14 January, 2016

A Special Day

In mid-December I got the opportunity to fish a river I've long wanted to explore. A good friend offered to show my Dad and I around this piece of water with a walk-and-wade. No, I'm not telling you where. That just spoils it. You all have a piece of water like this - it's been on your bucket list (or whatever you call it) for years. It intrigues and allures. But it's just remote enough, or has complex access, or is a true challenge to read and fish. Or all of the aforementioned. This was that river.

It's one of those locations where you wish you hadn't put that fly rod company sticker on your truck. Or where you wished you could leave your performance gear at home. Carhartt blends in better than Simms. After some two-trackin' following my buddy we drop one truck and then head upriver.

Stepping into the water was like arriving in mecca. For a steelheader at-heart, this was home. Things just looked fishy. But the holes were small, swift, and challenging to fish. Let's not even talk about what happens when you hook-up. Hang on and good luck!

Though I've been spoiled by owning a drift boat, I must say I still enjoy a good point-to-point wade. You get to see some pretty water in a way that's more intimate. You have the time to read a spot, find the flow, get the right drift, fish several depths, and just generally do it "the right way" as opposed to the drive-by shooting of drift boat fishing.

Early on we set the precedent for my day. Quickly, I am King of the Dinks. I think I ended the day pushing 20 bitty browns and steelhead. But it's cool. I'm catching fish. I'm seeing water I've never seen before. And I'm spending a day sharing this new experience with my Dad (who LOVES exploring) and a great friend.

On a whim we decide Dad should run a shallow trough. Maybe there's someone sitting there looking for a meal? Second drift, the bobber stutters, Dad sets and it's fish on! Funny part is that he thinks he's hooked up on one of my Teeny Tiny's. Nope! After a solid fight, Dad's got a nice dime-bright fish - probably a bit over 8 pounds. 

Later that day, I farm a couple. But I don't really care. I've learned some new water. I've spent time outdoors with people I care about. Most importantly, I've put my mind at-rest over some upcoming surgery that I'm a bit apprehensive about. Outdoor therapy. For me, the best kind.

Get Outside!


13 January, 2016

A Body in Motion

It's an old saw "A body in motion stays in motion...". Over the past month, I've learned that the corollary is equally applicable. Got to have some relatively serious surgery last month (carotid angiogram with stent placement - big fun). While this is a minimally invasive procedure as compared to the external carotid endarterectomy version, it's still got a significant impact on activity.

Recovery was basically a hospital overnight (in the neuro ICU - yet more big fun), followed by a few days taking it easy at home. In reality, it slowed me down for the better part of a couple of weeks. I got a bit too good at watching TV and taking naps. Given that it was December, that's not terrible. 

The more unexpected impact was the healing process for my mobility and activity. Basically, they start in your femoral artery in the groin and then run some gear up in you. This takes a decent sized poke to gain access. My first few days were spent celebrating small victories - like putting on my own socks, or wearing real pants. After that my mobility returned quickly. 

What did not were two things - endurance and motivation. I suppose the two are interlinked. If I know I can't go very far or very hard, I'm not that eager to try. The problem is that this quickly settles in to a bit too much couch time and a few added pounds.

So now I find myself trying to turn the corner. I got out and skied the local bump for a couple of hours - that went well enough. This weekend I may push for a half day. And it's time to get my lazy ass back on the trainer before cycling season returns. Peel off a few Holiday pounds, get my cardio solid again, and get my legs back.

It's funny how motivators work though. Recently I've started to think about a trip West for a few days skiing. And I realize that in order to do that, I'm going to need to get back on it. So we'll see if we can't go from a "body at rest" to a "body in motion" once again! I have a whole ski season in front of me, then cycling will beckon, and before I know it I should be back on my game. Wish me luck!