Sunday, April 3, 2011
Watermaster Adventure - The Roaring Fork River
It's been a while since I went on a good old fashion adventure, trying something new by dipping deep into the well of excitement for a taste of enthusiasm dulled by years of sensibility and practical disposition. I've been fortunate to try my hand at a wide variety of fishing adventures over the years. I've spent time in the salt on flats boats and deep sea cruisers, wade fished all manner of rivers, been guided in rafts and hard-side boats, spent a month canoeing the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota and Canada as a boy, and I've even had an opportunity to fiddle around a bit with a jet sled or two.
I've spent many years of my life around boats and have always felt comfortable around water. Floating fast moving rivers though has been one aquatic activity I have yet to master, although it has always been a dream. I guess it's the logistics of floating controlled release water that has been a mental challenge for me, not to mention the trespass laws in Colorado. Two years ago, I decided to conquer the unknown and bought myself a Watermaster raft thinking one of these days I'd figure out how to float our western rivers. And for the past two years, the boat has sat waiting in my garage until I could find time and a mentor to guide me through the fundamentals. That time has arrived, and this weekend I will head for the Roaring Fork with a good friend that has spent many days on this river during pre-runnoff.
I thought long and hard about what manner of personal watercraft would serve me best as a Colorado float angler. In the end, I elected to get a Watermaster because it would handle a good amount of heavy water (rated for class IV rapids), had a very low center of gravity for comfort and stability, and was built strong, able to stand off low water scrapes and bounce off large boulders. It also had a whopping 650 lb payload capacity in the event I ever took it on a trip to Alaska or BC for an epic float journey.
On edge from my approaching challenge and anxious to get started, I made some modifications to the boat today, two rod scabbards, as those who know me well know I've never been one to show up on a fishing trip with just one weapon. I gained my inspiration from Spey and Switch Rods-Single-handed-rods, in an excellent illustration for making a PVC scabbard that would suite my needs wonderfully. The end result and boat trim turned out better than I had expected.
The remainder of the week will be dedicated to lining up a new reel, rigging up a streamer rod, spinning up some bugs, planning what gear will be necessary, selecting an angler friendly PFD, loading up boat bags... oh, and maybe some work. If only tomorrow were Friday!