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I have a friend who’s a noted author and writer here in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.. Bruce Ingram has written for most of the major outdoor magazines, several of the local “lifestyle” publications and several books over the years, 4 of which are THE go-to fishing and paddling reference guides for all our major rivers in Virginia. When Bruce calls me to come help him out on a project, I’m there. Everyone who knows Bruce, or has been with him on one of his “working’ float trips has a story to tell. I’m lucky in that I have more than a few “Bruce Stories”. Bruce is a great guy, intelligent, articulate and passionate about what he does. But he’s also a little demanding, picky, and just a tad quirky. And that’s why we love him.

Bruce’s latest venture is he’s one of the bloggers on the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) website. Knowing Bruce’s guide books, VDGIF tasked Bruce with updating the float guide for the Shenandoah River since there’s been some access ramp improvements and additions in the last few years here on the Shenandoah system. We planned out the 2 floats he needed to cover and set the dates and people who were coming along with us. Bruce was bringing a friend of his and his drift boat too! I love handmade boats and Tom’s handcrafted beauty is a sight to behold. He said it took him 2 years to finish off. But it was 2 years well spent. The results of his efforts are nothing short of spectacular.

On to our story…

Bruce wanted to stop at a particular shoal area that had a lot of Water Willow islands to get some shots of me wade fishing the area, maybe a few Fly Fishing shots as well. We pulled up, I grounded out the Mayfly and then secured the boat with a YakAttack Park N Pole. Tom dropped off Bruce and his camera at the top of the shoal on the edge of the island we were on and then tried to spin out in the eddy at the bottom of the island. But the current was a tad too strong for him to hold the heavy drift boat stationary. He ended up being pushed by the current about 100 yards downstream before he could get out of the current. So when Bruce and I finished, we had a problem. The closest riverbank was covered in tight, knarly vegetation and a lot of big, dead wood. You sure weren’t walking through it. and walking thru the swift-moving shoal water was a non-starter with Bruce carrying a camera that cost about the same as a nice used car. So since Bruce only weighs about a buck-40 soaking wet, I figured we could get him up on the front of the Mayfly and I could River-Uber him down the short distance to where his ride was waiting for him. Worked like a charm.

Never underestimate the power of the Mayfly!