Welcome to Basin & Range Outdoors

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Basin & Range Outdoors was created to share the adventures experienced by two brothers in the American West. From the highest alpine terrains to the lowest sonoran deserts we will chronicle the pain and triumph that accompanies all of our outdoor pursuits.

There will be no high-fence hunts, no fly fishing lodges, no streamside caviar and wine breaks. Instead, you can expect cold nights sleeping in the dirt, flat tires on old trucks, and big dreams realized on small budgets. With Basin & Range Outdoors you will find useful reviews of hunting and fly fishing products, techniques, locations, and a general review of our outdoor expeditions on public land.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Road Trip & San Juan River Excursion

Took a short family trip to the Bare Family Cabin in Pagosa Springs, CO.  My Dad and I were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours on the San Juan River below the Navajo Dam, which is a short drive from the cabin.  The rumor is that the "Quality Waters" (which consist of the 4.25 miles below the dam) hold more
than 80,000 trout.  The fish that make the Quality Waters their home see a lot of flies and can be hard to please.  Despite the bitter cold and blowing wind, we were lucky enough to catch a few fish but lost a couple 18-20" trout.

After a short hiatus, D. Bare stands on the banks of the San Juan River ready to cast a line.

Most of the trip was spent on good old fashioned family time. We enjoyed the view, drank coffee, and roasted marshmallows on a big fire. A good time was had by all.

The long drive home through Navajo Country

For those of you more interested in catching fish on the San Juan River than my family matters (as you should be), I can offer one bit of guidance.  In my experience the trout on this river want one of two things, either a fly in exact size (usually small, size 20+), color, and presentation as the live version... or a large meal swung right in front of their nose like a bunny leach, wooley bugger, or zonker.  My fly fishing education started with salmon and steelhead, so I prefer to "swing meat and bring heat!!"  I have had good success swinging the big heavy flies mentioned above in the upper portions of the San Juan.  For those interested in using the finer methods of fly fishing for trout, I would venture to say that I have likely been outfished by the users of a strike indicator and a size 22 Disco Midge.

Swingin Meat and Bringin Heat on the San Juan River: