Fishing or Football

Originally posted @ Deuter


The past few years have not been so good to certain football fans. Particularly to me, having grown up in Buffalo and now living in Denver. So the decision was fairly easy to make – go fishing! It didn’t hurt that the weather was a perfect 50 degrees with not a cloud in the sky (not bad for a mid-December day). I threw my equipment into my Speed Lite 20, hopped in the car and drove 15 minutes up the road.

On this day there would be no hiking above treeline, or stuffing my pack with 50 pounds of gear and hiking for ten miles. It was going to be an easy day in town. It had to be since everything above 7,000 feet was frozen solid and I really didn’t feel like hiking in an auger to cut through a frozen lake. So a nice stroll along the creek would have to suffice.

I started out at a new spot that I hadn’t fished before. Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised when I walked up to the first hole and saw half a dozen fish slowly swimming the shore. Unfortunately, I saw them from a foot bridge and there wasn’t a clear area to cast from. So I hiked down below the bridge and roll casted as far as I could. Not good enough. Either my cast or my stumbling over the snow-covered rocks had scared the fish, and after half an hour I decided to continue exploring.

I walked the side of the river for another half a mile. I saw a few good spots that might have held fish but there didn’t appear to be any signs of life in the water. I wet my line in a couple of spots, got tangled up in more than a couple of spots, and after an hour decided to pack it in and drive to an area that was more familiar.

Arriving at the parking lot, I was greeted by a park ranger. He was shocked to see someone out in that area fly fishing. He tried his hardest to get me to give up my secret locations, but I was purposely vague, which may have been the annoyance that caused him to ask for my fishing license. He wished me luck and I was on my way.

Another nice thing about fishing while a football game is on is that most people are actually sitting indoors and watching the game. Not that this area gets much pressure from fishermen, but it was nice not to see the crowds of hikers that I normally would see in the area.

As I got to my first hole, I was getting ready to cast in to a deep pool, when a couple of fighter jets roared by overhead. Obviously they had just done a fly by over Mile High Stadium and the football game was underway. I took this to be a good omen and three casts later it was fish on!

I was in tight quarters, I was hooked in to a nice brown trout with tree branches a couple feet overhead and using a 3 wt. rod. I did not want this fish to get off the hook. I was on my knees and stripping line in as gently as possible. Within a couple of minutes the fish was in the net.

After a few pictures and a gentle release, the beautiful brown trout was back where he belonged. It was time for me to pack up and head home as well. Although there was only one fish caught in a few hours of fishing, it was a perfect day. The only thing left was to get home and watch the Broncos win their sixth straight game. What? Did you think I would actually miss the game? It’s 2011 and I have a DVR.