Teva Mountain Games: The Epilogue

It was permit I tell ya’ – permit everywhere!

I stood on the casting deck and took four practice swings. Smacked the short target three times and the middle one once. Confident, I put my fly in my hand and told the guide to get us moving. He said he’d start the moment I did.

I lifted the rod, tucked my elbow, took a quick pull of the line…and all I saw after that was permit. Permit everywhere. Little black fins bobbing and weaving, in three distinct groups at 25, 35 and about 50 feet. In the back of my mind all I could hear was 12 o’clock…cast cast cast! And then pick up…cast! Pick up…cast! And that’s what I did. The wind seemed to howl simultaneously from all sides, while some imaginary guy on the poling platform screamed bloody murder. I think I hit two targets, and am pretty sure I threw one pathetic distance cast about 60 feet.

I still don’t have a permit on the fly, and I didn’t qualify for the competition either.

James Snyder and I skipped out after that, walking 100 yards and then gorging on pancake breakfasts. Found our trucks and set forth west, hitting some nice pocket water in the otherwise raging Gore Creek. We got into a few fish on green and brown Rubber Buggers. On the way home we stopped by Ten Mile and picked up a few more, this time on small stuff. We laughed and carried on as usual, and we had a great time. Trout fishing with a friend – a fitting end to a competitive day. Full of permit.

What did I learn from this experience?

There were a lot of spectacular fly casters at the meet, and I think some of them had a great time. I left before the applause, but I’m clapping now – they deserve it. Still, others took themselves way too seriously and probably didn’t have much fun. I showed up for the pre-show in drag, and while a few photographers (as well as a small handful of competitors) were delighted, it was pretty easy to tell a lot of folks there weren’t amused. For them I feel nothing but sorrow, regardless of their performance.

I know I’ll never be a decent competitive fly caster because my casting stroke is nothing to write home about. I only catch fish because I’m lucky, and sometimes I’m just very lucky. Further, I just can’t seem to take this whole fly fishing thing much more seriously than popping the top on a Coors Light and playing stuffed animal tug-of-war with my dog (which is precisely what I’m doing in between typing the words you see before you).

Or at least I’m now certain I won’t anymore.

UPDATE: Almost forgot – special thanks goes out to John Darbeloff of RailRiders, Jeremy Cameron of Flies & Fins, and James Snyder of Primal Fly for the clothes on my back, as well as Tim Emery of FishExplorer for securing accommodations and Tim Marek for sneaking me into private parties.

UPDATE 2: Official qualifying results are in pdf form here. And a correction – I hit one target, and a 59 footer. Damn I sucked.

Comments

You didn’t compete in drag? Well there’s your problem.

Mandianne says:

The best things in life are just plain fun. Hats suit you!!

I should have cast in the outfit.

jeremy says:

“winning” something is way over rated .. and definitely not as cool as being a “loser” .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJN3PGqDRNg

I wasn’t particularly interesting in winning, but I wasn’t keen on choking either. Massive schools of permit can do that to a guy, but at least I have another theme song – if I listen to it (along with “Rat Race”) repetitively for the next 12 months I’m a shoe-in for 2010!

Dude, good stuff. I think I would have zeroed out thus saving you from blogger ignomy. But we’ll never know. Props for entering and having fun with it.

The only thing I see wrong with your approach is that your foam hat didn’t have some plastic tubing to funnel beer your way while competing. That would have slowed the permit down a bit.

It’s always good to have someone come around who truly understands those bastards…I mean permit. Nothing screws up a good day on the water like those dastardly creatures!