Fishing the Rio Grande river's black water after fire

In June, lightning started a trilogy of wildfires in Colorado's San Juan Mountains. Known as the West Fork Complex fire, thee three fires burned a combined 100,000 acres of forest in the Rio Grande watershed. Then in July it started raining. Hard.  Good news for the firefighters, ranchers and the entire drainage. Not such good news for the river itself.  The rains washed thousands of tons of charred timber and ash into the river, turning it black.

Last weekend, I hoped to get some aerial photographs of my sister fly fishing in the river. The only fish we saw were floating down the river - belly up. Even the black lab in the photo, Luna, didn't want to get in the black water. Not a good sign when a lab avoids the water.  I guess it's nature's way of cleaning house, but it's a bit messy at the moment.

 Photo of fishing the black water of the Rio Grande river after the West Fork Complex fire. 

Photo of fishing the black water of the Rio Grande river after the West Fork Complex fire.