Colorado Fishing Irony

On our Colorado trip last month (photo set finally to be posted in the next few days), we had a great time with all the scenery, especially wildflowers, which were as bountiful as I’ve seen up there. By contrast, our fishing luck was lame most days, with only a few small ones here and there. The last afternoon in the mountains was productive, though, mainly in one 10-minute span near Monarch Lake. Here’s what we kept for the frying pan:

I caught these two hard-fighting trout, big as my forearms, on back to back casts into a deep channel. No, not by being some fancy-schmancy, hoity-toity fly caster…I did it the Texas catfisherman’s way, with a baitcasting reel, 10 pound test line, a sinker, hook and some malodorous dough-bait (big gobs of Power Bait). All week of trying assorted lures wasn’t too productive, so it was time to return to my roots.

One of the trout went on a torpedo run under and around some riprap rocks and had to be wrestled from inside a submerged tree; the other did the classic tail-walking maneuver in futile effort to hurl the hook before heading straight for the same tree. No matter…I had ’em hooked hard and sure. As strong as they were, I knew they would be some good eating that night. I’ve never had more delicious trout — one had tan colored meat, the other salmon-pink, and there was plenty for the four of us.

The little fish at right is a catfish. Here’s the irony: Elke, raised in Colorado on mountain trout fishing, caught that catfish perhaps 50 feet from me. I, raised in Texas as a devoted catfisherman, landed the two muscular trout. She was thoroughly disgusted at this turn of events and wanted nothing to do with the catfish, but hey…it tasted great too! Meanwhile, I must admit some fish-envy after seeing the Colorado state record channel cat that was caught in Aurora a few days after we left.

Yes, I was a good sport and gave her some of the trout to eat. Marital harmony above pride…


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