Conditions are far from perfect but the clearing water is good enough for me to take a first stab. Going back to the areas scouted last year I hit the “walkabout” section. As soon as my feet hit the trail my senses were overwhelmed with the multitude of wildflowers. This blissful summer weather of daytime sunshine and afternoon showers has caused the area to explode with a bounty of floral. (Sigh) I only wish my feeble camera skills and beat up camera equipment could do this natural splendor justice.
This plant has a common name of “butter and eggs” and almost impossible to find when I am looking for it. Grab a photo snap and get back on the trail. Every step seemed to unveil another wave of flowers that varied in color and type. Below is only one of the patches of daisies that have found an area to soak in the sun while not being completely taken over by the various grasses. White daisies, purple asters and so many more painted an almost surreal tapestry along the trail.
“Oh wait…I am here to fish.” A voice in my head reminds me of why I am there in the first place. “Stop worrying about these silly flowers.”
Cast and follow, cast and follow. It seems the fish are curious but not willing to commit. A quick change up in color and nothing. Going back the other direction I lose the silver and go straight to gold. Bam! A little fin scrapper gives gold a go. Grab a picture, release the fish and move on.
Cast a few more times and then move on. The areas worth casting were far and few between so after a few throws I would move on. Back on the trail was another immersion in the endless spectacle of natural beauty. You would have to search hard to find a square foot of area without a flower it seemed. Below is a patch of flowers in the aster family-hoary aster would be a decent guess on my part.
A few more nature pictures and then a few more casts. There aren’t any large pools to run through or huge smooth flats to run the lure across. I mean you have to literally pick at small spots here and there. What really helps is being able to see the bottom even if only a foot or two away from the shore. This helps me identify deeper water as opposed to what may be only an inch of depth. Feeling my way blind on the bottom of the murky brown was a struggle for me in earlier weeks
One spot was a shallow slice of flat water on the edge of the creek. The rocks and submerged sandbar seemed to break the current providing a perfect slice of castability. Pulled a couple small browns out of this spot. Had it been just a little bit deeper I am sure a larger fish might have been holding out there.
Are you getting tired of these flowers yet? Hope not because it just keeps going and going. The shot (blanketflower) above reminds me of two eggs on a plate sunny side up. No toast, no bacon and no coffee…two eggs sunny-side up. That must have been the trailside special.
Here is some Horsemint sporting their amazing flowers. This stuff is all over the place but I rarely see the flowers in this quantity. In fact, I don’t remember having a fraction of the flowers seen on this trip. My timing is a little earlier which helps but the additional rain is probably a major factor in these flowers being at this lower elevation so late in July.
Take a picture of some yellow flower (Gumweed) and move towards a large rock in the water. This sizeable boulder held the current back creating a perfect resting place for fish. Looking closer I can see a few smaller fish dart in and out of the white riffle that clings to the outskirts of the rock. Toss in and get a quality thump. Land the fish and struggle to get the photo on a very difficult shoreline. Turns out that the best fish of the day is of course the worst picture.
Move down a few feet to another rock and get struck by a sporadic cutbow. This was a stocked holdover from who knows where. This fish was very stocky and not the happiest fish to have its photo taken. Unfortunately the auto-focus targeted the weed branch in front of the camera instead of the fish.
Numbers were racking up and even had a few quality fish to count in the mix. Finishing up the stretch I can’t help myself but to continue taking pictures of the vegetation along the way.
One last cast and another fin-slapper photo op. At times the fish wouldn’t cooperate and sometimes they just wanted to lie there in my hand for a few seconds. With each and every click of the camera I am thinking, “Oh these pictures are going to sweet!”
It wasn’t until my tired feet got home and the material was downloaded before I could assess the actual quality of the photos. Ironically the photos that I wanted to turn out the best ended up being much less so. It doesn’t bother me so much except for the fact my pictures don’t compare to other blogs that provide far more exceptional photos. When I flub the best photo opportunities I feel a bit like the “William Hung” of fishing\photo blogs. Rather than try to pass off lame excuses or blame the beat up camera gear I will just admit that I have had no professional training as a photographer. Of course not dropping my camera in the water would probably help a little too.
There are so many reasons that my fishing blog material is overlooked by the mainstream. Lack of high-resolution pictures with a far more professional look is just but one of those aspects. If my camera work gets any worse I am going to have to start calling them “piktors” and describe what is going on with blurry images put into the post. Maybe I will read the settings manual one day. Or I could destroy more expensive cameras. Most of the time I just want to fish.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.
Special thanks to WildFlowerChild and Wildflowersofcolorado for their amazing flower identification websites.