Monday, October 21, 2013

Time Well Spent

Glacier Creek, below Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

 It’s mid-October and I’m spent.  It’s only two months into the school year, yet for some reason the cumulative effect of daily behavior management of 100-plus teenagers, the busy-ness of a rip roaring competitive marksmanship season I’m coaching, and a daily routine that seems way too routine, is catching up with me.  It’s time to rally our family and check out.

That’s exactly what we did last weekend.  We rented a cabin at YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park (a familiar haunt), loaded up our SUV (complete with a cargo platform riding caboose), and headed north.  I could feel the mental baggage falling away as we drove into the fading light.

Along with some long overdue family relaxation at the cabin and some sightseeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, I was able to sneak out for most of a day of tenkara in the park itself.  In light of the recent government shutdown, we really lucked out.  We had planned this trip for a couple of months, and were worried that we wouldn't be able to visit the park.  However, just in time, the park reopened at noon on the Saturday of our our trip!  This time of year the park isn’t nearly as occupied by people as it is during the summer.  Most folks are there to watch and listen to the elk, and much to my surprise, none of those folks seem to be interested in all in trout.
A snowstorm rolling down onto the upper Big Thompson River in Moraine Park

Because of the recent flooding in the Estes Park area earlier this fall, I was curious as to the fishability of the eastern watersheds of Rocky Mountain National Park.  I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of both Glacier Creek and the upper Big Thompson River.  I fished both with my 12’ Iwana by Tenkara USA, and had good luck catching browns and greenbacks with my self-tied Killer Kebari, a wonderful pattern from Chris Stewart, aka, the Tenkara Bum.  I was also testing a new product we’ve developed at RIGS Fly Shop, and I was pleased with the results.  I’ll be posting much more information on this later this fall, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what we’ve put together.
It was cold and snowy on Glacier Creek, but the fishing was great!
Big Thompson River, Rocky Mountain National Park
All in all, our family had a wonderful extended weekend.  We got to spend some quality time together as a family, we had time to relax for a change, and I was able to get into the park to enjoy some water that’s absolutely ideal for tenkara.  Catching trout with bull elk bugling over your shoulder in the middle of a wide mountain valley while snow falls gently on your head is something to be treasured!  It’s time well spent!

YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center

1 comment:

  1. You timed it right. Some friends of mine from the Springs went up there and had to leave after one night because of the shutdown. Sad.