Monday, July 28, 2014

fishing that high country

Fished that high country while the family was away to Michigan.

While I must admit to having little time to write this here blog, I can also attest we have been attempting to wring every bit out of this summer season.  Bike trips to DGO, wilderness backpacking, cutthroat fishing, and yes, backyard landscaping have filled our summer weekends.

So I hope this finds you also, all too busy to sit in front of a computer, and out having fun in god's green acres this summer.  Salud mis amigos!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a giving day

Well in between spring break and working on the meadow last weekend, I did manage to eke out a fishing trip, yay. 

Snuck up to the Ark when no one was looking, at the end of April when the caddis should have been winding down. Not this year tho, looks like I landed right into the thick of it, schweet. 

I hear from the fly shop the caddis are struggling out of the canyon into Coaldale, so I set myself up that first morning at that canyon trading post public access. I find a favorite pullout, start gearing up, eyeing a few other anglers prospecting the reach below the road. The whole time I'm not seeing anyone hook into any fish, despite the fact two of the prospectors were a guide and his sport. 

Huh. Duuude, that's not right, what gives?

I finally get down to the water, see plenty of caddis adults flitting thru the willows and in the lee of the streamside boulders. Scanning out over the water, you'd never know I was in the van of the hatch, there's zero surface activity showing. 

I fish for a couple hours right into prime time, and I've got hardly bumpkis to show for the morning. Just a few fish on the tandem rig. Huh. 

A couple of anglers eventually catch me up, exit the water as I'm switching pupa, we get to talkin. They report a banner day, you guessed it, yesterday. Today? Bumpkis. Huh, that don't sound right.

We part ways, voicing variations of the theory the fish must've had their fill, hatch stalled, too windy, who-the-hell-knows-that's-why-they-call-it-fishing....

Left alone, I fish for another hour, past 2pm, wondering where that pending hatch went. Knowing it's got to be fishing better somewhere, anywhere but here, I pull stakes and head downriver. 

I got me a notion.

I pull into another favorite pullout down below Texas Creek, delighted to see plenty of unpressured water. Once in, I fish thru some unproductive water, my eye on the prize.

See, there's a big sweeping bend below Texas Creek, maybe a half mile in length, so a dry-fly, river-left angler has the outside bend on his side of the river. In a couple of small reaches that bend may shallow up over some broken cobble, into riffles. No so great there, late in the day, if the hatch ain't happening.

No, the best water late in the day is where that fractured boulder field tumbles right into the water's edge, creating all those pockets. Better still, that particular reach where the willows crowd in amongst the boulder all thick like. 

Puuurfect caddis shelter- boulders & willow windbreak right up to the waters edge, boulders breaking the current creating those small eddies behind each and every one, and 2-feet deep water on the outside bend.

Like I was sayin, perfect. 

I get up to the bottom of that reach, and just like last year, and the year before that, I immediately start holding forth in one of my favorite stretches on the Arkansas River, Colorado. 

It's not long before I'm trying to shake off the smaller fish on LDR's, not wanting to burn the valuable daylight drying out the fly after each fish brought to hand. Eventually, my shredded foam caddis hackle comes off all unwound, and I'm forced to re-rig. I get caught-up by another angler, his curiosity piqued by all the commotion I've been putting up. He's got a shit-eating grin on, starts right in on how he's had a banner day fishing that same black foam caddis adult. He's done, having caught his bakers' dozen, and comments how I just seem to be warming up. 

I ask him if he's been prospecting those edges downstream, he says naw, that's where the anglers have all been wading thru. He's been casting out deep, and what a day to show for it, must've caught 15 fish! I nod back down along my path of destruction, suggest he just might want to reconsider those edges tomorrow. He shrugs, we both agree for some the Ark giveth, sometimes the Ark taketh away.

He heads back downstream to his truck, I turn back to lining up unwitting victims. Not long after, I rise and play my next fish, wondering what kinda bullshitter I'd have sounded if I told him I stuck 15 fish in the last hour alone. 

