It Ain't Pretty

A Carptribe Kick-Off

He’s like Johnny fuXXing Appleseed.

But he’s a purveyor of big, bad, brown apples.

Bats, peeper frogs, night birds, lizards, snakes, scorpions, and giant night beetles—those are the jungle sounds I had identified in my fevered brain. As I lay on my back in the inky darkness, they were the only audible sounds next to the distant crush of ocean 400 feet down the mountainside.

My eyes blinked against a cold bead of perspiration that rolled from my forehead. I was sweating bullets, but freezing. When I coughed my entire body shuttered. I blinked again and raised my head to make out the time through the mosquito-netting cocoon. Three AM? Four AM? Maybe….

We had the winter itch. It needed to be scratched. So scratch we did.

I’m not usually big into winter fishing. I’ve spent the vast majority of my life’s winter months in the mountains—riding a snowboard. It’s not I’m against fishing in the winter, it’s simply that I like being on the side of a mountain, better than almost anything else on this planet. It has been like this since I was three years old.

Death Bridge

Local guides call it Death Bridge. From the road it looks old and crusty. Up close in a drift boat it looks down right scary. The ancient railroad trestle runs across a section of an anonymous river in south central Colorado. Structurally speaking this bridge was clearly built in an era long past. A combination of cement and wood support form the abutments, which are spaced much closer together than those constructed today. Once you are intimate with Death Bridge you can see that the water does not flow clearly through. The river pushes up against each abutment at an awkward angle –pulling whatever comes in its path against the old support pylons. Putting a drift boat under Death Bridge is like threading a needle.