There is magic at the end of the road.

I live in a town where the number of summer tourists is more than six hundred times the year-round population. So going to the end of the road, leaving the car behind, and going as far as possible away from crowds and noise and shopping is not just a “nice thing to do” but a mental salve.

In the fall of 2022, my backcountry focus was twofold:

  • hike far
  • find trout

The video above shows one of my ongoing experiments in finding trout underneath the water’s surface using my trekking pole, some Lawson Glowire, a fishing swivel, and a GoPro Hero 11 Black set to 4k 24p @ 120fps.

This little camera has opened up my eyes to the underwater world and has launched a new hobby that’s going to involve underwater housings, underwater lens filters, and post-processing techniques that will at least make me feel a little like Jacques Cousteau (who incidentally once said that just because fish are cold-blooded does not mean they do not feel pain, and that recreational fishermen only say so to reassure their conscience).

Caveat: I do think about this. My conscience is not reassured. But I also remain grateful when they slither out of my hand back into their deep.

Here are a few photos from my backcountry trout hunting this fall in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Comanche Peak Wilderness, and Arapahoe/Roosevelt National Forests. Also, one chummy shot of a sunfish on an aberrant trip to Dahlonega!

Tenkara gear and techniques I’m using and things I’m thinking about right now:

  • Tenkara Hane rod
  • Tenkara Rhodo rod
  • Tenryu TF39TA rod
  • Euro-nymphing with shorter, level lines and variegated leaders
  • Czech nymphs tied on tiny (#18-22) jig hooks, lots of quill/epoxy bodies
  • Still searching for a nice, lightweight net. I don’t think they really exist