We had a terrific time doing our first float trip on the San Juan with Jude Duran. While water conditions were pretty doggone bad, we had a really good day, thanks to Jude. Debbie ended up with 14 and I got 12. To say I got schooled was an understatement as I was down 7 to 2 in the morning until I got a groove going. She never let me close within 2, though
The fish were in really good shape with lots of colors and we caught quite a few browns, including probably my biggest ever. The water was almost like pea soup, maybe 1 ft visability, and lots of moss floating. We really had to knock 'em in the head with the flies to get a strike. Sunday we waded on our own for about 4 hours and caught only one fish. It was cast, clean flies, cast, clean flies. Tough doesn't describe it.
The weather was really awesome with temps in the 50s on Saturday and close to 65 on Sunday. Chamber of Commerce blue skies. It was really nice to be out on a great river!
We also got to try out our new Simms aquastealth boots with carbide spikes. Ain't NO way we'll ever go back to felt. Awesome doesn't even get close to describing the grip they have, even in 2200 CFS flows.
We used foam indicators that have the little O Rings attached. My old eyes really loved it when the leader got real tight on that O Ring. This was our very first float trip ever and all we can say is WOW. I'd been thinking about getting a toon for awhile, and it may be a 2 person where we could take turns on the sticks. Jude has a new Freestone Boatworks boat and is it ever sweet. Was particularly interested to see it's make of carbon fiber...cool stuff that we use pretty extensively in aviation. Too bad I could never justify something like that. Too far to decent water and way too expensive. If you're a guide, it does make a nice office though. Drifting opened up a whole new way to look at the San Juan.
I remember you telling me way back last summer about using a toon on the San Juan, and even dropping a hint that I needed to try Lees Ferry! Still haven't done that trip yet, but it's on the list! I haven't done any research on 2 person toons yet, just the casual glance while looking at the single person ones. To be honest, it may be a few months before we think about it. Other priorities, like paying for GAS this summer!
Here's the indicators we were using this weekend. Myself, I like the ones you make yourself out of poly yarn. Sportsmans Warehouse has 2 ft packs of it on clearance for 59 cents a pack and I picked a bunch up.
I use Macrame cord that is 100% Poly yarn. You can get it in 4mm or 6mm sizes in just about any color you might want. The rolls are 100' long so one will last you and your fishing buddies for a lifetime. They are available at WalMart and usually cost $7 to $10 dollars. I bought mine years ago so I am not sure of the exact cost. Make sure you get the 100% Poly.
Just to be clear, you can't use a pontoon at Lee's Ferry. There is no place to put in except the dam and there is no access for the public. The raft companies have the access tied up and unless one of them agreed to help you, there is no place to launch.
Thanks for the info on the yarn, Frank. The stuff I got at Sportsman's is 100% poly as well. I'll have to try that Hydrostop stuff. We've just fluffed them up with velcro and rubbed in some Gink. Works pretty good but you need to re-apply every hour or so.
Thanks also about the Ferry. Everyone raves about the cicada hatch and how fun it is. There's probably enough lakes and rivers right here in NM to keep us busy with the 'toon. Haven't seen any consistently glowing reports on the Rio Grande Gorge up near Taos, but that might be a fun trip.
We had a terrific time doing our first float trip on the San Juan with Jude Duran. . . . got to try out our new Simms aquastealth boots with carbide spikes. Ain't NO way we'll ever go back to felt. Awesome doesn't even get close to describing the grip they have, even in 2200 CFS flows.
I've got a couple guiding days with Jude in my week there in mid-July; hoping the flows are down by then, since it sounds like wading's tough when the flows are so high. Might be the only days I catch anything will be those two drifting with Jude.
Was interested in your opinion on studded aquastealths as compared to felt. Had you ever used studded felt for comparison? Last time I was on the SJ I used studded felt on my Korkers Konvertibles, but recently bought a set of their studded Aquastealth interchangeable soles, thinking that on the hikes I take to the river there would be less sole wear with Aquastealth than with felt.