February, 2011

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What’s Your Favorite?

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Some places speak distinctly. Certain dank gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwrecks.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

As any father can tell you, kids are full of questions. Probably the first that comes to mind is the ubiquitous “Why?”.

At some point kids get on a “favorite” kick for their questions. What is your favorite color or flavor of ice cream, for example. Perhaps it is because we are always asking them what their favorite things are. So I guess we are always asking each other about our favorite things.

If my son were to ask what my favorite place to fish was, Lees Ferry would be pretty high on the list. The scenery can’t be beat and the fish are strong, beautiful, and catch-able. It is a combination better than Neapolitan ice cream, which seems to be no one’s favorite.

This past weekend I was able to take my son, Matt, to this place of good favor. It was a great opportunity to spend some time with Terry Gunn who has a son of his own about Matt’s age, Troy. We arrived at the Gunn household Friday evening and while Terry and I settled in, the kids made fast friends.

In the morning we waited for the chill to break and headed up the river.

I am not used to such high flows on the river. As we rounded to corner to 4-Mile I could see the bar was already completely submerged. This is the time for drifting, so we pulled into some shallow water below the run to prepare. As Terry was rigging up some rods, I noticed some heads rising upstream in a small current. Oh boy!  Casting to rising fish is my favorite. The riffle was coming off the beach and a number of fish were sipping bugs. Terry handed me a rod rigged with a dry dropper. After a couple cast I hooked one, but it popped off. Another followed with the same result. By now, a little overzealous, I snapped the dropper off on a third. Finally I was able to hook and land a smaller fish.

Meanwhile, the kids had been poking at bushes from the boats. Terry mentioned the “box toy” where a cardboard box is often the greatest gift you can give a young man. Boxes can be favorite things.

Terry had finished rigging so we pulled¬† anchor and he sight fished to a few rainbows which were pushed up along the bank in shallow water. The first pass was received with several refusals. A later pass produced¬† one which Troy remarked to his dad “That sure is a small one!”. Ouch.

Troy, Matt, and Terry

The kids enjoyed drifting taking turns with the rod and net. I’m not sure which one was more fun. Troy, who has more practice at this was first to get one in the boat. Matt had several pop off in the current. Finally he hooked a decent on and Troy was able to corral it in the net. He was overjoyed.

Terry and I has some business to attend to, so we called it an early day and headed back to his house.

Montezuma Castle and dino tracks

On the trip home the following day, we took some time to sight see.We stopped at the dinosaur tracks outside Tuba City as well Montezuma’s Castle. Matt though they were both pretty cool.However, when I asked him what his favorite thing was about the weekend, he did not hesitate: “Catching that big fish, dad”.


Lees Ferry