The temptation of the unknown is my biggest weakness. The curiosity, mystery and adventure seem to plant a small seed in my head. That seed eventually sprouts, all I can think about are the possibilities that the treasure I seek could be found there. Then off I go. I was lucky enough to get to go on another adventure with a friend of mine. Nate seems to always have a good grasp of what going on out there. No just from hear say but one of the few who have spent the time searching, exploring and actually fishing these waters. It's actually very hard to find in today's easy parking and no walking fishing. Either, in my naive ways I have not evolved to this or that this type of fishing has never appealed to me. I like to think it’s the second of the two. The time will come when a parking lot next to the river will be a grateful site, the few seconds it takes to walk to the watering hole will be cherished but until that day I am going to beat the crap out of my body trying to get as far away from that as I can. Why you might ask? Why not… because I can I guess.
The trip began early. Nate had his coffee and I was downing a Red Bull. The talk of a Moth hatch in the high country and the lure of big fish made the drive fly right by. Down the road and over the hill lies "river-x". We made our way to the trail head and began the walk though sagebrush covered hills. As we crossed a few streams we came to a bend in the trail as we were walking around the bend I scarred the sh*& out of myself, Nate too. There was a small dead sheep on the trail; you had to actually step over it to get by. You just couldn't see it until your about to step on the thing, we laughed at how big a scare it was then we ventured on. Down the rocky path we bumped into two strangers. They were dressed the usual fly-fishing attire, vest, waders and of course the dead give away the fly rod. They were friendly and told us that they came from the river but didn't fish it. They said the water was too fast and warned us of the high flowing water, in a way they were trying to detour us from reaching our destination. We thank them and said the usually good luck and kept on going. Back on the trail thought were going though my mind, thinking about the flows and what we were going to do. I was in limbo when I looked up to see the entrance of the river. Before me stood a tall and massive canyon, the color of the rock was amazing. The landscape took on an entire new look even the vegetation changed. I was stating at the gates of Zion, I was certain of that. The negative thought of the wonders turned back into the adventure. We came to the river and they were right it was high, actually raging. The choice was simple… fish it! We didn't have a caffeine buzz for nothin'.
Wading was tough, the water was moving so fast with so much power. The streambed was full of life, insects and slippery at best, it made for a careful approach. The fishing however was very good! Actually great! Some of the Cutthroat's were very large, all were healthy and the Browns were simply heavy weight fighters. The trees were green and the forest was alive. Wildflowers were in full bloom and the deer that we spooked looked healthy and fat. We were getting into fish when Nate got into a good one, a trophy fish for this river. The fight went well and right before he landed it shook free, noooo!!! Although the fish was not landed the moment was great, Nate was all smiles like he had a pocket full of candy and I was in shock that this river had that big of fish in it, wow. Spirits were high as we made our way up the river hooking healthy fish and trying not to get swept in. I came to a large rock in the river that has made a small eddy near the far side with enough room to dab a fly into. At that moment I saw the monster Cutthroat; it slowly slips behind the bubbles and into the shadows. I placed the fly on the water and let it drift into the back, under the bubbles and then pulled it out setting up for a new drift. He took it. The fight was a short-lived one, I hooked him and he shook violently until he was free. What a fish, too bad, once again noooo!!! : ) Although two big fish were lots there were only smiles and laughter to be seen. Hooking the big fish isn't really the point just one of the added bonuses. We began picking up fish and trading hook-ups until again, Nate had on a monster. History did not repeat itself this time and the fish was landed, photographed, then let go to live another day. It was almost as big as the one that got away but it was still huge!!
The sun left the sky but not before a firework display of colors. Passed the local boy scouts who were on a backpacking trip, talked story for a minute then made a beeline back to the truck. Hiking back we had forgotten about the dead sheep and again were startled. Feet were sore, calves were burning and stomachs were hungry. All in all a great day and one too remember!