Raised in Los Alamos, and a former rafting guide with New Wave Rafting Co., James Shinas now lives and works in Talkeetna, Alaska, as a pilot. There, he met his fiancé, Lisle Doria, who drives jet boats on the Talkeetna and Susitna Rivers. Lisle, who grew up outside of Middlebury, Vermont, has been fishing all her life. James just took it up. They are, at the moment, visiting in New Mexico, and Lisle wanted to see what the San Juan was all about. The San Juan river needs no introduction to fly fishers, being one of the most famous tailwater trout fisheries in the nation.
They, Kathy and I drove over in our van, and fished for a day and a half – first in the Cable Hole area, and then at Frustration Point/Baetis Bend. Since their waders were leakers, which isn’t recommended for so cold a river, they chose to use their pack raft for the second day. They were quite a sight – the two of them in a craft the size of a half a barrel. But, hey, they caught fish!
The San Juan is a real piece of work (an expression usually reserved for people). Look to this blog in the future for an extended essay on this river which, while being as artificial as Central Park, is where the fish are.