Monday, September 20, 2010

Roaring River: Rocky Mountain National Park

The highlight of our 8 days in Colorado was the two day back country experience on the Lawn Lake Trail. We were out to seek the elusive Green Back Cutthroat Trout, a fish that resides only in a few watersheds of the park. This took most of our pre-trip planning as two days in the wilderness is not something you can plan overnight, especially when you are coming from Pennsylvania. Our destination on the first day was the Golden Banner campsite which is located about 3 miles from the Trail head. We started off at 8,500 feet and gained 1,000 feet in those first 3 miles. The first mile was an uphill switchback that weaved up the mountain. We gained most of those 1,000 feet in the first mile for sure! Once you get through the first mile the last two have a slight grade to them and don't feel as bad. At 9,500 feet we arrived at the Golden Banner Site and set up camp. The park ranger warned us of a nuisance bear which got into a campers tent a few weeks before so we were keen to keep food and stenches (outside ourselves) in a mandatory bear canister.

After setting up Echo Base we decided to fish right above the campsite. To our liking there were fish positioned in every holding spot on the stream! Greenbacks chomped on all our hopper patterns no matter where we were casting. The fish here ranged from 6-10 inches which was a lot bigger then what we are used to back in PA! I would say the stream was about 10-12 feet wide but had plenty of holding water. We fished about 1 mile above the Golden Banner then turned around and walked to the Cutbank site. We got into the water and fished right back to camp. Same results as before, tons of fish eager to eat dries. Needless to say we had an absolute blast catching these beauties in this little stream, definitely worth the first three miles of rugged terrain! I can't even imagine how many fish per mile are in this stream, most say the best fishing is below the Cutbank campsite, I can't imagine the fishing getting much better then what we experienced.

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