Maiden Voyage of Water Master Grizzly Interrupted by Heart Attack

Here’s a Dacey Reservoir rainbow trout that I was trying to bring to net on a previous trip in April 2014.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’ve been ignored by NFO Scadden regarding a warranty repair to my Outlaw Escape.  After conducting a little research I contacted Richard Stuber at Big Sky Inflatables to discuss their Water Master Grizzly, and how it compared to what I saw as deficiencies in the NFO Escape.  I first became aware of the Water Master in 2005 or 2006 while watching the Trout Bum Diaries vol.1 that featured these fishing rafts.  Richard said the Water Master would not only provide me with a more reliable boat that will last the next 20-plus years, but that it would hold and row much better in the wind than the Outlaw Escape.  The larger tubes and their 360 degree contact with the water cause the boat to sit much higher on the water while maintaining a large footprint.  Big Sky offered a “real” lifetime warranty on the raft.  I couldn’t resist; I always wanted to be a Trout Bum anyway.

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Dacey Bass Fishing

Looking southeast across McGill Reservoir; note dust trail in the air from the Trout Truck

Patience.  It’s an acquired taste. For some of us (me…), that acquisition can span decades. I had heard it said that hardship fosters patience, patience breeds character, and that character produces hope. Paul, in Galatians 5:22, says that patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and I suspect that my later-life rebirth explains that missing fruit in my younger years. 

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So, what does a fishing photo shoot look like?

Ron, a retired principal from Santa Barbara, attempts to land a 20+ inch rainbow.

WARNING: This blog contains fish porn.

When I was in my late twenties I got the bug to write an article or story on fly fishing, so I did.  I had just read Nick Lyons’ book, The Seasonable Angler.  I could identify with Lyons’ conundrum of balancing family, work, and fly fishing (and of course, I added serving My Lord to that equation).  I never submitted the article to anyone, but it did light a smoldering fire.  I’m sure this blog has its roots in that early effort.

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Brotherly Love on Dacey Reservoir

My son Doug and brother Bruce, launching into Dacey Reservoir (Grant Range in the background)

The Greeks have four words to describe love based on their observations on the subject. There is their word éros (ἔρως) to describe “physical” passionate love that carries a sensual desire and longing; a more self-centered “erotic” driving force. Then they have philia (φιλία) to describe a “mental” love, an affectionate regard or friendship that exhibits the give and take seen in families and friendship (the root of Philadelphia, city of brotherly love, originates from philia). Their word storge (στοργή) describes “affection” as in a parent’s natural affection for its offspring. Most importantly, they have agápe (ἀγάπη) to describe a “spiritual” love, a true sense of unconditional love that is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return. Agápe is the word used in the Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13; it is a sacrificial and spiritual love. I believe all four words are used in the Bible, but perhaps a more scholarly Bible reader will post a correction to that assumption.  Anyway, the point is that in context each clarifies what God was saying in the Holy Scripture.

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Faith in Dacey Reservoir, Wayne Kirch WMA

Dacey Reservoir after a morning of angling.

In my Paul/Timothy group we were discussing “faith” and in particular its two elements: belief and trust. You may say you believe something to be true, but if that belief lacks trust it may not result in a corresponding action. The analogy used in our discussion was that of a tightrope walker. Assume you had observed him crossing back and forth several times on a tightrope, so when he asked if you believed he could do it again a reasonable answer would be “yes”. But if he then invited you to climb on his shoulders while he walks the tightrope, wouldn’t you likely decline due to a lack of trust? This concept works in the workplace, as without trust employees are unlikely to follow their managers; they may believe their manager knows what he’s doing but if they don’t trust their manager it’s unlikely they’ll follow them when the going gets rough. Biblically, we see this concept as “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17 NIV).  

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Dacey Reservoir, Sunnyside, NV

Dacey Reservoir, looking southwest (Hot Creek Butte on left, 11,000 foot Grant Range in center background)

Sunnyside (now Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area) first came into my consciousness in the 1980’s through fish-talk with the EG&G Purchasing Director, Merl Rees.  Merl told stories of large trout, sixteen to eighteen inches, in the Sunnyside reservoirs.  At the time my fishing interests were focused on streams and high mountain lakes.  It wasn’t until April of 2005 that I first visited the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area (i.e., Kirch, a.k.a. Sunnyside). Kirch has four fishable reservoirs. On all four reservoirs the only shore-accessible fishing is from the dam; boats, pontoons, and tubes are the most effective way to fish these reservoirs due to significant bulrush growth along the shorelines.

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Dacey Reservoir, Sunnyside (Wayne Kirch WMA)

Here’s Dacey Reservoir from dam, looking north with the Egan Range on the right, White Pine Range in distant left.

Do you notice how sometimes our initial impression of something, perhaps driven by a comment from someone or a story we may have read, sticks with us and clouds our judgment. It can cause us to avoid the person or thing for a long time until we decide to investigate the reality. I suppose belief in God can be like that for some. 

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Cold Springs Reservoir – Wayne Kirch

Doug tubing Cold Springs, Grant Range in distant background

I admit to enjoying fishing alone. When I am by myself I feel as though I am in control of all the decisions. I can decide to fish shorter or longer, stay overnight or not, even to change destinations without consulting a fishing partner. Of course, I only “feel” as though I am in control. When traveling alone and making changes to the “plan” I always check in with my wife, both to keep her informed of my location and travel itinerary as well as to ask permission when such changes affect her expectations of my presence at home.  

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Cold Springs Reservoir, Wayne Kirch WMA

This is the Cold Springs boat dock. The Grant Range on the left side of the horizon.

I made a quick getaway to Cold Springs Reservoir in the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area. The KWMA is nestled in the high desert of the White River watershed, such as it is.  As barren as it appears from Highway 318 (thirty miles south of Lund, NV), the KWMA does have quite a variety of wildlife (see this KWMA brochure).  On a previous KWMA excursion I wrote about almost running into a golden eagle that was pursuing a desert cottontail rabbit; that was an awesome experience.  On this trip I again flushed another large golden eagle from the left side of the dirt service road.  This time I got a very close look at the large raptor, and it amazed me that such a large bird can actually fly, let alone attack game from the air.  By the time I stopped the truck, lowered the passenger window, and got the camera into zoom mode the eagle had gotten about 100 yards away and was circling back to the south.  Having a close encounter with such a majestic bird is the highlight of any trip.

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Cold Springs Reservoir, Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area

Sixteen-plus inch Cold Spring rainbow (note spawning color into caudal fin)

My first trip to Wayne Kirch was on April 1, 2005. It was a cold, windy day as I recall. I was the only fisherman on the water, and it was rough going in my Fish Cat tube. My notes from that day report that I landed just three rainbows. They also record three long distance releases (LDRs, as we call them) and three missed strikes. The notes blamed my poor showing on the cold weather and slow reflexes. Although I don’t recall that trip being particularly enjoyable, it was my maiden voyage to the Kirch WMA.

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