What I Did On My Summer Vacation (The First Episode)

19 Aug

I have to start out by apologizing for the delay on this trip report. I would say my schedule has been crazy (which it has), but the real reason for the delay has been my mortal fear of becoming a unic late in life, at the hands of wifey.  You can’t take a ten-day fishing trip and then get back and immediately expound upon the awesomeness of it without fear of major repercussions.  A sufficient waiting period must be observed,  if you are like me and take comfort in not having your testicles become the target of a berzerker like rampage at the hands of your significant other.

I have decided to break away from my Naked Lunch, stream of consciousness literary style and actually lend some organization to this post. So let’s start off with the drive out there.  Twenty seven hours straight in the truck,  the smells, sounds, and overall wretchedness of that truck cab will haunt me for the rest of my life.  I still have nightmares about Doritos, beef jerky, and the inevitable sphincter rot that ensued.  Seriously, if there was a way to harness the power of our collective colons on that drive, a psychological weapon, the likes of which man cannot comprehend, could be unleashed on our enemies guaranteeing total world domination.  The highlight of the drive was eating at the Bobber Cafe, a place so weird it was a must we eat there twice.

Apparently the Bobber Cafe is where middle America goes to die, because the collection of the almost dead was numerous and diverse at the Bobber.  I think a fat guy, an old person with an oxygen tank, and the circus freak bus girl (I say girl, but she was at least 97 years old) expired while we were waiting on our chicken fried steaks and choking down cigarettes in the only establishment in America that it’s still legal to smoke at the while you eat.

Pulling into the world headquarters of Hog Island Boatworks, in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO, the fishing could finally begin.  Our timing couldn’t have been better as Hog Fest was scheduled for that very night on a private access reservoir full of rainbows that had a predilection for the foam.  

Another important lesson was learned on the reservoir that day.  Bow lines are your friends when putting a boat in…even on a lake.After getting our fill of fish, food, and drink we retired for the evening and slept off the drive (and the drink) ready to get our first western float in on the Colorado river the next day.  The Colorado is a freestone river and the flows are at the whimsy of mother nature.  Let me be the first to say that Mother Nature can be a cruel wench when it comes to the weather in the Rocky Mountains.  On the drive down to the river we got nailed by what would become the theme of the trip…stormy weather.  We drove past the put in and breathed a sigh of relief when we found good clear water for our float.  Driving up steam of our put in that relief was cast upon the rocks like a virgin being sacrificed to the Kraken, when we came upon a Campbell’s tomato soup commercial where we had expected to see the river.  Like all best laid plans we had to come up with a new one.  The very top section of the river lacked the feeder creeks that screwed us on the lower, so the decision was made to keep going up river.  Unfortunately what the upper section lacks in feeder creeks it more than makes up for with one of the most intense rubber hatches I have seen in a while.  At least a hundred boats full of screaming morons passed us on the way down.  Let me take this opportunity to say that a class three river does in no way warrant screaming your head off for 6 hours straight.  Next time you decide to take a rafting trip please use your inside voices…idiot. We caught some fish early on but the rafters put an end to that pretty quick.    So with a few nice fish under our belts we headed back to Steamboat to fish the Yampa for a little bit while we waited for the Fluff and Buff to be completed on my drift boat by my man John St. Juan over at Hog Island.  

The funny thing is that weekends in Colorado are pretty similar to weekends here in the south.  If a river has fish there are going to be a ton of people fishing it…funny how that works.  Since the Yampa runs through town the access is unlimited as well as the crowds.  Somewhat downtrodden by rafters, tubers, and the public in general we made an appeal to John at Hog Island to show us some good water where the scene was more like a trout river and less like a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s.  John came through like he always does and took us to a special place in Wyoming/Idaho/South Carolina dubbed the “Hopper Hole”.  The hopper hole lived up to its name coughing up some big rainbows that saved the day in what proved to be a great evening session after a long day of dealing with the masses.

This Is Our New Friend...Let's Call Him Uncle Stinky...Honestly I Forgot His Name...Sorry Uncle Stinky...You Rule

That is gonna have to do it for now as my customers are beginning to give me dirty looks, but next time around we’ll talk about Utah and the lively Mormon people who live there, can you say Mormon…I knew you could.

– Nymph-o

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