Backpacking, flyfishing and hammock camping
I met Kevin at the trailhead a little before 9AM on Monday, there were a lot more cars there than what I expected for a Monday morning. Nevertheless, we donned our packs and started up the trail. The initial climb going in is a brutal series of very steep switchbacks that kicked both of our butts, by the time we got to the top my heart rate was somewhere between a shrew's and a hummingbird's. The entire trail is pretty challenging, steep rocky sections, narrow with a lot of exposed slick roots. Honestly, it was fun to hike somewhere a little more challenging than some of our usual four-lane highway trails.
We made it to my favorite camping spot with no issues. This spot is off the trail a little way and is clean, open, and right beside the creek, perfect.
It was still early in the day after we got camp set up, my normal Dutchware hammock and Warbonnet tarp, so we decided to go fish for a while. I had brought a new pair of wading boots, a pair of Hodgman boots that I was very proud of the fact that I had gotten online at a clearance sale for only $15, and was anxious to try them out. Kevin and I got our gear together and started fishing upstream from camp. Even though it was the middle of the day with the bright sun hitting the water we had a great session with both of us catching a good many of both brown and rainbow trout. So far my boots had done fantastic, they fit well, were lightweight and the felt soles stuck well to the smooth rocks in the stream.
After a few hours of fishing, we decided to head back to camp for a bite of lunch. No more than a few hundred yards down the trail back to camp and I noticed my right foot felt funny. Looking down it was easy to see why, the felt sole on my brand new $15 boots was flapping with every step, only attached at the heel. I ripped it the rest of the way off and limped my way back to camp.
The next day, Tuesday, we were setting in camp and heard a commotion coming down the trail, kids yelling and talking loud, sounded like a fourth-grade field trip. In a few minutes, we had a woman, man, and 4 young boys walk into our camp disappointed because we were camped in the spot they had planned to use. They decided to camp in another spot right on the trail very close to where Kevin and I were camped. I was a little worried about having people camped so close but it was absolutely unfounded, they were a very nice and polite group and a joy to share the trail and stream with.
Besides the amazing fishing, the highlight of this trip, due to the daily showers I am sure, was the abundance of really interesting fungus, mushrooms, and flowers. I saw so many different varieties that I had honestly never seen before. Also, we found a huckleberry bush loaded with berries and Kevin and I both really enjoyed them, they were sweet and delicious.
It did in fact rain on us every day but just gentle showers in the evening that made the water slightly dingy and may have actually improved the fishing.
|Waiting out a pop-up shower|
If you enjoyed these fantastic pictures they were all taken by Kevin you can follow him on Instagram @ikevin007. He does a lot of cool outdoor stuff and hand paints some really cool bass lures, check him out.
All in all an absolutely fantastic trip with great company, scenery, and fishing. Already looking forward to the next one!