Written by: Timbre Pringle, Faceless Fly Fishing Media
With thoughts of big city problems in the rearview mirror and Darcy tapping on the steering wheel to some Waylon Jennings, I rolled down the window and inhaled a deep breath of clean mountain air. I glanced into the back seat, where North also had her nose in the air, sniffing the breeze that came in the slightly cracked window. After pulling off the highway and onto the gravel road, we crested a hill and were presented with a mountain view that would take anyone’s breathe away. I have seen this view a hundred times before, but it never ceases to amaze me. Once we were in our favorite camping spot, I opened the back passenger door, and North flew out of her kennel and was bouncing around the campsite with pure joy while Darcy and I set up camp.
The next morning, we were reluctant to get out of our comfy, warm bed, but we had big plans and there was not time for lying around. I eventually brewed some coffee and cooked a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs to keep us full for the day. We decided to start with a hike, choosing the peak with the highest elevation to get the most rewarding view. The trail was winding and steep but nothing we couldn’t handle. As we neared the summit, North was just a few feet ahead, her tail wagging, and she looked at me as if to say “Hurry up!” I smiled and let her know I was right behind her. We took a short break at the top, enjoying the sights before we scrabbled back down the trail.
After dinner, we moseyed down to the river for some evening dry-fly fishing, as the trout were sipping blue-winged olives off the surface. We caught and released a few fish, before kicking back to enjoy the scenery. I was lying on the bank, with my head resting on my backpack at the perfect angle to see the silhouette of each mayfly as it drifted by. Every few minutes, a trout would break the surface and slurp one of the tiny mayflies. Watching was just as good as catching, at this point. Darcy had laid out his jacket for North, and she was curled up like a little bean, tucked under his arm having a nap. It had been a satisfying day.
The fishing had been so good that we dedicated the entire next day to catching trout. We wanted to spend time in a more secluded area, so we hiked into the canyon. The fish were not as big in the lower stretches of the river, but we didn’t see another angler and the backdrop made up for the size of the fish. We scrambled from hole to hole, catching fish along the way. We crossed the river a few times, and North happily followed, giving a big shake to dry off once each time reached the other side. After countless fish and several hours on the river we decided to call it a day and head back to camp.
As daylight faded, we prepared dinner and relived the highlights of the day: a few missed fish, a few bigger fish in the net, and a good time had by all—especially North, who was trying her best to stay awake and enjoy the warmth and crackling of the camp fire.
Timbre Pringle and Darcy Toner operate Faceless Fly Fishing Media, based in Calgary, Alberta, and specializing in outdoor photography.