Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Fitzman is Back!!

After "suffering" through days of blown out rivers, downtime in Salida, and fishing with #20 midges for finicky trout, the Fitzman finally got back to what he is good at - thowing big dry flies to hungry trout! I knew yesterday would be a stellar day when I got out of the truck to look over a stretch of the Arkansas River and grasshoppers were *everywhere*. So, it being windy, I strung up my trusty 6 wt rod, tied on an orange stimulator, and headed down the embankment to fishing heaven. I landed 17 browns and 1 rainbow, and had at least that many hooked but lost in the current or whatever. It was a blast. The highlight of yesterday was a cast I made where my fly drifted behind a rock where I just knew a fish was laying in wait. I counted one..two...set the hook and low and behold there was a trout on. I just busted out laughing...and I just know these people floating down the river thought I had a bolt or two lose. The strikes were sometimes explosive and the trout would rise out of the water on the hit. Then again, the bigger trout just seemed to sip or suck the fly in. Either way, it was some "good action!"

Today was another good day albeit started slow and it seemed like I didn't know what the hell I was doing for the first hour or so. Then things got hot and the fish were turned on. Didn't keep a fish count today, but it was as good as yesterday. The river at wellsville was flowing at 3,800 a few days ago, and now it's at 3,000 or probably below by now. The Arkansas River will be perfect for fishing in just a few days.
The browns in the river average on the small side, but nice gold bellies - and they fight like hell! Didn't take many pictures cause it's much more fun to catch em, but here's a few. The white cross was not there last year, god bless whoever. Good spot though - I caught two trout just below the cross (knock-on-wood).

Had the first "disaster" of the trip when a pack of shoestring potatos I bought to make easy hash browns broke open in the cooler. The 4-wheeling does that every time. Remember what cherrios look like when left in milk too long? Needless to say, the cooler had to be broke down and completely washed. The lil blonde customer service chick at Safeway gave me a new bag free saying "nobody could make that story up". Speaking of customer service, the guy I met at Mama D's actually did come through with the Grateful Dead concert CD's of the show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 1977 that a friend of mine at Georgia Tech bought me a ticket for but I didn't go (calculus test and I didn't really know what the GD were all about). Anyhow, it will be interesting to finally hear the show I missed, although it's an MP3 CD and my truck doesn't play it :(
Leaving for the Conejos in the morning and won't be back in internet range for a week or so. Took my last warm shower for awhile tonite, and I am sure looking forward to being back in my Conejos home waters in the second week in July - what is better than that eh? Sad to say goodbye to my Sugarbush camping neighbors from Kansas - the Shandy's, Tim (leader of the band), Lynn (the fire-builder), Colin (the fart-meister), and baby Zada (hope I spelled that right, the chipmunk attractor). They were a good time, funny, and nice folks - so I included a picture. Tim - maybe next year we find Stout Creek Lake using your GPS eh? Regardless, thanks for all the Coors beers and bein a good camper neighbor!

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