Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quick Trip on the Fly

This isn't really about flyfishing, but more about how quick things had to come together to get on the water. For the last 8 weeks we've been going 6-7 days a week. No time for fishing or much of anything else. I have done hours of day dreaming at work, envisioning myself sitting by quiet waters in my handmade wicker chair, smoking a pipe, adjusting my top hat, and writing in my leather bound river journal thoughts like "My flyrod and wading staff, they comfort me. They restoreth my soul." You know, like the purest do. :) But today was a far cry from those stream bank daydreams.
 I got to work and was told, I thought you were off today. Say what?? We haven't talked about days off in months, it's just part of the busy season we have to accept. But oh yes, I was taking off. I had work to finish and ran out about two hours later. I raced into the house and started scavaging my gear that was spread out everywhere since the last time the yak got wet. Within about 30 minutes I was on the road, yak and gear loaded, racing for the river.

The wind was nasty with a constant 15-25 mph as usual when I want to fish, but it was sunny and 73. I got unloaded and pushed off, ready to absorb everything this day had prepared for me. And the wind kept blowing. I paddled a ways, snapping some photos when I noticed the low battery flashing at me. Go figure. Within 20 minutes I had already landed two bass and headed on down river.


It always amazes me the things you get to see while out paddling.

First off was two deer crossing the river way ahead of me. Then two great horned owls came swooping down about 30 yards from me and were fighting a squirrel determined to get away. They got him and  then fought between each other for dibs on the first juicy bite. Out came the camera, turned it on, zoom in, battery died. Figures. I got to the bank, reached around and grabbed my phone which is worthless as a camera. But that's what happens when you don't charge the batteries on all your good cameras.

Here he is flying away with his prize. Again, terrible photo.

After only about a half mile, I came to my first portage. Just a simple, but big dam i've carried my gear around hundreds of times. Today was no different. As I grabbed the yak and prepared to walk down, my feet slipped right out from under me. I hit hard. One of those soul jarring falls. I think my little hamster wheel up top came off it's tracks. I laid there for a few seconds wiggling my toes, then fingers, just to make sure everything was still functioning. My wrist was hurting pretty bad, although i'm not sure why, it didn't help out at all on the landing, just scurried out of the way like a rodent. But I jumped up, and in the voice of Randy Macho Man Savage, I let out a monstrous "OOOOHHHH YYYEEEAAAHHHH!!!". (That was the "I meant to do that" yell just in case anyone was watching...you know, I had to keep my dignity in tact)

It hurts just looking at this pic.

I headed on, well, more like limped on, and got back to fishing. Four more dinks were caught in the next 30 minutes.

 I cast over to a spot that just had that look and thought I got hung up. But the line was moving towards me. Ok, set the hook then? About that time she came up to the surface about four feet from the yak and our eyes met. We both hollered and she went straight under the boat. "Whoa, drag, help, what the..." She was doubling the rod over heading under and my drag wasn't set right. Oops. I got the problem fixed and got her landed. Just over 5 lbs and quite the lively yakmate. She was photographed, released, and gave me a face full of water for my troubles as she took off.

I caught one more nice bass on the way back to the truck, and it was time to go.

I'd only been gone two hours and now the race was on to get the kids picked up at school. Overall, the best day i've had in a long time. I needed this. It would have been a good beginning to the tourney we'll be starting in a few days. It's the one where I will be distributing a friendly, yet unrepentant butt whooping to some of my yakangler brothers. That's if I can get out of bed in the morning. I fear I may have bruised my tailbone. The stiffness and pain have set in and I have adjusted from one cheek to the other a dozen times in the last few minutes. A price i'm more than willing to pay for a day of fishing. (well see if i'm singing that same song tomorrow).

All 8 bass were caught on a Trigger 5" Flutter worm in Watermelon Chartreuse. All were caught on the same worm, it stayed on through all the fights. If it's working, don't change it.

 The wind never stopped and got worse. As of 6pm there wasn't anymore blue skies, although there were no clouds either. The dirt was now here.

At least it waited to get bad after I got back.

Thanks for coming along,

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