After lunch we packed up and started up the Holden Prong trail. In a short while I saw trout- Rio Grande cutthroats- cruising in a deep blue-green pool. A minute later I had caught a nice fat one. As we continued on I would cast at only similar looking pools- the fish weren't anywhere else. They seem to have an instinct,because of the extreme fluctuation in water levels,to stay where they know the water will be, even as long stretches of the rest of the stream dry up. I caught maybe four or five more. It was a little difficult taking on and off my backpack to fish. I tried leaving it on a few times but it was more than a little awkward, especially when I was scrambling on rocks or bending down to release a fish. The weight of the pack had me constantly fighting a nosedive into the water or a headsmash on a boulder. I also had to worry about the patience of my non-fishing companion.She was very, very patient while I tried my luck at more than half of the promising spots as we hiked upstream. To try every good looking pool, or close to every one,would have not been feasible given our schedule: we were doing a 25 mile loop in three days, and we have never hiked more than about 8 miles a day with a full pack. I was happy with the fish I caught. Their strength,their beauty, their very existence in this remote canyon on the dry side of the pretty dry Black Range, had me in a constant smile.
At some point I had started using a Black Ant, because real black ants were everywhere streamside. At the last crossing before the trail makes a steep climb out of the canyon to bypass the narrow gorge,there is long,wide stretch of flat water , less than 2 feet deep , with a small falls at the head and another at the tail. There was no gravel here, just a thin layer of organic matter that had accumulated on bare rock. Upstream , there was a series of cascades over the same bare bedrock.I drifted that Ant in the narrow seam of flow at both ends and came out with good fish each time.That was exciting I thought. That was well done.IMPORTANT UPDATE: This hike is within the Silver Fire burn area. Expect vastly altered conditions from those described here (October,2015).