Friday, May 28, 2010

Afflictions of Altitude

- cracked, chapped lips
- boogies
- shortness of breath while chasing fat fish up and/or downstream

Monday, May 24, 2010

4UR weather at 7:00 am this monday morning:

Goose Creek is separated into 15, ~1/2 mile beats. saw this sign while en route to station 15:
ranch horsies:
speaking of horses, on sunday, Boone and I were in the White Lightning, en route to fish, when we came around a bend in the ranch road and saw a horse just chowing down on some nice green grass in front of one of the ranch cabins. it was out of the pen, where all the other horses are. i stopped the car and we both looked at the horse, then at each other. "is that horse supposed to be out of the, um, pen?" i asked. we did not know the answer to this question. "it's eating all that nice green grass! aren't we supposed to be making the grounds look real good?" "yea, we should tell someone about that." it's a common theme at the ranch that while everyone has their specific duties that they are definitely responsible for, if something needs to be done, and you see that it needs to be done, you do it. being our first week at the ranch and all, we turned the car around and looked for a higher-up to report our findings to and see what we should do about the situation. it seemed like something should be done soon. we spotted the ranch manager's wife and the head guide's wife walking down the road so we drove up to them, put down the windows and said in a somewhat urgent voice, "hey! there's a horse right over there! out of the pen! what should we do?!" we received the strangest looks, followed by "ahh, yea, that horse is just eating... it's fine." Boone and i looked at each other. "oh, yea, ok," we said and then drove off. we've been imagining the conversation that followed between the two ladies:

"um, were they serious?"
"east coasters. probably never seen a horse before."
"yea, they should really just stick to fishing."

in other news, i went for a run today and did not make it over the last hill before home without walking. that mountain air! i did beat the ranch managers' kids in H.O.R.S.E though.
haven't seen a single Celtics game since i got to Colorado. OT loss? bah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


i made it to colorado!
stops along the way included: the fine city of Portland, Maine; Boston; Arlington; Brooklyn; Manhattan; South Bend, Indiana; Lincoln, Nebraska for the C's; Lexington, Nebraska; Denver; Fort Collins.

brooklyn to south bend was a good 10 hours, south bend to lexington was long 14, lexington to denver a smooth 5. i drove across the country and back with my folks when i was a little fellow, so while the landscape from say, ohio to denver was certainly flat, it was pretty much my first look at it all, so it was interesting, if not exciting. i think any road you've never been on holds some excitement, right? that said, there were definitely times when i'd get to daydreaming and wonder where the last 2 hours and 150 miles went.

i had great stays with the fine folks in all those cities mentioned above and was greeted with much fun and hospitality in colorado with Liz, Ben, Zona, Lucretia, Mandy and Menig in denver and then a great rendez-vous with Lucas in fort collins. i left denver on the morning of tuesday the 18th and drove south and west towards Creede and the 4UR Ranch, where i'll be for the summer.
if there has been one theme in this here web log besides things picatorial, it is new places. colorado is no exception and the Ranch isn't either. it was a weird feeling as i entered colorado and then thought to myself, ok, i live here now. same when i finally made it to the entry gate at the 4UR. when i arrived i didn't know what to expect but did expect some sort of instruction on what to do, but there weren't many people around. i soon found someone though and got some direction and began moving into an empty bunkhouse, Creekside. it brought back memories of moving into Hedge and trying to decide which bed to take, which set of drawers, etc, etc. as it turns out i've got my own room for the time being, but one guy is coming in late so we'll see who gets the roommate. i'm going to claim that my snoring justifies a single.
the ranch is wild and incredible to say the least. it's easy to get lost in thought or lost in thoughtlessness while looking around at the scenery here. elevation at the ranch is 8500 feet and at the headwaters of Goose Creek (the water i'll be doing the majority of my guiding on) are 9000+ feet. i haven't gone for a jog yet but i've certainly felt some wind in my lungs, most notably after picking up 75 pound pieces of cottonwoods a couple days ago for an afternoon.

