Sunday, August 19, 2012

Colorado Back Country, August 12, 2012

I knew I was in for a treat. Paul Vertrees of Tenkara Tracks, and avid backpacker, tenkara fisher and tenkara guide for Rigs Fly Shop invited me to fish a little creek in the back country of Colorado. I knew Paul from online forums and Facebook's Colorado Tenkara Anglers and we finally met in person at the Tenkara Summit in Utah a few weeks ago (right, we both traveled all the way to Utah to meet even though we live only 2h away from each other). We hit it off pretty good and made plans to get out.

The creek starts off as just a muddy ditch, not a place you would expect trout to thrive.

the muddy ditch
But just about 100 yards down the trail, there are some springs that feed the creek and transform it into a small bubbling current, creating a little green oasis in the arid high country.

this is where the springs transform the ditch into a creek
as it tumbled down through the rocks, it creates pools with cold water and provides habitat for trout

We hike further downstream and the creek meets the valley and creates even more habitat for trout.

We continue to hike down the valley for another 2 miles or so, have a rest, snack and start fishing our way back up. The fish were pretty spooky due the crystal clear and low water, so we had to bring on our best game in sneaking up on them. I started fishing with a sakasa kebari and got immediately a few hits with a nice sized brown trout taking my fly as it drifted along the undercut bank. I lost track of how many trout I hooked or landed, but we had continuous action for the entire day.

one of the many fine brown trout 
Paul in action
reward! this was the finest trout of the day with some gorgeous big black spots
Even though I started out with a sakasa kebari, I switched to a little hopper. It was just too much fun not to experience how those trout thrashed the hopper.

hopper victim
On our way out, we run into a herd of bighorn sheep that were completely unfazed by our presence. How cool is that?

This was an epic day of fishing, the trout were cooperative, the weather was perfect and the company was great. What a contrast to fishing RMNP the day before. I am truly blessed to live in this beautiful part of this country. Thank you Paul for sharing such a beautiful place with me.

Oh, I almost forgot. Don't ask me which creek it is or where it is, I can't tell.

Days on the water: 24


  1. That is something I dream of doing someday, hiking into a remote creek and catching trout with my tenkara rod. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hopefully I'll get over your way one day and fish with the two of you gues. Looks like a great stream!
    PS: I just added your blogsite, to the blogroll on my site... Hint, hint...

  3. Those were some nice sized browns for such a small creek. I love it, another fisherman sworn to secrecy with the threat of death.


    1. They were nice indeed. And I better keep my mouth shut, Paul is former Army...

  4. Hey great post and one that shows water that too skinny for me but perfect for Tenkara...and nice fish!

    1. Thanks Howard. If I have to fish skinny water, tenkara is my choice of weapon (well, and for many more types of water also, lol).

  5. That trout looks lovely - I should be getting a Tenkara rod in a few days and am looking forward to trying it out on some of our wee burns over here in Scotland!

    Many thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Alistair. Please share your experience fishing in Scotland with us here in the US. When I visited Scotland in the early 90ies, I marveled at the creeks and lochs and the fishing opportunities. Shoot me an email if you would like to post a guest post about fishing tenkara in Scotland.