In many ways, a similar day at Dillon, from April’s unwoken landscape, to this day in June—the sky, clouded and white, as we floated out beyond the noise of the beach onto gunmetal water, Red Canoe’s first voyage of the season.
Barely clearing the broad sandy bottom, we made our way to the narrow deeper channel, access to the river upstream, while, with each firm stroke forward against the shallow middle water, great fish swirled beneath us. At times, it would have been easier to stand and step out, drag Red Canoe and its duffels of snacks and drinks past the chocolate brown, ankle deep swirls. But what couldn’t be seen, and what darted ahead with each surge, carving giant arcs with large dorsal fins as bow fishermen silently launched arrows in pursuit, kept us firmly seated, feet dry, poling until we could paddle again.
Once finding the channel, the water cleared, allowing boats to pass easily, and us to escape beyond them, further upstream.
Cottonwoods, casting small fluffy seeds to float like snow upon the surface, stood back from the water’s edge.
Willows drank at the shore.
And, every so often, a tent peeked out from tall grass—its access road, quiet, paralleling the lake edge. A pickup parked on uneven ground.
On this first stretch of summer warmth, the water is welcome—drawing all sorts to its teeming basin.
But it seems we are in the minority, without bait, bobber or bow.
Even the birds are fishing.
We watched Common Terns and a Caspian Tern fish in the shallows of the lake at Dillon State Park. Scanning several feet above the surface, they would suddenly turn and drop, plunging vertically into the water to grab fish, then again rise to fly on.
See more Skywatch here.