Reading some other’s reports had me craving some brook trout. So, off I went on my merry way to look for some. This is my first year extensively fishing the Grand Mesa. Many anglers are tight lipped on locations and many just don’t know, thus I am in the exploring stage. The mountain is enormous. Most lakes with quality fish are off the beaten path. I chose a lake that has special regulations on it. This coupled with the chance at brookies, grayling, and cutthroat inspired me to bring the tube along.
I was a little surprised to see a large group of fisherman already at the lake. They were lined up along the shore that I so wanted to fish the most. There were a couple other guys floating as well. So much for getting away from the crowds…but the fishing wasn’t too bad. Found them quickly.
Lots and lots of cutthroat. I spent the entire trip looking, hoping, and praying for a brook trout, but it didn’t happen. Well I found a nice cutty lake nonetheless. I was also tickled to catch a couple of these, although one was very camera shy.
My fishing in these high country lakes consists of marabou jigs 99% of the time. You can see from the picture copper was the go to color today. The fish were right off the bottom, so the jigs really did nice. They were so aggressive that I let my second rod just dangle a jig about 15' below my tube. Many fish took that jig too.
I noticed a lot of my fellow fishermen were not having as good of luck with their fly rods.
Now for a little rant...
Here is some dialogue with another angler. This is why I often prefer fish to people…why I desire remote locations.
As I was unhooking a lil’ cutthroat a guy on a tube near me mumbled (pretty loudly)
“$%#@ bait fisherman”.
I replied, “What was that sir?”
“I didn’t say anything,” he hollered back.
I sat for a moment, debating if I wanted to confront him or ignore his ignorance. My character was being called into question. I couldn't just back down. “You could at least have the dignity to accuse me to my face instead of behind my back man,” I said.
“Bait’s not allowed on this lake”
“I’m fully aware of that. I’m not using any bait.”
“Horse $^#%, it sure looks like it”
I kicked my tube right over to him, showed him both my rods rigged with jigs. I looked at him and said, “Just because I’m out-fishing you and am using spinning rods does not mean I am breaking the law.”
He looked at me for a moment and grunted, “Ok” as he kicked off.
Now I know that most all fly-fisherman are standup guys and gals. Some of my best fishing buds are fly guys only. My issue is in no way with the sport of fly-fishing. My issue is that this guy thought I was purposely breaking the law, and didn’t have the guts to confront me about it. I also don’t appreciate the snobby elitist attitude, but to each his own…I guess.
As I reflected on what just happened, I was reminded that we need to treat one another honorably, even if someone fishes/looks different than us. Fishing is a humbling sport. It can be comical when we bring our haughtiness into it. Also, fellow fishermen if you see a need to bring correction to someone who is breaking the law by all means have the guts to do so, or call the poacher hotline if you’re in cell range. Complaining, name-calling, and having a snobby attitude behind their back is a shameful response. Sorry for the rant…
My feathers were a little ruffled, but the fish were there to console me. These cutthroats were fun. Many more were caught, but not photographed. It was a great learning experience with the jig as well. It’s different from the tube than it is from shore. I like it.
It ended up being a delightful day on the water. No bruisers were caught, but the scenery and colors of the fish were most soothing. Still didn’t find any brook trout. Well there is always next time.
May we always remember life is so short, let’s live it well.