Traditions are something I try to avoid unless they are the type that mean something AND we can remember what they mean. In that vein, there is one tradition that I find very enjoyable.
Since Josh has been embroiled (for the past two years) in finding a way to finish his MBA program, we have had to forego our annual trip to the Green River for a few days of fishing. This year my wonderful wife insisted that we take up our rods again and go in search of the mighty TROUT!!!
|Joel enjoying our deluxe sleeping arrangements|
As an added bonus we were able to convince Heather and Joel to accompany us on our voyage. We also decided this was the year to hire a guide and float down the river in style. Pretty magical for us and also pretty costly – but that’s what money is for.
|Josh and Heather also liked the room|
Thursday was travel day and we checked in at our accommodations early in the evening. No fishing this day but lots of anticipation for a fantastic journey.
Rising early on Friday we met our guides – but couldn’t go anywhere because two of our younger members (both male) had left their license in the hotel. FIXED
|Nice Brown for the old guy.|
|Our drift boats|
|A quiet spot on the river|
Our guides were Brock and Paul from Old Moe Outfitters. Both fairly young but they have a lot of years on the river so we were confident. The water was clear, cold and very inviting. The fish were abundant, fat and very accommodating to our hooks.
|Josh always has a smile|
No surprise – Heather caught the most fish – we expected that. But all of us had good luck and were delighted with our success. The weather was pleasant and there was very little of the wicked wind we usually encounter. The day was a great success and we felt we had received fair compensation for the payment given.
|Best I can do but Joel makes up for it|
|The lovely couple|
Saturday was for wade fishing and we were anticipating another bounteous day. Josh wanted to go to a section we had never fished before so we hiked up a steep (but not too difficult) hill and began to cast our flies.
And the wind came!!!
And the wind did not leave.
So we did!
It was just too windy to have any success. Too many tangled lines and miserable casts to make it fun.
Heather and Joel went one way back and Josh and I went another.
Should have gone with them.
Let me explain.
Instead of going over the top of the hill, we found ourselves walking a little lower and along the top of some – sort of – cliff like things. Mostly it was easier because we didn’t have to go up to the top of the hill.
But we came to a place where the trail was washed out and there was a drop off of a few feet. Josh jumped over the gap and I prepared myself to do the same. As I considered what was needed I noticed there was a root hanging from the shelf above so I decided to use it to help me make the leap. It really didn’t seem to be that big a deal but it soon became such.
As I launched myself with confidence I noted that my foot landed exactly where I expected. What I did not expect was that the root would decide it had served its purpose and gave up the ghost. Despite my perfect landing, I discovered I was falling backwards towards the rocks behind me. I tried to roll forward (and was successful) but (as Josh described to me later) my body was now headed straight down a steep incline (8-10 feet in length) which terminated in a steep drop to a series of rocks below (30 or so feet down).
I was not aware of any of this (I was trying to stop myself from sliding and I was worried about the two rods I carried in my hand – mine and one I borrowed from my friend Jeff) but tried to brace myself and stop my descent. There was a pushing in my chest and I knew that a fishing rod was pushing against me (my mind was screaming – DON’T BREAK JEFF’S ROD)—oh horrors, I heard the distinct popping sound of graphite breaking. But at least my progress was slowed enough that I could stop before I reached the “drop-off zone.”
|Not the actual place but similar in construction.|
Poor Josh was so stunned that all he could do was pray that my feet didn’t fly up over my head and fling me to a sure death. He was pretty pale when I finally got myself under control -- probably seems weird to see your father nearly fall to his demise.
I wasn’t nearly so disturbed because, frankly, I didn’t know how close a call it was. I was more worried about Jeff’s rod – which was completely uninjured – than I was about my fall. But after Josh explained the predicament we survived I was very grateful for the prayers we offered before we left and for the fortuitous placement of my best fly-rod (which used to be a four piece but is now six).
|Doesn't look that bad but it is very uncomfortable.|
Or I'm just a whiner!
It wasn’t until sometime later I discovered I had sustained some physical injuries (that adrenalin really keeps the body juiced) that are now somewhat uncomfortable. There were also holes in my waders, a broken fly-reel and big scrapes on my boots but overall I was very blessed.
|Joel trying but can't fight the wind.|
|Josh actually caught two but gave up with the rest of us.|
We let the boys fish a little more and then decided to head home a little early. Another great trip with plenty of interesting stories. That’s the tradition I enjoy (though I hope the falling part does NOT become traditional).
Thanks Teresa for letting us have a good weekend. I will make it up to you someday. J