4/17/2009

It's About Time...

video

It had been a while since I had made it out to the river - my son was sick, and then winter decided it wanted to play some more, and then I got sick, and it snowed some more, etc.  So, needless to say, I was looking to open a serious can of Jihad on some trout and do some major damage.

The weather report was saying it would be sunny and in the 60s - in reality it was overcast and chilly, and as the day wore on, it became blustery and downright miserable, like Rush Limbaugh after being doused by a bunch of Libs armed with super-soakers.

This entire spring has been a royal pain - as I write this, I am trapped at home due to a major late-season blizzard, but I digress. The morning was overcast and chilly, but at least there was no wind (yet) and there were fish at my feet - so I set out to 'git me some.

The first one I spotted was parked in a tough spot - he was feeding on the inside seam of some fast moving water, which meant I had to pull off some serious high-sticking - which still didn't matter, being that I was not as close as I would have liked to have been. My line was catching the edge of the fast water and laying across the slow stuff, and it combined to pull my fly in all sorts of awkward directions.


But, after a few tries (more like 50 or 60 casts) and some creative mending, I managed to hit him and wound up netting my first catch of the day (and of April) - and after that, the world was alright once again.

After my first catch, I spotted a nice little brown moving up the current, and I followed him up the river a few paces until he parked and started feeding - at which time I pounced. Like so many unfortunate victims have learned, never, ever allow me to get comfortable behind you - this is one of the main reasons that courts in three states have ordered me to wear a bell around my neck.

After I let the little brownie go free, a strange thing happened - my reel fell apart. Not sure how, and I'm not sure why, all I know is that my spool fell off and my line unwound around my feet. So, I spent the next 45 minutes putting it all back together again, all the time wondering what the hell happened. My reel worked fine afterwards...so it's still a mystery to me.

By this time the wind was starting to pick up a bit and the temps seemed to have dropped a few degrees as well, so zipping up my jacket, I scoped the waters for my next target - and there it was. And it was a beast of a fish - the Rosie O'Donnell of the trout world, parked low in a fast seam right between two rocks. For the love of sweet Jesus, can't anything be easy?
 
The amount of weight needed to get my fly down fast enough would also increase my chances of getting hooked on the rocks - but far be it from me to bow down to a challenge, and I vowed that I would fish that bad boy, all day if necessary, until I hooked him. And so started a 2 hour battle of monumental proportions, during which time I lost 4 flies to the rocks, as well as having to replace my leader. During this time, the weather was quickly going south as my resolution to hit this monster increased.

And then I hooked him. And he promptly broke my line. And I shook my fist at the skies and cursed. And then I cried.

After gathering my composure and retying my line, I spotted my consolation prize, which seemed to sense my vulnerability and proceeded to taunt me for the better part of 20 minutes. But, I had the last laugh, and finally bent him to my will with steady determination and a #20 Zebra Midge. That'll teach you to mock me, Mr. Fish.

After that, the weather was just plain bad - the wind was whipping and it was hard to see anything in the water. Blind casting some runs, I managed to foul hook a nice prize, but other than that, the fishing pretty much ended for that day.

Ah well, it was great to get out on the water, and I look forward to the next time I can make it out - I have some unfinished business with Rosie O'Donnell that I need to take care of.