For the last four days we have been fishing in the backcountry of the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. This past Wednesday we hiked into the North Inlet trail just north of Grand Lake CO. Thankfully, this hike was much easier than our first excursion into the backcountry. On top of that, once we reached our campsites, we would be staying put for all three nights. This meant that we were really going to hit the fishing hard, and the guys sure got after it!
After reaching our campsites, hopes of getting some fishing in before dinner were dashed by an evening rainstorm. But that allowed everyone to rest up and enjoy great conversation around dinner. The next day was dedicated wholly to fishing North Inlet creek. Some of the guys bushwhacked upstream off trail to reach some secluded meadows full of native Colorado River Cutthroat, while others stuck along the trail to stalk the same prey. After a full day of ripping lips we retired to our respective campsites to cook up our meals and look up in amazement at the wondrous night sky.
On our second full day in the backcountry most of the guys decided to stay in the valley and continue fishing North Inlet creek. Four intrepid souls and myself decided to go out and explore some of the high alpine lakes perched among the peaks above. After a strenuous 2,000 vertical foot climb in just over 2 miles we reached our intended destination and were duly rewarded. It wasn’t long before some of the most unique looking cutthroat trout I have ever come across were eagerly sipping our flies from the surface of the lake! After about 5 hours of fishing this amazing lake we headed back down the trail to meet up with the rest of the group for one last hearty meal in the backcountry.
This morning we hiked out and moved to our next front-country campsite to shower, do laundry, and resupply. Tomorrow we will move to our next campsite on the mighty Colorado River where we will spend the day wade fishing and preparing for our overnight float-fishing trip. Needless to say, everyone is excited about the prospect of landing a monster Brown trout on the Colorado and experiencing the luxury of raft assisted backcountry camping! Until next time…