It's been a while since the last report of happenings in MuddlerLand. With all the rain, mud, hail, thunder and lighting, moral had been sinking rather low.
Luckily, the weather has broken. We've had about a month of bright blue skies and warm temperatures. This has led to many opportunities of exploration as the snow recedes. The rivers as still high and muddy, but are starting to come down a little. Some predict we still haven't seen the worst of it, but I can not agree.
I've found a couple places that are fishable, though. I managed to get out a little over a week ago, and caught two fish in two days of fishing. The low number of fish was worth the effort I put into catching them. They were wild browns, something I haven't seen in a while. I had a few short strikes and a couple really big fish take a sniff at my streamer. I could see the fish coming up to eat my fly, it was really cool. The only solace I've had has been catching dumb, stocked rainbows in the pond. I do not knock any kind of fishing, but over a period of time stockers become rather mind numbing.
I have most definitely found other ways to entertain myself, aside from fishing. Yesterday, Tony, Raliegh, and I took a canoe trip across Monarch Lake. I will most certainly be doing more of this! I had been to Monarch before, and promised myself I would be back with a canoe. There are no motor vessels allowed on the lake. Monarch is as pristine as it gets, and we had a great time on a beautiful Colorado summer day!
We paddled across the lake and saw some cool waterfowl and enjoyed the sun. We pointed the canoe in the direction of a large dome shaped rock. We had to make a short passage into an oxbow to get there. We climbed to the top of the rock and were stunned by the beauty. After admiring the scenery for a minute, my stomach told me it was lunch time. So I descended the rock, bound for the subs in the canoe. We enjoyed a makeshift picnic of subs, apples, and powerbars.
I looked at the clouds and noticed a full rainbow surrounding the sun. I thought this was pretty cool!
I absolutely love this picture. We had to paddle clear across the lake directly into a stiff breeze. At this point, I was pretty glad I had Tony with me. We paddled towards two islands that helped to break the wind a bit. As we paddled between the islands, I could see lots of good bottom structure. I definitely want to come back and fish this little gem. But I'll have to ask the right person to borrow the boat next time. I got an earful when I returned to the ranch with what I thought was a community boat. Oh well...
Today was another killer day! I awoke this morning to ominous clouds filling the sky, but never faltered in my plan to go fish scouting. I recruited Ben and Lindsey to head into the woods with me. We drug our feet a little trying to leave, which ended up being a great thing. After grabbing some more subs, we headed for the Tonahutu/North Inlet trailhead. The dark clouds had departed and blue skies prevailed. We headed up the North Inlet trial for a 3.4 mile hike to Cascade Falls.
The scenery was amazing, and the trail was really neat. The falls were absolutely raging! I'm sure when the water recedes, they will be more "cascading." Regardless, they were cool.
This is another picture I really like. This is Mt. Enentah. We could see this just about the whole hike. I thought it looked like a fortress. This picture is taken looking South.
I have no idea what this flower is, but I really like it! We only found them along really shady stretches of the trail for a half mile or so.
The three of us had been talking, since we started hiking, about seeing wildlife. We had only seen a few birds and a couple chipmunks. We joked that if we only looked for wildlife while walking, we would assuredly trip and break something. We were making our way down into a boggy meadow, and Ben suddenly belts, "MOOSE!" What a good spot it was. The moose were feeding probably 200 yards away, but making their way toward the trail. There was a cow and two young'uns. We watched them for a bit and made our way further down the trail. We kept a lookout and Ben spotted them again, this time much closer. Seeing the moose made our day, and we finished the hike strong!
Another picture I really dig. This is North Inlet. Clear and very fishable. I talked to a man I saw with a fly rod, and he told me there were mostly brook trout in this water. Do I have a problem with that? Not ONE bit. I don't have to work until two tomorrow, so I am planning on leaving early and fishing this stretch of water. It may be hard to tell, but this stream runs placidly through meadows and stands of pine.
The weather is doing nothing but getting nicer, which means there are more and more places to explore! I have many places on my map to hit. Colorado is in my blood! I received my CO drivers license today, and plan on registering my car out here next week.
If you get a chance, check out the song "Colorado" by Railroad Earth. You'll probably get a small dose of what I'm feeling right now!