In search of Grizzly Bears and Solitude

This summer three of us decided to pack up and head down to the South San Juan Wilderness in search of Grizzly Bears, solitude and some good fishing.  Okay we didn’t really think we’d find a Grizzly Bear (and we didn’t) but we were pretty certain about the other two.  The South San Juan Wilderness isn’t close to Denver which is good…fewer people, more fish and hopefully no cell phone reception.  We took Nick with us which was a lot of fun.  This was his first true wilderness backpacking trip and it didn’t disappoint.  I always love taking someone deep into the wilderness for the first time, the excitement and trepidation is palpable.  People are often fearful of the unknown so it’s always great to get people out and alleviate some of those fears.  This trip was awesome, we hiked a lot…mostly above tree line, we fished a lot and even managed to cook some of those fish over an open fire.

One thing I love about fishing is that it’s a great activity for shutting off; you need both hands, you need to concentrate, you need to be quiet and you need to keep moving.  When you’re fishing in such a beautiful place it’s easy (and positive) to just get lost in the rhythm of cast after cast after cast.  Before you know it the sun is setting, you’ve caught some fish, you’ve forgotten about everything around you and just focused on the task at hand.It took Nick a little while but he managed to start catching some fish.

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When you get your favorite lure snagged on the rocks you do whatever it takes to get it back.

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south san juan wildernessThere’s always time for a drink.

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Kept us protected from the few quick rain showers we had.

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Barefoot fishing.

colorado wildernessYou’ve got to have balance to get to the island.

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Nothing beats wading out into the lake and fishing until the sun goes down.  When the fish are biting you’ve got to keep casting.

colorado wildernessFitzy with his spoils, tastes great over the fire.

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south san juan wilderness backpackingNothing beats knowing how to read an old fashioned map and compass.

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