OK, forgive me for the title. Iíll grant itís a direct steal from the John Denver song, with connotations to drug use. However, in my case the drug of choice is fishing mountain waters, specifically those around Grand Lake. Oh, maybe a nip of good whiskey at the days end.
Last weekend was Sue and my wedding anniversary. In my case definitely noteworthy, as I still fail to understand howís sheís put up with me and my fishing for forty-one years. Oh, she knew I fished, fished a lot for that matter. Heck, I even carried fishing gear with us on our honeymoon. Still, in my mind, itís a wonder sheís stuck with me.
Over the years, weíve developed an understanding that on trips weíll spend most of our time doing joint activities, but part of the time Iíll fish and sheíll shop or just kick back with a book while I do. Works well, as Iím not fond of spending much time in store, even tackle shops. Nope, Iím up for go in, make a purchase and leave. No need to look at every item offered.
On the other hand, unless the conditions are ideal, Sueís not up for spending the day at the lake reading and hiking while I cast to every square foot of water. Sheís feels, catch one fish, and youíve caught them all. Theyíre all the same to her. So, as much as we enjoy each otherís company, we equally enjoy a little time doing our own thing.
I suspect most of you are familiar with the primary waters around Grand Lake; Grand, Granby, Shadow Mountain, Meadow Creek, Monarch, and Willow Creek. Most trips I fish Granby for lake trout. Iíve yet to catch a master angler. Other than that I spend time fishing the park streams or fishing Grand Lake as itís a short walk from the room.
This trip I had a couple half days to fish, so to try Willow Creek, and Monarch, as Iíve never fished either. Plus, I figured theyíd provide me quantity, which in truth was more appealing than risking a skunk chasing trophy lake trout that are in the process of moving deep.
Willow Creek didnít disappoint. As expected I landed good numbers of rainbows, most recently stocked I suspect. The only challenge was locating a concentration of them. Even that wasnít difficult as there was a good breeze, so I kicked (got blown) to windblown shore where fish fodder was both being blown into and stirred up. The bonus was a nice 17-inch brown.
The morning of day two, Sue joined me at Monarch, with the understanding that Iíd get off the water in time to take her to Granby for lunch. If you havenít visited Monarch, do so, the scenery is enough to make the trip worthwhile. Sue spent time reading, walking, watching wildlife, and even a short nap, while I paddled around the lake in my tube.
The catch rate at Monarch was a bit lower than Willow Creek, as the conditions were calm and the fish not near as concentrated. Still I managed good numbers of brook, brown, and even one rainbow trout. Plus, there was the added bonus of watching wildlife and enjoying the scenery as the only angler floating on the lake.
Now, I donít know about you, but for me a weekend with my loving wife of forty-one years, getting in some fishing (and catching) surrounded by some of the most beautiful country in the world is definitely a Rocky Mountain High.