This might surprise a few, but this is probably one of my favorite pages on my site if not the most…traveling around and just living in special places is a hallmark of my life…I actually hitch hiked cross country 7 times back in the day to try and satisfy my love to see new places…now a days I drive my old cruiser…but its really the same thing. The Creation is such an incredible place…flowing water, mountains & hills…not to mention the wildlife and various ecological settings.

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               On this page  are some pics of some  favorite haunts…and there are a lot more coming up after my road trip later this year…I didn’t have the digital advantage back in the day…but I do now!

               Here are some fishing streams and rivers, mountain areas, wildlife and some others of interest…this is my world, one that I love and hope you enjoy do too…wm

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 …selah…

 

               The North Fork of The South Platter River near Shawnee, Colorado in October…a beautiful spot where Elk, Mule Deer, Black Bears , Mountain Lions and even an occasional Big Horn Sheep can pass through…one of the most special places on earth to fly fish…I regularly hear Elk bugling here during their Rut in September…sending chills down my spine…

                 a pic of me fishing  4 years ago at Longmeadow Ranch…this pic was taken by a friend  the year after I was busted up pretty good at the  Buffalo ranch I worked on…pretty luck to be alive I think… my arm was broken  in three places, cracked hip & a few busted ribs …rounding up Buffalo calves for the big  stock show in Denver had a few more zigs than zags I guess… I had to fish left handed only for over a year…now after healing up, I can fish either…a real asset at times…but lets put it this way…I don’t win arm wrestling contest’s anymore…LOL… eat a buffalo burger for me…

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             …the only kind of fire we like to see in the Rockies…my hunting grounds behind the cabin in September…there has been an abundance of “beetle kill” in Colorado in lodgepole pine and aspens too…I use the lodgepole for firewood and make furniture from the aspen…
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…Colorado  golden Aspens cont’d…this basin is regularly traveled by migrating Elk & Mule Deer in September…

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                    Elk Creek…a tributary of the North Fork of the South Platter River…this water, snow melt from Mt Evans, irrigates lots of agricultural lands on its way down stream…out west water is  valuable commodity, and water rights are a coveted item…this stream ran through the pasture of our ranch, where from June until end of September we had Angus cattle ranging…the rest of the year the Mule Deer and Elk have it all to themselves…these water’s are home to native cuts and brookies…many evenings after work at the ranch I would pitch a few dry flies out to try and catch one…

        under these bank’s dwell native cuts…ready to grab a nice hopper or dry drifting by…all 8-12 ” fish…not a big catch…but pure fun…

        here I am fishing a favorite run of the South Platte…the “gin clear”water  in Cheesman Canyon…this area was ravaged by  fire ten years ago…but the ecosystem has managed to bounce back better than ever…these waters are some of the finest fly fishing anywhere…about 40 minutes from my cabin…a place I hiked into regularly to find a spot all to myself…incredible brown and rainbow trout here, where C&R is religiously practiced …

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             I call this spot”dinosaur eggs” because of all the strange looking holes in the  river boulders…solid granite carved out by water in an incredible fashion…hiking in is required, but is also a deterrent to lot of tailgate anglers(folks that like to fish in sight of their tailgate)…making it always possible to find a riffle or run to yourself…the local anglers club cares for the trail…but it is still very much a wilderness spot…

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…”Cheesman Canyon”…the blue and green colors just reflecting the sky or trees…

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…”Northwest Passage”…

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…where The Deschutes flows into the  Columbia River …Oregon  Alpine Desert with “a river running through it”…

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               …a spot very reminiscent for me of Colorado…but its West Virginia…similar to Cheesman Canyon…only about 30 million years older…”The Smoke Hole” area near Petersburg…I discovered a C&R area on a trip there that held beautiful browns,rainbows and brook trout…

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                 surrounded by rock cliffs…the main difference here for me was the lower altitude and the deciduous trees found here…it has an access road similar to eleven mile canyon…with sections closed off to C&R only…holding some excellent trout fishing…

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the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs in September…probably the healthiest fishery I have ever witnessed or fished…strictly C&R, the first time I ever went there I was amazed at the fish…the monster rainbows are lined up like school buses at 2:45…incredible colors and size…but also very slick…where some fish have a high school degree…these folks are Doctorates…size 20- 22 drys on the lightest of tippet, made for some challenging but very rewarding angling…but with out a doubt, even though it isn’t easy,  some incredible fishing with a fly!

