After we exited the backcountry on Monday July 9th we had our day of community service. Before getting to work we cooked a delicious breakfast of pancakes and sausage. For our service project we picked up trash and other debris along the banks of the Colorado River. We worked with the Bureau of Land Management on the project, who manages this specific area. The location is called “Pumphouse Recreation Area”, which is a very popular boat launch, fishing, and camping site just below Gore Canyon outside of Kremmling, CO. This was a unique opportunity in that we were able to clean the headwaters of a river that serves millions of Americans.
Once we completed our service project we had lunch and then went walk/wade fishing on the Colorado. The campers paired up and went fishing upstream towards the canyon. Multiple fish were landed in the 14-16” range before a small storm brought everyone back to camp. For dinner we prepared a tasty batch of Buffalo Chicken Mac n’ Cheese that left the group stuffed. We all went to sleep pretty early since we were meeting our guides at 7am the next morning for a float on the Colorado River.
Wednesday was a big day, that started with one of the highlights of the trip, float fishing an amazing 10 mile section of the Colorado. The guides took two campers each down the river, and each of the boats landed fish. The fish landed on the float were the biggest of the entire trip, with multiple fish being landed in the 16-18” range. After the float we headed to Silverthorne for some much needed time at the Recreation Center. We soaked in the hot tub, climbed the challenging rock wall in the pool, and flew down the water slide. Others played knockout at the basketball court or soccer on the outdoor field. After showers, we headed for our banquet dinner but not until we stopped at a nearby fly shop.
Dinner was at the Historic Mint in Silverthorne, which is a unique restaurant in that you get to cook your own steaks. For many of the kids, it was their first time ever cooking their own steaks, and they were quite excited to do so. We taught them how to properly marinate and season them and then how to cook them to perfection. After a delicious steak dinner, we headed back to our campsite on the scenic Lake Dillon and prepared for our early drive to the airport. As we packed up our stuff for the upcoming morning the mood was bittersweet, and the group found it hard to leave such good fishing behind. However, everyone in the group was able to improve their fly fishing skills, and they left with the knowledge to go out and fish in the future.