I struggled on where to post this story. Asked some friends what they thought and got the go ahead to post in General fishing. I think a few on here should see what is out there and we all get stuck reading only what interests us here. This trip we are about to take you on can be done by anyone. Nothing special is needed. Most places we have been can be accessed with the family sedan, a tent and your own two feet. Fishing equipment of your choice of course abiding by the regulations for the area. We choose fly fishing but don't let this keep you from coming along on this trip. We the BilletHead's fish with all equipment. One think that drives us is new species / subspecies in their respective native ranges. We try to access headwaters and small streams where the fish are genetically pure. The fish you will see are not big nor trophy's in the eyes of some but trophy's for us. This thread will be picture heavy at times and not all will be fish. We had laughing and some oh crap moments on this trip. This will all be broken down in the quarry we are after and places we visited. The trip started off as a sprint and ended up a marathon. Actually when we make our trips we have a plan and for some reason we end up winging it. We covered close to 4000 miles in two weeks. The original plan was to catch the three native cutthroat of Colorado. Actually this was Mrs. BilletHead's first time fishing this state and I had not seriously tried here. So what first with the OAF BilletHead's go?
Part 1 the Greenback,
This goes back one year and two weeks previous from now when we were driving back from our Utah trip. As we were coming back home and passing through Colorado I gave our friend Motroutbum (Randy) a text on the phone. Randy and us go back many years. I have to explain so bear with me please. I first met Randy when he worked for Backcountry anglers when he worked there in Springfield. I then had no idea how our lives would be entangled. 11 years ago Mrs. BilletHead was an alternate for Casting for Recovery and because of one of the picked ladies was unable to attend, she got to participate. So the next year Mrs. BilletHead and I volunteered. I as a River Helper and Pat on staff. Well we found out that Randy's Mom Dawn was the one that could not attend and Pat took her place. Not only that Dawn was attending the retreat we were helping with. When it was time for the ladies to fish that retreat we all lined up to be paired off. Generally the staff watch the ladies and know who should be paired to who but before pairing began there was a scream and Dawn dashed out of the line and said this one's mine as she grabbed my arm. . For the next couple of years at the retreat Randy volunteered and he and I spent time together. Back to story, so in the text I told Randy about our trip to Utah and shared pictures but I had alternative motives for the call and this brings us to us picking his brain about the Colorado natives, see Randy now works for the Front Range Anglers in Boulder Colorado. So a text and phone call before this trip to Randy and asking about where to start in seeking the fish we wanted to add to our bucket list. Randy was quick to say I want to take you for the Greenback! This elated us to the max. So we hit the road from BilletHeadVille at 6:20 PM on July 27th Heading West on 54 then to I-70. Driving hard until we had no way to keep our old eyes open and took a power nap at a rest area in Kanarado, Ks. Three hour nap we were behind the wheel until we arrived at Randy's home for a visit and plan. Met his wife and visited about everything under the sun. On Randy's computer we secured our fishing licenses. we were to meet him in Estes Park at 7 AM the next morning. Before we left his home I had a handful of hooks and fly tying material Randy insisted I needed and it will all be put to good use. We headed up out of the big city and found a place to pull off the road and get a full nights sleep. We went to sleep at 7PM and awoke the next morning at 4 AM. Up to Estes park to meet Randy, pitch our gear in his rig and up into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to fish the front range and hopefully a greenback cutthroat. Arriving the trailhead we grabbed our gear and up the trail we went. Randy in the lead, Pat in the Middle with me bringing up the rear. Nice and steep trail for us flatlanders. Some huffing and puffing from the middle and rear and the front man shot up the trail like a mountain goat. When we got to the point where we dropped into the canyon to fish Randy reminded me he had given us our choice for an easy place or a challenge. I had told him we did not necessary need it easy and we had worked to get to this spot for sure. Are you all ready for some fishing? I thought so . We strung up our rods. Myself with a hopper and Randy and Pat with hopper droppers. The fishing commenced with all of us fishing and leap frogging the creek. Randy was the first to set the hook!,
Mrs. BilletHead was next,
Yes I caught also,
We worked our way up the creek working runs and plunge pools.
One of Pat's greenbacks. We all took pictures but Randy can really capture the moment. This is a combination of the three of us but I can bet you can tell his from ours,
Speaking of gear camera and otherwise Randy carried a huge pack and besides his rod he carried a full sized tripod and full sized DSLR camera on his side, in the pack extra shoes, pump water purification unit, big water bottle, fishing gear, snacks and who knows what else,
As the clouds began to form for the afternoon monsoon it was time break down rods and pack back up for the trip back down the mountain. Randy set up the tri pod and punched up the self timer for a shot of the three of us,
Back down we went to the Randy rig, then back to Estes Park to part ways but this would not be the last time we talked to Randy. The Mrs. and I then grabbed a spot in a commercial campground for the night. a good dinner and dessert was had,
I may get some flack for this picture but I guarantee I had my pint too . Into bed early after dosing with arthritis strength Tylenol . Need a good nights sleep for the next day, another place and another native.
My fingers are cramping and my eyes are crossed from all this post. You all will have to wait for more while I recover,