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San Juan River, NM Colorado Wildlife Landscapes & Skies
I’ve had a life-long love affair with the vast space and landscape of the Southwest, having spent 13 years straight visiting the region at the peak of that affair, before work, kids, and life in general interrupted my regular wanderings. Certainly I had heard and read of the numerous renowned trout streams in the region, but I had never had the opportunity to combine my obsessions for both trout and the southwest landscape. This trip was my chance to do both.
Spring is a beautiful season to travel in the Southwest, and weather records seemed to indicate a lighter winter in the Rockies than what we'd been pounded with here at home, which only added to my rationale for going now.
As it turned out, there was a good deal more turbid high water in many of the rivers I visited than I'd expected to find. And once in Colorado, I learned that the “light” winter only applied to the southern portion of the Rockies. But even the Animas River near Durango looked pretty discouragingly high and muddy, as did most of the other renowned streams I visited in Colorado. But I did what any optimistic fly fisher on the road does - I tried anyway. And I visited fly shops. And I bought flies. And I talked shop with fly shop folks and guides, made a few friends, enjoyed the spectacular scenery, and had a great time collecting a good deal of valuable information for the future. And I was fortunate enough to find a few superb trout here and there. The following pages contain a few examples of both the trout and the scenery of the Southwest.