Editor's note: Contributor Gary Giudice, who penned Wannabe Trout Bums and The Slam Haunts Me for ESPNOutdoors.com, is back with trout buddy Ed Weber as they scour Colorado which they deem the best trout state searching for its best trout stream.
We're a lucky pair, Ed Weber and I.
We have fished in every state in America that has trout. The Rocky's, New England, the far West, the Northern Tier and even the Southern tailraces have seen our carefully tied flies.
It's not that we're rich or that it is part of our job description, it's just a priority. It's what we do ... and we have understanding wives.
Some guys spend their money and time doing all manner of things, we chase fish. We don't have the time or the money to do much else.
In our travels we often debate.
Me: "Ed, I'm sick and tired of peanut butter!"
Him: "Gary, you snore like a boar hog in the mating season!"
But the one that keeps coming back is "What state offers the best trout fishing?"
Ed lives in upstate New York and has been trout fishing and guiding for, well, decades. He knows trout and he knows fly-fishing. We have argued for hours over this question and finally agree on one state that we feel fishes better than the rest.
Some states may have bigger trout, some may have more miles of river and others may have better access, but overall Colorado is our pick. Many will argue the point and we understand that. It's just our humble, perhaps flawed, opinion.
Now if Colorado is the best trout state, which of its many streams would be the go-to trout destination? If we had to pick just one, only one trout stream in America to fish which one would we choose?
Thank God we live in a country that such choices are utter nonsense but still ... we've got to go see for ourselves. We're going to take a look at some of the state's more famous ones first-hand but also some that most have never heard of before.
We have a small camping trailer, food and fly-tying materials. That and our fishing gear is all we need. Well, maybe a couple of cameras and a laptop.
We only have about two weeks and Colorado is a big state. Lots of crooked roads and high passes, so we have to hurry. The run-off should be settled down, the hatches should be going strong and maybe hoppers will be active in the lowlands.
The last time we fished there we had a lot of weather problems. Rain and late runoff plagued our travels. We hope to be in better shape this year.
We're taking three rods a piece, waders and back-ups, enough flies to fill a decent sized shop and all the other stuff that fly-fishers require or think they need.
Our first stop is really a no-brainer South Boulder Creek out west of Denver. Last Summer Ed and I traveled right up the spine of the Rocky Mountains from near the Mexican border to Canada following hatches.
We thought then that South Boulder Creek as it runs through the Lincoln Hills Fly Fishing Club more than likely has the best freestone trout fishing in North America. That's a mighty big statement we know, but damn, the fishing is good!
There is a problem with South Boulder Creek that we must mention: It's private.
It's not for everyone and it can get costly to fish, but catching rainbows as big as an overfed beagle makes up for a lot and this is the only private water we intend to fish.
From there we don't have a clue were we're headed. We're going to ask around and let the locals tell us. We know no one is going to give up his or her secret spots, and that's fine. We just want to find, and pass along, the best fishing possible.
Ed and I know it's going to be a subjective test of the waters, but we are going to try to be fair about it. Access, hatches, quality and numbers of fish are just some of the things we'll be looking for.
We'll also look at the beauty of the streams and how crowded they fish. We'll take in consideration how family friendly they are and what skill level is needed to fish them. There's a hell of a lot more to fishing than just catching fish.
We'll be posting reports most everyday, depending on streams we find and the access to wifi.
For a couple of old and worn out wannabe trout bums, Ed and I are a lucky pair!