Monday, July 18, 2011

We're Getting There...

About three weeks ago, a friend and I set out to fish Buchannan Creek. The creek feeds Monarch Lake, where we have been doing a bit of hiking.

On the walk in we came upon this moose, he was just chilling. This guy is going to have a pretty good sized rack this year! We stopped and looked at him for a minute or two and moved on. He wasn't the slightest bit worried about us being there.

After passing the moose, we hiked on a ways and came upon this view. I have been to Monarch quite a few times, but have never seen the wind totally calm. The weather had been teasing rain all day long, but we pressed on to fish.

This is Buchannan Creek. The water was still high and stained, but seemed fishable. We rigged up and hopped in the creek. The gravel bottom offered zero footing in the swift current, just crumbled under my feet. We had to resort to bushwhacking through the willows. I have to admit I was pretty nervous after our moose encounter. Where we were was perfect moose habitat.

Anyways, we fished on. We were limited to the waters we could fish, and only managed to see a couple fish. These fish were laid up under heavy brush and were impossible to get a fly to. We pressed on until the sky quit taunting rain and made true to it's word. We hurried back to the trailhead and sought refuge at the Forest Service station. We waited around for about 45 minutes and the storm passed. We tried our hand on the lake for a little bit, but to no avail. We called it a day.


I found Buffalo Creek a couple weeks ago, and have had a blast catching brookies!

Buffalo Creek is a cool little stream. It runs through a shallow valley, and is surrounded by head-high willow and grass. There are lots of bends, which make some nice holes for the bigger fish to hang in. But talk about mosquitos! The first time I fished buffalo Creek I was run off after a half hour of fishing. I looked down on my legs and couple easily see 50 mosquitos. Unpleasant!

But with mosquitos comes mayflies and caddis flies! There were swarms of mayflies is every pocket of water, and brookies were gorging themselves!

If you look closely at this picture, you can see a cloud of mayflies in the pool just upstream. Click the pic.

I kinda squished this guy, but this is what the fish were eating.

I really love this picture! I couldn't get a good pic of the bugs in the air and was getting frustrated, the light was wrong. I did some editing to one of the pictures I had taken, and this is how it turned out. You can see three or four bugs in flight, and the colors are just plain sweet!

This is one of the better fish I've caught from Buffalo. He had some great color on him! It never ceases to amaze me how a brookie will SMASH an Elk Hair Caddis when they won't sniff anything else. I guess an EHC is like brookie crack!

On the way back to the ranch, I saw a double rainbow. I stopped to take a picture of it, but had the same problem as photographing the mayflies. The overcast conditions weren't the best. But once again, I did some editing. This is how it came out. I can dig it!

I had a friend tell me about Beaver Creek. On this creek there were supposedly, of all things; beaver ponds! Well, I hiked a few miles only to find a couple beaver "puddles." I was not impressed with what I saw. I never rigged up. I did come across some flora, though. I'm not too sure what this flower is called, but it's everywhere out here. I think they're pretty cool...

As I was leaving Beaver Creek, I was happy to be heading for blue skies!

Oh man! This past weekend was the Solshine Music Festival in Winter Park. I made sure I had the day off in advance. The concert was free and pretty much all bluegrass. We had such a great time. The two headliners were Trampled By Turtles and The Punch Brothers. I had heard of both of these bands, but never really heard any of their music. All I can say is KILLER!

The concert started at noon and was scheduled to run until 6 pm. We ventured in around one o'clock, just about the time it started raining! Undaunted, we headed back to the vehicles and a very well placed awning. We could see and hear the stage from where we sat, just on the other side of Vasquez Creek. The rain lasted about an hour, which gave us plenty of time to get our heads right for the show!

The skies cleared up and the sun shone bright! Trampled By Turtles took the stage just as we staked our claim on the lawn. They played driving bluegrass for a couple hours, and were awesome!

I have had a waterproof travel blanket in my car for the longest time, and it finally came in handy. Kept a dry bum the whole show!

The Punch Brothers came on after TBT. They also put on a killer show. My two highlights were when they covered Sexx Laws by Beck, and Ophelia by The Band!

Our motley crew!

That's what's been going on around here... Give it another week or so, and we may be able to fish some real rivers! Life is good in this 'hood!