Thursday, July 30, 2015

Highland halftime: Schooled by the crags

So we've found ourselves peering down on brown-trout country from ascending trails searching for fishy lakes. We want the scoop: Big cutts? Goldens? Grayling? Nothing? These fisheries are hopelessly ephemeral, pending the previous winter, self-sustainability, stocking histories and sassy attitudes. There's only one way to know for sure ...

Looking back through our first half-summer of alpine trouting, it's been a bit of an uphill battle (rim-shot, please). We've surrendered many goods to the forest, fought through daily thunderstorms and muddy trails, found fishless lakes, stubborn cutthroat, extreme heat, thundershowers in zero-percent chances, all with a complete to-do list at home. No injuries, but by the grace of Gary go we ... Those who say mountain trout are easy have outted themselves as inexperienced.

Pre -midges.
On the other hand, we've charged through the thin air of the Gallatins, Madisons and Absarokas to cirques and endorphins and the divine welcome of radiating halos. To lakes we learned were secret, genius cutthroat and amateurish grayling, on long hikes with views, through anxiety, with friends.

Someday, I'll share which lakes I've found worth the effort, which lakes we've been lied to about and all the adventures. In the mean time, here's to the pain. And to big, beautiful, hungry cutthroat.