The extreme 2011 snowpack prevented us from reaching usual July hiking destinations in the Sonora Pass high country. At the behest of Laura, who wanted a lovely, leisurely stroll on our fifth anniversary, I decided to give oft-ignored Bell Meadow a shot. In a normal July, the relatively low 6600’ meadow would be one to two months past its prime and on its way to becoming a dry, sandy trail through an amazing stand of aspen trees. We, however, lucked-out and were treated to an amazing display of wildflowers, butterflies and unfurling ferns. Bell Creek was also raging through the meadow, but seemed to have receded a bit in the last week based on the immense number of new cut banks and abandoned channels we observed. The fast water didn’t stop me from fishing, however, and in the few minutes I fished I was able to catch a 7” rainbow that promptly unhooked himself once near the bank.