For those that may not be up to speed on their Roman mythology, Fortuna is the name of the Goddess that personifies luck. Her more familiar moniker is Lady Luck, which is a name that most of you may recognize.
To me, she is known as Mistress Luck, since I spend most of my time groveling at her booted feet, begging and pleading for a smidgen of love.
Yes, I freely admit I'm a weak man when it comes to women - Goddesses in particular. My Id has thrown me under the bus far too often, so rather than fight it, I just drop and assume the position, hoping it pays off later.
In business terms, this is what we refer to as ROI, or Return on Investment and, yesterday, the returns were not looking all that great. Actually, had my last few trips to the river been reviewed by S&P, the analysis would have had Warren Buffett running for the door.
And speaking of Buffet, that dude still knows how to throw a party. A few years back, during a business trip to Omaha, we were having dinner at Gorat's, a local steak house, and in the room next to us was Warren and his crew. And let me tell you something, they were more rowdy than a frat house on a Saturday night.
Yeah, for an old dude, he still knows how to torch the barn - which is easy to do when you're as loaded as he is.
Anyway, as per the ritual, I made it to the water at first light, cursed the cold, the Amish and the Longhorns in one continuous breath, and then promptly armed my weapon...which was actually a back-up ugly stick, since I unceremoniously crushed my primary rod while gearing up.
Fortunately, I always carry a back-up in my truck, along with jumper cables, tools and the ever-important pack of Bubble Yum. I don't recall having placed that last one on the necessary item list, but then again, I don't seem to recall getting a cat, either, even though I found one lounging on my couch last week, as if it had always been there.
Seven-year olds are a kick in the pants and, if you haven't already, I highly suggest picking one up the next time you're at the store.
Oh, and a little after I pulled into the parking lot, I heard some noises all around me as I was getting ready and turned around to find a pack of coyotes casually strolling through the lot. By the time I had the camera up and running and the headlights turned on, I caught the tail-end (no pun intended) of the last canine (above).
Getting back to the story...an epic day was not in the cards - although the flows were up from my last visit, the fish were scarce. Don't get me wrong, there were some fish hanging about, but they were not present in the numbers that I am used to on this river. Or the sizes, for that matter.
It's as if they all had a party somewhere (Buffet's place, perhaps?) and the only ones left were the unlucky ones that didn't get an invite, either because they weren't cool enough, their mommies dressed them funny, or they smelled of urine.
I managed four hook-ups - but only one made it to my net. The others all spit the fly, with one of them being a big, slow 'Lennie Small' of a fish who was playing all alone in the Ice Box.
This one really displeased me - he was parked in the middle run of the river, and was down low, in about 3 feet of water, so it took me a while to nail the proper drift and depth, which in and of itself, is not a bad thing, since these are the targets I love to set my sights on - the ones that others will pass up after one or two casts because of the difficulty.
So it's really satisfying to finally stick the chubby SOBs, but equally frustrating to lose them after investing so much time and effort (read: actually having to think). In other words, this is an unfavorable ROI.
Add to the frustration quotient the fact that there were limited fish to stalk, and this one really rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously. I felt chafed and itchy for most of the morning after losing this guy - and the expletives that I hurled against the canyon walls are probably still bouncing around up there, indiscriminately scorching the flora and fauna.
Two weeks ago, I actually got a nice 22 inch rainbow to the net (above) in this same stretch - but he wiggled to freedom as I was going for the cliched 'grip n' grin' shot. By the way - caught on a Mamba.
The rest of the time was spent hiking the canyon, looking for some action - but overall, it was actually a really great day. The weather was outstanding, the traffic on the river was minimal, and THE Ohio State got some humility rammed in their collective 'buckeyes' on a trip to Madison.
I can't really argue with that - mainly because I need to get over to Fortuna's house and start groveling again.