Last month I met my parents in Colorado for an adventure that was to include camping, fly fishing, and bear sightings, but I was not expecting to experience a mudslide. Amazingly, we managed to fit all four activities into our trip.
Who knew Colorado had a monsoon season? I didn’t.
The place: Redstone, Colorado along the Crystal River
The objective: Stay alive in bear country and catch a few trout fly fishing
Well, I managed to stay alive- although I did encounter a black bear on a Hike around Maroon Bells. The bear was probably number two on my list of highlights of the trip, although, I was extremely nervous about the bears before I left for the trip- to the extent I was having nightmares about bears chasing little pineapples (don’t ask because I don’t know what that was about…). I was completely enthralled with my bear encounter. Some people say play dead, others say you should try to look scary, I just grabbed my camera and couldn’t stop clicking!
I didn’t catch any trout, but I’m definitely blaming that on the monsoon season! How are you supposed to convince a fish that a wad of delicate and artistically tied yarn and feathers are a real live fly that is in the midst of hatching when they can’t even see it through the murky rushing waters?
After a day of hiking and fishing, we returned to the campsite only to find a Sheriff blocking the road; behind her vehicle lay a large mudslide across the road. Luckily we were able to hike in another direction, but spent the evening watching a bulldozer push mud and granite boulders out of the road. Talk about a slow activity, but entertaining none the less. Highlight number one for sure!
The conclusion: Always carry a camera, just in case you run across a mudslide or black bear and maybe check the weather patterns, not just the forecast!
I had a great time and can’t wait to go back, even with the chance of getting gobbled up by a big hairy scary bear or pummeled by a giant boulder during a rain shower. You should try it, it’s invigorating! And… next time, I won’t spend so much money on fancy fishing flies when the rivers are so muddy, I’m not too proud to practice my casting on a swift murky current with a plain nymph.