Death Defying Fly Fishing
by John Davenport and Mike Hobbs
Photos by John: November 2013 and 2012
John: If you’ve never fished this stretch, don’t start in November. There is nothing more hair-raising than the 70 foot near vertical decent from the parking area to the Blue River. Among the things that can happen are:
1. Loss of rod as you momentarily lose balance an whack it against one of the massive pines trees.
2. Loss of gear as you slide down on your belly from your first step out of the parking lot.
3. Loss of life as you crash head first into a boulder at the bottom of the down “trail.”
I’ve been told that brave rafters floating the Jones property (don’t touch shore or bottom or the sheriff’ll getcha) belay their boats down these slopes before setting off. I’ve never seen this and find it hard to believe.
There is a set of stairs down to the river just below the dam,
but alas, just down stream from the stairs there are steep canyon walls on both sides that will, depending on the flow from the dam, halt your progress in fishing down stream.
Here is a link to what happened last year on this trip to the Blue below the Green.
When there is a thin skim of either ice, snow, sleet, or mud the normally treacherous decent becomes terrifyingly treacherous.
This report from Mike Hobbs for his descent on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Obviously, Mike was too traumatized to make the DTU Board Meeting that night at the Skylark. We understand.
I took one step down the bank on the thin layer of powder snow and knew there was no way I’d make it down alive. So I went back to the car for my climbing rope. (ed. We all have climbing ropes back in the car, don’t we?)
The fishery below the dam seems to me to have been in decline the last 4 years but I was happy to pull a nice healthy brown from the “wall hole” on a streamer.
My Barr’s emerger worked its usual magic on this stretch on a couple smaller rainbows and browns and I lost at least one nice rainbow.
Not surprisingly we had the canyon to ourselves and my climbing rope was still there at the end of the day to pull my ass out of the canyon.