Monday, June 17, 2013


I am often guilty of living a little too much in the moment rather than planning for the future. And this often leads to an inability to fully devote myself to anything. Since moving to Oregon I have continued to fish for trout when available, I have dabbled in salmon fishing as well as steelhead hunting, and more recently I find myself targeting more and more bottom feeding trash-fish. Thus I am no master of any of these fish, just as I am not much of a master of anything but a jack of many, whatever a jack is--see, i'm no master of the english language either. And this isn't even to mention all my non-fishing hobbies that also steal time from what's truly important.

This tendency of mine to time multiplex between many activities can be described as opportunism, disloyalty, or unfaithfulness depending on the situation. But every once in a blue moon I manage a little faithfulness and sometimes it pays off. Last week one such decision point came up and my heart and brain and soul began their usual three-way wrestling match, which I wrote about. In the end I decided to be faithful to my old home waters rather than opportunistic. At least at first.

On Friday morning I headed to my favorite spot on South Boulder Creek just outside Boulder, Colorado. The water was not high, but rather HIGH, however it was not too terribly off color. As usual up here the first bit was pretty slow but after 11am things started to heat up. I caught a couple small browns at first, and missed a few others, then came a few larger browns and finally a nice chunky 13" rainbow. That is about as big as I ever expect to catch here. In the end I had a fun time fishing my old waters in new and more challenging conditions and still managed to catch a dozen or so fish in the short time I had. Given all afternoon the standard 30+ fish day may well have occurred. At least I will tell myself so.

But the story doesn't end there. I can only be faithful and loyal for a short period before breaking out in wild and uncontrollable fits. So the next day I headed into the mountains with a couple friends with the intentions of camping and fishing some high mountain lakes. The camping worked out; the fishing not so much. I've never been much of a lake fisherman and I apparently continue to not be. We suffered through a brief 2 hours of skunking that smelled quite bad and lingered around us despite the howling and chilly winds.

After enduring sufficient pain and suffering we hiked down and aimed for a very brief attempt at some badly blown out high mountain streams. Under normal conditions these streams are all of a few feet across but currently are running heavy, fast, and very stained. It wasn't easy but we managed to pull a couple tiny fish from the tea-colored and sediment filled torrents. They weren't big fish. In fact they were the variety that have serious jumping skills and as soon as you set the hook they like to go flying back into the brush behind you. Despite the day's poor showing I suppose it was nice to have a challenge. That night we enjoyed a few melancholy beers back at camp rather than celebratory whisky and began plotting the next days ventures with optimism.

Since most of the rivers were in pretty bad shape, and simply because it's a blast, we decided to go fish for some pike. It wasn't going to happen until afternoon, which may not be ideal, but pike fishing is fun enough that it was worth a try and in the end was fun enough to have been a good idea. The two of us each brought one to hand, had a couple more on that were lost, as well as a few follows. I even got to spook a bunch of carp sunning themselves by casting to one. It was hot and smelled of sulfur and methane out there, but we couldn't have cared less cause pike fishing is a ton of fun! The only bad part is the ever-present fear of lost fingers when there's a big pike in your net.

1 comment:

  1. I too find myself chasing trash fish more and more. I'm hoping my trip back east lines up with pike emerging. I've caught plenty of salmon and steelhead when they are served up to me by someone else but I've had no luck earning one for myself (save for one spawned out native who took pity on me). I like to eat at least some of my fish and finding clean enough water with carp in it is my biggest headache this spring.