Photos of the Day: A Colorado Grand Slam

Written by Will Long

An unexpected catch on a brook-trout stream—a gorgeous Colorado River Cutthroat.
All photos courtesy Will Long

[Editor’s note: Blog reader Will Long sent in these great photos and the story behind them, about a trip to Colorado to see his family and to catch wild trout. Click here to learn how to submit your own photos and stories.]

I recently took a trip up to Lake City, Colorado, to visit my family. They moved there six years ago, while I stayed behind in San Antonio, Texas. I have fished all my life, but it wasn’t until they moved up there that I started fly fishing, and now I am hooked. For the past three years, right before school starts up I take a trip up there to spend a week fly fishing with my dad and to visit.

This year’s trip was the best yet! We both caught the Colorado grand slam on one river in one day, I caught my personal best brown trout (24in), had a an amazing day fishing for brookies in a high mountain pass. It was unforgettable. Here are some of the pictures from my trip.

This fish was caught from a small creek on top of Spring Creek Pass. We were fishing for small brook trout, but when I hooked this guy, I knew it wasn’t another brookie. Instead, it was a 12-inch Colorado River cutthroat, which fell for a size 14 olive Stimulator.

One of the most colorful brookies I have ever caught, this beautiful fish fell for the same fly that day.

This was a foot-long brown I caught on the Lake Fork Gunnison late one afternoon. We had been fishing the river most of the day, and it had been slow. Then about an hour and a half before dusk, the fish started hitting a size 16 Elk-Hair Caddis.

This was the fish of the trip. It came from a creek on top of the Continental Divide, which requires about a four-mile hike in. Obviously, it was well worth it. There was a big open area on the river, and I spotted this fish in its lie from a way off. I crawled on my hands and knees about 15 yards, to where I could get a good presentation with my size 10 olive Stimulator. I slowly got up on my knees.

I made one cast and landed it right in front of her. I made the fly vibrate on the water once, and she immediately came to the surface and gulped the Stimmy down! Fought her for a couple minutes before my dad was able to net her. I took a couple pictures and let her go to live another day. She measured in at 24 inches, which is my personal best of any trout.

Here’s why that Stimulator was working so well.

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