Blake and his family left early Saturday morning, something about a buffalo safari in Custer State Park. And as was the adventure in Colorado, the search for bones continues. The early departure left the afternoon wide open, and a brief discussion had Bridget and I heading back into the park where we had just been twenty four hours earlier. A book and camera for her, a fly rod and wild trout for me.
|Sprague Lake and the Continental Divide|
From the east side of Sprague Lake, the continental divide looms large in the western sky. Standing resolute, the mountain's help to define what some may call the American dream. And as Hallet Peak stands guard, millions of visitors each year come to appreciate Rocky Mountain National Park for what she is, beautiful.
The water had a welcome chill as I waded carefully into position. The stream ran clear, and the small brook trout could be seen working the two seams created behind a small boulder midstream. Seeing a sporadic mayfly take flight from the water's surface, a plan was hatched. Equipping my leader with an unnamed stonefly that was trailed by a small PMD emerger, the first cast was made.
Working the two seams without so much as the curious turn of a fish's head, it was time to switch gears. Clipping off the emerger, a red san juan took its place. In position to work the undercut bank on the near side of the stream, I made a cast. Tree. Snapping off the two flies, a frustrated expletive left my lips. An ugly word for such a pretty place. I apologized to something unseen and moved on. Attaching the same two flies, the next cast hit its mark. A brown trout.
Two bull elk fed lazily downstream of where we were fishing, playing model to the throngs of curious spectators on the road. And as the paparazzi became too much, the elk made their way upstream in our direction. Deciding to give the wild animals some space, Bridget and I moved happily out of their way. It was time to head home.
|gratuitous elk shot...|
The tourist traffic of Estes Park greeted us as we left the park. A reminder that such a beautiful place was meant to be shared. And as the people were herded in and out of the t-shirt shops and bars, the small mountain town shrank unconcerned in the mirror behind us.
|the reader's bench|