Friday, September 18, 2009

Blue Collared Trout Fisherman

The other day I stumbled across a few pictures that I took when I lived in Colorado. The pictures tell the tale of an excursion to an alpine lake located at about 11,000 feet above sea level. It's a beautiful lake at the foot of a rocky peak that holds monster brook trout. However, in order to get to the lake you must first tackle 3.8 miles of rough hiking trails that raise 2,500 feet in elevation. To make things worse, most of the trail is steep, rocky and exposed to the sun. The first section of the trail is so mentally and physically taxing that the locals call it by name - S.O.B. Hill (Son Of a Bi*ch). But by the time you get to the lake you are pretty drained of energy and more or less ready for a nap or a drink, and not necesarily in any particular order.

Seeing those pictures again made me think about the type of fisherman I am. I think the best way to describe me as a trout fisherman is by saying that I'm a blue-collared trout fisherman. The truth is most of the trout waters that I fish fly low on the national radar. Sure, I've fished many of those popular spots with magazine-worthy names like Gunnison, Madison and Yellowstone. But those are not the spots that I normally fish, and on 99 out of 100 fishing trips you will find me fishing less glamorous spots, a.k.a. the blue-collared trout waters. Blue-collared trout waters don't require thousand dollar fly rods, brand name drift boats or direct instructions from the very best fishing guides in the area. They are void of easy access points, roadside pullouts marked with fancy, fandangled signs and streamside parking lots built for fat-assed fishermen. Blue-collared trout waters are those tough to reach places located off the beaten path that the common angler won't ever visit. The truth is that you know that you're fishing a blue-collared trout water if your shirt is heavily sweat "pitted" before you even reach the waters edge. However, if you can deal with a few deerflies, jungle-like hiking and your own not-so-pleasant body odor, the end results are usually worth the effort. Fish in these areas are much less pressured, willing to bite and tend to grown up nicely.

That alpine lake in the pictures, a.k.a. the blue-collared trout water, gave up this 18.5 inch brookie.

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