Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall Floats Volume II

This is a natural shot you don't see very often in the magazines. Starkey is bending over the gunwale all set for the standard grip and grin shot, and Mr. Wiggly jumps out his hands. Imagine a brightly colored Brown Trout. If the conversation is twisted with three All Pro trash talkers, then it goes to reason it is more warped with four. If the wind didn't come up we were online for an epic day of catching. The term "fly flinging" was spot-on for a good bit of our float. I'm talking about fly and fly line getting blown straight backwards. Chuck and duck.
Here's a picture of the boys getting their pirate on in the beaches before the canyon. Luke is holding a bazooka, and Fisher is holding a kayak paddle that turned into a spear. I had been telling the boys about the pair of Cottonwoods behind them for a week or so. They were the last trees to drop their leaves. Ray Charles can see they're in love. They remind me of the picture of the old truck and car on the cover of John Prine's "In Spite of Ourselves".

No doubt this isn't the biggest fish in the river, but it is one of my Fall favorites. He was cozied up in about two feet of water downstream of a big rock in the shade of a 200 ft. red wall a couple of hours below State Bridge. I drive past this wall all the time on my way South. I had went to the vise the night before, and tied up some ginger buggers with brown rubber legs for the occasion of an all day float with the good folks from Fly Fishing Outfitters in Avon. Ginger hit the water, and about the time I got the handle on my line he blew up like a flourescent light bulb being thrown in a dempstey dumpster.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Floats

The picture at the left is of an American original. We call him "Deep River Jim". He is the youngest 75 year old you will ever meet. Jim served with the special forces the first year they were created. He regularly plays guitar, yodels, collects rocks, dances with the young ladies at the monthly Dance in Oak Creek , fishes, hunts, takes care of numerable people much younger than him, skis, took up kayaking this year, shoots wooden dollars out of the air with his red rider bb gun, and has a hound named Tusker. Here Jim is old school lipping a Brown he caught on a soft hackle dropper below his hand tied hopper pattern whose body he made with a goose biot. Jim has the natural touch of a life long fisherman meaning he picked this fish up right off the bat with little fanfare. The water was very clear, and we could see the take. Jim calmly lifted his rod, and there was a nice Brown on the end. This is on the Colorado River below Pumphouse in Early October.

The picture at the right shows Jack Bomabardier up above so named Jack Flats on the Colorado river below Burns. Jack helped us with the pin at Pinball. I went back down to do a float with him on his stretch of the river. It's too nice of a stretch of river not to, and Jack is to be sure a great American. It is real nice piece of the World between Burns and his house. He lives on the river, and knows her well. This is a remote stretch due to its location, and the absence of access. It's twenty miles of dirt road both directions to the black top. There is lots of great fishing water. There looked to be a special serving of great dry fly water when the bugs were up. As we were floating down the river throwing double streamers I said, "Man, that tree looks like something out of a Dr. Suess story". Jack says "Yeah I said the same thing last Friday". What a funny Cottonwood. Little poof clusters of bright leaves. Just upstream of there Jack showed me a slab that had dino footprints. I'd like to say around the next corner we saw some Star Bellied Sneetches, but then I would be telling a story.
Here's Steve McQueen, aka Bob Sanford, driving his custom Hog down the Colorado on the last sunny and warm Saturday of the Fall with his fishing buddy "Rocket Bob" up front. Bob has turned our humble boat into something that should be on the cover of a magazine. He did the custom work on his own, because he wanted to. I love him for that. He's unafraid. This is one time I can say that up close his boat looks even better than it does in pictures. He has marble finishes in the transom, the fish on the front are 3-d cool, and the inside of his boat is trick. He also steady catches fish in a low key manner. He's a man on a fishing mission. Bob epitomizes the saying "you are only limited by your imagination". We are very lucky to know him, and are indebted to the late Bud Phillips for making the connection.