Tag: tequila

Teva Mountain Games shenanigans are a go – in other words, go ahead and kick me where it counts

This should be coming across the AP wire, but those folks are too busy with some nonsense about volcanic ash covering the town of Europe. So for all of you who have been deprived important news comes this…

VAIL/DENVER, CO, April 26, 2010 (BigNewsWire) – The Vail Valley Foundation, co-organizer of the annual Teva Mountain Games, was left stunned when it was discovered that Mr. Michael Gracie of Denver had entered the Costa 2-Fly Extreme Fly Fishing competition for the upcoming event June 5th and 6th. After a failed run at the prize money last year, which included Mr. Gracie wearing attire which irritated other competitors and generally mocked both the seriousness of the event and the tranquil nature which surrounds the entire genre of fly fishing, the hosts were certain they were rid of Mr. Gracie once and for all. Sadly this was not to be the case.

“Gracie is simply a disgrace to the sport”, noted Jim Kanda, longtime 2-Fly Extreme competitor and Manager of Trout’s Fly Fishing of Denver. Trout’s owner Tucker Ladd added “He came into the shop the other day and we discussed the Games. Jim and I tried to talk him out of competing, out of respect for our fellow fly fishers. But he’s hardheaded. Or should I say…a jackass.”

Bonafide fly fishing luminaries took time out of their busy schedules to comment on the distressing news as well…

Lefty Kreh: “I’ve seen the kid cast – he’s no Ted Williams that’s for sure.”

Pat Dorsey and Chris Ramos: “Gracie couldn’t catch a trout in a hatchery with a cane pole and a bread ball. What’s he thinking?!”

Kelly Galloup: “If Michael could keep his eye on the target instead of the next woman walking by, he might have a chance. In other words, he’s hopeless.”

Barry and Cathy Beck: “He’s not very photogenic.”

Teva Mountain Games organizers and Vail residents alike are now concerned that Mr. Gracie will wreak havok on Vail’s reputation, a town which is known for its down-home atmosphere and impeccable class. A meeting has been scheduled immediately prior to the festivities, at which time all constituents will have a chance to speak out regarding the impending menace. Proposals for keeping Michael away already include temporarily blockading I-70 at Vail Pass and/or moving the Costa 2-Fly Extreme portion of the Games to Aspen.

About the Teva Mountain Games

The Teva Mountain Games is an annual event pitting competitors against each other in eight sports and 23 disciplines including: x-country, freeride, slopestyle and road cycling, freestyle, 8-Ball, sprint and extreme kayaking, raft paddlecross, World Cup bouldering, Stand Up Paddle boarding, as well as trail and road running, and the GNC Ultimate Mountain Challenge. Also included in the Games lineup is the Costa 2-Fly Extreme fly fishing competition, where entrants are challenged with multiple casting qualification rounds leading up to a day of catch and release trout fishing. The Teva Mountain Games are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation, which exists to to provide leadership in athletic, cultural, educational and community-based endeavors to enhance and sustain the quality of life in the Vail Valley for its residents and guests.

About the “Jackass”

Michael Gracie began his fishing career in the waters of South Florida, catching fat largemouths on Blue Grape Tournament Worms, Johnson Spoons with white pork rind, and Hula Poppers. He moved into fly fishing soon thereafter, but did not catch his first brown trout until the mid-twenties. Mr. Gracie maintains detailed knowledge of the waters directly underneath the Florida Keys’ Seven Mile Bridge, that flowing through a small bend on Maryland’s Gunpowder River, some which accumulated into a carp pond in Westminster, Colorado, as well some spinning around in toilet bowls he’s been found clasped to after over-exuberant nights on the town. Mr. Gracie resides in the good ol’ US of A, although various officials of the Department of the Interior probably wish that wasn’t the case.

So there you have it folks. Everyone is against me! But for the first time in my life I have to agree they are justified in their contempt, and I’m not going to move against the grain. No…instead I’m going with it, and hoping to drag everyone else along.

With that in mind, I’m offering a wager you just can’t refuse. I’m betting I’ll suck just like last year, maybe even worse. And you are going to side with me. This means money.

I’m hereby taking pledges in cents (or dollars) for every point I score in the event, and you’re going to donate that pledge directly to Casting For Recovery, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports breast cancer survivors through a program combining fly-fishing, counseling, and medical information to build a focus on wellness instead of illness. So for example, you pledge ten cents per point, and I score a 1,500 (bwaaahhhh!) – you’d write a check to Casting For Recovery for $150. Easy. Note that high scores for the 2009 qualifier were around 2,500 points, and roughly 800 points for the semi-finals (which yours truly didn’t even get close to).

You put your pledge in the comments, obviously including a valid email address with said comment – when the event is over, I’ll let you know how little much you owe CFR. You wind up looking like a kind and generous soul to each and every passerby to this post, and when I fall flat on my face you don’t have to pay a dime. Heck…even if I do hit one target, I’m assuming it would be a pittance to most anyone that might be reading.

