The first thaws of the high lakes occurred about a week into June. I partook in two high lake sessions during the month. The first was a day hike, the second was an overnight backpacking trip.
This is the first of two installments in Tangler.Blogspot that I will roll out within days of each other, so check back soon for the second.
My first high country excursion had limited success. It was one of those days that I was border line ecstatic about shaking the skunk when it finally happened. However, as always with the high altitude missions, there was no shortage of exotic landscape, man-proving hiking, and sense of true, desolate adventure.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Colorado's high lakes are the pinnacle of the state's fly fishing experience.
We were on the trail before the sun even broke the horizon. As we trudged up the path to the lakes we literally hiked into the clouds. We lost the trail due to snow about an 1/8 of a mile from the lakes. The fog limited visibility to roughly 50 yards at that point. All of the sudden a mirror of water abruptly stretched out in front of us... we had reached one of the lakes.
Carper shot a photo of Jason across the lake when the fog cleared a little.
The cuttys were in spawn mode (which, contrary to rainbows and browns, makes for very tough fishing) and I didn't have my nice camera, so photos are a little sparse. Here are a few of the cuttys we caught.
...A little smaller than we had hoped for, but fish none the less.
When Carper and I reached the second lake he spotted something about 1/4 of a mile away and about 600 ft. above us. It was a large, gray, four legged animal jogging along the mountain side. It nimbly dashed up to the top of the ridge, stopped for a pose, and then vanished down the back side. It happened very fast.
Now, before I jump to any brash conclusions let me lay out a disclaimer. It was far away and above us. We were above the 12,000 ft. mark and had just climbed up a steep slope. Our perception and judgment may have been affected by those factors.
However, It was extremely bright and clear up there and we both got a good look at the "creature" as Carper referred to it. Even though it was far away, its large frame was unmistakable. I've narrowed it down to the following possibilities: we were delusional, we saw a domestic dog very far away from home, we saw the biggest coyote in Colorado, or it was a...