Friday, September 9, 2011

Hay 'n Hawgs

Hay and hawgs, that's been the story of my life for the past week or so.

Hay season has been in full swing for over a month now, and it's coming down to crunch time. Days are getting shorter and it's starting to rain more. Rain equals no work in the hay fields. I'll have to say I've really enjoyed the time I've spent haying. I'm farmer Smith and it's strange because were haying the Smith ranch! We have everything mowed but there is lots more to do. There's a lot more to haying than I thought there would be.

This is a view from one of my offices. It's a big John Deere. It's much tougher to stack hay in this tractor than the skid steer. I've mangled a few bales...

This is the "Staging Area." This is where we eat lunch, work on equipment, meet up, and BS. It's centrally located in the middle of about 20 fields were haying on this property.

Mary Jane whipping up a fine lunch. Grilled chicken, carrots, potatoes, artichokes, bread, a Sprite, and dessert. Nothing out of the ordinary. We eat pretty well out there!

We may be farmin', but we're far from roughin' it! The view during lunch isn't half bad either!

A view from another office I occupy. Haying requires scouting, mowing, raking, bailing, stacking, and transporting. Everything is dependent on the weather. I'm raking in this picture. The point being to throw the hay onto dry ground while turning it over to let the wet hay on the bottom dry. We've had to do a whole bunch of raking, it's been raining a good bit here lately.

But enough about hay, what about the fish?

BOOM! I fished hard this past Tuesday and Wednesday. I caught two small fish on Tuesday on the CO, and nailed this brute on Wednesday on the Blue. I was fishing a stretch known as "Jurassic Park." Why you ask? BIG FISH. This public stretch of water is rather tough to catch fish on, but the fish caught here are tremendous.

I had the days off because of inclement weather. Inclement for haying at least. Perfect for fishing. Cloudy, rainy, and cool. I was throwing meat...

This was the only fish I caught, but well worth the time I put into it. I could have really used an extra pair of hands for the photograph, I would have loved a hero shot with this guy. The picture just doesn't do him justice.

Fatty nailed this guy. I had many other strikes, all of which I could easily see. The fishing was very exciting. Conditions were perfect for streamers, the fish just didn't quite connect. Oh well, that's fishing...

The fight Fatty put up was epic! I was throwing 0x flouro with two No. 0 split shot to get it down. Heavy rig. He bit right downstream of the log you can see in the river. I was standing just down from the log on a little sandbar with very swift water on each side of me. He ate my streamer about 12 feet from me and immediately turned into the fast water and smoked line off my reel. I had nowhere to go and no way to chase him down. I palmed the hell out of the reel and tried my best to turn him back into more slack water. Luckily this tactic worked. He darted in and out of the fast water, and I finally saw how big he was when he jumped. My heart froze. I worked him back up to me, and when time came to land him I didn't think my net would be big enough. He fit, but barely.

This evening I broke down and took a bite of the forbidden fruit. I hit up a stretch of water that is "off-limits." But they gave me the combo to the gate! I couldn't help it, it's just sitting there untouched! I'll never say where...

I fished for an hour and a half after work. I caught three fish. This guy ate a San Juan worm and put up a pretty good fight.

I moved upstream as the sun was going down. I got a bite at the head of a good looking run. Didn't connect. Undeterred, I kept on fishing. Shortly after, I got another bite and felt the weight of this guy. I never saw him until he broke the water in a magnificent jump. I landed him and snapped a few pics before returning him to the water healthily. Damn, I love brown trout!

I dig it...

Fall is coming on, the aspens are starting to turn and we've had heavy frost in the mornings. Browns will be spawning soon, and skiing comes after that!

My life is just plain fun!


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