Featured | Voices from the river

Rainbows and unicorns

Have I mentioned the water is low? Dismally low, but maybe there’s hope on the horizon.

Agricultural producers saw their fields soak up every bit of moisture from last winter’s snow, and now with no monsoon season and hot, dry, windy conditions, things are looking bad. Leaves are starting the change early and the crunch of dry grasses and dusty fields blown about by the wind are obvious indicators. Reservoirs are low and much of the West is either on fire or in extreme drought. Ouch.

So, the sight of this rainbow and its twin was like seeing a unicorn.  

But fishing is still fishing

High-mountain streams still have some cold water, but compared to July, the water was low and the fish were wary. Fishing now requires hiking deeper into the woods and longer presentations.  

After getting shutout in four or five runs, I accidentally cast two, 2-inchers in a row in anticipation of the bigger trout I know live there. I put myself in timeout for my anxiousness for a bigger fish, so it was my husband’s turn. With about an 8-incher to hand in the next run, it was once again my turn. I landed an adorable little 6-inch rainbow and handed it back over, and WHAMMO, this gorgeous bow slurped his fly and required a net. 

Then the thunder started. But couldn’t I have just a few more casts to try for a fish like his?  

The loud booms forced us off the water and back to the trail, but we thought for sure it would be another dry storm just rumbling its way through the mountains. But, not this time.  

We stood with our mouths agape letting the cool drops hit our tongues. While there was no need for rain jackets, we cheered the weatherman’s accurate forecast. Maybe the monsoons were just late. With small percentage chances of rain every day, we’ll take what we can get.  

I believe in unicorns. Do you?  

Kara Armano is TU’s southwest region communications director. She lives in Durango, Colo.