After helping close up the cabin for the winter and getting some time on the water, I went to the river that got me hooked on catching big fish: the San Juan River in New Mexico--just south of Durango. The weather varied from cold and dreary with light rain to cool and sunny, but the weather was good to great each day. I fished five days and landed at least one fish 20 inches or bigger every day except the last one. That last day I hooked a fish so big I was convinced I was hung before he took off on a run and straightened my hook. Maybe I'll get him next time.
Still some beautiful fall colors in Durango at the end of October
Pretty rainbow on a pretty day on the San Juan
...he was chubby
Fall colors on an overcast day on the San Juan
Smiling rainbow and me
21-incher, if not bigger
Sunset on the last day of my long summer of fly fishing
Fishing in Lake City late in the fall means cold mornings and early evenings. The window for fishing is short--the water has to warm up for the fish to become active, which means you start around lunch and are finished by five or so. The river looked different: instead of being shrouded in green, the vegetation along the banks was now dry and golden, shimmering in the sunlight. It was beautiful--and the fishing was surprisingly good. And after the day was over, there was football on TV. Tough to beat that.
After spending some time in Dallas, I jumped in the truck and headed back up to the mountains for a couple more weeks of hiking and fishing. It had snowed on me on my drive to Dallas back in September, and it snowed on me again on this drive. Slumgullion Pass was not plowed, so the last 20 miles or so was very slow going.
I had my GoPro on for the drive and shot a time lapse video (posted below). I pulled some of those pictures and included them in the post, along with some pictures I took on my iphone.
The drive really starts to get pretty north of Amarillo, especially when you cross into New Mexico (which is pictured here).