David is one of my very best friends. So when he moved back home to Wisconsin to have his growing family be near his extended family, I understood, but grieved nonetheless. To maintain and enjoy the bounty of his friendship, we try to get together when our calendars and lives allow and that, perhaps, has not manifested more perfectly than in the occasional "epic fly fishing trip".
These trips usually combine many of the things we love - beautiful landscapes, good music, camping, road tripping, and adventure. Just before he left VA for WI, we experimented with a small trip to the Shenandoah National Park to fish for Brook Trout on Big Run (see Big Run Farwell: https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/6831622545659554584/4002037109488344692. Once back in WI, we took the trip bonding to a new level by fishing in and around Fernie, British Columbia for cutthroats and bull trout - truly epic and also bar setting (see Fernie Stoke: https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/6831622545659554584/8168928221554019984). This past fall we camped and fished for our first steelhead in the famed waters of the Bois Brule in Wisconsin (see First Foray....: https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/6831622545659554584/376856371588218021). Even as we fished in the snow and cold of the Brule, we talked of our next adventure and, coaxed by our able guide Nambini, our minds returned to the Everglades. Before fishing the Elk, Bull, Oldman, Upper Elk and Fording Rivers in BC, we were supposed to fish the Everglades and Keys, but the mosquito-borne Zika virus posed too much of a threat so we abandoned that trip for another time. 2021 is the time!
Nambini jacked us up with stories of snook around Chokoloskee so under his influence, we jettisoned the Key's portion of our former trip and focused solely on the 'Glades - Chokoloskee and Flamingo. Checking the adventure box, we decided to fish it, except for a first guided day, by canoe with camping in the backcountry around Flamingo.Not knowing how to clean an aluminum boat, I followed my wife's suggestions and bought a heavy duty scrubbing pad and some "Bartenders Friend" cleanser. On one sunny winter day, I went to work. The initial result were promising...
I kept going and took confidence from the results.
Scrub, rinse with a bucket, scrub somemore. Slowly, but methodically, the dents AND the beauty of this old warrior revealed itself - battered bateau metamorphosed and was renamed "Silver King!"
When not in shade, and the sun is shining on her, she's blindingly sexy!