i've been pretty busy in the past 2 and a half days so i haven't snapped too many pics but there'll be many to come.
i got on the water for the first time yesterday evening with one of my fellow guides Boone, from south carolina. he is a character and a sweet dude. we both stung three or four last night and both put a couple in the net this evening as well, mostly rainbows but one or two browns and also a cutthroat-rainbow hybrid.

this afternoon the guide staff (Andy, head guide, Drew, Boone and myself) fished together, talking about the water and guiding and getting guided by each other. i was handed the road first and Andy was the guide. in the first 30 minutes of ever fishing with Andy, i think i got hung up on snags 5 times, lost 4 flies, had 2 tangles and then hooked, fought and landed a 20" rainbow. Boone grabbed the rod next and hooked and landed a fish on his first cast. i had some nerves to say the least. but soon i was fishing well and hooked several others during the afternoon's "work". Drew took the stick next and lost one a few minutes later and then Andy made two casts and landed a rainbow that trumped us all. watching really good fishermen is something else.

so, there is much to tell still but this cat is pretty tired this evening.
that crazy cliff in the distance above is called The Palisade. it's pretty amazing. that's Goose Creek above. Boone took the picture of me with a nice rainbow i landed. i'll get that from him soon.

i hope everyone is well. internet is slow here, cell phones don't work on the ranch and my "dorm" phone is currently not working ha. kinda nice!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


white lightning is packed. i shall now leave the concrete jungle and head west.

is everybody in?

Monday, May 10, 2010

"i have many things planned"

hello! meow! a lot has gone one since i left the west coast. i worked my way up the east coast, seeing close friends all the way.

the final city route went like this: los angeles - los olivos - berkeley - san francisco - seattle - portland - charlottesville - nyc - hartford - boston - portland - searsmont (town, not a city).
i saw a lot of places and things i hadn't seen before. saw some friends i hadn't seen for a while, seeing more and more as i got closer to maine and portland. that city still feels like home for me, not in any small part due to the fine, fine folks that live there.
while on a train from virginia to new york city i became friends with a nice young woman who was headed to the city as well. we told many stories, had many thoughts and many laughs. when Nealin was in college she told me that she went on a kick of accepting date invitations to whoever offered. one one such date, upon meeting the gentleman she asked what he wanted to do and he replied, "i have many things planned." an interesting beginning to a date i suppose but also somewhat appropriate for the conversations we shared and also this little thing called life.
i have many things planned.
the last time i wrote i did not know what was next. now i do. what's next? the 4UR Ranch! i was offered a position as a Fishing Guide for the summer on the ranch. i'm pumped. all this fishing i've been doing here and there i'll put to use on Goose Creek and the Rio Grande this summer. in regards to angling, i strongly believe that the more and varied angling one does makes them a better angler. i have done a good amount of angling for a fairly wide range of species. it'll be a whole new ballgame in SW Colorado this summer. it will be challenging. but i am up for this challenge. much more on this to come...
White Lightning is packed and awaits me outside Captain Lane's apartment here in Arlington, MA. i'm off to Brooklyn and the big apple here shortly and then the rig turns west where the next stop will be Denver. unfortunately i'll have to ride hard to make time to Colorado, but that's what it is. at any rate, i will be updating the blog more often this summer.
i've heard from a fair amount of people that they have enjoyed following this here web log while i was down under. i very much appreciate all your kind words. i hope you can keep reading while the freedom continues to be sought. i also encourage you to make comments on the posts - questions you'd like answered, things you'd like to see pictures of or just a "hell yea!"
one of the many things i have learned since departing Maine last October is that i love my friends. i am truly blessed with a cast of unbelievable characters that make up my group of friends and i would be lost without them. countless couches i have slept on, countless drinks shared and and even less countable number laughs shared. thank you everyone. i love you all.
i had a lunch date with my grandmother while at home and at one point she asked me, "so jess have you found any place better to live than Maine?" i thought about the question for just a moment and while my response is true i guess i hadn't really said it to myself before. "not yet, grandma," i said, "not yet."
the above fish, a fine St. George brown trout specimen, took 7 fly changes before rising to my fly. the harder the fish, the better it feels to catch 'em.