The kids had separate spring break schedules this year so the girls went to the beach and Michael and I went to the mountains. It was to be Michael’s very first fly-fishing adventure. I managed to locate a great guide (a retired federal law enforcement officer who only guides about 10 days a month) who made the experience one to remember. Fishing with Jeff was like fishing with an old friend. We managed to skirt the weather between massive thunderstorms and tornadoes as well but, alas, the fish did not cooperate.
It was Michael’s first fly fishing adventure. The next one will have to be his first catching one…
I will brag on him, though. He really took to it and stuck to it. He spent 8 and 11 hours on the water over the two days without landing a fish and never once complained or got tired of the endeavor. And, he did an absolutely outstanding job learning to cast and manage the fly rod. I think he will be a natural. Also note the effort by our guide. I have been with a lot of guides and never had one stay on the water with me for anything close to 11 straight hours.
This is Michael hooked up to his best quarry – a very nice brown trout. He got this one all the way to near his feet before it pulled loose. Very close…
I should mention that, in this same time, supposedly accomplished fisherman Dad only managed to land two trout so the fishing was really not what it was supposed to be. The wet spring really got us I guess.
Speaking of wet…since we were up there, and the thunderstorms blew out the river for our last two days (it was chocolate brown and two feet higher than in these pics) we decided to go whitewater rafting. It was a blast.
We had scouted the situation thoroughly the previous day – including looking up pictures of recent trips to find two separate occasions of small girls (about Michael’s size) being launched from the raft on the final class III rapids/falls of the trip we were to take. Michael said, oh well, “what’s the worst that could happen…?” and decided to just go for it. So we did.
Here we are approaching the dreaded final falls… Michael leaning hard as he sits in the exact seat from which the previous suckers had been launched.
We came to find during the journey that the rafting guides derive much of their pleasure from driving the raft into as many large waves as possible so as to soak the customers with 50 degree water and, by all evidence, the ultimate challenge is to see if they can launch the poor un-suspecting soul in front left into what is called a “whitewater swimmer”.
Here we are as we crash down into the trough of the rapids. You can barely see Michael as he is completely covered by the resulting wave of ice cold water. That’s me in the blue hat behind him. I’ve got the back of his lifevest in my left hand. NO WAY is he going anywhere…
And so, that is pure joy of the conquest you see as we emerge from the falls all still in the boat…oh, but wait…who’s that doing a back-flip off the driver’s seat…?
Our trusty guide, of course. It was a full 20 seconds before we all realized he was gone. I was looking around the raft and said “yeah, we’re all here. we all made it. wait, who’s that in the water? 1-2-3-4-5 yeah, we’re all here…oh…IT’S CARL!”. We finally got it together and paddled down river, caught up to him and brought him back in the boat. He says it is only the second time (in four years of trips, twice a day for four months) that he has gone in. I believe it because the rest of the staff sure seemed tickled to death.
So, all in all, a very successful trip – even without good fishing. Larger versions of these and the rest of the pictures can be viewed here.