Monday, October 31, 2011
The sun had yet to make an appearance, leaving the foothills in the west a mysterious silhouette still recovering from a long weekend. The smell of the freshly ground French Roast teased life into me, as I waited impatiently for the coffee maker to go through the slow process of brewing the first pot of the week. And as the two groggy bulldogs jumped off the bed, there was no retreating back to the warm comfort that I had foolishly left without so much as one hit of the snooze button. The week had begun.
Pouring the last of the pot of coffee into the aging travel mug, I gave the dogs one last scratch behind the ears. Reminding them to be good. A small request that often goes unheard, like a parent reminding their kids to wash their hands after recess. And locking the door behind me, I failed to come up with a decent excuse to get out of work for the day, my car started without incident.
I found my desk just how I left it, comfortably scattered. But being familiar with the mess, I found the list of people I needed to contact for the week, and relaxed for the first time since waking up. Like most mondays, I spend the better part of the morning trying to remember the events of the last two days. Wishing I had done some things differently, but happy to be off from work, and spending time in the outdoors, chasing trout up and down the canyon.
This past weekend however, was filled with grass skirts, a halloween party, and football. A fun, atypical weekend, that was more recognizable to a college sophomore, than a working stiff, nursing the last of his coffee in a cubicle. So not having fished in nine days, the thoughts of the last trip up the Poudre seemed like the appropriate place to start my week. Replacing the memories of craft beers, Magnum PI, and a poorly played football game, by a hideous football team that will go unnamed.
I had written a post a while back entitled “Up the Poudre”, a tribute to the first time that I fished the Poudre River. My wife and I had moved to Colorado the month before. Her for work, and me hoping to find a job in a down economy. So I wasn’t surprised when the more reasonable member of our household requested that I not fish until solid employment was gained. How could I argue?
Since that first trip up the canyon, a lot of things have happened. I have been able to fish a river that up until a year or two ago was more of a wish than a reality. I have learned to fish differently from the familiar waters I had known in Minnesota, adjusting to conditions and water that was completely foreign to me, and often times still is. I have started a blog, sharing some of my experiences with people that graciously take the time to read with one small click of their mouse. But more important than that, I have met new people, either on the river, or through this median.
A few short weeks after the frenzy, I caught wind of a friend making his way to the front range, traveling from his home at the top of the mitten in Michigan. Jason Tucker was to fly into Denver, meet up with fellow fly fishing opportunist Jen Kugler, and meet me up in Fort Collins for a couple days of fishing the Poudre and beyond. A friend I had yet to meet, fishing together for the first time, wading in water I wanted to show off. Needless to say, I was excited.
By the time we arrived at the pullout of what would ultimately be the last spot we fished together, the three of us had slid into a comfortable rhythm. A rhythm more telling of friends that had been at it for years, let alone two days. And as we put distance between us and the truck, we walked in silence. Comfortable just to be in each other’s company, not worried about an awkward silence than can sometimes plague new meetings. We had a river to meet, and that was conversation enough.
And as our boots found the water, I hung back, letting Jen and Jason take the first run.
*As Jason found out, fishing the Poudre is an experience. We caught fish, but more importantly, we got to know each other differently from the characters we play on our blogs. For those of you that don’t know Jason, he is not only a fantastic fisherman and blogger, but he is one of the friendliest most genuine guys you would ever want to spend time with. I had a great couple days of fishing, and am looking forward to the next time we are able to get together. Hopefully, chasing some big browns with mouse patterns in Michigan....but it doesn’t matter where, as I know we’d have some fun. If you haven’t had a chance to read his blog and musings, please do so at Fontinalis Rising, you will not be disappointed. He has written about this trip, and it shouldn't be missed.
*This wasn’t the first opportunity I have had to fish with Jen, and am impressed by her willingness to do whatever it takes to catch a fish. She is a great friend to have on the river, and I am looking forward to fishing again soon. Besides fly fishing, Jen also writes a great blog. Check it out here Fly Fishilicious. It’s been fun reading her adventures as she begins this life long pursuit.
*The fishing from this weekend was good. We didn't catch a ton of fish by any stretch of the imagination, but we were happy. And like every fishing trip, we thanked the fish we caught.