Sometimes she giveth, sometimes she taketh away. With half the reach yet unspoiled, it was indeed one of those days, one of those giving days. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

liquidated damages

Tilled, raked, planted our prairie grass meadow this AM. 

Blue grama, buffalo, Indian ricegrass, wheatgrass, sheep fescue, little bluestem, et al. 

Threw down some meadow wildflowers for good measure. 

Just fired up zone nĂºmero dos on the irrigation controller.   Nothin to do now but just sit back, sip a cervesa, and wait for the show. 

Liquidated damages?  Well it looks like we're just one load of gravel away from Substantial Completion, gonna miss my Memorial Weekend deadline.   Thank goodness I'm my own best client.  

Ain't so bad workin for the Man when you are da Man, amirite?  

8 months from Notice To Proceed, I figure we have somewhere like 22 weekends into this landscape project. To say nothing of those countless hours after work.   

I just counted 13 trees planted, upwards of 30 plants and grasses to date. Add to that- we collectively hauled & shoveled 18cy topsoil, 40cy mulch, 20tons (yes tons) gravel & cobble.  

And you know what?  I'm just a bit tired. ;-)

Thinking some adventure is in order, what say you all?   Maybe Colorado?  Utah hmmmm?  Wyoming?  Let's see where that wind blows~ I'll see youse on the other side, mis amigos. 

Summer 2013:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

back in the saddle

After work rides have officially resumed. Good to get back out there~

Sunday, May 11, 2014

london 2014

Soooo, some bits about our trip across the pond.  Spent 3 days in London, another 3 in Paris, and the better part of a week visiting with family in Ipswich, NE of London.

London was as bustling as you imagined Trafalgar and Picadilly to be.  The tourist central area proved easy to navigate if you stuck to those ubiquitous black cabs.  We hit a ton of sights, each excursion broken up with a quick stop for a pint.  

As you may have heard, there is a friendly pub on virtually every block, sometimes three within sight at any given moment.  Some were updated, complete with faux historical ambiance.  Others were literally hundreds of  years old, retaining their authenticity (modern) plumbing notwithstanding.  New or old, every single one was unique, and a total gem to visit.  The lambshank pie paired with a cask ale du jour was my favorite way to end a busy day touroning it around.

Notable sights included the London Eye, river tripping on the Thames, Parliament & Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster & St Paul's cathedrals, Shakespeare's Globe Theater recreation, high tea at the National Gallery, Picadilly & Trafalgar squares, and of course changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and the Mall.  In between, like 20 different cask ales, yum!

forecast- wet

Looks like both soccer and mtb have dismal prospects today. 

Has me wondering just how early Ska Brewing be opening....

Saturday, May 10, 2014

queue angelic hymns

Don't know if it was the altitude or the climb, but I swear I peaked out at Gudy's Rest to the accompaniment of angelic fanfare. 

And the downs?  Heaven on earth. 

Thinking one too many pints in London, it's gonna be a long road back. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

spring break

Could not come at a better time. 

Thinking these might come in handy- see yuse on the other side mis amigos!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

good morning!

The storm has passed, Spring is nigh upon us!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

order from chaos

With with temps climbing into the 70s this weekend we are back at it.

Four tons compost delivered on Valentine's Day – let's not go there shall we?

We get the grades shaped, nothing left to do but mulch.  Oh, and gravel paths. 

And planting. 

And that pergola project, can't forget that. 

Dayam, that's a lot to get done before runoff.  Better lay out some provisions to see us thru. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

60° and rising

Warming weather today told me to put down the nail gun and get on out.  

Glad I did. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2250 on the Janka scale

Saving the best for last- acacia planks from LL.  Queue sunbeams, unicorns and Last of the Mohicans soundtrack...waaaah! 

One more weekend to install base and casing. 

Mrs Wulf now inferring that home improvement is my real hobby.  

Hmmmm...dry flies, fat tires, and DIY?  Pfffft!