First of all, we sucked at taking pictures this day.  Dustin and I were so busy catching fish, the photo ops just didn’t seem as important, even though this is the day we should have taken the most.  We did learn that the next guide trip we take the camera will go in a waterproof case so it is accessible at all times…and, oh yeah, we are NEVER going to use the AUTO function again!  Now to the blogging…

Ah, the day Dustin and I most anticipated; the day we would spend 8 hours on the Roaring Fork River with a guide.  Our morning started out just as the rest of the mornings on our trip; we ate some grub and packed up to head to the next campsite.  After a few calls, we decided on another organized campground in Glenwood Springs since Dustin and I would not get off the river until after 9pm.  We made a few stops in town trying to track down a tank top for me, but I ended up empty handed.  Oh well, my IB tank still smelled like laundry detergent so I wasn’t too bothered.  Brooke and Matt dropped us off at the fly shop around 1230, and that is when the real anticipation set in.

Much to our delight, we booked the best guide in the area, Dustin Harcourt of Roaring Fork Anglers.  Guide Dustin arrived right on time.  He loaded up on some flies, and then we were off.  Right before heading out he promised us a day of first class spoiling, and the man delivered on that promise.  On an even more awesome note, we found out he is the guide to the stars.  I can’t divulge just who these clients are, but we are talking common household names.  I felt like one of those stars that day. 

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As soon as we put in, we just chilled for a moment by the boat ramp.  Guide Dustin instructed Dus to throw a few times to see if he could score a bonus fish.  Cast and SCORE!  Five minutes into our trip, Dus hooked and landed a nice brown.  This really set the tone for the entire trip.  Guide Dustin warned us that trout fishing during the day would be slow, but the action we would see in the evening would more than make up for our less than active hours.  In all honesty, we really didn’t have that much down time.  Between getting into some nice sized whitefish, we were still hooking trout all day.  Granted, the numbers weren’t as high as that small window of opportunity we saw later in the evening, but we still hooked a respectable amount of fish, with the trout being the higher percentage, much to the surprise of Guide Dustin.  Everywhere he told us to cast, there were fish.  The even better part of it was, we landed more than we lost.  Guide Dustin hooked us up with the down-and-dirty rigs to get us through the day hours.  Those rigs were money, even though they gave Dus the fits.  We fished three flies with weights most of the day; I believe the blood prince gave us some great luck, along with a few of Guide Dustin’s own designs.  One time, I was casting near a rock and Guide Dustin instructed me to give my flies a little wiggle as they passed the rock.  As soon as I did that, FISH ON!  That was my most exciting catch of the day.  Unforgettable!  

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Right before the real action window, we pulled off the river for lunch.  My oh my what a lunch it was; we had a mixed greens and fruit salad, salmon pate, baguettes, shrimp cocktail and grapes.  Not only was lunch scrumptious, a buddy of Guide Dustin’s pulled over to give us an ice-cold Coors Light to wash down our spectacular lunch.  Remember that spoiling thing, yeah we were so getting the royal treatment!  

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When the sun went behind the mountain, it was on.  Time between fish went from 20-30 minutes to mere minutes.  Guide Dustin did not exaggerate about how crazy the fishing turned at o’dark thirty.  These last few hours flew by; we covered 7 miles in a little over two hours, all the while catching fish every mile of the way.  It was exhilarating! 

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IMG_1119 This is why we will never use AUTO setting again: 19” Cutt-bow; it was a beauty!

For the day, we caught fish steadily, and nothing we landed was under 15”! Guide Dustin pampered us to the hilt; we didn’t take off one fish; we didn’t untangle one line; we didn’t set up one pole; we just fished our hearts out.  Not only did I catch a ton of fish (I caught more than Dus!), I also learned SO much.  Tips that Guide Dustin gave me I am still repeating to myself this very minute (if you aren’t hitting the bottom, you aren’t deep enough!)  I have a few regrets, not enough pictures, not a good picture of Dustin’s Cutt-Bow, and no picture of us and Guide Dustin.  Even with those regrets, this truly was one the best days, ever! 

Thanks Guide Dustin!

Reminiscing fondly,

Stephanie

Written by Stephanie Mullins

1 Comment

Bigerrfish

Ya know Im beginging to appriciate how much you like to fish! Next time your in colorado head for the western slope and youll find water you didnt know existed.. If you need a guide there is a local guy named Josh who wouldnt charge anything but gas, just because you dig to fish, float or wade the Gunnison, Uncompahgre, and many more.
good hunting and fishing to you!
Josh.

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