So, I made it. Another high country lake in search of cutty's. Although temperatures in Denver were still hitting close to 90 degrees, leaves on the above treeline vegetation were starting to show tinges of gold at their edges foreshadowing the impending fall weather. My expectations for the fishing were high as I spent the previous evening dreaming of the possibility of big and numerous fish. It seems to make sense that when we put in a good effort, we should be rewarded. Incredibly, nature doesn't always seem to understand that rule.
The trail and skyline were beautiful this early morning. Only 1.5 miles and around 1000 vertical feet brought me to the edge of the first of two lakes and only a little more hiking found me cresting a ridge to access the second, higher lake. My excitement faltered when I saw something floating near the outlet of the first lake and then in the second lake as well. Bloated dead fish are a bad omen when it comes to fishing for me. Perhaps a casualty of the previous weekend when the lakes were probably teeming with excited fisherman. Maybe caught one too many times, fought for too long or held out of water for one too many pictures.
The lakes were gorgeous and although sporadic rises kept my head on a swivel to find the spreading rings of the most recent surface take, only one fish was brought to hand. Only one small fish. Two others took and spit my fly after feeble head shakes. I guess the big and numerous fish of my dreams the night before were not to be. But that's just how it is sometimes. The potential is what keeps us coming back and has us putting in the effort to find out. And I guess that's the whole fun of it too.
Redemption was needed after my apparent lake failure. I choose to investigate the low hanging fruit of the beaver ponds and creek I passed on the road to the trail head hours earlier. The thought that I could have parked on the way up and spent the entire day here instead smoldered in the back of my head. But it's hard for something like that to bother you when you are on a pretty little creek catching pretty little trout in the high country.
This is the stretch of creek I learned to fly fish on, so it holds a special place in my heart. We all have places like this. It's likely an overlooked piece of water that's known to only hold small trout, maybe brookies or rainbows even, but we feel at home and don't expect too much from it. The exact opposite of the high lake that I felt owed me something for my effort.
The beauty of having no assumptions or expectations is that you are able to appreciate anything and everything you are provided because you don't believe you deserve it. You just let it come to you and are thankful. And that's what I did.
I even got to break in my new rod, a sweet little 2 weight fiberglass. It was perfect for these little trout and small water.
So I celebrated success. Success of catching some fish, christening a new rod and letting the good things come to me with no expectations. Yes, I celebrated with a donut.
Get out there while you can. Cooler fall weather is right around the corner, but there is plenty of fishing to enjoy. Don't over look the low hanging fruit or those places you love, they may be exactly what you are looking for and need.