50 Shades of Brown

I've been spending a great deal of time with our new camera. My new toy for an old fetish had me proudly walking around Savannah Georgia with the "I'm a tourist badge" hung around my neck, big deal. The books say spend part of everyday with your tool in your hand and you will get better with it. So I figure I need to shoot lots of pictures if I'm gonna get my next dream job at TMZ (that's like the national inquirer for you over 40's). I found out it can pay off.

I sat perfectly quiet, crouched over, hood up and motionless on the top of the hotel like some voyeur working on my youporn account . I'm scared to move even the camera in fear that the mob scene in front of me will spot my sniper like position. What a view,I was close enough  to know there were at least 40 bodies wreathing and pulsing to obvious adult activity in 2 separate tubs, but I couldn't get closer. Now I've studied my share of porn and I'm pretty sure this was an orgy I was trying to film and all I could concentrate on was aperture and the polarized filter thingy. I could tell the females were the main attraction, but from where I was sitting it seemed to me like most of the ladies getting the action were on the large side and for sure mature. Guess it all depends on what you are into. You could see the boys lined up for their turns, showing off and brilliantly strutting around while chasing youngsters from the dude line. Once in a while a chick would leave the tub and slowly try and get to the hotel while being chased and tormented by younger  males who had not gotten their turn. Most left the party looking totally exhausted, bruised and scared, their colorful outfits seemed ripped as they quickly ran for some solitude. The dudes shamelessly and tirelessly committed themselves to this seemingly acceptable fantasy gang bang, I wonder if they would have been more discreet if they knew they were on film?  Had this whole 50 shades of Gray stuff just taken over? They were not even trying to hide what they were doing, it was raw and at times powerful to watch a whole community be that open.

My perch atop the hotel, it's tough to tell but I am about 8' above the water . The fish were using the under cut shadows of hotel rock to hide or rest.

Shades of Brown, my view of some of the nookie.

Now get your minds out of the gutter, you knew we were discussing Brown trout spawning behavior right? The low water this fall has given us a chance to see things we might not get to see if the water levels were normal. Now watching a spawning redd is really just a waste of time because none of us would ever be that disrespectful to wild fish. But like porn...it's cool to watch. This pit is right in downtown Minturn, everyone knows its there and it's a well guarded no fishing zone, the sign does not say anything about fishing with a camera though. During the 2 hours it took for me to get 5 pictures, at least 3 sets of people walking dogs passed behind me and I didn't move, I'm almost positive a little girl used the word troll.. Every time I moved even slightly it seemed at least one fish saw me. Now I know it's rare to have that many eyes on you in one pool, or to be sitting 8' above them, but it reinforced in me how much they actually do see, even when they are concentrating on getting busy (typically when I am my blindest).How a fish behaves is pretty valuable information. Observing how fish in your watershed , in your secret spot or in your back yard live is priceless. A bright spot in low water years is the ability to observe more but you have to fish less because they see so much more, just like us.

Small water

I find myself casting less and less these days, especially when I have the chance of doing some sight fishing and lightly pressured small water always offers that up nicely. A trip with Specialist Logan J to Crik X was a great opportunity to creep around and watch what the fish were doing while someone's bugs were in the zone.  The gin clear low water and the almost blue colored sediment made it very easy to watch a healthy trout population react to what we were doing. This was a nice change from the Eagle which badly needs  its dusty floor vacuumed. One fish holding in a bucket the size of Karma's dog bed let me get to within 8' and hit her with at least tippet a dozen straight casts before she freaked.  How close could we get while we while we spotted from the bushes? Were males responding differently than females? Were they feeding on naturals and where in the water collum? How far would spooked fish move? How important was tippet size or fly pattern? Fishing less to fish you can see can fill you full of info for the next time you are blind fishing. Treat your approach like every eye in the river is on you and you are doing something you don't want them to see.

Logan Be Johnson hooked up.

Blog Season

WHEW! Lots to catch up on now that the rat race is over. Highlights a many from a tough year with mother nature (still) . I know it's cliche but the more I am around this the more I enjoy the experience and the people over the fishing anyways.

It's always watching, I'm always watching it.....you are usually looking at your hands.
Sweatshirts with the Dark Bobber logo coming soon, probably to a fly shop near Minturn.

America Cup continues to be one of my favorite events of the year. The after hour activities involved 3 women instead of machetes,  Sando and Zim. Things were clearer to me after that night or at least my head felt great the next day.  Mikey D from that green island giving me a world class lesson on how to row a boat on a loch over shadowed winning a net as FN Volunteer Man. Re gifted that gorgeous net to the most interesting man in fishing ...Bond.

There was the MA Teequeelay, Mohawks  Redfish, 4am starts, Rudy and the One this year. A very special thanks to Wonder bread, Skittles, JuJu anything, Chi Wulff, Monahan, Mr J and my best friend...Kitty. Rader slayed a good one down low, that's one I will remember, and Fieldsy (Faldo) definitely shot under par. LaChance met a good one while the cameras were running and sweet justice came to breakfast for Eddie as he claimed my Public water fish of the Year....14 strokes into my day. There were gentleman hats, A trip with Kit to the Juan, Sam's first Eagle float, largemouth in GA and our first 8 min Heli trip.

 "Don't worry ladies, I'll handle the netting today"

 Bravely I faced the Lord of the Dark Aura and avoided drunken rattlesnakes while kindly teaching the "art" to new friends with a smile, no matter how impossible the situation. For one magical 10 day period this summer the average age of my new friends was either dying or just getting pubes, success involved blow pops and a nap, not 18" fish. Sell, sell, sell and book it back fired a few times this year, just ask the 11 year old girl who thought she was going to crush clay pigeons all afternoon (keep growin Katie) or the "scenic" horse back trip through down town Wolcott. I transported one dog and 2 ankle biters under 4 in the boat this year...sell, sell, sell, starts to sound like hell, hell, hell, don't get me started on lunches. How about the 3 China men chain smoking in front of the shop during a fire ban, half our state was on fire and these lads considered cancelling the trip if they couldn't choke down butts. No one understood a word I said that day, not even "fire" and apparently "No smoking" does not translate to Mandarin but "$50 dollar fine" does . My Olympus waterproof, shock proof camera was not sink proof, if it was I swear I have a picture of Jackie Chan puffing a Winston.

Happily I finish every busy season to the reality check that is Reel Recovery. Big thanks to Paul and the Reeder Creek Ranch for the chance to help Gary forget for a bit and for me to remember. That is a gentleman, a fish and a series of events that highlighted my summer. My friend Mark Shaw, a graduate of sorts has finally begun to fill the hole in his brain with fishing junk instead of cancer...Be Well, Fish On.

So there, I'm back for another season of writing about nonsense instead of living it.