Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Trail


As the trail began to taper, I found myself focusing more on each step. The climb was getting harder, the path more rugged, and my breathing became more labored. It was a simple test from this high alpine lake’s gatekeeper, making sure that if I passed, I would find its reward. Access.

Like most trails, the most worn part of the path is at the beginning of the trailhead. But as you climb and gain some distance from your beginning, it begins to change. It narrows. Your focus narrows. The fly rod in your hand is no longer a reminder of the water you could have been fishing two hours ago, but simply the reason that guides you purposefully forward. And with each passing step, the fish that live in these places gain meaning, they earn respect.


The sun disappeared beneath the blanket of low lying clouds, just as the first drop of rain could be felt tapping the brim of my hat. And as I looked out into the lake, the comforting smell of autumn wafted in the air, brought to life by the seasonal shedding of the aspen trees that waved quietly on a stiffening breeze. The calm that had surrounded an ordinary morning was gone, I found myself alone, and a solitary smile creased my lips.

46 comments:

  1. Gorgeous little fishies - well done!

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  2. You're right...the more steps taken, the more you appreciate...the more you respect. I suppose this goes for things in life other than fish too, eh? ;)

    Great as always, Mr. Sanders.

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  3. Looks like another fine day! Good for you, Sanders!

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  4. I didn't get out this weekend. Thanks for taking me along. I wouldn't have taken the time to make the hike alone.

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  5. A couple of dandy fish in your post there, Sanders! Kudos to you for taking the time and making the effort worthwhile.

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  6. Your story, while eloquently scribed, is mysteriously vague. You could have have caught those lovely trouts anywhere and simply posted as accompaniments to this story. You were alone, yes? No witnesses to corroborate your inferred claims of fish caught, correct? With all due respect, sir, I do not believe you.

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  7. I've had many of the same experiences - though Kirk doesn't believe those either.

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  8. Erin- Thanks. I'd like to think that the more steps you take translates over into other aspects of our life...but if it just means better fishing, I'm ok with that as well.

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  9. RD- Thanks. It's always fun fishing in the high country.

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  10. Dean- Sorry you didn't get out, but glad I could take you along.

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  11. Mel- Thanks. They were some good looking fish indeed. It was fun to find them where they were supposed to be.

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  12. Kirk- I guess you'll never know...I can understand your claims, as the posts you read here, are seldom accompanied by fish of any kind. Maybe I need to get me one of those boy scout guides you had in Jackson Hole to keep me honest...

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  13. Kyle- Does this mean that Kirk has trust issues?

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  14. Tex- Thanks...I appreciate it!

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  15. Missing that high country already. Thanks for taking me back~

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  16. There are very few things more satisfying than finding a quite spot to tug on a few Greenback's in solitude. Careful, after reading this account, I fear you're a steelheader without knowing it.

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  17. Wonderfully told. I enjoyed it tremendously. As for Kirk...beam him up Scotty!

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  18. those photos are as magnificent as the writing. thanks.

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  19. Beautiful trout.... in a pristine environment.

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  20. i can't think of anything other that what Brk Trt said.... other than i'm jealous!

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  21. Time to break out the super cold weather gear and head up before the freezing begins... Good to see that you got into some cutts!

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  22. I love that a lot of the cutts are found in those solitary places. It just makes them all the more special. I'm with David - we are trying to eek out this last month before all those beautiful places are covered with ice.

    -steph

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  23. Mike- There is nothing better than exploring in the high country. Glad I could help you get back...

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  24. Gary- Funny you should mention steelheading...I think I could really get into it.

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  25. Howard- Thanks! As for Kirk...I think that he was just tired of chasing those "lawn trout"...he needs to get off the mower and get his boots wet...ha!

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  26. d nash- thanks. glad you enjoyed.

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  27. Brk Trt- It is special when you can get past the crowds and find a little place to fish by yourself. Especially in places like these.

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  28. Blake- I am lucky to live in a place that has so much water to explore.

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  29. BCFN- The cold weather gear is ready to roll...I was up yesterday and there was some ice around the edges of the lake. Better get after it while we still can.

    Gotta love the goats...

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  30. Stephanie- I'm hoping for some warmer weather so we can still get up a few more times. My fingers are crossed.

    Nothing better than finding yourself alone in a place where you can catch a few fish.

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  31. Beautiful cuts and great prose.

    A perfect blog post?? I vote YES

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  32. Wolfy- Thanks! It was a great day on the water...

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  33. Sanders
    Absolute beautiful trout, both need to be on canvas--check out this link-- https://www.easycanvasprints.com/

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  34. Bill- Thanks. Those cutthroat are almost as beautiful as the lake and mountains in which they live.

    I will check out the site...thanks!

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  35. Excellent post bro. Those cutties are so pretty. I love all of their different dots all over. That place looks like something from a dream. A real good dream :) Excellent photos. Tight lines.

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  36. Trout- Thanks! The cutties are a pretty cool fish for sure. It was kind of like a dream, the clouds came in and hung there for the afternoon, before it started snowing as I walked out. It was fantastic!

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  37. I fish to find peace and balance. I love getting off the normal path and blazing a trail. Great post.

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  38. Blake- Exactly the way I feel...cheers!

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  39. Excellent! Beautiful fish as well!

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  40. Did you release them back into the Poudre?

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    Replies
    1. these fish were caught up in the National Park and released to the waters there (upper big Thompson and Fern Lake)...beautiful fish from a beautiful place. I wish we could catch those greenbacks in the Poudre Canyon where I fish most.

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