With a mighty jerk of her right arm, she set the hook on the 9’ split bamboo fly rod and she squealed with excitement. The silvery four pound Kamloops rainbow trout leaped out of the still water shattering the reflected image of the rust colored rock formations, deep green pine trees and cloudless blue mountain sky. My golf partner said with a disgust in his voice, “Hit that damn ball, we have the honor. Let’s go!”
“How can I hit this drive when that women is making all that noise and that trout keeps doing those acrobatic flips and gainers. Let’s just wait, she will land that fish in a minute.”
We were on the 6th tee of the East Course at the Broadmoor Golf Resort in Colorado Springs on a business/pleasure retreat. The Broadmoor has been a premiere golf resort since 1918 when the original Donald Ross course opened to rave reviews. Ross felt that the Broadmoor course was his finest work. With an elevation of 6,400 feet, it was the highest elevation of any golf course in the world at that time. In 1952 Robert Trent Jones, Sr. mixed in a few holes to the original Ross design. The East Course as it is called today has been the venue for many major golf tournaments, including the 1959 U.S. Amateur, won by Jack Nicklaus – his first major. In 2008 the Broadmoor hosted the U.S. Senior Open and in 2011, the U.S. Women’s Open.
When we reached the Oasis (halfway house, snack-bar), I asked the girl behind the counter about the trout fishing in the lake along the 6th hole. She told me that many guests at the Broadmoor had expressed interest in learning about and catching the Rocky Mountains’ most famous fish. Even though the Broadmoor had for years offered day trips into the backcountry to fish with a guide and learn to catch the rainbow striped prize, many did not have the time to experience what is a once in a lifetime experience. She went on to say that the Broadmoor would soon have two venues that offer shorter, as short as an hour, trout fishing experience. She told us that the Fish House, near the 6th tee, offers fishing schools where guests can learn to tie flies, the fishing bait that are created to look like the current hatch of maturing water bugs. The school also offers fishing lessons with a guide who will teach the guest how to cast a hand tied fly with a fly rod. All equipment is furnished and the price includes a snack. She told us that the lake is stocked with a strain of rainbow trout known as Kamloops. These special trout are known for a very aggressive strike and their leaping and jumping ability. Inexperienced fishermen will be spoiled for life by these aggressive predators.
As we finished our hot dogs, she went on to tell us about the brand new Cloud Camp Hotel located 3,000 higher up the mountain. The rustic lodge built in original mountain style of logs and rock, features eight guest rooms and six cabins. Guests have several options to get to Cloud Camp; they can take the two hour guided nature tour or ride up on a mule or 4-wheel vehicle.
We finished our round on the spectacular golf course and then I booked my fishing school for the next day.