Tag: trout fishing

I could think of worse places to be

Beautiful river settingWe pulled out of town around 7am, not forgetting to make the standard-issue pit stop for breakfast, and at none other than 7-11. If you’re hung over like some folks were in my river taxi, that means doubling up on the saus-egg-chez biscuits, a twisty doughnut for dessert, and washing it all down with Red Bull. Everything available at 7-11 is the antithesis of everything available at the farmers’ market, but the farmer’s market didn’t open for another half hour. The product serves its intended purpose, especially if you consumed too many hydroxyl groups (a.k.a. gin ‘n tonics) the night before.

I appreciate Toyota engineering during times like these. The fresh air vents work especially well for acclimatizing one’s self to the cool and thinning air as you cross the Divide. Yea, that’s what the vents are for, acclimatization. An hour and a half worth of acclimatization. The driver stares up the road, left hand persistently drawn to the side window button. Will cracking it at 80mph offend? He prays for a hatch. Any hatch will do.

The skies are bluer than this blog’s header. As the boots go on I notice it’s cooler than normal, a reminder that wet wading decisions should be made at the tailgate instead of the utility room. I rig up quickly, but not quick enough. The competition shows up donning late autumn apparel, sees us, and sprints down to the river with four pieces of graphite in hand, six feet of line dragging behind them in the dirt.

The water has dropped roughly 40% in the last two weeks – the fish will be acting like they’ve taken in a lifetime’s supply of Clive Barker novels. Eleven feet of flourocarbon later that problem is solved. Sun still low, it’s spotters’ heaven. Unmistakable flashes stand out against a rocky bottom devoid of moss. Whether it be full on floating bugs, emergers just beneath the film, or seven pieces of #4 split shot dragging the faux meals, these fish have no chance.

Rainbow TroutLater on we change scenes, and the action slows considerably. With light now coming from high above, I direct my offerings into the deepest channels, dragging fat stone flies across boulder strewn bottoms. Production resembled chipset engineering, methodical and prone to waste. Three snagged flies later we call it done deal.

On the walk out my buddy asked “So how many did you get for the day?” I replied “I don’t know, maybe XX.” “Oh shit.” He knew that figure floated around my average, and said no more. Frankly, I’d completely lost count after number XX, subconsciously placing total nettings for the day down the list of priorities.

I’d wanted to be there. Just be there.

It’s Sunday afternoon. I-70 is standing room only. 7-11 is out of the question.

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.

Rabbit Hunting

Brown bunnies aren’t the target – they’re the ‘bait’…

Rabbit hunting
Bunnies are so cute. But the trout will be thinking lunch.

I was once called a ‘dirty bird’ for throwing this kind of stuff. All I could do was smile. These sculpin-y, crawdad-y, what-ever-fish-want-them-to-be babies are bulletproof too, thanks to tier Tyler Kendrick.

Business and Trout Fishing

A few parallels worth mentioning:

  • The need for patience and persistence – Not everyone is going to buy into your idea the moment you deliver it. By the same token, neither is a trout. Be patient with people as well as finicky aquatica – adjust your presentation to achieve the intended objective. Quit too soon, and you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • Betting on your winners – Throw your all into the stuff that’s working. Successful entrepreneurs get a boost from small successes, and by directing attention to the small wins they often turn them into big ones. Commodities traders are particularly good at this – they generally double up their bets on their winners (and yes, I consider traders entrepreneurs). For trout, go for your favorite flies and favorite holes first – the ones you have confidence in as a result of previous successes.
  • Knowing when to cut your losses – You can turn a small business failure into a big one very easily. Just keep throwing good money after bad. You can turn stellar conditions into a “no fish” day as well – just stick to the same fly, or stand in the same hole. All day.

El Río Fabuloso Del San Juan

This post has nothing to do with anything except my extra-curricular enjoyment. I just got back from a couple of days fishing the San Juan River, and have to say the place hasn’t changed much since my last visit (in 2000) – it still kicks the ass of any other trout fishery in this country (and likely most others as well).

A fellow fisherman called it “an amusement park for anglers.” I agree. And I have to hand it to the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game for their management of all the “attractions”, which included numerous rainbows over 20 inches (and fat enough to be mistaken for collegiate footballs).

Check out these factoids on the San Juan River and its aquatic inhabitants, as dug up by one of our crew…
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