This is the Cache La Poudre river, the one that runs downhill alongside of Hwy 14 in what we locals call the Poudre canyon. Non-locals call it that too as that is its rightfully given name but the locals were calling it that first so we get to say it’s our river and the non-locals just get to visit it. Besides they usually say it funny, like Poo-dray canyon or Pooh-Der canyon, which makes us laugh really hard. We’ll trick them into saying it and then just laugh like idiots when they do. There’s lots of knee-slapping fun in talking to the tourists about the Poudre.
You’ve already seen parts of it in previous posts. Most recently while it was covered with snow and before that when it was filled with sunshine, kind of like this picture which was taken the day after the snowstorm. It’s when it looks like this, all sunlit with the water just the right depth so you can wade out into it and see the bottom, listening to the rocks clunk together under water as you slip and slide over them, that draws the fisher-folk out of their cubicles and homes and jobs so they can sneak up here and do fishing. There’s lots of calling in sick on day like this.
This is a particularly good place to go after those trout. That big wide quiet spot in the river above and below the small rapids are where the real fishermen and I guess fisher girls think they’re going to catch that 3 lb. rainbow or that big brown they saw there last week. Maybe they will maybe they won’t. Those fishes are wily. They’re on to a lot of the tricks those fisher types try and play on them. Sending single salmon eggs down through there on a small hook. There hasn’t been a salmon in this river since Haysoose was a lance corporal and they’re still trying to pull that one on them. Lots of fin slapping when they get together in the evening and talk over the days activities.
No the guys who have the best chance of catching something are those boys who do that fly-fishing. They’re the ones those fish have to watch out for. Those old boys tie their own fly’s that look just like a real bug. They use fly’s they’ve tied with names like English Pheasant tail, Flashback Scuds wet hare’s ear, Griffiths Gnat, Moto’s Minnows, and Bead Head Flash Zonkers and many more, some with strange names. Besides they look like fishermen. They’ve got fishermen suits on and hats with fly’s stuck all over them and they’re confident. They wear suspenders. You got to be confidant to wear suspenders. They all carry nets to get those caught fish out of the water with, and they do something non fly fishermen don’t. After they go through all that trouble of catching that big trout, they look at it, maybe weigh it with a fancy little scale they carry just for that, and then they let them go. Just like that. They set them back in the river, wait a minute or so to make sure they’re going to be ok, then just set ’em free. Cool, right?
Some times even the fly fishermen don’t catch anything. I’ve seen that happen. They spend the whole day fishing and don’t catch a fish. You’d think they’d be mad, but I’ve seen them at the back of their pickup trucks, tailgates down, maybe a beer sitting there, taking off their gear and looking back at the river with a little smile on their face. They aren’t mad. They’re just thinking about the next time when they come out and really nail that big fat rainbow that was dozing down at the end of the pool. I’ve heard them talking to their buddies in a quiet kind of way saying things like “You know, he was just lazing down there hardly moving, sweeping his fins back and forth and I landed that wooly worm right in front of him. He sorta looked at it and it was like he was laughing or something. I’ll get him though. Next time.”
A photographer’s day is somewhat like those fishermen’s day. Some days we don’t catch a picture, but it doesn’t matter. We’ll get it tomorrow, or the next time.