Photos: One Last Trip into the Colorado High Country

Written by: Jon Hill

Tom shows off a gorgeous late-season cutthroat–the reward for a long hike through snowy terrain.
Photos courtesy Jon Hill

It is a well-known fact that you never know what to expect from the weather in Colorado. So when a snow storm rolled through the state the day after Labor Day, it was no surprise. Tom and I had planned to do one last backpacking trip for the year, but because of that storm, we had to change our plans from a four-day/three-night trip to a two-day/one-night trip. We really didn’t know how much snow would still be up in the high country, nor did we know what to expect from the fishing because of the drastic weather shift. But it didn’t deter us from trying.

If you’re hiking in the Rockies in September, you have to be ready for anything.

We hiked in roughly five miles, the first half on completely dry trails, the second half in the snow. Once we found a decent campsite, the rest of the weekend was filled with blue skies and fly casting. Late season at that elevation, it’s usually best to fish in the afternoons because the water has time to warm up throughout the day. Only having one afternoon and the next morning to fish, we both were still able to get a few cutthroats to bite, although the fishing was definitely slower than we would have liked.

Your legs suddenly feel less tired when you see a glorious trout

Excited to get one last trip to 11,000 feet and catch some beautiful cutthroat trout, we now look to next year and start to plan where our adventures will take us.

Jon Hill lives in Littleton, Colorado and works in the digital-graphics field. But he spends almost all his spare time chasing trout in the high country, and his photos have been featured many times on the Orvis News. (See hereherehere, and here for just a taste, or visit his blog, Ramblings.) He’s also a former Trout Bum of the Week.

Fishing during warmer afternoons paid off for Jon.

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