There are very few things in life that compare to a fly fishing road trip. It means campfires, cheap beer, good company and most importantly fishing waters I don’t get to fish as much as I’d like too. The older I get the more I seem to need these things in my life. There is a certain campsite North of the border that my buddies and I call home this time of the year. Here you will find a camper, a stack of cases of various 30 racks, a pack of dogs and our buddy Ivan sleeping somewhere on the ground because he snores so loud he’s been banned from camp during the hours of 12-8 AM. It goes without saying that the anticipation for these trips distracts me from doing anything productive the week prior, so when I got the text from my good buddy Matt saying he was available to fish all of November I immediately started plotting a trip up there. I reached out to my good buddy Brian Hume from our Frisco location and told him it would be a perfect time for us to unleash the Trouts Van to the world. He simply replied “Yes.” Just so you guys know, the Trouts Van is a 2004 Ford E 350 V-10, essentially a house on wheels. Our good buddies Zeb and Ivan rounded out the rest of the group for the weekend. The plan was to leave from Trouts Denver Saturday after close up shop and return the following Monday night.
Brian arrived at the shop Saturday afternoon right at 5 PM and after a quick stop by the apartment to pick up my dog Gus, we were on the road to Fort Collins to pick up Zeb. When we got to Zeb’s place we threw his gear in and he informed us he had food for the weekend. By food Zeb meant a 12 pack of Yoohoo, two bags of chips, Honey Buns and Hostess Cupcakes. Typical camp food for a 19 year old but, thankfully there is a King Soopers nearby. We made the stop and began loading up the grocery cart with food for a few days. As the cart began to fill up, I felt they had things under control so I told them I was going to run next door and pick up some more beer for camp. I grabbed two cases of Extra Gold and was waiting for the boys back at the van. As Brian got closer to the van he said “Really? Extra Gold.” It being Brian’s first trip North with us, I told him to have a little faith in me and I bet him that it would all be gone before Monday.
The remainder of the drive was pretty harmless. We arrived in camp about 11 PM to find Matt sitting on his truck bed with a headlamp on, beer in hand and bottle of Zing Zang sitting next to him. Ivan had told us he would be up around 2-3 AM so I agreed to stay up with Matt and drink beer until he arrived. As the clock rolled past 3 AM, Matt continued to use the phrase “One More” more times than I can count. By 4:30 we decided Ivan probably wouldn’t be there tonight so we said our good nights and vowed to be up at 6:30 AM to get coffee going and hit the water. The sun came up Sunday morning and I peaked my head out the window in hopes Matt would still be sleeping. To no surprise I saw him and Ivan making coffee and right as the clock hit 6:30 they both began knocking on the van to wake the three of us up. It’s mornings like these that remind me I’m not 18 anymore.
We all had a quick bite to eat as the waders warmed up in the van. Fishing talk took over the conversation as we discussed rigging up and how good we hoped fishing would be. It being Zeb and Brian’s first time up we all committed to fishing together for awhile and hanging out while everyone got a grasp of the water. We packed plenty of beers and headed to a run that always holds good numbers of fish. The run can fit three anglers so we got a rotation going where three guys would fish and the other two would hang out, drink beer and heckle. Thankfully, the fish were pretty agreeable so it’s needless to say we had a pretty good Sunday. As we continued to put nice fish to hand, it was fun to see Brian’s excitement for the moment. I’m not much for the sentimental crap that comes with fly fishing so as much as I appreciated his excitement, I only told him to grab another beer. With the day winding down we headed back to camp, got a fire going and cooked some dinner as we listened to the Broncos game. While the Broncos played like shit, we ate more food than I want to think about. Steaks, burgers, baked potatoes, chips and salsa and vanilla oreos were on the menu. We reminisced on the day and laughed pretty hard sitting around that fire. Everyone agreed that we wouldn’t have any beers Monday and we’d fish hard until we had to hit the road.
We all got a good night’s sleep Sunday and woke up Monday ready to go. I know I said we agreed to not drink on Monday but, as we were making coffee somehow the conversation turned to shotgunning beers. I’ll spare the details but, it was safe to say everyone had a pretty good buzz going by 8 AM. We decided to split up to start the day so everyone could find a rhythm and agreed to be back together around lunch. I fished with Ivan and it didn’t take long for fishing to pick up. As we fished through a few runs we decided to go catch up with Matt and Brian. We compared stories and all fished together for the remainder of the day. A few moments later Brian landed one of the best looking rainbows I’ve seen in quite sometime. As the day began to fade we headed back to camp to load up and head out. Knowing we were out of beer, I asked Brian if we had any Extra Gold left. He laughed and blamed the Zing Zang. We hit the road as the sky turned dark and wondered where the time went. We made a pit stop in Laramie for one last meal before we had to accept the trip coming to an end. Brian and I finished the drive all smiles as the legend of the Trouts Van was born.