Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Snow in September

For the last week false weather reports flooded the airwaves promising 8 inches of snow for Carbon County. Most of the staff hailing from the southeast coast waited in anticipation for the bleak and unpredictable snowstorms Wyoming is famous for. Every morning over a period of five days I set my alarm for 5:30 only to open my blinds and find frost, but no snow. Finally, on Monday a cold front pushed through Colorado, spilling over the border and into the southern section of the state.

I shot out of bed at 6:00 and ran to Patrick Shehey’s room, a fellow fly fishing guide. We had been trying unsuccessfully for about a month to collaborate on an image of him fishing in the river. Due to fickle weather patterns and poor light I was never able to get the right shot. So when I knocked on his door at 6:00 am and told him to crawl from under his warm blanket and dress to get wet, he was a little reluctant. Eventually, after pleading and mimicking the menacing sound of an alarm clock, he finally obliged. An avid angler, Patrick guides professionally in Connecticut. He has entered plenty of fishing competitions and throws one of the most beautiful loops I’ve ever seen.

On our way out to the river, we stopped by the Sunday Left pasture and watched the wranglers jingle in the horses. The sound of soft powder creaking beneath 400 hooves followed by the piercing cries of cowboys echoed across the ranch.

After the horses were gathered in the catch pin Patrick and I headed for the North Platte and parked along a beautiful stretch of scattered boulders. We spent 30 minutes fishing and photographing until the bitter air and freezing water got the best of us. Unable to move my fingers enough to trigger the shutter, we called it a morning and headed back to the Fish Shack. Even though we only clocked in a half an hour, that morning on the river ranks in one of my top five fishing adventures.

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