The 2022 Colorado Rocky Mountain adventure just exited a successful backcountry! The last time you heard from us, we had just arrived at our front country campsite outside the park and were preparing to enter the backcountry after a bit of fly fishing instruction. The following day we got to fishing the headwaters of the Colorado river. Nearly every kid caught fish that first day and the readily rising brook trout gave everyone ample opportunity to dial in their technique over the course of the day. That night we headed back to camp, had a big pasta carbo load dinner, and got to sleep early to prepare for the big hike the next day.
The kids woke up early the next day and loaded up their backpacks with some helpful instructions from the leaders. We then ate a quick breakfast and set out for the trailhead. All the campers hiked really well, and we made it to our first campsite just in time for lunch. Our group then split into two. One group would stay at the first campsite and fish their way up the valley and meet the second group for dinner at a further up campsite. The second group would continue hiking for another 30 minutes, set up camp, and then get to fishing. Both groups had a ton of fun and caught tons of brook trout, with a few campers catching upwards of 50 fish in that afternoon alone! After a nice big dinner, we headed back to our respective campsites to get some rest.
The next morning the groups met up again after breakfast and hit the trail early. The plan for the day was to bushwhack up a remote tributary of the stream we had been fishing in search of native Colorado river cutthroat trout. We hiked a few miles on the trail before turning off it and beginning our bushwhack. The going was slow, but eventually, we made it to our target section of the stream. After a quick lunch, the kids rigged up rods and began fishing. Almost immediately, we heard multiple excited calls of “fish on” ringing across the water. The drainage we were fishing is extremely difficult to access and, as a result, rarely sees human travel; most of the fish there have never seen a fly in their life. Because of this, the fish were eagerly rising to dry flies, and we were able to get every kid on their second species of the trip! Spirits were very high until a downpour started just as we were packing up, leaving us to hike back to camp in the rain. After a few cold, wet miles of hiking, we finally made it back to camp just in time for the rain to let up. Once we got changed back into some dry clothes and ate some warm food, everyone went to bed extra early for some well-earned rest.
This morning we got up, packed up camp, and hit the trail again. Thanks to our newly lightened bear cans, we made it out of the backcountry pretty quickly and headed back into civilization, ready for lunch, ice cream, hot showers, laundry, and some pool time. Tomorrow we will move camp again to the Colorado river to do our service project, chase after some trophy trout, and float fish the Colorado with the help of local guides. The kids are all having an awesome time and are super excited to get shots at some bigger fish these next few days! The next time you hear from us we will have just finished up the float trip and will be getting ready to send the kids home.
Will, Jack, and Remi