After some thought we decided to take a drive up to Phoenix to play in the lower Salt River, where during the hot summer high-flow months bored teenagers and sun-baked alcoholics alike pay a small fee to float the few mile stretch on old inner tubes and try not to pass out and sunburn their nipples.
(This bridge is about 1/3 the way down - you wouldn't notice your nipples roasting till later)
I can't say for sure what the flow was, but I would guess it was somewhere in the 300 range as Aaron and I arrived on the sunny Monday afternoon. After yanking on a pair of waders and a quick head scratching session over the contents of my fly box, I picked the 2 least abused-looking things I saw and jumped in feet first. Aaron quickly hooked a small rainbow on a copper john, and I decided to take a little stroll across the river where upon arrival at the far bank realized that that funny feeling in my boot was water pouring into my sock. Lovely.
A few hours and as many hook-ups later we decided the action was about over for the afternoon and so Aaron, I, and my soggy toes decided to head to the hotel. A hour later with a stomach bursting with Golden Corral and a bottle of 92 proof rum we retired to rest up for the next day. And by rest up, I mean get stupid. (See video in previous post)
The next morning after sleeping through the incessant beeping of my phone telling me that it was time to fish, we checked out of the hotel with minutes to spare and headed back to the river, this time to a place stop named Water Users, where a few months from now buss loads of relatively sober half naked thrill seekers with "Show Yer Boobs" sloppily written on old beer boxes would begin their slow trek downriver.
I have only been to this spot in the summertime, and it is a completely different beast during the winter months; the colors are somehow both calm and vibrant, the situation as a whole seemed muted but full of potential.
The afternoon fly fishermen stacked in the quick shallows, eavesdropping on one another, being privy to a apparent midge hatch, drifting zebras and what-have-yous under caddis flies and other floaties, doing just alright.
I decided to stick to my nymphing... and struck out. Some days this would ave bothered me, because I, like other fishermen will occasionally admit in a drunken state, think going fishing and not catching fish is basically a failure. But when the beauty of the location outweighs the lack of success, one must just be happy to be there, and I was.
As the evening pushed the afternoon under the horizon, it was just about time to head home and we packed the rods and wet gear into the truck bed. It was a pleasure to meet Dan and Ron (I apologize if I messed up on the names), I am sorry we didn't get to meet up with Greg from AZ Fly and Tie, and I missed the guys from Goodyear, but we will be back soon. You can bet on that, and hopefully before the first wave of drunken reprebates of the new year contaminate the shrinking shores with old socks and empty beer cans.