Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deer vs. Kitten Face Off Part Deux

So Little Gray has been polishing her stalking skills on the hordes of grasshoppers in the yard, and decided she is ready to tackle
bigger prey. First rule of a good stalk is, of course, "Stealth".

Rule number two, "Gain and hold the high ground."

Rule number three, "Intimidate your prey with the 'Stare of Death'".
Gotta work on that "Stare of Death" thing.
 Oh well, that was an epic fail. Back to grasshoppers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer's Hummers

One of the most uplifting sights to see as winter slowly releases it's cold, hard grip on the high country is the arrival of the seasons first Hummingbirds. By contrast, when the little speedsters leave for warmer climates, a sense of the impending return of snow and cold fills me with reflection of what was accomplished during the short summer months and I start to make a mental list of what will be my goals for next summer.
This week I noticed the departure of the Rufous Hummers. These little demons of the Hummingbird clans is a ferocious defender of feeders and territory when they are here. They are the last to arrive and the first to leave every year. I didn't get any photos of the Rufus this year. Just another thing on the list for next year.

Soon the Broadtails will be gone too. I'll miss the little sparkling streaks of color and their signature tweeting flights.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Dawn Cracked Hard, Like A Pool Cue," Tom Waites

Yesterday my fishing buddy Eric called @ 5 am. “I’m headed up the pass if you still want to go fishing today.”
The night before I had a long jam session with some friends at a local venue and tossed back a few beers after the jam at the T-Bird bar in Florissant. ” Dazed from being shaken awake by the ringing phone, I replied in something resembling English, “I’ll be ready.”
Eric pulled into the driveway and knocked on the door. “Can I use your bathroom? I just had a bear stand up and look in my passenger window when I slowed down to go over that speed bump around the corner.”
While Eric took care of business I loaded my gear in the back of his truck and soon we were on our way, destination yet to be determined. “I heard the Tricos are heavy on the Dream Stream,” he said.
“OK, sounds good.”
After some small talk about 3wts and numbers fishing on small water, with big dry flies, we changed our minds and decided to hit Alma Wildlife Area and Tomahawk Wildlife Area to chase brookies, browns and rainbows.
Climbing Wilkerson Pass we stopped to try and get some photos of two of the biggest bull elk I’ve ever seen. Still in velvet these two bruisers were a beautiful sight to see in the faint light of dawn. As we got out of the truck and crossed the road the two looked at us and casually trotted away toward the tree line, heads back, antlers nearly scratching their rumps.
On the drive between Hartsel and Fairplay we saw small patches of golden leaves on selective aspens that grow in the shady areas on hillsides.
 “Fall is coming.”
“Yup, browns will be staging for the spawn soon.”
We arrived at AWA  shortly after sunrise. The sky was overcast, but not threatening. A light breeze was blowing and the morning temps were in the low 40’s.
“Smells like Fall.”
We geared up and headed off toward the maze of beaver ponds and channels that broke up the thick patches of willows and sedge grass. I tied on a size 16 Elk Hair Caddis and Eric a size 14 rubber legged stimulator, a deadly pattern of his own design.

Making our way through the willows, low and stealthy as possible we slogged through the boot sucking mud and got into position to make our first casts to rings of rippling water.
Eric, “Fish on.” 
Me, “It’s gonna be a good day.”

After catching and releasing innumerable numbers of wild brookies and browns we loaded up again and headed for Tomahawk, with a short stop at the Brown Burro in Fairplay for a little lunch.
We drove to the lower parking lot and headed up river fishing every fishy run, riffle and pool. I got into lots of rainbows, Eric was hooking up with browns. We walked and fished up river about a mile taking fish after fish, again on caddis and stimulator patterns.

We called it a day around 4:30 and recounted the days catch as we walked back down river to the truck.

“I love pitching large dry flies to eager fish on an August day in Colorado.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Moments in Time: Photos Of The Week

Moments in Time: Photos Of The Week: "You can click on the pictures for a larger view. Click it again for a really big view . Great Blue Heron, Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refug..."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deer vs. Kitten Face Off

There is this nice buck that has been visiting the yard lately. He met the yard cats this morning, giving the kittens a little practice in stalking prey. Stupid cats.

Little Big Cat goes for position, while Little Gray ponders a frontal attack from the cover of a wild rose bush.