Impossible Colors – Fishing For Cutthroats In The Land Of Goats

Rocky Men’s 8 Inch Retraction 800G Hunting Boot (Apparel)

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July 2015

A high country fisherman points to some rocky mountain goats on a peak in the maroon bells-snowmass wilderness area in colorado
The Mountain Goats of Flip-Flop Ridge
We Call It Planet Goat. A Long View Through The Spotting Scope

 

Flyfishing At The Top of The World for colorado cutthroat trout in the maroon bells-snowmass wilderness of colorado while scouting for mountain goats
Flyfishing At The Top of The World

Today was a big day in the grand scheme of things in this even grander adventure, for today I saw the first goats within the boundaries of my hunting unit. Two billy’s they were, hanging nonchalantly up towards the skyline and feeding on the carpet of shiny new green on the steep side of an open basin.

The sight of the goats and the stunning scenery took my breath away, which you could have said was simply impossible because I had already been gasping for oxygen for more than a mile already. Yet, I did have enough life left in me to grin a little grin  and dance a little jig.  It made the long hike seem but a small price to pay, and gave me more than a little hope that this quest might just all come together after all.

Still, we came to fish. A lake of indescribable beauty waited near the top of the trail, and my friend knew it to hold some great fish. He was not exaggerating.

As you can see the colors on these Cutthroat’s were almost too stunning to be true. I am sure that my inexpensive camera was simply not up to the task. When first removed from the water these fish were so bright and vibrantly red that it was difficult for the mind to believe the eye, yet, here they were in all their heavenly splendor.

I could say that they had grabbed my complete attention, but that would not be accurate. I spent most of my time fishing with one eye on the fish and the other on the goats, and soon put the rod down and sat to study them with my binoculars.

Both were mature males, and one was, to put it plainly, a bruiser of a big billy. I could see horn and heavy bases from a long way away, and his body shape and attitude told me all that I needed to know. I wanted to be up there with them, right then and now. I wanted to see what they see from their perch at the top of the world, and see it I will.

With some luck and some hard climbing, this goat and I will build some history together. I will be back a time or two before the season, and if he is as good as I think he is once the season begins he may find me quite a bit closer than he ever imagined.

And, oh yes. I will return to have another go at those beautiful cutthroat trout too!

Is their really any other place to be?

a closeup photo of the colorado river cutthroat trout, caught on a flyfishing trip to the Maroon Bells wilderness area while on a mountain goat scouting trip
The Impossible Colors of Cutthroat Trout in Full Spawn
a closeup photo of a stringer of colorado river cutthroat trout, caught while flyfishing in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness while on a mountain goat scouting trip
What Waits At The End of the Rainbow

 

 

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By Michael Patrick McCarty

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