Monday, December 3, 2012

Goodbye Montana, Hello Colorado

Sure, this post could be titled "Goodbye 3x, Hello 8x." As some Coloradans seem to bask in the "pleasure" of fishing diminutive tippets to not so diminutive fish. But, I am not here to make gross generalizations. Nor am I here (or anywhere) to fish anything smaller than 6x, 5x if I am grumpy.

The South Platte - photo courtesy of SchnitzerPHOTO
While I have been in Colorado since the beginning of October, I have avoided writing this post for a multitude of reasons, including my lack of writing ability and my internal denial that I ever moved away from land of the Big Sky. But, I can avoid it no longer. After a short 4 year stint in Montana, I have moved down to the a state filled with 14ers. And Colorado is no slouch in the world of physically attractive states.

A South Platte cutbow
Fly fishing for trout in Colorado certainly offers an elevated sense of you are often fishing at 8,000 feet above sea level whilst throwing line. A stark difference from fishing at four to five thousand feet. The lungs feel it. Leisurely walks along the rivers more than a mile high catch the lungs off guard every so often. Fishing for trout in Colorado is truly in the mountains. With such elevation, you find yourself closer to source so to speak. As the snowpack from the headwaters seems to be right at your finger tips as opposed to far off in the distance as the big mountains were in the major river valleys of Montana.

Looking nice, Colorado.
No more turd and worm set-ups off of a 9 foot leader to 3x nylon tippet. It's fluorocarbon and tiny flies. The scale of water management is significant. The state of the front range's water supply is plain to see when you explore the landscape. Dams and their reservoirs litter the both sides of the divide in Colorado. The water management is out there for everyone to see. Some of the rivers take on the shape of water conveyance systems rather than free flowing freestones. Last year's low water is apparent. The reservoirs are down, the rivers are low. Major rivers flowing at 60 cfs or lower. Five to ten-fold smaller than the rivers of Montana.

A new species. Snake River Cutthroat from the Dream Stream.
I miss Montana and will continue to miss that state, it's rivers, it's fish, and my friends for the foreseeable and distant future. That being said, I am eager to learn and see as much as I can in Colorado. I am eager to become a better fisherman. I am eager to fish with new friends. I have already had the pleasure of sharing the water with the likes of Sanders and SchnitzerPHOTO and I look forward to more outings with them and others.

How am I feeling about the move to Colorado? Truth be told, I could just link you to a piece that Sanders wrote a couple weeks back. Without express written consent by the NFL, he peered into my brain and figured out what I was thinking as I explored the new-to-me waters of Colorado. I am trying to find the familiar. Colorado is familiar, to a degree. Let's be friends, Colorado.

Also, CARP.


Mike Sepelak said...

A beautiful place to settle for, Ivan, but you really need to work on your company. Sanders and Russ. Oy. I hope your liver's up to it.

And if you ever need a fourth...

Ivan said...

Certainly Mike. I might need're always welcome.

John Montana said...

Hope you like it out there. I have been meaning to get there to chase some carp on the south platte. I miss MT too!

e.m.b. said...

CARP! Oh yes. We'll have to get out for some...mudflats up around Boulder are my stompin' grounds. :) And it was great to finally meet you the other night at Low & Clear! Welcome to Colorado!

cofisher said...

Welcome to Colorado Ivan. I think you'll that we're not much different than fly fishermen on Mars. Seriously, if you need anything there are some great Colorado bloggers at your disposal.

schnitzerPHOTO said...

It's great to have you in the neighborhood, Ivan. I look forward to much more time on the water with you, and working on some other fun stuff during the months ahead.

morgan said...

hey ivan, i know how hard it is to leave the big sky, but there are good waters elsewhere, you just have to find those without the crowds. i dont know where exactly you are in CO, but i live in laramie, just 2 hours from denver. if you ever want to check out some of the water i fish up here, let me know as i am always happy to fish with new friends. if you are interested, send me a message on my WY Fly media facebook page. i might have a few places up my sleeve that will rival MT fishing...

Ivan said...

@John Montana - You are always welcome here in CO and it would be a honor and a hell of a learning experience for me to fish with the Carp Whisperer himself.

Do you ever get over Montana?

Ivan said...

@E.M.B. - Indeed. It was great meeting you and Jay. I look forward to sharing the flats with you soon.

Ivan said...

@Cofisher- I have found that to be very true. The Colorado fishing community is certainly very welcoming. I look forward to meeting you and sharing the water at some point. I know you don't care for winter fishing too much.

Ivan said...

@Russ - I, too, look forward to sharing more days on the water (and hopefully some in the editing room) with you. time, with more fish.

Ivan said...

@morgan - message sent. Looking forward to it.

Matt Smythe said...

OK - I'm late to this party, but if you're going planning on heading to the IF4 shin-dig Jan 4th, let me know. I'm comin' in hot from NY for it. Be mighty cool to meet up. matt @ fishingpoet dot com

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