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Monday, June 1, 2009

Getting ready

The Runoff Game. We are contestants in this annual spring/early summer wheel of fortune. We leave June 7th after speaking at the Frontiers in Writing Conference in Amarillo, bound for a night at our place in Bayfield. We will wake up the morning of the 8th lighting out for somewhere. Could be Grand Mesa Lakes. Flattops Wilderness. The Front Range. We just don't know. We will call our friends at flyshops, look online at stream flows, check the internet for postings on water clarity and insect hatches and we'll take our best guess. That's what it is. A credible hunch. And we have the entire state to choose from which, for us, in early June, is a crapshoot.

We'll be outfitted in a combo of our own used ratty gear and some try-this-new-stuff-out equipment from Riverfields Fly Shop and Dave Rittenberry in Amarillo. We'll be in Mark's four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited pulling a pop-up ALiner from Columbia Northwest and using flyline from Monic. We'll be fishing 50 days this summer, from Steamboat to Grand Junction, Aspen to Telluride, Cuchara to Estes Park.

We've bought groceries but still have to get some goodies at Trader Joes in Santa Fe. We have packed and re-packed the ALiner (which has oodles of pack space and the way we roll, we pack more stuff). We put together first aid kits, fix tire kits, snacks for the trail, bought homemade jerky, ordered bulk cigars, stocked up on tippet and leader and flies and other gee-gaws. It's amazing the difference in packing for a week-long tent camping trip vs. a 50-day pop-up trip. And we just know we're forgetting something. Still, we have rods, reels, flies, wading boots, cigars and whiskey. We can do without the other stuff.

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