As I mentioned a post or two ago, Dustin and I feel like we are on permanent vacation here in Colorado. Every weekend we have a new adventure. However, one draw back exists to this permanent vacation, we are alone on our adventures. For the most part, Dustin and I have done well being by our lonesome in FoCo, but I didn’t realize how lonely I was until I had to say goodbye to my parents. It wasn’t any easier this time than it was in December. In fact, I’ve been quite melancholy since Wednesday. I am definitely ready for more company.
Making the trip from KC, my parents and my fur siblings, Lulu and Beau, spent Memorial Day weekend with Dustin and I. Unfortunately, the weather was less than kind and we spent more time in the car than I had in mind, but they got to see a lot of the area, and most importantly we got to spend quality time together. An added bonus was all the wildlife that we happened upon, Big Horns, Elk (including a calf!), Beaver and even a Coyote. The end of the visit came much too soon, but I am so glad they were able to make it to see us. I already miss them so much.
Not only am I still getting used to living life without my parents right down the street, I am also getting used to doing other things on my own, like tying knots and fishing solo. I ventured out a few weeks ago for the first time on my own, only to be thwarted by still disinfecting waders. Not willing to take the chance of spreading an exotic species, I drove non-stop through the canyon. However, today presented another opportunity for a solo trip. I had RMNP volunteer orientation today. Since I was in the area, I thought I would hit up a creek in the Park to try my luck. Outfitted to my knees in Dustin’s vest, I took off up the trail. In an effort to get away from all the visitors, I went off trail a bit, and was rewarded with a river all to my own.
Rigging up from dismantled rod to a dry dropper rig, I picked a “fishy spot” and let them fly. On my second drift, I hooked into a beauty of a little brown, tempted by the pink San Juan. He was right where I thought he’d be! I was so proud of my water read and my drift. As I was stripping him in, I shook with excitement. I knew I had to get a picture, otherwise Dustin would never believe me – that in and of itself almost sent me and the camera into the water. I’m always so paranoid about getting the fish drinking again, that I fail to take many pictures, or the ones I do take are awful. This time, being totally alone, was perhaps the goofiest of them all. All the critters around had a good laugh, I am sure. Taking pictures solo is definitely something that I need work on; that skill is even more pitiful than my double-clinch knots!
After this little brownie, I headed up river and found another nice little section. I drifted a few times, and my perfect drift scored a handsome little brookie. This time I did not bother with the camera, and took a moment to really let this catch sink in. That photo is stored where only I can retrieve it, and I kind of like it that way. A photo of my very own, of a day where I embraced being all on my own.
Realizing it was after 3pm, I knew I had to get out of the backcountry and back to civilization. Dustin had no idea where I was, and in fact no one else did either. I played it smart, and didn’t wander too far off the trail, and headed out early. Once back in cell phone range, I indeed saw Dustin was worried, and eased his mind with a quick text saying “I caught fish!” My smile stayed plastered from RMNP all the way home. My confidence is definitely one level higher!
Next order of business – carrying my own fly gear.