I grew up in a Rocky Mountain state surrounded by their majesty, mystery and timelessness.

Bubb's Creek - May 2013

Did a four-day backpacking up Bubb's Creek Trail in the King's Canyon National Park (California.) Went in the middle of the week and encountered almost nobody else. Camped in two different sites and had both all to ourselves. Was suprised and happy to find that the entire length of Bubb's Creek has a thriving brown trout population. Most are small (4" - 8"), but I did see a few that were a little larger. I fly fished several spots and had success with the standard trout flies, both dries and wets (hare's ear, pheasant tail, etc.).

the Bubb's Creek area is pleasant, but most of it is in a canyon and there are no views other than the towering cliff walls. The snowline was at about 8,500 feet but was patchy even at that point.

A Pecos Wilderness Hike

Take I-25 from Santa Fe to the town of Pecos, and take Hwy 63 north all the way into the mountains (the very southernmost Rockies) until the end of the road, where you will find trailheads leading into the Pecos Wilderness. One of these trails goes to "Beatty's Cabin" deep in the mountains. Along the way, you traverse old-growth forests, rise above the treeline at 10,000 feet for magnificent views, down into valleys and canyons at 8,000 feet. You will come to a footbridge across the Pecos river which at this point is a small, shallow stream strewn with rocks. Stop here, take out your fly rod, tie on a hare's ear, elk-hair caddis, or a pheasant-tail nymph and start fishing. The trout here, which are both rainbow and browns, are large and eager to bite because the fishing pressure is light - not many people will hike the 7 miles from the trailhead to this point just to fish for a couple of hours, so you are in store for some fine fishing.

Last time I was there, my wife and I did the hike. We passed hunters with pack animals coming back out of the wilderness, and we were passed by hunters going in on their horses. We encountered a fellow hiker holding a blue grouse that he had just shot with his .22 rifle who told us that he was going to hike a little ways farther and then make camp and cook the bird. We made our way to the Pecos bridge, got there at 4pm, I fished for 45 minutes and landed five 12- and 13- inch beautiful trout. Even my wife, who never fishes, got interested and tossed the line in and was rewarded with eager trout biting at the fly.