|S. Platte at Dusk|
After research, tying flies, and nearly drunk with anticipation, I stepped on a plane in North Carolina Monday morning with a rod tube and a couple of friends. We left the Denver airport with the rental car at 11:30 mountain time, and we were standing in the Dream Stream by 3:30pm.
In the middle of a massive valley, the S. Platte winds through an endless grassland of wandering cows offering 4 miles of tailwater between two reservoirs, and holding giant lake run rainbows and cutthroat beneath its rolling waters. Two fellas packing up their truck to leave shared they'd only found one fish over 18", which was a great contrast to the previous week where big fish on spawning runs where easy to spot and cast to. It seemed the early Spring meant an early end to the run.
|Ward and I walking to the water|
My fourth cast on the water had me hooked into a meaty fish that seemed to fight different than any other trout I had ever caught. The Dream Stream was living up to its name, and I was stoked. Soon into the fight however, I noticed I hadn't hooked a rainbow, or a cutty, or a cutbow. I hooked a carp. Four carp outings in NC have left me empty handed, but 1,500 miles away, on a famous trout stream in Colorado, my first fish of the trip is my first carp on the fly. I didn't anticipate being totally bummed about my first carp to hand on the long rod, but I was.
Oh yeah, we heard the following morning that a fifteen minute walk further downstream would have have lead us to stacks of the fatty lake runners. Guys had caught 20 fish over 18 inches the same evening we were on the water...just at the mouth of the stream. What if we had walked a little further...
Here are some pics of the S. Platte, with a report on the Arkansas to follow in the next day or so.
|Ward on the water|
|My first cutthroat|