Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Fly Fisherman Hatch

Sizing up the competition

  I have been a good little caterpillar for the last two weeks, holed up in my house, watching the weather, checking the USGS water flow charts and scouring local blogs and fly-shop fishing reports. I have patiently devoured this information day by day and have now grown fat with anticipation for tomorrow. Tomorrow is "my day" and "the day" for stirring things to stir, hatching things to hatch and feeding things to start feeding. The weather will be perfect, the flow at 98 cfs will be perfect. It is a fishing day, I can feel it.
The Dude
  I can also feel Spring, like a faint pulse. Maybe its the air that smells slightly sweeter now or the migrating birds crisscrossing the sky but I think old man winter is ready to retire for the year. I pull my blanket up around my neck and wiggle my toes with excitement before dozing off to images of feeding trout. Today ends.
I am up early, before the sun and with a sore throat! Maybe I accidentally convinced myself, unbeknownst to myself, that I was sick with all the air sniffing and pulse feeling the night before. The Ricola dude blows his horn and that just makes my head ache more so I bag my early morning fishing departure and decide to dope up on cold medicine and wait for the afternoon.  Afternoon arrives slowly and my cold medication has tamped down my sore throat, only to replace it with a dry mouth and eyes, good enough.

Mr. West
  The sun feels warm on my neck and shoulders as I pack up my gear for another fishing adventure. Our cat named Tuna is laid sprawled out on the driveway soaking up the sun rays, her ears flicking at the sound of dry leaves sent sliding across sandy concrete by little puffs of wind. I am on the road at 1220 PM and have downed two Dayquil and one liter of water before leaving Boise. I pass the drive as I usually do listening to talk radio, complaining to myself about money or day dreaming about fly fishing. Before I know it my driver door swings closed with a satisfying clunk signaling that I have my waders on, pole in hand and everything else stowed or locked away in my truck.
Tree Slayer :)
Then I shoot off to the river like that old lady at the mall that blows by everyone else, pants pulled high, butt cheeks tight, heel toe, heel toe, not running but not exactly walking either.
  It is the perfect day to be out on the river, my research and patience has payed off with what is sure to be an amazing evening of fly fishing. I tromp past an old cottonwood and through some brambles to my normal starting point on a nice little run that slides into a right sided bank hole. That's when I see them, wrapped in khaki Gortex, rods flicking like antenna, and polarized sunglasses starring back at me with reflecting bug eyes.  Seven people! I had, by all appearances stumbled onto a human hatch, only instead of emerging from, they were converging on, the water. It feels like a home invasion only it's on "my" river.
The Blogger
   I want to scare them away. I want to tell them the water is contaminated with mercury or that there are toothy beaver traps everywhere or not to bother fishing at all because there is only carp and suckers in this river. I assume they are thinking the same terrible things about me for a moment. Pretty childish I know but treasure is hard to share, that's why it's usually locked up or guarded by something terrible and huge whose breath smells like whoever it just ate right before trying to eat you. 
  I am not an ogre and truth be told I am quick to make friends. My wife says a friend to me is only someone I haven't met yet. Before I know it I am shaking hands, laughing and snapping photos of my new river comrades. I also realized we all share a respect for this area and its wildlife.  

The Big Fish of the day...

  While I enjoy a nice solo fishing trip, it is nice to have company on a river to swap stories or river lore with. People add depth and history to a place and make it more pithy. Thanks to all I met for your friendly nature and fishing advice. My memory betrays me as I don't remember everyone's name but I did meet a Bill and a John and Mr. and Jr. West. I fished alongside a dude from Emmett with a fine fishing hat and 30 years of fly fishing experience who expanded my knowledge of crane flies. I even met a man who might cherish this river more than I do, if it weren't so much fun to hunt ducks. Thank you all for sharing "my" fishing day.  

1 comment:

  1. Good read and I didn't even have to do it on the pot.