July 26, 2017
Coming out of the backcountry is always bittersweet. It means we get to shower, do laundry, not drink iodine water, eat better food… but we leave behind the amazing vistas, incredible fishing, and peaceful solitude of the wilderness. Needless to say we had an absolutely awesome time on our first backcountry excursion. We left the Gunnison/Crested Butte area on Saturday to reach our remote “frontco untry” campsite. Situated next to beautiful trout stream, we were quickly hooking trout after getting camp set up. We fished until dinner, gorged ourselves on fajita burritos, and got to sleep eagerly anticipating beginning our 4 day backcountry.
In the morning we woke up to typical Colorado bluebird sky, had a hearty pancake breakfast, and hit the trail. Our hike was a gorgeous walk descending down an ever deepening desert canyon. The river corridor was resplendent in many shades of green dotted with vibrantly colored wildflowers, all highlighted by the contrasting reds and browns of the towering canyon walls. We reached our campsite shortly after mid day, set up camp, had a quick lunch, and began fishing the stream around camp. We began catching beautifully colored, happily fat trout right at camp and continued to do so right up until dinner was ready. After dinner we went to bed, exhausted from our full day of hiking and fishing, ready for the adventures tomorrow would bring.
The next two days were simply amazing. They both followed the same pattern which saw us rise early, fix a quick breakfast, then break into 3 groups to hike and fish the several miles of canyon surrounding our campsite. Two groups would hike down canyon while the third retraced our steps from the first day and headed upstream. The fishing was lights out! Every group, every day, came back with reports of nearly uncountable amounts of wild, fat trout happy to eat everything we through at them. One of the aspects of this particular stream that make it unique is that it harbors all four species of trout found in Colorado; rainbow, brown, brook, and the elusive cutthroat trout. As a group we managed to catch all four species, with one lucky angler in our group completing the trout grand slam: catching all four species in one day! After dinner each night we spent our time swapping fish stories around the campfire before retiring to our sleeping backs for well deserved rest.
Today we woke up, broke camp, and hiked out of our desert canyon trout paradise. We will hit the showers, do our laundry, re-supply on food and spend the next few days camped along the world famous Taylor and Gunnison rivers. We have plenty of fishing to look forward to, our service project, some killer hikes, and much more before we head into the backcountry for a second time. Look for the next update on the 29th, and check out our Instagram account for copious amounts of fish pics! Until then…