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Run-off – she’s in full swing here, no denying it, but that doesn’t mean Dustin and I have sat on the sidelines.  We’ve been lucky enough to find fishable water in the last week, and have even had a good amount of fish come to hand.  To be frank, I’ve been most pleased and surprised at our proficiency.  Most fish are in the smaller range, but at this point we aren’t complaining.  Each day we pinch ourselves as we pull a wiggling fish from his cold confines and glance at the scenery in which we and the fish live, all of us so lucky.  A side note: the Big T has dropped rapidly…don’t all rush out at once.

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Big head, little body on the brown above – small stream diet.  Hiding out under a willow, a nice drift coaxed him from his hiding position and onto the end of my line.  Below, Dustin’s first Brook – from a backwater!  This guy did not live to swim another day; Dustin took him home and fried him…

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This past weekend, we took across the divide to see what was in store for us on that side of the continent, both on Highway 34 and 14.   I can report that the headwaters of the Poudre remain frozen.  Just a few hundred feet lower in elevation, the Poudre does run ice free with several feet of snow surrounding the banks.  Poudre Lake, the originating supplier of water to the river, exists still as a solid sheet of ice.  The marked destination for hiking and fishing when Brooke and Matt visit finds itself under 70+” of snow as of Saturday.  You would think we would be tired of snow, but it was mesmerizing staring at the gleaming whiteness speckled with pine needles.  Wilderness quite worthy of a vacation destination.  

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Furthermore, our trip west provided a great recon mission for a creek which is high on Dustin and I’s must fish list.  We scouted the water, and were pleased to find to a bit of fishable water, but more so an outstanding, relatively quiet fishery that we can’t wait to experience.  Dustin also found a tail-water that he must try, so plans are in the works for a day trip next weekend (if he has a day off work).  He is much more excited about tail-waters (for the big fish), whereas I am much more excited about the challenge and the beautiful rewards of small streams.  As we give way to the ebb and flows of one another’s desires, I predict the summer and fall to be jam packed full of fishing adventures, with Dustin giving way to my desires frequently since he is apt to feast on Brookies.  Unfortunately, money makes the world go round and Dustin has taken a second job to give us the luxury of having hobbies.  This second job will definitely hamper the backcountry adventures we had planned, but we will make due the very best we can. 

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The gills, and the scenery have had their moment of glory in this post, but I wish to share a bit of the antlered sort for a moment.  While mom doesn’t have antlers, the calf might some day and this is too adorable not to share, besides I include antler porn too. 

Mommy–I’m hungry!
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I stopped in to get the skinny from the parks office today for Brooke and Matt’s visit, and was surprised at all the information they had available – for FREE!  I encourage anyone wanting to plan a vacation to contact the local parks office, either in person or on the phone, as they are willing to send information to you as well. 

-Stephanie

Written by Stephanie Mullins

11 Comments

Sanders

looks like you and Dustin are going to be unstoppable…as long as you guys can agree on the water 🙂 really enjoyed the antler porn…good change of pace!

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Midge Man

Sanders… You'd have to have seen it to understand, but earlier this year Dustin and I were standing beside the Poudre, the fish were working emergers like crazy and I'm pointing out backs as they rolled in the surface. I turned and Dustin has a visual lock on four White Tail does under a tree about fifty yards away. He was about ready to break a sweat! The guy is a hunter and those elk have to drive him nuts!

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Sanders

Midge Man- I could only imagine…I think he has found a pretty good spot here in CO. I'm just waiting for a post where he starts letting those arrows fly…If he's half as dangerous on those bucks as he is on those rolling trout…look out!

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Stephanie and Dustin

@MM – A busy, but hopefully great summer. We could live here forever and never fish all the available water!

@Erin – Is there any other way to have it?!

@Sanders – It is a give and take thing – we go where he wants, then where I want…it works, so far.

@Dustin – You will see all this goodness when you come in August. I agree Vegas does suck!

@Howard – Dustin and I were just discussing how odd it will be when we travel home to MO. CO just fits us.

@FR – Wolves will be here soon…although the removal of them from the ESL will slow their migration south, but they'll get here.

@Josh – Glad I could put you off on the right foot.

@Sanders & MM – We have a lot of work to do to make Dustin an elk hunter. Hunting whitetails is much different than hunting elk or even mulies for that matter. He will be able to buy "leftover" tags on August 9th. When he finds out what section he will be able to hunt, I am going to guess attention will focus on scouting since bow season is the month of September. I am sure there will be a few year learning curve, but the boy can hunt, and he'll catch on.

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Fontinalis Rising

I kid. The wolves are here where I'm at, but we have so many deer it doesn't matter. I'm really looking forward to following Dustin's hunting this fall, and I'll be posting on mine as well. I take ten days off each November to bowhunt the peak of the rut before the rifle season. My brother and I are going to Nipigon this year in August which nixes CO for me, but now I'm in talks with a friend to fish NM, AZ and CO in October.

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