Suck or no suck, you’re a winner.*

Editor’s note: *Pledges are expected to be honored, and all point totals will be tallied directly from official results posted on the Teva Mountain Games website. Should Mr. Gracie hit not zero targets but say all of them, please be ready to write a check to Casting For Recovery. In other words, make your pledge reasonably within your own means. All donations are tax deductible, and the jackass will not be handling any proceeds – a form letter will be provided via email to be included with all contributions. Any in-kind donations or prize winnings (again, bwaaahhhh!) Mr. Gracie personally garners from the event will be donated to the charity of his choosing, Casting For Recovery or otherwise, as well.

UPDATE: Royalties go to charity too.

Steering fly fishing in the wrong direction

teasdale-sticks-blue-riverI knew that all my hard work trying to get the Primal Fly crew to spend more time trout fishing would pay off. While firmly ensconced hoodlum Tom Teasdale only caught one trout last week, he did get to spend a lot of time rowing. And he’s back on the Blue today. No doubt sold.

Personally, I’m pretty glad that this weekend’s Teva Mountain Games fly fishing competition doesn’t include a rowing component – although I’d probably stand an even better chance of embarrassing myself, it’s very difficult to keep tequila in shot glasses while the boat bobs downstream oar-less. While I’ve never actually been responsible for a damaged boat, I have broken a few oars – I can live with that, but who can live with spilled tequila?

SIDE NOTE FOR THE GAMES: As of this morning the Eagle River was running 2,330 cfs and the Colorado below Kremmling (the suspected alternate to the Eagle for the Games) was at 3,370 cfs. Some might call those flows less than optimal conditions for competition, with some being anyone besides a world class kayaker. The Blue River below Green Mountain, at 952 cfs, is a little more reasonable for fly fishing, but even that is subject to sudden change. The tailwater was at 750 cfs just last night. Stay tuned.

Arkansas River Weekend: The Post-Mortem

Brown In NetOur jaunt down to the Arkansas River last weekend wasn’t quite the annihilation I’d portended, unless you take into consideration that we only fished three hours on Sunday. No, we weren’t being lazy – we were just trying to rehydrate, so to speak, and catch up on lost sleep.

We begin by mugging other fly fishers for info

After driving down and settling in, we made plans to hit Wellsville first thing. Wellsville is this little stop just south of Salida, and while a fairly short stretch it’s known for some smooth deep runs that are usually stacked with sizable rainbows and browns. When we arrived there was only one other vehicle at the access point, and we found only one fisherman had occupied said auto. With most of the stretch to ourselves, trial and error began. My trials were with frequent movement and fly switching, while Corey and Jeff spent their time fishing anything I wasn’t (and probably a good strategy, since I was catching jack). A few hours into the game, I bum-rushed the stranger (who was getting his net wet), and intelligence gathering pointed to small mayflies. On what would turn out to be the roughly twelfth pattern of the morning for me, tan WD-40s hit the mark. My colleagues quickly raided my nymph box.

It was now breakfast time, which meant finding a greasy spoon (and not forgetting to pick up a case of beer for the evening). Having satisfied our omelet and black coffee fetishes, we moved on to a double super secret spot Corey had been blathering about since we’d left Denver the afternoon before.

Fly fishing often requires loose interpretation of “No Trespassing – Violators Will Be Shot On Sight” signs

thearkIn hindsight, the fact that one of our buddies actually owns the barbed wire fence that runs up to a gate we were definitely going through, armed to the teeth just in case slightly unsure about passing through probably gave us some rights, in some jurisdiction, someplace, to proceed. At least that was my justification, and since I was driving that probably put us over the 50% chance of not winding up in jail mark. In reality, the stretch of water we happened upon is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and I’ll be heading down with unadulterated bribes bags of fine goodies for all the neighbors so they’ll keep the lips zipped just in case they spy us passing that way again.

Boy oh boy was the fishing good. There was all kinds of structure on this stretch, from huge boulders laying smack dab in the middle of the river to shallow cross current rifts running over ledges into much deeper fast water moving straight ahead. I lost count of the actual number of deep, quiet pools and picture perfect seam water we fished – we could have kept hiking deeper in for eternity without wanting for another hole worth trying.

Brown trout heart gold PsychosThe only bummer turned out to be the lack of dry fly action. There was about a half-hour period late in the day where some BWOs came off. And as I sat down to tie on a gray Parachute Adams a caddisfly landed on my leg. So I put one of each on, but alas the moment I started working some quiet water off a small island the hatch disappeared as abruptly as it had arrived. No matter – the fish were in love with our little Gold Psycho Prince Nymphs and Barr’s Emergers. As time grew near for Jeff to leave, he and Corey bounded by to grab the truck keys. An inquiry came in regarding performance, but before I could respond I’d hooked up again – it was the sixth fish in the span of an hour.

Me thinks my truck got a good undercarriage workout after that, because Corey was back fast enough to otherwise assume he possessed some type of transporter device. We marched further upstream, debating which pristine piece of new water to wet the lines in, and continued picking off trout until the other half of the Salida Party Patrol, Tim and Tom, arrived. Thereafter, we decided we would definitely fish this place again tomorrow, hit the Boathouse for some grub, and then headed back to the newly dubbed Van Dyke Fly Fishing Ranch for the night’s festivities.