I kicked off day three in Colorado with a little paddleboarding at the reservoir. It was a beautiful morning to spend on the water! Just as I was about to lock the car and head in, one of my October brides called me, reminding me that I’m never actually on vacation, but I can pretend to be. I scheduled a meeting with her for when I got home and tried to put it out of my mind.
This view helped.
I took my brookie for a swim…
This SUP was very different than the wooden beauty that I have at home, but it was a great time. I changed out of my suit into a sundress in the car (mental note: spray Febreeze again to keep that hot car from smelling like the river…), then headed downtown to grab coffee and do a little work.
I love this little shop, The Cup, so I kept coming back. It’s a really popular place, so the lines are usually pretty long. I had almost made it to the front of the line, and the man in front of me was asking the barista all sorts of questions about the prices of coffee, and he dropped a handful of change on the counter and started counting it. He suggested that he’d go to Starbucks since it was cheaper over there. It was obvious to me that he was having a hard time paying for his coffee, so I said, “It’s okay, I’ll give you a buck or two to cover your coffee.” Karma points earned. It was sure a surprise for me when he turned to the barista and said, “In that case, instead of drip coffee, I’d like the Nitro.” It must have been some kind of coffee with nitrogen… so I ended up buying my stranger a $5 cup of coffee. Sure, I’d blown my coffee budget, but at least that guy got a really nice cup of coffee. I stuck with drip, myself.
I typed and edited and read and sorted, then packed up to head to the fly shop to meet Kyle. I’d been virtually introduced to Kyle through my other TU friend from Oregon, also named Kyle. It turns out that TU people are awesome, though that’s really no surprise to me. We met in real life at the shop, grabbed a couple flies, then headed out to Boulder Creek.
It was a beautiful day to be out on the water.
(photo credit: random awesome fly angler who walked by)
Kyle caught a couple fish, and I didn’t catch a darn thing. I did have a strike, though… but couldn’t follow through. I was amazed at some of the shallow moving water that was holding fish. I couldn’t believe they were in there! I tried several new casting techniques that I’ve never done before. It was a great learning experience. I just love fishing in other areas and learning more about fish behavior.
We stripped off our wet waders and boots and headed back into town for tacos and beer at Sanitas, and we talked about TU on the drive. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I really love that organization and everything they do for cold water.
Delicious food, great beer, and fabulous company. Thank you for all your help, Kyle! I really appreciate you taking a chance to get out fishing with a stranger.
I came home to see this smiling face, and I fell sound asleep, dreaming dreams of pretty mountain trout. ❤
And just like that, I woke up. Solo fishing day.
Don’t get scared now.
After being skunked fishing with Kyle the day before (who certainly knows what he’s doing), I headed out to the stream with low confidence. I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, because embracing a bad mood is no help to anyone, especially myself.
Once I picked my spot to fish, I grabbed my yoga mat, did a few poses with deep breathing, and strung up my rod.
I walked down to the river, and tried this new spot. No luck.
Another new spot. No luck.
Changed flies. No luck.
Changed flies and went to a new spot, scaring a snake along the way. No luck.
Tried a dropper. Lost both flies in a tree lined with other anglers’ flies.
Tried not to be frustrated, but didn’t know what fly to use. Tried a hopper. No luck.
Caddis? Before I had a chance to cast, I saw a hummingbird flying near me, making the cutest little sound. Took a brave little walk through fast water, holding on to a dead tree for security.
Cast once. Twice. Three times, then a flash and strike. Set the hook!
I pulled in the prettiest brown trout, and burst into tears.. so yeah, I snapped. Lost my shit. It must have been the stress and the pressure… no one wants to fly out to a new state in a new region and come home empty handed. Relief washed over me when I felt the tug at the end of my line. Thank. Goodness. I fooled one.
I caught several more in the next fifteen minutes, including the biggest trout I’ve ever caught while wading. I packed it up and headed back early, leaving on a high note.
This game is certainly about the chase, about feeling independently adequate, trusting yourself and trusting the fish, and being brave on solo adventures. Sometimes it’s harder than I thought it would be, but it’s always worth it.
I grabbed a quick lunch from a food truck downtown, then headed up to Chautauqua to run my little heart out.
Trail running: where going down is just as hard as going up. Don’t-fall-don’t-fall-don’t-fall.
It was an awesome run, and very unlike my flat Central Sands home. There is a beautiful grassy park at Chautauqua where I stretched out and did a little yoga, then headed back to Aaron’s to shower and get ready for “girls’ night out.”
The drive to Denver was pretty short and there wasn’t much traffic, so I got there before Meredith was finished with her kickball game. I stopped in at Starbucks to grab coffee and do a little work until she was ready to hang out. The view from the coffee shop was amazing!
When I got the “I’m ready!” text, I headed to the park to finally see my friend! I met Meredith when we were in first grade, and the rest is history. I love that the park she was playing in had views of the mountains on one side, and the Denver skyline on the other. So awesome.
We headed to Meredith’s condo for dinner, catching up, and we got ready to go out. She has a gorgeous view of the skyline from the patio of her Capitol Hill condo.
I don’t know the names of all the places we went, but we danced, played beer pong, and laughed a lot. Thank you for the fun night, Mere!!!
All this vacation was wearing me out, and I was so happy to snuggle in on Meredith’s couch for a night of sleep before my upcoming day at Rocky Mountain National Park. That adventure is up next.
Here, fishy fishy…
Miles this year: 347.65