Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jurassic and The Land of Orcs…a two cliff-two part post

(Above: Here’s a shot of the river before the descent down the cliff and into the jungle.)

Part One: Into the Jurassic

There is a fishing spot that was once only rumored in obscure fishing circles. It was tough to find on a map and a few obstacles like BLM gates with no signs and a lot of private property kept it hidden from so much public intrusion. A steep canyon wall and immense cottonwood trees guard the river while towering in the sky. Matched with the rock formations and the untamed landscape this area looks almost prehistoric. At times the trout can be immense. I mean really big. Hence the nickname for this small stretch of public water…Jurassic Park.

Once we reached the base of the cliff, Don and I quickly made for the rollover at the head of the property. The first few casts came up nada but somewhere between cast 7 or 8 I feel a heavy pounding on the lure. The rod doubles over and the contest is afoot. As the fish runs for the heavy rapids my mind starts playing flashbacks of the big fish lost on the Thompson just a few weeks ago. I held my breath and lift the rod tip up slightly. It was just enough to lift and turn the head right towards. Within a few moments the fish was in the net.

(Above: Beauty brown trout. I have the fish turned at a bad angle and doesn’t show the thickness as well as I would like. A quick photo and some short vid. Thanks to Don for help with the footage on this one.)

Every time certain fishing spots get exposed to the masses on various venues it makes me cringe and a sick feeling starts to dwell in my gut. This one is getting far more publicity than I like. BLM has removed the gates and posted more signs saying “Hey you! Come fish here!” By 8:30AM we had other people rolling in. Time for us to roll out and grab another slice of water while there is still time.

Part Two: The Land of Orcs

(Above: “Is it me or does this trail look twice as far as it did last time?”)

Park the truck and go for the second drop in. This is not so much as a cliff drop this time as a steep road for orcs. The terrain is rugged and the heavy late summer foliage makes the trails a bit of a bushwack in most spots. The trees are thick and it smelled of something dying for whatever reason. If orcs still exist on this planet they would probably dwell here.

(Above: Orc Bridge. Not sure if this bridge sees much use these days. Hard to tell because orcs generally travel at night.)

This section was full of timid strikes, a few flashes and a couple small brown trout. Missed a couple of beautes in the +17’er range. Honestly it was a lot of cardio with a great view more than shameless bragging material. And I have to say the view is exceptional at midday. Some areas look eerie and almost orcish as where others look completely enchanting and beautiful.

We managed double digits of fish on both sides for the day but half of them would fit in a sardine can. The others weren’t far behind. On a two-cliff run I don’t bother with taking pictures of those fish. I might grab a nice river shot now and then.

(Above: River shot looking upstream with some shallow rapids. Possibly one of my better river shots this year.)

By the time we crawled out of the second canyon our legs were burning. Sun was at mid-sky and punishing those who choose to walk in waders. Still not completely satisfied we drove slowly along the highway around the few put-ins and parking areas at others pots.

“Six…seven…eight cars on this one.” Don counted out loud as we drove past.

“Oh man, that is locked up!” I replied in disgust.

By now everyone was waiting their turn on the best spots. Eventually we had no choice but to bag the rest of the day or wait in line with them. We chose to get the jump on the traffic. My legs were happy to hear that.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Anonymous said...

You sure put the effort in for the rewards on this trip! Kudo's to you for giving it a go.

Fishing "peace" is tough to find anymore.

Bigerrfish said...

That was a nice fish Matt!
sounds like a spot to park your butt in a run, and stay put. there are a few spots over here where you gotta park your body in the morning and stay there fishing to each fish that moves in, now thats frustration,,, good job,, hey I have to ask... How did Don do with the long stick?

Bill said...

That was a beautiful brown! Those streams look pretty nice. Crowds can be frustrating and I try to avoid them as much as possible. One of the reasons I go out is to relax, not to fish arm to arm with a bunch of people. Nice report!

Stone Fox said...

whoa. Amazing.

So jealous. I would love to be there right now.

Bill Trussell said...

These are only places I can dream about, we don't have that kind of scenery down south. You guys are really lucky to have access to that can of water. Really enjoyed the video and I have a feeling the pic of the brown didn't do it justice. Great Post.

Coloradocasters said...

@Bigerrfish: We both had one long rod and a spin rod on the first cliff dive and then I went all spin on the second dose.

Usually either Don or I will hit the groove on any given fishing trip. Don’t want to put words in Don’s mouth but believe I put more fish to the hand on this day. We both missed some superb fish.

Princess Stone Fox, I give a fantastic tour and the fall colors are just kicking in. =)

Good to hear from you, Mel! Determination is one thing I do not spare in regards to fishing trips. In fact, the more effort I spend…the better the fishing often is.

@Bill: The crowds get worse every year. Sometimes the worst thing about public recreation spots is the public. But the good far outweighs the bad.

@Mr. Trussell: I am fortunate to have been raised by wolves and drunken gypsies that have taken me all over the west. Colorado has some of the best that the western United States has to offer in ways of outdoor adventure. Each moment is precious. My posts do not do that justice. Thank you so much for your appreciation.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Never mind fishing. You fish, and I'll just hike, and take pictures all day, and come back for my ride home at the end of the day. Gorgeous country, photos, great writing.
I want to be in the land of the orcs!

Coloradocasters said...

DHIMC: You are on! Could always use help with the camera shots. The land of orcs is actually called "Sunset". People think that is because its a pretty name. I on the other hand think its a warning to get out before nightfall.

Jeff Hatt said...

Matt, over here in England we have 4 million anglers out of a 60 million population, and all are crammed into an area half the size of Colorado!

Sardines in a tin indeed!

It's not so bad. Most head for the usual places leaving the intrepid few all the wild places.