Tuesday, August 08, 2006
the north fork of the st. vrain river
i took a day off on monday and my friend bill and i went fishing on the north fork of the st. vrain river. we left at 5:30 in the morning, heading up highway 7 out of lyons. the trailhead is hard to get to. bill's truck is four-wheel drive with skid plates and that's pretty much what it takes. just to get to the parking lot. then it's a half an hour hike down (an hour and forty-five minutes, up all the way, to get out) to the river.
it's a pristine section of river, designated wild and scenic, which means no dams, irrigation ditches or power stations between the stretch and the headwaters. we fished dry flys all morning...adams, BWOs, pale morning duns, mosquitos. bill took a rainbow and a really nice 14-inch brown. i took a ten inch rainbow once bill helped me figure out how to fish this kind of water. up close, not much line out, large #12 and #14 flies, rod tip high.
on the way down the trail i picked some wild sage and bill brought in olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onions and red peppers. and heavy duty tin foil. i packed in some leftover potato salad i made with prosciutto and truffle oil. and a bottle of pinot grigio that we chilled in the river. let the fish cook twenty minutes on the fire. bill found some wild raspberries that we tossed on at the end.
after lunch we walked downstream a ways and fished back up until the rains came.
notwithstanding the fact that i fell in the river, almost broke my finger busting up wood for the fire and thought i might die on the hike up the canyon to get back to the truck, it was an epic day. people out east pay serious money for this kind of a trip. and it's a twenty minute drive from my house.