The morning was picture perfect as the first light found its way through the alder and old oaks that line the river's bank. This particular pool is the kind of place that you go to in your mind when you want to leave the troubles of the day. The sound of the water running over ancient rocks, waterfowl overhead and just enough crisp air to remind you that you are alive.
Trout were beginning to rise in the pools near by, there wasn't enough action to call it a frenzy but it was enough to make the switch to drys. Up until that point they had enjoyed sipping small nymphs fished with the dead drift. The first cast found nothing, the second the same and third less then perfect. It was the fourth cast mend that yielded the surface to break with the back of fish. A most excellent display of aquatic form with the same smooth confidence and grace as a dolphin. Except this was a trout gliding up and over the surface of the water into the air and then returning to the water from which it came.
He must have been the granddad of the whole pool. Long and lean a trophy fish and a dream catch. Had the mend not been made so soon the hook could have easily been set and the old granddad landed. Sure, the stories would have been told differently going into detail on how the battle was won. But that old granddad swam away and the only thing we are left with is the memory of that magnificent fish on that cool morning and a place to go to in our minds when we need refuge from the troubles of the day.
After fishing last week I realized that I've been packing extra gear that is just not needed. So in an effort to relieve myself of a headache and backache I've decided to simplify and organize my pack as well as fly box.
Why carry a fly box full of flys that aren't used?
Why carry a fly box when i have one that is part of my pack?
Why carry two types of hook removal devises when one works fine?
Why carry all my spilt shot when i could just pack what i need for that day?
Tomorrow I am going to make the change from barbed hooks to barbless. It is something that I have wanted to do for some time now and with the new C&R area's barbless hook rule, i'm going to do it. I am sure the change will come with its pros and cons, but in the end will make me a better fisherman. What do i care if i don't get all of them to the net. I don't keep any of them anyway and haven't for over 15 years. In retrospect i'm not for sure why i didn't change sooner. I suppose greed had her evil claws dug into my skin like a barb dug into a lip.
Like most things in life the trip didn't go as planed. I was running about an hour behind. I am almost sure that had i made the first light's feeding i would have made a killing. although 5 is not bad for a couple of hours time, it's by no means good. I could not help myself from being haunted by the new Catch & Release area about 2 miles upstream. They say a fly fisherman goes thru four stages in life 1. wanting to catch a fish, 2 wanting to catch a lot of fish, 3. wanting to catch a big fish and 4. wanting to catch only big fish. I having fished for trout most of my life am at stage three. So that damn area upriver haunts me. It's calls my name and i know there are plenty of hogs to be caught there. So, being one of a sound mind i have decided to give my old beach cruiser bike a new purpose in life. Its main job will now be to transport me and my gear 2 miles upriver along a narrow road. I must get to work right away drawing up plans on how to mount my rod cases to the frame. There is no time to spare it must be operational by Tuesday.
good riddance to you October, between baseball, the election and in the anticipation of trout fishing season I bid you farewell. Your cool nights have left me pennant-less, without a conservative government and broke due my upgrading of fishing gear. So goodbye you scum sucking swine.
I plan to hit my favorite little southern Oklahoma river tomorrow morning in chase of these trout rascals. I will leave the house by 5am arrive at the river by 5:30am, suite up and be in the water by 6am.
1. Start with a size 16 soft hackle hares ear nymph, i might even fish a 2 fly rig with a size 22 red midge on the end.
2. Wait for the air temperature to rise then switch to a dry fly
3. After that a Bugger and then the red midge again