Runoff is in full swing here on Colorado’s Front Range. Like an old woman, the mountains slowly lose their white until only wisps are left straggling down. Winter’s tendrils grasping in cirques and north faces long into July.
Sometimes…they never leave.
Snowpack now makes small streams whitewater roar and reservoirs slowly fill back up again, after last year’s dismal low. The pounding snows of May came through at the end, like any good play in a game -- winter’s trump upon trump. Complete with cheering on my part. And any angler who did not, should have their license revoked, that’s what I say.
The benefit of being a multi-species angler is evident at this time of year: I can still find good fishing. Water levels on the mudflats are higher and murkier than they have been -- and the buoy line on the best of the beaches has been placed, holding through the summer season to protect shoreline bird breeding habitat. But there are carp – and white bass, crappie, and smallmouth bass – cruising and willing (with enough convincing -- like fathers and borrowing the car when you're 16), to take a fly.
While tailwater anglers must deal with each other and city-pond-fishers the homeless…reservoir carpers combat pelicans, bloated prairie dogs, and protective large-homed old women yelling out their windows should you get too close.
We waded far and deep, Jay, Ivan and I -- long rounds that would leave us all dehydrated and seeing phantoms – like walking through woods as night falls, with an active imagination. You can see almost anything. But that comes with the territory, I guess: moving water and blinding sun. Focusing on a single point while the world moves around you, keeps you steady. That’s why driving if you get carsick works.
So now, you just have to focus on the task at hand – that large shadow swiftly moving away – and catch up.