As I get older, the adage "work smarter, not harder" takes on much more meaning in my daily life. So....instead of having to hike up and down the trails on the North Umpqua, which of course has always been a great part of the experience, I've dreamed of what it would be like to float the river and run some of the great white water to access some of my favorite fly runs in the summer and winter.
This new 16' cataraft with aluminum rowing frame should fit the bill perfectly. It's set up to carry myself and two passengers as well as all our gear in a safe manner through some of the nastiest white water around. My girl and I recently took it out on its maiden voyage on the upper McKenzie and I have to admit, in comparison to running this same stretch in my driftboat, the cat boat is really kind of boring. What was once a challenging, technical section of river in the hard boat, doesn't even get the blood pumpin' in this beast.
I'm sure running the North will bring new challenges, but I'm really looking forward to a great summer floating with family and friends on the North Umpqua. I may even add this to my guide services in the coming years.
Speaking of the future, I've recently accepted an amazing job offer from Trout Unlimited. I begin immediately working full time for TU as the new Southwest Oregon field representative for the Sportsman's Conservation Project. I'll be working with a wide variety of stakeholders on issues related to high quality habitat for Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, Deer, Elk and other wildlife throughout the region. I'll be primarily focused on working with groups on the "Copper/Salmon Wilderness area" in the upper Elk River Water Shed as well as the "Elk River Salmon Enhancement Area" (ERSEA) near Port Orford, Oregon. I'll also be working on the "O&C Lands" issues as that legislation moves forward in the coming months.
So between guiding, the new job, building duck ponds, training a new puppy and hunting partner, being a husband and father to an already VERY busy family, you can see where working smarter and not harder is becoming more and more of a focus in my daily thought processes. New Adventures and New Challenges! Too much FUN!