I headed south down toward Cataract Creek and kept going past there up the Wilkinson Creek valley. When that topped out, I dropped down onto the Livingstone River.
Further down where the river runs through the canyon, the Livingstone gets hit pretty hard. Justifiably famous as a trout stream and stunningly beautiful, it unfortunately gets whipped to a froth by phalanxes of fly casters every summer. I haven’t fished there in years.
But upstream where the river runs through what looks like a played-out gravel pit I almost always have the stream to myself. Dropping a stonefly imitation at the top of a run, I watched it disappear into the open jaws of a pretty little cutthroat trout. Putting it back and then walking upstream a quarter of a mile to the next run - yet another reason why there’s so few fishermen here - I watched the fly disappear again, this time gobbled up by a lovely butter, gold and orange 17-incher.
So much fun!
I wandered back to the truck and launched my little copter for a few pictures. From the air I could see north up the valley. What little smoke there had been over here had nearly all dissipated. Might be worth heading back to Highwood Pass again.