Sunday thru Saturday, July 1-7, 2013—We’re Getting Too Old For This

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Another week has rolled around in our second summer at home (since we said we’d not spend another summer here because of the heat), and we’re making it a “family” summer.  We’ve actually been able to spend more time with family than any time since we’ve been married!

Ridge became sick last week, and his parents each missed work taking care of him.  They called and asked if we could meet them, and bring him home with us for a few days after which they would come up and enjoy the Independence Day holiday and weekend.130701 E 001

We picked him up mid-afternoon on Sunday at Heber Springs, and all of us were off on another adventure.  We played, explored the yard, and walked.  Each morning we would drive to Quarry Park and stroll/walk around the campground road, and then play at the playground, climbing and sliding, etc.  He wore us out!  It was great, however, watching him “grow” in his walking and maneuvering around steps, rocks, etc., and in his talking and eating.  He totally did away with the booster seat and began sitting in a regular chair, and using his spoon occasionally.

WEDNESDAY:  I began smoking a Boston butt and cooking a big pot of “cowboy” beans Wednesday morning.  First to arrive Wednesday afternoon were Ron and Kaden and their dog, Beau.  Soon following were Karyn and Matt—Ridge was so glad to see his mommy and daddy.  After all had settled in, we had a great barbecue dinner, and the “cowboy” beans, modified from the Pioneer Woman recipe, were maybe the best beans I’ve eaten.

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Karyn, Matt, and Kaden took the river boat to the Norfork River where Matt caught several trout, grossly overshadowing Karyn, and poor Kaden who struck out.

THURSDAY:  We celebrated Independence Day by spending a few hours on Norfork Reservoir.  We first anchored at Sand Island, but found the bottom mud to be sticky and messy, and the water a bit dirty by Norfork Reservoir standards.  We moved to a cove east of the dam, and enjoyed a couple of hours of swimming, diving, and floating in the cool clear water.  Our mid-afternoon meal consisted of a hamburger/brats cookout with all the fixin’s and leftovers from the barbecue yesterday.  Kaden proved true to his word by eating 2 hamburgers and 3 brats, all with buns, and a bowl of beans—he’s a growing 17-year old.  As evening approached, we borrowed a kayak from neighbors and Karyn, Kaden, and Matt kayaked the Norfork River, somehow ending up all wet, claiming each threw water on the other with their paddles.  Anyway, they had fun, completing another  full day of non-stop activities. 

FRIDAY:  Friday morning saw Karyn, Kaden, Matt, and me suiting up for a fly fishing foray on the White River.  Here’s the entry from Donald’s Fishin’ Journal:

TIME: 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM
WEATHER: Mid 80s, sunny
WATER CONDITIONS: 2 Units falling
LOCATIONS FISHED: White River, Rim Shoals
FLIES USED: #14 BHFB Pheasant tail
ROD USED: N/A
HATCH: A few midges
OTHER: Guided Karyn, Matt, and Kaden. The trail that I normally take to access downstream was overgrown, and I could not find it. Consequently, we bushwacked through the overgrown riparian habitat, until I found some semblance of trail. After a short hike, we waded into the still high water. Each of the fishers started with different combinations of flies. Karyn started off like gangbusters, catching two fish on a zebra midge. Kayden followed with a fish on a sowbug. And then Matt began what would prove to be a very successful day, catching fish on a BHFB PT. He is a fearless wader, and fished the entire area of the river. And he did it with only one fly, and no accessories or other flies. Karyn was outfitted with Kay’s vest and wading staff, but found the deep water in combination with the multitude of rocks strewn along the bottom to be treacherous, getting wet a couple of times, but seemingly covering the whole river. Nevertheless, she’s a good sport and still caught fish. Kayden remained near our access, and caught 4 fish. He continues to improve as a fly fisher.

As we returned home, we saw that the Norfork River was down.  We quickly ate a taco lunch, and Ron, Matt, and I headed to the Norfork River.  Here’s the entry from Donald’s Fishin’ Journal:

TIME: 4:15 PM TO 6:30 PM
WEATHER: Low 80s, sunny
WATER CONDITIONS: 0 units
LOCATIONS FISHED: Norfork River, Riffle Above the Island Below Otter Creek and Plunge Pool below Ace in the Hole
FLIES USED: #14 Pink Cockleburr
ROD USED: 9’ 3-wt custom built G Loomis
HATCHES: Sulphurs
OTHER: I “guided” Ron and Matt. On our return from the White River a couple of hours earlier, we noted that the Norfork River was unexpectedly down. After gulping down a late lunch of tacos, Ron and Matt suited up in their waders, and we drove to a neighbors for private access. Another neighbor was fishing Mill Dam Eddy, so we walked upstream and noted fish taking bugs on top like crazy. Armed with Pink Cockleburrs, the guys took one fish after another, and most were 14 to 15 inches and “hot” as firecrackers, not having had a lot of fishing pressure for two weeks. I waded upstream to the plunge pool and had some ferocious hook-ups; I called for Ron to come up and he, too, had some ferocious hits. Regrettably, his leader was too short and dragging his fly under. After rebuilding his leader, he began to see the hook-ups and took several fish. Both guys had a great late afternoon, and I was glad to that Ron was able to fly fish this trip.

SATURDAY:  After an early breakfast, Ron, Kaden, and Beau packed and departed for central Arkansas to ready Kaden for a week at band camp.  Karyn and Matt opted to fly fish, and we were on the water early.  Here’s the entry from Donald’s Fishin’ Journal:

TIME: 8:30 AM TO 11:15 PM
WEATHER: Low 80s, sunny
WATER CONDITIONS: 0 units
LOCATIONS FISHED: Norfork River, Riffle Above the Island Below Otter Creek
FLIES USED: #14 Gray Norfork River Scud, #20 black/copper Zebra Midge, #14 Pink Cockleburr
ROD USED: 9’ 3-wt custom built G Loomis
HATCHES: Midges, a few Sulphurs
OTHER: I “guided” Karyn and Matt. Hoping for a repeat of late yesterday afternoon, we waded upstream expecting the fish to be rising like crazy, but instead found several dead fish in the pool below the riffle. (I suspect poachers had been in the area during the evening.) I tied on a scud and zebra midge dropper combination on both Karyn and Matt’s lines, but hook-ups proved to be evasive, with only a few fish caught. Switching to a pink cockleburr proved to be no better, and in fact resulted in less hook-ups. Matt fished the plunge pool above the riffle but didn’t have any success. It was a slow fishing day.

Ridge had a 3-hour nap mid-day, and appeared to not be feeling well.  He went down for another nap in the late afternoon.  And, despite the already busy day, Karyn and Matt went for a late kayak run on the Norfork River; generation had pulsed so there was only moderately enough water for moving through the riffles.  Upon returning to the house, they “cleaned up” and headed out for a party while Ridge slept, again, and Kay and I rested, wrapping up a very, very busy week.

 

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