Tuesday, September 16, 2014

3 Trips 4 Fish

Do you ever those days that you put in a lot of effort for fish and expect to be rewarded for it, but it never comes?

Story of my life recently…I hit up three top notch fisheries with dismal results.

I ventured up the road to the Black Canyon.  I put in a considerable amount of time at the East Portal and wound up with one fish.  Sad part is it was a nasty looking rainbow (totally not common for this river).  

Oh well at least I had some company from the locals.

I decided my Black Canyon trip had to be a fluke and after a few days set my sights a little downriver to the Gunnison Gorge.  I hiked in the gorge from Pleasure Park for several miles.  As I suspected there were hoppers everywhere.  Good thing I brought the fly gear.

I put in hours and hours…for two fish.  At least they were good looking specimens.  Plus the takes on the hoppers were really fun to watch.

I thought for sure I’d put my low fish counts to an end with a trip to the Grand Mesa.   This mountain is my bread and butter.  I had heard rumors about a remote lake filled with chunky cutts.  I put my float tube on my back and hiked uphill for a couple miles.  It was a brutal couple of miles. 

This lake is a rarity of sorts for the Mesa.  Usually if one lake isn’t doing so hot, you can drive or walk a short distance to another.  This lake however is sort of a loner.  If the fishing isn’t on…there really isn’t anything nearby to salvage your day.  Although my hopes were very high, the fish had a different set of plans.

I took the opportunity to cast a little before setting off in the tube.  A few minutes later a chubby cuttie came my way.  I thought surely this meant the fishing was going to be lights out….

I spent the next several hours without so much as a bite.

However, as I was kicking my way back to shore to make the hike back, something took my jig and ran.  My pole was bent over and drag was screaming from my reel.  I fought this thing for several minutes before catching a glance at it.  He surfaced near my tube…easily two feet long.  Upon seeing me he took another run.  The drag squealed away.  I was smiling from ear to ear.  I finally was able to bring him near again.  He was a beauty of cutt, blood red, long and thick.  Just as I was reaching for my net I watched my 1/16th oz marabou jig pop from his lip…freeing the beast. 


I know what you’re thinking; no picture, no proof.  I totally agree, but it makes for a good story.  I’m sure there will be many more hikes to this lake in the future in hopes of the one that got away.

Unless you have bad times, you can’t appreciate the good times.  These trips weren’t necessarily bad, but they did leave me longing for a bit more.  I will have a few more trips to report on here shortly.  Until then life is short…live it well.


  1. Even though you didn't catch many, the ones you did catch look really, really good. Well, except for that "Snaky" looking Rainbow..................................................................
    You had some fun with that Big Cutty it sounds like (no pictures necessary). He just smiled once last time and said see ya' next time!

    1. He was definitely the type of fish that will haunt my dreams. I hope to have a run-in with him or his big brother someday.

  2. Jeremy
    Got to love those out of the way places, if they are hard to get to then they usually have trout waiting to take your offering. Very unusual looking rainbow you landed first. Thanks for sharing

    1. I agree Bill. Getting out away from the crowds is usually always worth while...and that rainbow wasn't just unusual, he was straight up ugly.

  3. Jeremy,
    As a west slope local, I am often trying to guess where you are at on the Mesa. I have done battle with the wind and shoreline brush when flyfishing on the Mesa, and am considering light spinning gear. Could you write sometime about what you suggest for spinning gear for trout- rod length and weight, line weight, etc?

    1. Thanks for reading JM. I have a report coming up on the Mesa. I'll be sure to add some of my techniques and gear for the mountain. The Mesa is such a neat place.

  4. I think I know where that Mesa lake is, it's on my list but never made it yet.. that first cutt was still a pretty stout fish.