It's something that goes beyond just a desire, and is a calling that borders on necessity (or insanity?). Almost as important as sleep or food, the 'need' to get out and walk a stretch of water is overwhelming at times. Like today. An unseasonably warm, late autumn day, with lots of blue skies and plenty of sun. It's a calling that only another angler can understand or appreciate. While winter fishing is, and can be, a regular event, knowing that days like today are numbered until Springtime, makes the pull all that much greater.
On the other hand, it's days like today that allows us to plan out the next trip, visualizing every detail, fly, or technique. At least it does for me. But then again, I may not be right in the head. Yeah, it's safe to say that fishing is a deep-seeded passion. Maybe too deep at times.
And it's times like these that radical ideas are born - or at the very least, radical fly patterns. Years ago, while fishing a river with a friend, we were watching some large trout parked deep and low, and he said to me 'forget it, you'll never get those big ones.' And I thought, 'why not?' His reasoning was thus: they only go for other fish (or streamers in the right conditions) and due to the depth, the presentation would be tough to hit. Uh, yeah. 'Tell me where I can't go and I bet you that I see you there.'
I've never bought into that idea (one of many 'ideas' that I don't subscribe to), and so I mainly shoot for the larger sized fish, and in the process have landed some really nice 'smaller' trout. I will say this though, that they are more wary and not easily fooled and that it takes a lot of work and patience to hit them on a smaller fly. But being able to think outside of the box and being a bit unorthodox helps. Some would say that to laugh in the face of hundreds of years of traditions and anglers far better skilled (and wiser) than me, is arrogant. To that, I would say, I'm crazy, so I get a free pass.
So the challenge was, design a smaller fly that would appeal to the subs as well as the rest of the group - and it had to be easy to tie (sheer numbers) thus expendable. I did manage to come up with a pattern that was quite effective on the South Platte with the average to larger fish, but didn't seem to budge the truly massive hogs that I enjoy going after. Matter of fact, I met a guide from the Blue Quill, and after talking to him for a bit, he showed me a 'secret' pattern that he used quite effectively, and it was very similar to the one that I had come up with. I call that one sheer luck, being that I'm an idiot when it comes to basic thinking skills and comprehension. Like the old saying goes, put a bunch of monkeys in front of a typewriter and eventually they'll write a novel. Put me in front of a vise (the tying kind) and eventually I'll come up with something effective.
In any case, it was last night that I had a thought as to what may make this pattern more effective - and it's been close to the only thing I've been chewing on since, being that I can't get out on the river this weekend. The downside is, due to some 'events' over the past few years, I haven't been tying any flies. And my materials and tools are boxed up somewhere in the basement.
Which means only one thing: time to head downstairs and dig out my stuff and to start tying again. I've got this idea rattling around in my head like a BB in an empty tuna can and it isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's going to drive me insane (Poe anyone?) and, with a free weekend coming up, it would be a great time to get that pattern back in the water and tested. Sure, I may never find a single pattern that consistently appeals to fish across the spectrum, but it sure is fun trying (and I'll never stop believing that it can't be done).
Yup, it's weekends like this that inspiration (or madness) is born - and while I can't be out there, mending my line and tending my drift, I can at least dream, can't I?