turning your orbit around

or... the utter enormity of the task


mo' fishing

well, folks, dad and mom did wind up coming up to steamboat so that dad could fish during this incredible little window of opportunity.

after a stop at the best damn freestone river in colorado (the river not to be named), they got here late wednesday night, and dad and i fished thursday morning, friday morning, and saturday. dad caught a couple nice ones on thursday, a couple more on friday, and only one on saturday, but it was the nicest fish of the week for anyone.

here's an account of that day i sent to my buddy paul. check it out:

bruce and dad and i had a great day on saturday, and it wound up being the last decent day for awhile. the cfs (cubic feet per second) was at 700 when we stopped fishing at 2:30. it's at 1,280 today!

golden stone nymphs were still the hot ticket, and we caugh six fish - bruce 3, me 2, and dad one. bruce caught a rainbow and a brown in the 16-18 inch category before we got there. we crossed the river at the KOA campground and went up to a nice plunge pool where dad hooked up with a pretty nice fish for about 10 seconds. it took off downstream and dad lost him. it was then my turn and i caught a fat little 12/13 inch bow on my first cast. nothing else out of that pool so we headed upriver to a really incredible stretch of water.

we shared a rod between the 3 of us and it was such a nice way to fish. dad went first at the next pool. he hooked into another decent fish and lost it as it headed downstream. we rested the main part of the pool and bruce fished the nervous water at the top where he caught a 10/11 inch bow. my turn next. we were giving each other about 20-30 casts apiece before giving up the rod. they started counting me down after about 20 casts, and on my actual last cast i hooked into a 19 inch rainbow. it took me 30 yards downstream and i netted him. beautiful fat fish.

dad was next, and after what was probably an annoying amount of coaching from bruce and me (he was working on location and mending for good drifts), he hooked into the nicest fish of the day on his 10th cast. he did everything right with this one - kept his rod high, moved downstream with it (but didn't walk backwards), and most importantly he had a great hookup in the corner of its mouth. after about 50 yards downstream i was able to net it for him. biggest fish he's caught in the yampa yet - we measured it in the measurenet and it was somewhere between 21-22 inches, probably pushing 4 pounds. a gorgeous rainbow hen. my dad's hands are huge, so the picture doesn't really do it justice, but it barely fit in his net.

it was a fantastic fish, and all three of us were whooping and hollering after we released it.


fishing right now...

is outrageous. phenomenal.

because of the early thaw, the low valley runoff is done. but it's been cool enough the last week to keep the high mountain runoff from starting. the result is a fantastic little window where the water clarity is just good enough and the fish are hungry after a long winter.

an email to my dad from this morning:

the big bend behind and down from snowbowl is fishing as good as any hole on the white right now. i took this morning off to fish it again; i figured the fishing would still be hot since the weather has stayed cool (40s & 50s). let me recap my morning for you. in 2.5 hours of fishing, with a san juan worm and a #18 olive bh flashback pheasant tail, i caught (in order):
* 12 inch rainbow (sj worm)
* 16/17 inch rainbow that fought like hell and took me down to the next pool again (sj worm)
* 20/21 inch fat rainbow that went 3 or 4 pounds (pheasant tail)
* lost a 15/16 inch rainbow that jumped twice
* 13/14 inch rainbow (sj worm)
* 16/17 inch brown (pheasant tail)
* lost a nice fish at the head of the pool; it rolled and looked to be at least 17 inches
and, finally, on one of my "last casts", i hooked into something that at first i thought was a log. seriously. and then it started to move. i've never had that happen before, where i've mistaken a fish for a snag. this thing was big, and it had to have been a brown, since i never saw it. it lumbered around the pool for a few minutes, upstream and down, taking my line out at a leisurely pace. and then i lost it. i'm telling you, this was a big mammajamma.




and how we live it.

these past few weeks have been a blur. between a couple day trips to fish the green, an ever accelerating work schedule as the semester winds down, and a last-minute trip back home to illinois (which was initially for very scary reasons, but wound up being really quite lovely), well...

i hardly remember the first half of april at all.

illinois was wonderful. my best friend's dad wasn't doing so well, but now he's doing better; that in itself is cause enough to celebrate. everyone converged home, hushed and scared, hoping for the best. as the week went on, things improved, and we all were able to reestablish the connections that we hold so dear. highlights include:

*whiskey drinks and cigars on porches as the wind whipped across the stubbled spring cornfields.

*poker until one in the morning; the universe dealt tp some sweet cards, allowing the person who needed it most to win that night.

*breakfast at sammy's, the greatest greasy spoon in the state of illinois - kind but weird waiters, an armenian-american cook/owner, and a cast of regulars straight out of a sitcom (if you don't get your american fries with onions, well, that's just foolish).

*holding babies at bp's headstart program - we all needed some baby cuddling.

*down-home wisdom from mimi, 85 years young. example: "the only thing anyone should ever tell white lies about is someone's clothing."

our friends are so important to us. there is a very large part of my heart that will always reside in the vast cornfield expanses of central illinois. we miss everyone already.