Sunday, November 28, 2010

To do Battle with these Magnificent Beasts

My mind has been wondering back through the pages of fly-fishing history and to the anglers who had came before, the equipment and strategy.

I had read once that Thor still holds the record for Norwegian Sea Serpent and in his day they would swim in to the mighty depths to do battle with these magnificent beasts. Now I have swum in the ocean and chased small fish trying to grab their tails. I have also come head to head with shark, which will test the medal of any man. I figured if this thing wants to eat me it is going to get cold hard steal to the head, you see like Thor I never swim in the ocean with out a knife strapped to my leg.

My heart tends to lay more with the anglers of the 19th century. I’m drawn to the simplicity, exploration and rawness of the sport. The eloquence of the time has a romantic charm about it. Tweed jackets, hats, a creel and bamboo rods, it’s the definition of class and stream etiquette. I like to think of these characters practicing catch and release in a time when it was considered an insult and to a extent to this day it still considered a fools action.

We can learn a lot from our past and the lesson I see over and over is simplicity. We simply do not need all this junk that some marketing whiz wants us to use. Our fly boxes can be narrowed down to what works best. In fact challenge yourself to take only a few pheasant tails if your not catching fish change the depth or location of the fly, it’s really that simple. Learn how trout behave, how they eat, how they swim, where they swim and why they swim there. Fish new water it will make you better, take good notes and keep a tight line.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sworn to Secrecy

Have you ever noticed how most fishermen are as secretive as a double agent and fly fishermen have to be among the top percent of that and defiantly the crowd that draws the most mystery. It’s like a fraternal order, now I’m not much for a frat and usually fish alone but even then I’m as secretive as a nation’s A-list spy. I have to admit if someone is worthy of the knowledge the tips and wisdoms can come as furious as a winter midge hatch. If you’re a head-hunter, which is code for another type of fisherman, forget it. I catch myself renaming holes, renaming flies and fishing off the beating path. It becomes a cloak and dagger operation and I like catching fish in odd places with odd methods.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Firewood, Check!

The weeks and days leading up to a fishing trip can be a little overwhelming. You have nothing else on your mind but that particular stretch of water and what to pack or what not to pack. Fishing gear, check. Firewood, check. Beer, what kind should I get? Scotch, check. Cigars, check. .45, check. No wait, leave the gun take the tying vice.

One has to spend their time wisely, oiling the reels weeding out useless gear that only weighs you down and cleaning your waders so you don’t spread those filthy little aquatic hitchhikers. I look forward to this type of thing and compare it to a pitcher preparing for game 5 of the World Series.

Much like Rommel’s meticulous planning for the invasion of North Africa I spent the day preparing my gear then I came across my fishing Journal. I rarely turn the back the pages and read my scribbled notes from previous trips and outings. I more or less look forward to the next time I can be on the water and the next fish I can record and with what fly he was caught on.

Today was different, I started on page one and worked my way to the fly recipe pages which show how I tie them and on to my hand drawn detailed map of the blue river listing my own secret spots and their code names. With every new page I began to realize how much this book means to me and what knowledge It will pass to my kids. I also, realized I don’t need four fly boxes because I catch fish with a core group of 7 flies, fished alone or in tandem and at different depths under different weather and water conditions. The Zebra is a killer in slow water, the Pheasant Tail in murky and San Juan is typically just a bad ass. Everything else is classified.

So plan a trip, go through your gear and fish smarter not harder.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Coffee on the Water

When most of the world is sleeping in all nestled in their beds I’m standing in the middle of a 58 degree river in 40 degree weather chasing those ever elusive trout. You see with the long summer absence of trout comes the deep desire to fish every wakening available moment. Even though today only brought 4 to hand it was not without rewards as the pheasant tail is a prizefighter in a murky post rain stream.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Veterans Day

The first day back on the water was pretty damn nice. I had good weather and good company. This day happen to fall on Veterans Day so I took a Marine friend of mine who was in Vietnam in ’68. He is new to the sport and it was an honor to show him the ropes and the Blue. Like most mornings we were on the fish pretty fast and before I knew what was going on I had 5 to hand and he 3.

It felt good to get back into the rhythm, reading water, casting, playing the fish to hand. All the troubles of the world and battlefields of yesterday seem to disappear down stream with the leaves of the previous spring.

Thank you to all who have served this country and to those serving now.

A Gift From The Gods

It’s that time again, my favorite time of year when the leaves are changing color and a chill is in the air and the river whispers those familiar sounds. It’s Trout season and in my opinion a gift from the gods for surviving the hot hell of summer.

May this season bring us all joy and happiness, many fish to hand and more knowledge to pass on! Keep good notes and tight lines!