Monday, August 24, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Things

Since my return from the Rebel Trout Trek, quite a few people have asked about my favorite stop we made. So far, I haven't been able to answer that, or even narrow it that much, and I'm not sure if I ever will. Several stops, though, offered a favorite "something," so I thought I might highlight some of those. This might turn out to be Part 1 of a blog. I'm not sure yet!

Favorite Wildlife Sighting
Despite Asher and I having seen bison, antelope, elk and much more, including a few bears, my favorite wildlife we spotted was the group of the 10 bighorn ewes that were right across Rapid Creek from us in the Black Hills. They ignored us completely while we fished, and it was indescribably cool watching how they walked and bounded along the edge of the cliff.

Favorite Forest
Similarly, we roamed through a lot of very pretty woods on our trip. Still, no other forest struck me in quite the same way as the old-growth forest that bounded the North Fork Skomoshish River in Olympic National Forest. Enormous trees and boulders, most of which were blanketed by moss, and a forest floor covered with ferns and woodland wildflowers, created a fairytale-like display of colors, designs and textures.

Favorite Mountains
One thing that surprised me on the trip was how much the mountains varied in character from one
location to another, including some areas that weren't that far from each other. The specific group of mountains that struck me the most was the aptly named Snowy Range, which is located just west of Laramie, Wyoming. The Forest Service campground we stayed at is open from "snow to snow," the campground hosts told me, and on average that means Aug. 1 through Labor Day! The entire recreation area is higher than 10,000 feet, with the highest peaks a few thousand feet higher, and it's dotted with high-country lakes. We passed within touching range of a couple of big patches of snow as we hiked to a few of the lakes to fish.

Favorite Fish
This one is really a tie because Asher caught two piggish rainbows on back to back presentations at Dry Run Creek, and while we think the first was a tiny bit bigger than the second, I can't say that I enjoyed seeing him catch one more than another. Either would have been the largest fish of any kind that Asher had ever caught, and both provided a mighty nice launch for the whole trip. I also had a favorite fish of my own, and if you followed the trip you probably could guess which one it was. I think I'll save that, though. I'm thinking of more favorite things from the trip, even as I write, so there needs to be at least a Part II.

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