 

 

                            Colorado has no shortage of incredible geology…and the Yampa basin is no exception…it is easy to forget what you are there for sometimes…just taking in the incredible scenery…

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~the Poudre River Valley~

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~solace on the Poudre~

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The Williams Fork…a tributary of the Colorado River between Kremmling and Granby…a beautiful stretch of prime fly fishing water…my waders still bear the scars from that fence post in the pic…we fish it from the convergence of the Colorado up almost two miles…incredible brown fishing…beautiful River Bottom country where White Tails and Mulies both roam…

 

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White Tails roam the bottoms and Mule Deer the grassy hills and draws…Colorado Alpine Desert at its finest…seeing pronghorns in the distance is an added treat…

 

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the last time I was there in October, myself and two friends had it all to ourselves…what a special day…biggest fish a 19″ brown…right at the convergence…

 

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 …the convergence point of the Willams Fork and the Colorado River…

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…fellow wanderers…in my valley after  hay cutting in late August…

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                The”Tomahawk River”, in South Park has some incredible scenery…Mt. Bross in the  background, one of Colorado’s 53 “four-teeners”, a peak over 14 thousand feet above sea level…

 

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               …”Trout Unlimited” did some steam restorations here 3-4 years ago…resulting in some greatly improved angling…browns from 11 mile reservoir run up this section of the middle fork in their fall spawn…rainbows reside year round…

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                  … once you get above 10,000 feet weather can change in a moment , riding up to the high country streams in July…the view overlooking Clear Creek County on the ride to hike into streams above Echo Lake…this day we had snowflakes for a few minutes…perfect 4th of July weather…

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…the “Blue River” in Summit County…

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~clear creek county~

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~September colors~

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…on the way back from “The Blue”…I crawled up in the rocks and took a few pics of these Bighorns along the road…

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~peaceful spot~

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                 …the “Elk Creek Valley”, as viewed from Conifer Mountain…my cabin was over the fist ridge…Pike’s Peak off in the distance… part of the large area that was burned in the Hayman fire…missing our ranch by only one ridge…

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…my shop after an early fall snow…

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                   … the “Little Tom Campbell” in the foreground…this hillside is supposed to be where the treasure is…I harvested a nice Mulie Buck on this spot…but never found the gold!

             The Legend of “The Little Tom Campbell”…in the 1880’s Colorado, a stage coach robber named Tom Campbell knew of a shipment of money and gold destined to go to miners working in Leadville up  in South Park…he robbed them at Shaffers Crossing about half way from “Denver City” as it was called back then…he got into a gunfight with some would be arresters…and  got away from them , hiding the gold and loot up in the surrounding hills…He was hunted down by a “possy” formed up to apprehend him for his crime…they caught up with him and he died in the ensuing gunfire…taking with him to his grave the secret location of all the gold..

             Which just happened to be right in the middle of my hunting grounds…over one shoulder you can see Pike’s Peak in the distance and over the other Mt. Evans…another  14’er…as the montains over 14,000 feet are called in Colorado…right in the middle…in between Denver City and South Park was the trail which much later became Rt 285…and the spot at Shaffers Crosing where it all supposedly went down…

            I searched and searched…while I cut firewood…mended fences , hiked or hunted for Elk & Mule Deer…I never found it…but someday some one will…wm

this is actually the story line for one of my tales in “archived stories”…wm

 all photos and text are property of Wandering Monk Fly Rod Co.

      and can be only used with permission