Rivertops West

On July 13, two residents from western New York State, plus four fly rods and reels, and other assorted camping gear, will be headed for the Rocky Mountains. Actually we’ll start our explorations in Alamogordo, New Mexico with a brief stay at my father-in-law’s place and then drive northward. I have a lot of hiking and fly-fishing that I’d like to accomplish on this road trip, and I hope to do a series of short posts here on Rivertop Rambles as we work our way toward Glacier National Park in Montana.

picture of a photo taken some years ago at RMNP

Follow me as I try to fish some or all of the following streams while also visiting four or five national parks and monuments: Rio Santa Barbara (for Rio Grande cutts, one of the most beautiful canyons I’ve ever experienced), Rio Costilla (another much anticipated NM stream for cutts), the Conejos and upper Rio Grande in CO, the upper Arkansas, Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park, the Green River in Utah, Slough Creek in Yellowstone, the Madison in MT, possibly the Bitterroot, the Blackfoot, and maybe the Flathead in MT before climbing into Glacier.

greenback cutthroat, CO

This may sound ambitious for a 3-week drive, but Leighanne and I are roughing it for the most part with occasional lapses into “luxury” thrown in for contrast, and our schedule will be loose enough to feel the freedom of the road. I hope to do some birding, hiking, and connecting with interesting people, as well.

Western Green Drake, one of many dry flies recently tied

Not the least part of our excursion, we’ll be meeting up with son Brent, and Catherine, who’ll be flying out to Denver for vacationing at various locations in the Mountain State. Together we’ll explore, again, RMNP and Dinosaur Nat’l Monument in Utah. Should be fun. If you’re interested, plan to follow us on RR. As always, we love to hear from you. The posts will be irregular, and I may be slower in responding to your comments but rest assured I will get to them. It’s one of the perks for doing what I love.

Dream Lake cutthroat

Rio Grande cutthroat, Pecos watershed, NM

Genesee River brown says See You Later. Late evening hatches of Yellow Drake and Potamanthus have been strong.

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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28 Responses to Rivertops West

  1. Bob says:

    You lucky dog! Have fun! I’ll be following your posts.

  2. Brent says:

    Count me in! See you in a couple days as you start out on this crazy journey.

  3. Bob Stanton says:

    Have a blast, Walt! Can’t wait to hear about the trip!

    • Thanks Bob! Weather, as always, will be a factor. It might be interesting to try to piece together the mountain segments, south to north. Sort of like fishing a good trout stream mouth to source rather than simply focusing on a few segments of that stream. I’m sure I’ll have a story for you, if all goes well.

  4. Mark Miles says:

    Sounds like a great time. Must say I’m a bit envious, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Looking forward to seeing your future posts. 👍

  5. plaidcamper says:

    Safe travels to you all! Many miles, large spaces, great people, big fish and fine times ahead – looking forward to reading about it all. Oh yeah, and those celebratory craft beers, fish or no fish…

    • I hope you’re right, Adam, thanks so much. Now, I didn’t mention those craft beers but what would be a rambler’s campfire without them? Luckily my wife is of a similar mind when it comes to the brew and she can jog the memory bank. All the best your way, as well!

  6. Leigh says:

    Safe travels my friend. Look forward to hearing of your adventures.

  7. JZ says:

    Nice post Walt. If you get a chance to fish the South Fork of the Flathead, do it! Had a 13 day exploration in the Bob Marshal three years ago and it was nice. Caught Cutties till the cows came home, laugh. Have not fished much, too busy at work. Hopefully that changes soon! Have a great job and people I love and respect, so no complaints. I do hope to take a multi day trip here soon, maybe the Savage or Farmington river. Anyways, stay safe and you and your wife have fun. Life is short…

    • I probably won’t get a chance to fish the South Fork on this trip, that’s pretty well into the Bob Marshall, I think, but I’ll review the maps. That must have been a heck of an outing you were on. Still, I should have an opportunity to do some real backcountry in NM and Yellowstone and other places. Thanks for being a faithful reader here, and I hope you some multi-day fishing time soon.

  8. Sounds like a fun trip, have a wonderful time!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy the water! Can’t wait to see. 🙂

  10. Walt
    This is something I will never get accomplish, but I will have fun living it through your post—–looking forward to the adventure, stay safe! Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks very much, Bill. I figure that, at my age, I better do it now while I’m still healthy and have the energy. My wife will be there to make sure I don’t step off the deep edge. Thanks for commenting, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

  11. Wow. This seems like it’s going to be a fantastic adventure. I am quite jealous and looking forward to reading all about.

    • Events usually don’t go according to plan, but I’m hoping for something different and enjoyable here. Thanks, Douglas, and all the best for your own adventures this season.

  12. Ross says:

    Sounds like a fantastic trip, beautiful country with the chance to catch beautiful fish. Enjoy! Looking forward to your posts.

  13. I’m anxious for you to see some of “my” waters and the scenery at Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m envious of your travels but can’t wait to hear and see the reports.

    • Howard, You know I’ll tread respectfully at the portals of your home and paradise. You’re fortunate to live in exceptional country and I look forward once again to saying hello and waving a fly line underneath the Colorado sun.

  14. Jet Eliot says:

    Your trip sounds fantastic, Walt. I hope you have a wonderful adventure in the glories of these parks.

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