This month’s guest blogger is Andrea Pasquan, the Executive Assistant at Angler’s Covey and owner of Urbean. She and her friend, Garrett Nelson, recently went on a winter adventure and nailed The Winter Trifecta. You can follow Andrea on IG @drepasquan and Garrett @gnelson42. Garrett strives to spend most of his free time outdoors, with backcountry snowmobiling and fly fishing being his favorites. His specialty is euro nymphing and he also enjoys time at the tying table.
After fueling up with breakfast and coffee from The Blend in Buena Vista we headed for Cottonwood Pass.
––> Snowmobile over the pass
––> Ice fish at Taylor Park Reservoir
––> Fly fish the Taylor River
… all in one day.
Before we even got to the parking lot, we came across an energetic coyote running the same direction on the road in front of us going about 35mph. He stayed his course for probably a mile before he exited into the woods. We parked where the road closes for the winter, Denny Creek Trailhead, and loaded up the snowmobiles with a sled in tow filled with our gear. As a snowmobile rookie, I got a brief tutorial how to operate everything, including the temp control of the handle bars (Bonus!). Of course I kept those toasty.
There wasn’t a cloud to be seen, but it was a crisp 15 degrees out. We cruised over the pass right on the closed road, and about an hour later we were parked in the middle of the reservoir, drilling holes for ice fishing. There was about 2 feet of ice and lots of fish below ready to play. Watching the fish finder was reminiscent of playing Gameboy back in the day.
Within 20 minutes I hooked and landed my first lake trout! Shortly after, Garrett brought up another good-sized laker.
Then it was time to transition to fly fishing the river. We swapped out our snow pants for waders, parked the sleds down by the dam, and walked down the road about 1/4 mile. Too impatient once we saw the river, we hopped over the guard rail and ventured down the bank plopping away in waist-deep powder. There were only a handful of other humans along the river, which wasn’t bad for a Sunday afternoon. We got our lines wet and did some sight fishing. I was using #22 midges and Garrett was using a #10 euro bugger.
High fives, hugs, and celebratory drinks were had — we conquered our 3 goals!
Since we had about an hour of daylight left, we trekked back up the road, hoping someone would feel generous (or maybe pity) and give our tired butts a lift up the hill. But all the vehicles were going the opposite way… wah wah… cry me a river. We got back to the sleds and threw our snow pants over our waders (I definitely had 4-5 layers on all day so I could stay cozy!) and hit the road, making it back to our starting point right before sunset.
Though it sounds like we were on-the-go all day, I always take those intentional moments where I stop, take a 360-degree look around, and soak in the beauty of creation. Snow-covered Cottonwood Pass offered the most incredible views I’ve ever seen, and I stood on the reservoir just in awe of our surroundings, knowing that pictures couldn’t do it justice.
It is now all a cherished memory I will never forget. This sort of winter adventure fuels my Enneagram 7 and I know there will be many more to come!