After my morning success, the guys decided to get serious about looking for large brown trout in the winding creek behind the house. Brian and I, along with our host, wadered up and set off to do a little bushwhacking.
Our host had explored a lot of the available territory, so he was able to point us in the direction of a few likely big fish haunts. In the warm, liquid light of a fall Colorado afternoon, we explored, fished, and enjoyed life.
We didn't see any hatches come off during the couple days we were there. The sand-silt bottom made for fairly murky visibility, so streamers were the name of the game. Brian had a fly box full of meaty goodness tied up by Fly Geek's Matt Bennett, while I stuck with the battle-proven black Smullett that had coaxed many strikes already.
It's easy to get frustrated when you're sure that fish are around but none of them want to play. I figured I should move and cover as much of the stream as possible, presenting a fly to as many fishy spots as I could. After an hour of stealthy approaches to likely water, difficult casts, getting hung up and not getting so much as a swipe, I was starting to think that maybe all the fish left. Or hated me. Or both.
Brian was unperturbed in the face of my blitzkrieg skunking. I made my way back to where we had split up, finding him not 25 yards from where I had left him. He was meticulously working his way through a prime lie, trying different fly weights, colors and retrieval styles. When I happened back by, he revealed that he had gotten one good bump and was going to try again with a different fly to try and trigger a strike. Just goes to show that methodical patience is sometimes the best approach.
I moved back upstream to give him space to work, but I didn't get very far before I heard Brian call out - fish on!
Arriving out of breath from my wader-hampered jog, I assisted with the net landing. What a beautiful brown trout!
Lots of congratulations and high fives followed. After the trout swam off strongly, the glow of victory made for a pleasant walk back up to the house even as the sunlight faded. We had done what we came for, and now it was time to enjoy some good food, drink, and camaraderie.
Trophy Trout: Accomplished.