On Tuesday, after breaking our car camp conveniently located next to the crappers, we floated the Pumphouse to Radium section of the Colorado River in our new used fishing raft. It’s got a lone stretch, maybe a hundred yards, of Class III water, and it’s safe to say we went into this with a healthy respect for the river and its unforgiving nature. Floating the Bighorn is one thing – Class I+ at best at the flows we floated – but Class III is another animal. Granted, you’d have to REALLY screw up to flip your boat or wrap it, but it’s still a possibility on the Pumphouse section, and that was enough to make me moderately nervous.
In the end, we came through just fine. Frank’s buddy Brett, who has floated this stretch on his raft many times, was with us, and that helped the confidence levels (he’s actually a full-on badass when it comes to rivers, having run most of the Grand Canyon on a raft and the Gore Canyon section of the Colorado on a kayak (I know! Gore fu%king Canyon, right!?)). We all shared time behind the oars equally, but when it came time to run the Class III “eye of the needle rapid,” I really wanted to give it a shot. Hilariously, I nailed this section pretty much perfectly, then managed to put the bow of the boat on a small boulder a hundred yards below the crux of the needle. There’s a lesson there, though I’m still not sure what it is.
And oh yeah, Frank caught a monster Brown, 20 inches easy:
This site/blog has been, well, defunct. It’s been far too long since our last post. It’s not that we weren’t fishing – we were. Perhaps not as often as we’d like, but we’re always fishing. It’s just, you know, life kinda gets in the way. Between parenthood and careers (both of us), hip surgeries (me), business travel (Tim), a job that stressed me out that I have since resigned from (me)….
It’s tough to feel creative at 9pm.
We can’t ever promise this blog will consist of any more than sporadic posts, but those creative impulses are starting to fire again, fishing this spring has been stellar (if a little premature), and it’s time we started telling a story or two – with some good pictures to boot. To that end… the Bighorn.
Clear Creek canyon is my getaway for when I have a few hours. It’s not spectacular – so far the fishing has been ho-hum, and it’s right along one of the busiest state highways around, always crammed full of blackhawk weekend casino traffic when I fish it.
We were up in Steamboat this past Labor Day weekend, and I fished the Yampa 3 days in a row. And sometimes, things just line up right, y’know? And after a year of things not quite lining up right in other elements of my life – a near-miss here, a dropped ball there, an egregious field goal attempt that soars wide left - I’ll take the little victories where I can get them.
We fished the Crystal on the Saturday morning of our Frying Pan trip. Our campsite was right on the river, so it just made sense to roll out and start fishing without too much of a drive.
My goodness is this river stunning.
To my eyes, two things in particular make it so: Gin clear water that also manages to have a light blue, glacial kind of tint, and a substrate made up of big boulders that are many different colors (no doubt due to the varied geology in this valley – sandstone, granite, and marble).
It’s interesting, our desire to be two places at once.
After a quick morning meeting on Friday, I had the rest of the day off, and since I had dropped the little guy off at his daycare, I had until about 5pm all to myself. So I went fishing.
But here’s the funny thing: half of me wanted to be fishing, and the other half wanted to be spending time with my son. And so, two halves of me were at odds. On one hand, I know that, as a parent, it’s reenergizing and important to take time to ourselves. On the other hand, I really love spending time with my guy, and I felt bad about not sharing my day off with him. I still went fishing, but it bothered me all day, and having something gnaw at you is darn counterproductive to the calm you’re supposed to experience on the water.
Which is why it was karmic, I suppose, that I broke my rod at the end of the day. I put that negative energy out into the universe for the better part of the morning and afternoon, and it was returned to me in a moment of graphite snapping certainty. I smiled a resigned kind of smile, reeled in, and went to my stash spot to change back into my hiking shoes.