Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fly Fishing Goose Creek In Colorado's Lost Creek Wilderness

Does Size Matter???


Some of the anglers I've come across judge their angling abilities on the size and number of fish they have caught.  In the minds of few, fly fishing expertise is caught rather than learned.  Of course, all anglers seek to hook up with the "big one", but is that the only goal a fly fisherman should have?  Is a small trout less of a great catch than a big one?  From a fish perspective you were talented enough to fool both...

Goose Creek located in the Lost Creek Wilderness of Colorado is home to a plethera of small trout.  (Head hunters discontinue  reading now.) The Brook Trout that survive this habitat are as close to wild as it comes.  These trout have no time to analyze a tasty morsel floating their way and determine if its the real deal. For these fish it is eat or die!  It's this trait that provides an angler with a fun and memorable opportunity.


This summer my family and I backpacked three miles into Lost Creek along the slow and meandering Goose Creek.  I had a fly box full of flies and I was anxious to see what these fish were keying in on.  It was Memorial weekend, with temps in the 80's during the day, and a mere 40 at night.  As I did my initial observation along the shore line I was eager to see what the creek was hiding in its depths.  I was soon able to target several large schools of trout actively feeding along the bottom.  As is always the case, Colorado creeks are often full of wary trout.  This was going to be no exception.

The 3w was about to come to life.  The brush and overgrowth was dense and a meticulous drift was paramount, all the while without spooking the trout.  After finding a great number of baetis swimming around I tied on #16 BH pheasant tail and attempted to fool these fish ever so carefully.  It wasn't long before I had a colorful and feisty trout tugging on my line.  The effort had payed off and a wild trout had been enticed by what I was delivering.  For a moment nothing else mattered except landing this fish successfully.  The adrenaline that we as anglers find, when all that separates us from a catch is a 2lb tippet, was in full throttle.  The fish landed in my possession with ease, and I couldn't have been more pleased.  The stalk, the hunt, the angling, it had payed off. 

But for what?  Some may read this and see this fish as nothing more than a waste of time.  However, for those purists in the sport, you see something different.  You see a success, and depending upon your circumstances a meal.  "Teach a man to fish..." as the saying goes right?  Size doesn't matter when it comes to angling.   To be completely in tune with your surroundings, noticing the #24 aquatic insects floating past you, and at the same time diligently stalking trout on a creek that's no more than 15 feet wide; that's fly fishing at its best. 

My time at Goose Creek had come to an end.  As we walked back to the Jeep the last day I knew I was leaving behind a fishing trip for the books.  My skills had increased, my insight and understanding to these wild trout had gained ten-fold, and I was heading home with plenty of fish stories.  It wasn't the size of these fish nor the number I had caught that put a smile on my face.  The smile came from knowing that patience, observation, and research had paid off.  This was yet another step towards becoming the "...well-govern'd angler".

 

5 comments:

  1. Very nice pictures. Its nice to see you having a good time.

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  3. Really? I've always heard there are some big trout in the upper Goose creek. I've always wanted to make the hike down there and try it out. No big fish at all?

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