As it’s been for 30 years, an occasional visit to southwest Colorado brings family and fishing together, but every time we always seem to experience new adventures. This year didn’t disappoint, but we won’t talk about the bear that appeared 10 feet away from me out of nowhere.  We will discuss the old and new water though – with a twist.


The Piedra river is where I caught my first fish on a fly, and I still love fishing the same spot and shooting photos of the canyons and meadows outside of Pagosa Springs. Other favorite spots in the area include Williams Creek, San Juan, South Fork of the Rio, and the Rio Grande itself.  Unfortunately, with the recent fires in the area, the Rio Grande looked like black silt. It’s unfortunate for the fish that call it home, as I assume it could only get worse.



The first day, we hiked Piedra canyon. Most fished or lounged on the rocks, but I found myself shooting more photos this year.


The second day took place on the South Fork of the Rio, and while just miles away the fires still burned, the fish still took large mayflies and stones on top most of the day. It wasn’t the best day I’ve had there, but I think the snake we found eating an entire brown trout felt it was pretty damn good.


Next, we hit Williams. The beauty of this place amazes me.


Lastly, and here’s the twist, we went to Lake X. I call it X because I’ve been sworn to secrecy by friends that trusted me with their information. The only way I can tell you where it is, is if I take you there myself. Let’s just say it’s the 2nd place I’ve caught a Rio Grande Cutthroat. And we caught plenty – all day hookups on top with large stimulators. Gorgeous 15” fish in crystal clear water.



Here are a few more photos:


Pagosa 2013 Pictures