Fish sighted New Year’s Day, but the air smelled not so faintly of skunk

It’s a tradition amongst the losers with no date for New Year’s Eve hardcore flyfishing set, starting off the year on the water. Venturing out on January 1st is the means to prove thy mettle, braving ice and snow and wind to hook otherwise lethargic fish with singular tiny flies and tippet of thickness more akin to a human hair.

As you well know, I love the delicate scenario. That bit I’ve sold about slapping fat pieces of meat on the water, invoking territorial responses with saltwater fighting butts and three-foot pieces of 20# Maxima leader? It is bunk! Who in their right mind would do such a thing, experience the sight of a fish’s dorsal fin breaking the surface in chase, thrashing at a fly that otherwise hangs over the palm of the hand, when you can drift #22 UV-winged emergers through water devoid of snag-prone vegetation and watch trout after trout move calmly over to it and…


In the midst of a heck of a midge hatch to boot.

Such was my first day flyfishing on the first day of the coming decade. Nothing but a putrid odor (skunk perhaps?) drifting through the crisp afternoon air. The positive aspects of this flyfishing day included “getting out”. I’m not sure precisely what that means, as going home with your tail between your legs after slogging over and around monster boulders and sketchy trails, all the while thinking that one good dunk in the river means certain hypothermia, isn’t exactly my idea of the perfect substitute for napping on the couch (my second favorite activity after flyfishing). But folks always say “at least you got out” so I’m going to roll with it.

Cheesman fanatic Ron Karinski, who I met down there after referring to Gracie’s 101 Reasons Not To Get Up At 4:30am In The Dead Of Winter, hooked up once for the day but popped the fine tippet. He fishes the place constantly, so I not only don’t feel so bad about my own performance but also know my soon-to-be-published manual for sleeping in is sure to be a New York Times best seller. I’ll also note that we had damn good weather, with highs pushing 40F and mostly sunny skies (low sun and deep canyon shadows notwithstanding).

You already know the location – it’s an extremely popular spot and yesterday’s crowds proved it. Since we didn’t catch anything I’m safe from hotspotting accusations. As a public courtesy I’ll also tell you what didn’t catch fish (so you can sleep in too): yellow eggs, orange scuds, pink San Juan worms, red San Juan worms, red Jujubee midges, black UV-winged emergers, black zebra midges, Two-Toned Olive Humpbacks, grey Mercury RS2s, Black Beauties, Miracle Midges, and tan thread midges. 6X flourocarbon tippet didn’t help either.

I also got a chance to toy with the Scott S4 905-4 I picked up just before the holidays, and while it’s a well known piece of graphite I’ll be posting a review sometime soon. I’ve cast this rod plenty, and even fished it a few times via others’ generosity – it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, disappoint. So keep your eyes peeled.

MG signing off (to break out the tomato juice)


Still a good time – great hanging out with you, even though the fishing was slow.

I know it didn’t change your opinion of the canyon….BUT, perhaps someday we can get you in there and change that.

BTW…I’m still convinced it was the full moon….

A very good time…and full moons suck!

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