John Swincinski

Certain of Solitude
42 x 29 in
From the Lost Creek Storm Series, Number 1 of 5 I spend way too much time worrying about whether I am going to encounter other fly fishermen or not. Every time I set out, I weigh how crowded the stream might be against how convenient the trek is. But today I had no schedule, and I was headed into the Lost Creek Wilderness area, or as the Colorado locals call it – Lost Park. The mere fact that the stepping off point required an hour’s drive on a dirt road was a good indicator that it wouldn’t be too crowded. It was Fourth of July weekend and the thought of leapfrogging other anglers up and down the stream was giving me anxiety. I parked the truck, donned my gear, and set off. I was determined that I would hike about 5-miles into the wilderness area and that should get me to a point on the tiny creek where I could be alone. About three miles in, a hiker passed me in the opposite direction. We spoke for a moment, and he was bemused by my fly rod. He confirmed that he saw no other anglers. I could feel the joy welling up inside me. This little section of the Pike National Forest is so beautiful. Tall summer grasses mixed with wildflowers carpet the meadow space that makes up the narrow corridor where the creek meanders its way east. On the north side are beautiful granite rock formations. The south is primarily stout pine forest. It’s called Lost Creek because in a few miles the water will simply disappear into the rocks, reappearing a few hundred yards downstream. Eventually, it’s water finds its way into the South Platte River – a legendary body of water, that on this weekend, is lined with half of Denver.