Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not So Secret Canyon (if you enjoy reading maps)

During the days of frustration on the water where you just want to be left alone. You get annoyed with seeing people on one side of the river slowly creeping there way into "your" pools and section of water. Another on the nearside walking back in frustration stomping there feet as they are annoyed from not catching fish spooking your pool. It really takes all you have as a gentleman to not speak out to them in harsh tones. It starts with wanting to get to somewhere that takes a little work. Public access is a very needed thing for our sport obviously. It just draws a lot of the lazy fisherman to say the least. I've noticed more trash and wind knots laying on the banks in these areas. We all would like to think that by being privileged enough to have these access's that people would be shepherds of the trash. 
The best part about fly fishing or fishing in general is that fish don't live in ugly places. They pick the best water, the most scenic canyons, and tumbling rivers to call home. Us as anglers we cant stay away. Through all seasons were drawn from our beds even in the coldest of mornings in winter to go stand waist deep in an almost frozen sludge of a river. Slipping and sliding even having to sit down and slide on our butts like kids to get into casting range of a pool that might not even hold a fingerling. To me thats part of the draw to the sport. Working and meandering to get to a spot that could give you the fish of a lifetime. In that order you have to be willing to do some work in order to get a chance at that fish. A lot of people like to fish for recreation to get away from "work". For me though I prefer to put in the work to be rewarded with solitude and lesser known and fished waters. Plus who doesnt enjoy wild fish in a remote location?
Your best bet to finding places that are lesser known and fished is invest in a nice atlas & gazetteer. These come in very handy when your in the area where cell phones make a nice paper weight or camera because service cant be reached. Which is one of the reasons why we like to go to areas like these. I like to start with basic research on google earth and get a feel for which section of the river youre trying to access. Then its all about finding fire roads or county roads that will get you close. Also be sure to check and keep an eye out for no trespassing signage. I by no means advise trespass. Thats there property and as a sportsman hope you abide by the laws and respect another families property.
It takes very little skill to do this. Basic map reading skills and orienteering skills. Its quite the thing to see it all come together. From a random spot on Google maps to driving to get there to finding a trail head. Thats all part of the adventure for the true backcountry angler. The adventure can even be closer to home than you think. As long as you do your homework. Youll be rewarded. 

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