Lately anytime I go fishing there’s some kind of hiccup. So much that it seems to be the new norm. This pass down the rio Colorado was no exception. Initially I knew getting in the water at 600cfs would be more current than I would care for. However, the hang ups began before any of that would happen.

As I began to put on my flippers Jason and I noticed the early morning/break of dawn feed was going on. Right beside the boat ramp in a corner of the dock fish were breaking water. With one flipper on and one off I set to work. Hooking up with a fish before I stepped in the river myself was just fine. Getting him to hand was another challenge.

Minutes earlier as we rigged up my reel took a two foot fall. Disappointedly I found out all metal looking parts on my G. Loumis reel are not. The plastic disc holding the reel spool release cracked. Everything seemed functional so I decide I would fish on. As it was my last good reel it was the only option anyway.

When I set the hook the reel fell off.

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Already having a ‘no skunk guarantee’ and being way too foolish to be deterred, Jason and I made a run down the water anyways. My reel fell off several times and most of the time I was able to catch it. Times I didn’t the reel spun into the depths below. I would have to pull the line up faster than it could unreel to raise it to the surface. What a mess.

Then I figured out after several casts I could check the spool release lever and make sure it stayed locked. Give that an hour on the water and you’ll tire of it too. That’s when it hit me… I could used bubble gum to to lock the lever into place.

And it worked.



The little bit of rain the Colorado River got the night before kept the flows high and slightly stained. Only a few fish were brought to hand and despite a misgauged time a distance of the trip- it was totally worth it. When the take out point finally came into sight I was ready to call it mission complete. The sensation of victory and a good day came in knowing I fished through it despite it all.


The high ground doesn’t always come easy- but there’s no other place to be.

See you on the high ground,