Peering stealthily through the bridge at Cascade Village, Sally and I both spot the dark, trophy-sized submarine beneath us, and creak back through the snowpack to rig up.

It's several degrees warmer today, and Gore Creek is faster and shallower than the Eagle, so I'm choosing a heavy little Copper John behind a parachute Grey Duster for the outside chance of a hatch. I look up from tightening the knot on the nymph, just in time to catch the full force of competitive American angling.

This, too, I've read about but never seen. There's another fisherman pounding past us down the bank in his personal blizzard of powder, clearly encouraged by the red-capped guide behind him, straight into my pool. It's only afterwards that I remember, with quite excessive schadenfreude, how his arrival sends visible shockwaves right across the surface. I never even needed to think about snowballs.

So I leave them to it, break trail again upstream, and slither down a steep little canyon to the next trouty-looking stretch. It's difficult-looking, too, with slimy boulders under snow, and an old grey snag over the miniature riffle that says "Yes, sir, I'm here to take care of your backcast". Somehow I sneak through to the eye of the pool, and, first drift again, find I'm connected to one of those opportunistic 13-inch browns, all ice and fiery spots, that rattles over the riffle and flees from my hand as fast as he's come.

Here on the shrouded, intimate creek, it's hardly more than an hour of fishing, and just two trout. But every cast is worth it, and back up on the slopes again, I'm ski-ing like a fisher possessed.

Just for an instant, the low clouds part like Old Testament waters, and we even catch a glimpse of that glorious, elusive Continental Divide.

Will I ski in Europe again, without this lure of wild winter fishing?

Casting round Colorado, I'm suddenly not so sure.

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