catch a cutthroat. Was not to be, at least not on this day, on this mountain creek. It was a beautiful day to be out, and I was happy to catch even a few trout.

No comments: