Sunday

Groundbreaking for the LA River and for Girl with MS!

What a memory from two years ago!   #takeTHATms  

The first fishing derby at the LA river! Fly or spin, it was a day of fun and good peeps, beautiful weather and a handful of fish. Here I am at opening ceremonies with Jim Burns speaking. I bowed this photo from His blog, LARiverFlyFishing which is very informative and keeps you up to date on fishing conditions and other fun activities along the bike path.
"Fishing for carp, waiting for steelhead"
The last steelhead taken out of the LA River was photographed in 1948. Can we bring them back despite the concrete channel and city life?
We now have bass, tilapia, carp, bluegill, sunfish and more...thanks to Friends of the River (FoLAR) and other organizations and peoples hard word.
FoLar or Friends of the River have been working since 1986 to being fish and wildlife back to the river. With over 212 bird species alone, I think they've done an outstanding job. Not to mention the fish!
Well, who would've thought I could live in LA and drive 20 minutes to a fishing hole without getting on a freeway. As y'all know with my MS, driving is not a big option for me. But I can get to Atwater village with about four turns and twenty minutes. I'll take that all day long.
They even had some great trophies and prizes! I didn't land any and missed four but that's OK with me. I'm a bit rusty on the fly so practice is necessary for me.
The river rover is a 38' mobile educational, rolling river. Amazing for students of all ages!
While wading in the LA river is not usually open, it was open for the derby. Here is a shot down stream and one upstream. You can see the fishermen on the bank.
While many folks just trudged through the water in river sandals, I went for the grip of my patagonia wading boots and my redington waders. I really didn't need waders for the fishing I do along the she but I love the grip on these and wanted to be MS safe.
Here are the winners! The largest was a 6lb carp. And then a few small large mouth bass were caught. The ones I kept missing. Oh well. For me the important part is being on the river. Watching the wildlife. Enjoying the scenery and the people. Or being solo and enjoying the solitude. Whatever I'm in the mood for, fishing brings it to me.
Well, because sometimes it not always about the fish...
The river opened to fishing just a few years ago in 2011. It's taken a lot of effort from many people and groups to get this going. Can't thank them enough!
Here I am chilling by the river on a different day. Again, I missed a few. Got to practice my timing.
Quite a flow of water in the river. Enough for small flat bottom boats and kayaks to meander.
And even if you don't fish, there's plenty of trails for biking, walking and hiking along the river.
Can't wait to go back!
Groundbreaking for Multiple Sclerosis
Fishing with MS is doable for me if the conditions are right. But I'm not sure walking around with sharp pointy objects on slippery rocks is too smart with my balance issues. Also, I have to be very careful about my energy. It's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and not listen to ones body which results in a terrible day after. I actually listened to my body and ended as needed. But I'm still pretty wiped out today.
Photo courtesy foLAR.org
I kept cool and that was important. I brought my cooling vest along and had a few frozen wet bandanas with me but didn't need them during the derby. I kept hydrated with my camelback and had an instant cold pack in bag for an emergency. Ok, I actually looked kind of silly, as if I was ready for a six hour adventure. But with MS you never know. But the temperature stayed relatively mild and the slightest breeze kept me cool. I also stayed near the bushes and conserved my energy and at one point went Into the water and cooled off that way. I didn't trust my balance to go very far from shore.
Photo courtesy foLAR.org
I am going to get a waking/wading stick. I've seemed to have lost all my old hiking sticks. But with my balance it would be a good idea. And I love the stickiness of the wading boots so will wear them again. The only issue was that my big toe on my left foot bumps into edge of boot. Need to trim toe nail or something but they're not that long. Obviously I am trying out some new gear and getting ready for bigger trips than an hour along the LA river.
Photo courtesy foLAR.org
Photo courtesy foLAR.org
And tying on flies is not easy for those with MS. Between wonky vision, heat intolerance, balance issues and shakey hands, it takes me quite a bit of time to change flies. But yesterday I did several times. I'm getting my rhythm back so to speak and it feels so good!
So with anything and MS we have to take it slow and easy. No major expectations. One day, one fly, one fish at a time.
And we also must reward ourselves! I've worked years with my health and managing my multiple sclerosis to be able to do somehing like a fishing derby. Never thought it would be possible. I need to get a good wading staff. Maybe one with a seat so I can sit and tie my flies on. Yep, I'll be the lazy fisherman with a chair, a beer and eventually a fly tied onto my line. And I will be loving it!