Getting Rocky Mountain High…on big fish, that is

I just returned from a work trip out west in Colorado.

Yes….I found time to wet a line.  Fly-rod will travel.

Between the Denver airport and our first stop at Decker’s Creek  – I drained 4 bottles of water and a couple of aspirin.  That helped me adjust to the elevation.  So did the sight of the clear and cold water of the Platte River.

Studying the bug action on the surface before stepping in the river is my usual ritual.  After taking in the surroundings, selecting the right fly is always the fun part.  Lets try prince nymph.

After about an hour on the river…nothing.

I am thinking ‘geez’…these fish are pretty picky after getting serious pressure from the folks coming down only 2 hours from Denver.  Plus, this river is technical.  Which translates into not a good match for me.  Lets just say that I am not your delicate caster by any stretch of the imagination.  And, these fish know it.

So, time to change-up.

Caddis with a midge dropper.

Bam!  Tight line.

Platte River near Deckers Creek

Platte River near Deckers Creek

Whoah.  Fooled em.  So much for being technical.

Fishing out west is not too different from fishing here in Michigan or across the upper Great Lakes.  We have a diverse cache of trout streams with meadows, deep pools, and fast action ripples here that match the stereotypical big western rivers.  We have very finicky fish that are not fooled easily.  (thinking the Holy Waters of the Au Sable.   And we have the quiet beauty of the sound of fast-moving water that drowns out all the other sounds in the world.  Yeah, we are not that different.

After two days of fishing in Colorado, I came to realize how lucky I am to have such a great fishery in the state where I live – Michigan.  I am pretty lucky that I don’t have to come all the way out west to enjoy trout, and that I can be on a blue ribbon trout stream in under 2 1/2 hours from my house in Ann Arbor.

So while I was Rocky Mountain High catching big rainbows and drinking jameson with good friends out west, I feel pretty blessed that I dont have to go too far to have the same experiences here in the Great Lake state.

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