My name is Chris, and I fished a stocked trout pond Monday night (I threw up a little bit in my mouth as typed that). It's been two days since I last fished a stocked trout pond.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
But it was a sweet trout pond.
Situated within an hour of downtown Denver on a private stretch of land owned by a dude ranch, this carefully managed farm pond contains rainbows and browns that boggle the mind. The guide for the day also noted that the Donaldson River strain of steelhead had been stocked in the lake.
"They're the ones that jump five or six times when you hook them," he said.
But that didn't stop me from making a few more casts. It was, after all, a contrived fishing destination. Artificial. Unnatural.
Did I mention how hard that first 25-inch trout pulled when it hit the olive Woolly Bugger?
But the farm pond came with all the fixins. Tall, lush foothill grass. The occasional garter snake crawled over my sandaled feet. Cows. Cow poop. And, I saw the first firefly I've ever seen west of the Mississippi. It was, as artificial, unnatural fly fishing destinations go, pretty damn cool.
But I'll take the backcountry. I'll take the wild fish, born in the gravel beneath my feet and reared in water so cold, so clear and so perfect that they must become the heart of the creek itself or die trying.
I enjoyed my dalliance, my infidelity. But I need to make amends.
I'll take the backcountry.