Tag: brownliners

When the client’s away, the brownliners will play

Trent's PigI’d been working like a dog all week, and seeing it was a short week I was extremely worn out. A man can only go without fly fishing for so long, and my limit seems to be…uh…well it has been roughly ninety hours since I last cast a fly to fish. Pathetic I know, but it was a really time sensitive project.

At 9:30 am the phone calls ceased, meaning the work was either complete or no longer in red-level alert mode. A half hour later there was a knock at my door, guaranteeing that any additional work requests wouldn’t get fulfilled on contact anyway. Fly rods were our keyboards, and the new client was carp.

Our arrival at goldfish city started with disappointment – the water was silted over throughout, making sight fishing a difficult task. We stalked what tailers we could see, stacked up anywhere from 20 to 60 feet off the banks, and did what devoted brownline folk do, exercise extreme patience. Colleague in arms Trent was first to score, with a roughly 15 pound piggie that ate a red sparkle worm. He felt mighty proud, and with good reason – it was his first carp on the fly! I was beaming too – Trent had been standing where the surface glare obscured his view, and I had spotted the fish for him. It took just one perfect cast and three short, fast strips to hook the prize, and more than ten minutes to get it to net. Carp usually give anglers a black eye, but in this case it was the fish that showed up with one.

Two piglets - only the one in the blue shirt stinksOnce we had a clue about flies, the rest was pretty easy still like pulling teeth. We got plenty of strikes on variations of the sparkle worm, from armored cars to straight red San Juans following small, flashy buggers. But carp mathematics are complex. For every hundred hits you think you felt, maybe two are legit. And for every ten hookups, you’re lucky if you land one. Even worse, you get a [potential] strike about every twenty or so casts to fish you specifically target. If you ask a commodities trader, a poker player, or even most fly fishers, they’d say that is a chance not worth betting on.

It’s that one good fight that immediately puts you at even money. And it’s the infrequent, but big, payoffs that keep this brownliner in the game.

Turning brownliners into Blue

Tyler Kendrick producing on a Gracie rigDodging turds in water you must first check with a geiger counter is more than any fly fisher should be forced to endure. Let’s face the facts – urban water is putrid, ugly stuff, and a fly fisher cannot reconnect with Mother Nature when they are deciphering graffiti and snagging submerged retreads. As a man oft described as caring and selfless, undeniably altruistic, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and rehabilitate a few of these brownlining folks.

Places and People

Last Saturday I again marched to the Blue River, described by some of the Orvis Cherry Creek folks as my home water. Precede that categorization with spring and you’ve got yourself a deal – I adore the Blue this time of the year, and will generally fish it hard right through caddis semester. I had Primal Fly mastermind James Snyder in tow once again, along with his colleague David Luna and bunny tying extraordinaire Tyler Kendrick.

Tough Love

I’d like to say we slayed trouts with reckless abandon, but around here we’re also trying to quash the general consensus that all fishermen are liars. A grand total sixteen fish were netted amongst us, a tally made all the more dismal considering we spent nine hours trying. Worse…two rods, a Loop Multi and a Scott A2, were broken (one through carelessness and one through Murphy’s Law), and one fine Rio Gold fly line was frazzled (although me thinks that was a manufacturer’s defect). A dozen plus flies were lost.

Beauty near day's endThe fishing results themselves were somewhat expected. I’d missed out on a Friday invitation, and the report back was a handful each. Those doing the reporting were more skilled than I, so the assumption was things were slowing down a bit. Nevertheless, what can go wrong will go wrong, and that includes having not a cloud in the sky.

On a positive note, what fish we did catch were gorgeous. Rosy cheeks and fat bellies. Like repetitive visits from Santa Claus, in May. And after breaking his rod early on and enduring an additional (undesirable) slog to the vehicle and back, Mr. Kendrick was able to put it behind him and pick up the fish of the day, a 22/23-ish rainbow in a difficult spot (and with the author’s rig…damn I’m a nice guy, eh?).

Intensive, long-term counseling should steer these dirty water thugs towards the road to recovery. I may not be the most qualified man for the job, but heck…someone’s gotta do it!