95 Degrees and Freezing

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The Wandering Blues
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95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by The Wandering Blues » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:27 pm


BigGuy came up for a visit to Nuevo Meh-hee-Co to fish the venerable San Juan. Since I’ve known him, he’s regaled me with tales of the early days up there under the watchful eye of our patriarch of local guiding, Harry Lane. It had been many years since he had visited and, while we were flogging the bayou earlier this year, I put a bug in his ear about rolling north.

His son Clay, aka LittleGuy, or BigGuy Jr, or BigGuy 2.0 came along as well and provided a fine level of drama to the weekend. More on that later... Pulled into the place we were staying at and it seemed promising.
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But, knowing this was a ‘boys weekend,’ the garden sculptures gave me a pause. Fortunately, I heard no banjos or saw any pics of Ned Beatty.
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Air temps were high 90’s for the trip. I honestly never though I’d be wearing waders in that kind of weather, but they were an absolute necessity. Water temps coming out of Navajo Lake were hovering between 39-41 degrees. Damn strange to have sweat trickling down your back when you can’t feel your feet. The fish didn’t mind and it took all of a few minutes to get on the board.
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I started out Czech nymphing as the flows were at 1100cfs, roughly twice what I’d ever waded there before. But, Bruiser tied us up some classic San Juan midges (read as size 22-26) that I felt compelled to work. Good call. Even in high water, they worked well.
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BigGuy & Son got in late afternoon and we grabbed what was left of the day. There’s something right and proper about seeing generations on the water, whether it’s Careless Ethiopian and his little fella, or BigGuy and a 40 year old son. We fished til the sun went below the horizon.
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And closed the evening sippin libations from custom Pyrex Catagonia tumblers.
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Next day, the flows drop to 600 for a kid’s derby. While it made the river more crowded, it was an amazingly worthwhile cause, and it put the fish on the chew.
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Stepping back a second, I mentioned LittleGuy offering up a little drama. First afternoon, he went swimming. I’m talking multiple dunks, the involuntary gasp when 39 degree water hits you. We all (well at least me and BigGuy) got a laugh out of it as he slogged back a mile to the truck.

Next day, despite us warning him, he went under on the same damn rock he slipped on the first day out. I was just getting ready to rub salt in the wound when I heard him in a panic. His wedding ring had come off... He’s a newlywed... And his bride is a Cajun gal... And the ring was custom made from his grandpa’s ring. Fuck......

We looked in the hole where he slipped for about 30 minutes for nada. The water depth was 3-4 feet, and the clarity was iffy at best. Upstream, there were some of the kids and guides kicking up silt, which is usually a meal ticket for downstream anglers on the San Juan. I left the search to ask if they’d be willing to relocate while we searched. Not gonna lie- I though it was futile.

About 100 yds up the bank I hear BigGuy saying for me to hurry my ass back. LittleGuy had slipped and gone under again on the same damn rock. Only this time it was a good thing. BigGuy spotted a glint and sure as hell, there was the ring in deep water. BigGuy had an old school, fine mesh net he propped downstream of the ring. I stabbed at it with the point of my wading staff and, on the ultimate ring toss, we flipped it into the net for the win!
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Beers were drank, fish were caught. And in the end, it was a nice visit. Hoping BigGuy chimes in with some pics as well.
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"We're a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent...."
180 Degrees South

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Ruddy Duck
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by Ruddy Duck » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:24 pm

Fantastic Curtis.

Great pick of lad and dad.

Can't believe he found the ring. His persistent clumsiness paid off I suppose.

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markl
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by markl » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:30 pm

The Wandering Blues wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:27 pm

Stepping back a second, I mentioned LittleGuy offering up a little drama. First afternoon, he went swimming. I’m talking multiple dunks, the involuntary gasp when 39 degree water hits you. We all (well at least me and BigGuy) got a laugh out of it as he slogged back a mile to the truck.

Next day, despite us warning him, he went under on the same damn rock he slipped on the first day out.
OK, how do you fall in the same hole, off the same rock multiple times over 2 days?!!? No, I don't mean 'how?', as in 'I slipped'. I mean, 'how?', as in 'the reason my brain didn't work'.

