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Small Stream Colorado

Talk about going home again …

Todd Moen of Catch Magazine just dropped his latest short film, and it hit me like a surge of nostalgia. I grew up in Colorado and went to college in Gunnison, where much of “Small Stream Colorado” was filmed. The countless little creeks that drain into the Taylor, East and Gunnison rivers off the shoulders of the Continental Divide and ranges like the Elks and West Elks are chock full of wild trout, albeit sometimes diminutive.

Todd Moen’s latest.

I suppose, if you lived in the Gunnison Valley, where the growing season is something like 28 days long, you might be a little stunted, too.

But, as Moen’s film points out, the wild, small-stream trout of the Gunnison Country are no less impressive, especially given their size. And they are magnetic — imagine being a college kid stuck in classes on a warm September day when clouds of caddis descend upon your university campus, and you’re busy diagraming the English language (yup … that was my major).

Torture.

But, if you can be a bit creative during the annual class registration process, you can lighten your loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays — four years in Gunnison taught me that a single class on those days could be wrapped by by 10 a.m., and I could be walking a trail on Tincup Pass by lunchtime on my way to some spectacular backcountry trout fishing before the snow set in when late fall arrived. Yeah, you paid for it with a full load the other three days of the week, but trust me … it was totally worth it.

I’ve often thought about “going home again,” but life gets in the way more than we would care to admit, and I now realize that I am “at home” here in eastern Idaho (and the fishing is pretty comparable, honestly). But I get that pang now and then … that desire to gaze upon the Castles or drive up to the headwaters of Spring Creek to chase wild rainbows and brookies on sunny, summer days.

Thanks to Todd, I got to visit today. Appreciate it, bud.