Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pecos River Teaser

 As time keeps moving on, there are so many things that fall by the wayside, never to be thought of again. Or at least not for a long time. The Pecos River trip back in June is not one of those things. I think about it often. Not as much about the flood, or the loss of gear, or any of the negative things that surrounded us during the end of the adventure. No, the things I have been thinking about are the bright spots from the trip. The camps, the endless rapids, the wild horses, the canyon walls that reached so high it looked as if they touched the clouds. Even Bert's deer sausage brings back some fine dining memories. We chowed down on it while relaxing after a set of big rapids that had it's way with us, and a day earlier waiting on Dan and Ryan to get back from a spring recon mission. Just little pieces from an amazing experience I don't want to forget.
 But it's a lot of work to get all that video and photos together. Then get it in a working video that you hope will bring the viewer along with you for the ride. It's too easy to find a back burner for such a project. Especially when the previous days on the trip were extremely overshadowed by the last 12 hours and a chopper ride.
 Well, I figured it's about time to at least get started on all the video that I took from the trip. So Sunday evening I began a very difficult task of getting everything somewhat organized. Then the process of watching them all again (hence the memory spark) and getting where I can use them. I realized very quickly how the beginning was easy to start editing with. Tripod, composition, timing. Then at mile 2, I took a bad spill, flipped and lost some gear. More unexpected, I lost a big chunk of my confidence and the "i'm a seasoned river runner....i'm in control" arrogance so many of us pretend we don't have. That hole was soon filled with self doubt and hesitation. Not a good combo on day one. Still makes me mad thinking about that sometimes. But it got better. Much better. Although after that, I started noticing my filming became more sporadic and all handheld. I was focusing more on the river than my documenting it. The plan had changed without my approval...and there was nothing I could do about it. (obviously i'm not much on giving up control). The next few days I did get quite a bit of video....quite a bit of shaky, spur of the moment, and ill timed video. It reminds me of a quote from online I saw years ago, "Looks like you filmed that with a potato." Needless to say, it is taking a long time to get some of these videos in working order.
 BUT...I have a start.  Here is a quick teaser from the first part of our trip.

Even after everything...the good, the bad, and the ugly...this trip is still the highlight of my river career.

Thanks for coming along,

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Well Needed Day Off

 It's been nearly six weeks since I have been able to get on the water. Work has gone crazy and you have to get it while you can. Hopefully this will be the longest stretch until next year. It's always tough around this time, but six weeks really stinks. So I was extremely excited to be able to get out on Tuesday. The weather was beautiful with a expected high of 90 and a light wind, which ended up being 15-20. (far from light, but oh well)
 It started out a little frustrating since I realized after fifteen minutes down the highway to the river, I forgot to pick up my poppers I had made a few days before. Grrrrr. Who cares, i'm not turning around.
I dropped in at 8am and started having the time of my life. It's amazing how good that kayak seat feels when you've been out of it for a while. I couldn't of asked for a prettier morning.

The fishing was slow at first, but we finally agreed on what they wanted for breakfast.

Most of the catches were small, but so much fun. Especially after the first fish that washes any chance of getting skunked away. After that, it's all gravy. Even the first portage around a dam wasn't so bad with 2 fish in the boat and only 45 minutes in.

 Right after the dam, there is a stretch I always like to hit on the fly. It has plenty of swift moving water that drops off into a rocky ledge and into a bigger area.

 And since I left my dang new poppers at the house, I had to settle for the ol' faithful Wooly Bugger to chunk at those finicky dudes.

There is just something about catching a nice fish on a fly rod. It makes it even better when it's on a fly you've tied. I guess that's why I like to take photos of some of the "bigger" little fish. It makes you feel pretty proud of yourself.

Then the uppity fish gets all camera shy and slaps your camera.

There was one I caught, that out of all the years on this river, I don't remember ever catching down there. I wasn't sure what it was called, but after help from some pals, it is a Rock Bass also called Warmouth. Very cool red eyes. It was a fighter, and was also told they are born angry and stay that way.

 Anddddd since i'm not going to bore anyone with a long video of small fish, here's a couple of action photos.


Overall, another awesome day on the water. The fish were small, but plentiful. I didn't get a final count mainly because the pan fish while flyfishing were up in the twenties just by themselves. I know I had 11 bass, and not one of them over 18 inches.

It's looking as if my days off won't get normal for a few more weeks, but i'll take whatever I can get. It's amazing after working day in day out, I just don't mind the pushing, pulling, dragging, stumbling, and everything in between, that it takes to get a little piece of mind.

Thanks for coming along,