Looks like a great trip with lots of fish. Well done, especially on retrieving the ring. Gollum would be proud (happy?).

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The Wandering Blues
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by The Wandering Blues » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:11 pm

markl wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:30 pm

OK, how do you fall in the same hole, off the same rock multiple times over 2 days?!!? No, I don't mean 'how?', as in 'I slipped'. I mean, 'how?', as in 'the reason my brain didn't work'.

Looks like a great trip with lots of fish. Well done, especially on retrieving the ring. Gollum would be proud (happy?).
Once he had the ring back, it was open season as far as pulling his chain, even brutal. Last day, he steered well away from what we coined “Wedding Ring Rock.”

The Precious was locked up the rest of the trip.
"We're a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent...."
180 Degrees South

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D-nymph
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by D-nymph » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:15 pm

Dang, nice desert fish too.
"The devil's pourin drinks and his daughter needs a ride" - III

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fly-chucker
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by fly-chucker » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:20 pm

markl wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:30 pm


OK, how do you fall in the same hole, off the same rock multiple times over 2 days?!!? No, I don't mean 'how?', as in 'I slipped'. I mean, 'how?', as in 'the reason my brain didn't work'.
A slow learner or stubborn, knowing his old man, I'm going with the latter.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." -CC

"Get off the water you dumb asses…there is a shit storm coming." -Pancho Rancho

"Fucker compared my small stream trout weenie cast to an epileptic with Tourette’s Syndrome." -Carpe Tructa

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Bigguy
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by Bigguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:34 pm

Well that’s most of the story, but Wandering Blues left just a few things out. So I’ll elaborate...just a little.
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Apparently, my son is not very accustomed to catching the red eye to Albuquerque. He was in serious need of Red Bull,
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Accommodations were sparse to say the least. The place had limited electrical outlets, but more importantly, no coffee/whiskey sipping cups. Pyrex measuring cups are a very low cost alternative.
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This became a daily ritual for my son. WB did his share taking a tumble and getting a little damp.
In the midst of landing a fish, I had to chase down his camera case. Managed to net both without taking a dunk myself.
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WB’s magnifiers also disappeared necessitating a trip to town to get replacements.
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Wandering up that afternoon he found his glasses in his waders.
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Sometimes we had a bit too much company, some were high-holing ass-hats!
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But there were times where the crowd thinned. Good to watch my son play feisty fish.
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I’m trying to educate the boy on the proper Drakian fish pose.
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But he still backslides every now and then.
We got to see some of the locals
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.
WB’s balls needed a little explaining.
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Oh, yeah, I even managed to catch a few. This poor old gal has seen better days, not much fight left, but she’s still pretty!
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All in all, a great trip. Celebrating my son’s fortieth birthday and spending time on the water with WB. All in a place where I really began fly fishing thirty years ago. The river has changed a lot over the years, but by the second day all of my memories of days spent with my dad and son came flooding back!

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Bigguy
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by Bigguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:54 pm

POSTSCRIPT
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I’ve had the good fortune of sharing the water with some of the Drakian Brotherhood, and have to say, Wandering Blues is as good as they come! Hope we get the chance to hit ‘em again sometime soon.

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SOBF
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by SOBF » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:09 am

Well done all around.

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B.M. Barrelcooker
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by B.M. Barrelcooker » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:27 am

Dang that looks great !!!
"worst that can happen is a big fat zero and a fine walk out of doors"---Chadroc

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LA Fly Guy
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by LA Fly Guy » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:27 am

Hell hath no fury like a mad Cajun mama. Good on yous guys getting that ring back.

The Barrelcooker knows a thing or two about finding lost rings.

Nice fish and looks like awesome trip with good company.
... there are two kind of anglers, sight fishermen and the rest of you. If you don't see it first, it doesn't count. - Long Haired Dave

Bait fishermen and flatlanders that can't catch redfish spend more time fishing for specks - Redchaser

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markl
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Re: 95 Degrees and Freezing

Post by markl » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:02 am

"All in all, a great trip. Celebrating my son’s fortieth birthday and spending time on the water with WB. All in a place where I really began fly fishing thirty years ago. The river has changed a lot over the years, but by the second day all of my memories of days spent with my dad and son came flooding back!"

This.

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