Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
October 2, 2012

Andy Whitcomb

The Thrill Uphill

The great outdoor humorist, Patrick McManus, once wrote, “The best blackberries are on top of the mountain. Not because they are the biggest. Not because they are the sweetest. But because they are on the top of the mountain.”

To experience perhaps the most rewarding fishing trip, you may have to take a hike. And Colorado is a great place to do this. Distance to fishing is not measured just horizontally but vertically as well.  I’ve fished mountain lakes at an altitude of 11,000 feet and encountered snowfall in July.

Will Beggs is a fly-fishing guide at Kirk’s Fly Shop in Estes Park, CO. I met him last year at the top of the amazingly beautiful Calypso Cascades in the Rocky Mountain National Park when he was guiding for a father and 10-year-old son. This “young and able” guide says the hour plus hike to this spot is “not extreme.”  He frequently leads more challenging overnight fishing trips over six miles, up in the backcountry.  (However, when was the last time you hiked an hour to go fishing?)

Their efforts were rewarded with gleaming greenback cutthroat trout (barbless hooks, catch and release only). What these little wild trout lacked in length, they more than made up for in spunk. “They love dry flies,” Will shared. “If they can see it, they will come to the surface and hit it.”

But the rewards from this fishing trip cannot simply be measured in size or quantity.  The journey, the heightened anticipation, and yes, even the chafing from waders, all lead to an increased appreciation of this fishing experience.  Nothing like the physical exertion of a trek up a mountain trail to help one savor every rise of a trout.  Many seem to have forgotten that if given something without earning it, the gift loses value.

Go earn a fish.

(Then please tell me about it. I love to hear fish stories.)

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Oklahoma. Visit him at

The following two tabs change content below.
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”. One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”... To the point it could be classified as borderline illness. Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie." Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up. Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US. He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well... And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.                                                                                Find out about the rest of Take Me Fishing Blog Authors.

Latest posts by Andy Whitcomb (see all)

Article Rating:

One response to “The Thrill Uphill”

  1. says:

    Thanks Andy, I get what you’re saying about having to work for it. Although sometimes, it’s nice to just be able to relax and enjoy the blessing in life. We’re in the process of selling our house that sits on 20 acres with a Class 1 Trout Stream running through it. So even though you can walk out your backdoor to have fantastic fishing, really enjoying the blessing of this land, I guess the ‘working for it’ part is what you do to afford you to buy the property! If anyone’s interested, it’s in NW WI, about 30 miles East of Mpls/St. Paul, and here’s the link for it:

Leave a Reply