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Tuesday, July 5. 2011
After I had completed 6 weeks of ROTC Summer Camp, my mom and dad picked me up at Ft Hood, Texas and we headed off to Boulder, Colorado to visit my aunt and uncle, Cordie and George Howard, and their son, Milton. Milton had just finished his military obligation with the Army in Europe and it had been 9 years since we had visited them. At the time Boulder was not surrounded by Denver, but was a pleasant college town, later I found out just how liberal it was back then!
As soon as we arrived, Milton told us he had a big fishing trip planned â€“ rainbow and brown trout in Big Thompson Canyon. Dad and I, being â€œflatlandersâ€ couldnâ€™t imagine why we had to go to a canyon to catch fish, but â€œwhen in Rome, etcâ€.
Up early the next morning we drove north up into the foothills and soon parked beside a railroad tunnel. Whereâ€™s the canyon? Why this tunnel? Weâ€™d find out soon enough!
Trekking through the tunnel, Moffatt Tunnel, it seems to be at least a mile long, through solid rock and every two to three hundred yards there was a cutout in the side, where, I hoped, we could get to before a train came through. Iâ€™m sure Milton planned the trip so a train would come roaring through while we were trapped in the tunnel. One did, of course, and we made it to the cutout in plenty of time.
We also found out why Milton told us, â€œDonâ€™t forget your flashlights!â€ After we rounded a long curve, it was pitch dark in the tunnel! Once through, we walked for almost a half mile and could hear water flowing and saw a steep canyon wall on our left. Trying not to stumble and tumble down the slope, we went slipping and sliding, balancing our rods and lunches, until we reached the floor of the canyon and were greeted by the Big Thompson River flowing east toward its rendezvous with the Platte. We had â€œenjoyedâ€ almost an hour of walking time from our car, through the tunnel and down the canyon wall.
As we tied on our small spinners, Milton commented, â€œBe alert for quicksand. Thereâ€™s some scattered along the edges of the river. If you step in it, donâ€™t fight it and I will come and pull you out.â€ Why did he wait until we were in the water to tell us about quicksand? Of course, when I was wading along, one step and the bottom disappeared. I had found the quicksand, but was quickly retrieved and went back to fishing.
Milton is sitting on the rock, while I fish, in Big Thompson Canyon, near Boulder Colorado.
I had one fish on and two more real nice strikes, including at least a twenty, inch rainbow that was on for several jumps and rolls, but when I reached down to grab hold, it got away! Milton and my dad had the same results, no fish, but lots of fun.
We fished until the sun was past the canyon walls then started our trek back. When we got back to the car it was completely dark inside and outside the tunnel, but what an unusual and exciting experience we had just completed, quicksand included!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, May 5. 2011
Tubing was a family sport, and from May until September, the river was crowded with all sizes of tubes and people and in the late spring Georgia Tech University held its annual, â€œRamblinâ€™ Raft Raceâ€, a true civic highlight. The future engineers at the school would design the most motley collection of floating contraptions imaginable. Prizes were awarded, classes cut, beer flowed and a grand time was had by all! However, Iâ€™m sure by now the â€œFriends Of Wildlifeâ€, â€œThe Green Movementâ€ or â€œThe Nature Conservancyâ€ has put a stop to all of this fun!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, April 20. 2010
Itâ€™s a lot of fun receiving the pictures that friends send to me.Â Big fish, big animals and unusual outdoors pictures fit very well within the scope of Outdoor Odyssey.Â This post has some big fish!
Randy Pfaff, an e-mail friend from Colorado, sent me this picture of two of his sonâ€™s friends and the very nice rainbow trout they caught in the river that runs along his property.
James Crumley returned from a fishing trip to Lake Amistad, along the Mexican border, with pictures of some big, striped bass they caught.Â Thatâ€™s not all the story however.Â On this trip they were beset by gale force winds, big waves and miserable, scary conditions that finally settled out, enabling them to snag these big â€˜uns.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, May 19. 2008
Some interesting notes about the area where we lived in Georgia, Sandy Springs (finally incorporated in 2007), was bordered on the west by the Chattahoochee River and we lived a mile up Soap Creek, where a large Civil War battle, in which two of my G Grandfathers participated, was fought where the river and creek joined.
We lived on Mark Trail Street in the Lost Forest subdivision. The subdivision land was previously owned by the creator of the â€œMark Trailâ€â€™ comic strip. This strip was popular in the 1940â€™s and 50â€™s. There were about 30 houses built around the â€œhollowâ€, in Texas called a â€œdrawâ€, and except for the ice storms, was a great place to live.
It was natural with the nearness of the river and my 12 foot aluminum boat, that we made several float trips a year down it. We would launch the boat at any number of places above Roswell Road, then float for several miles down to the I-285, North, bridge, and take out there.
One trip stands out. We, Benny Evans, a coworker and fellow Texan, and I put in way up the river, close to the gun club and made about a 6 mile, drift down to 285. We would drift the middle, drift around the eddies and drift along the banks, casting to the numerous â€œfallsâ€, trees down in the water. We would drift, then electric motor back over promising spots, trying to keep our baits, Mepps #2, Spinners, in the water as much as possible.
Pictured is my Mepps #2 Spinner, the survivor of the float down the river. This bait is over 40 years old and remains poison for pan fish and fresh water Trout.
We avoided all the â€œtubersâ€ and ended the day with a mixed, mess of small fish. The 4 Largemouth Bass were 12 to 15â€; the one Smallmouth Bass 12â€, one 12â€ Rainbow Trout, 2, 14â€ Pike, or Chain Pickerel, returned to the water because of excessive bones, 4 hand size Bluegills, topped off by 1, 15â€Channel Catfish! We probably caught over 50 fish and had twice that number of strikes. By far the best day I enjoyed on the river!
In the late spring Georgia Tech held its annual, â€œRamblinâ€™ Raft Raceâ€, a true civic highlight. The future engineers at the school would design the most motley collection of floating â€œthingsâ€ imaginable. Prizes were awarded, classes cut, beer flowed and a grand time was had by all! Iâ€™m sure, by now, the â€œFriends Of Wildlifeâ€, â€œThe Green Movementâ€ and â€œThe Nature Conservancyâ€ have put a stop to all of this fun!
Tubing was a family sport, and from May until September, the river was crowded with all sizes of tubes and people. For me, I thought besides getting sun burned, tubing was a serious waste of fishing time.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
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