There is a time for dredging flies – a healthy supply of free-living caddis and stonefly nymphs lingering around is one of them. Big chunks of lead are required; bobbers indicators are optional, and recommended. At dawn and dusk (and noon) slinging raw meat is ok too – flies with names like Zoo Cougar, Stacked Blonde, and Sex Dungeon add to the fantasy. But when the bugs are so thick you wish you had a tanker truck of DEET sitting in the lot just to spare the aggravation, the previously mentioned fly fishing methodologies should be filed under “last resort.”
Tis’ summer, and summer means insects. Ripe, juicy, egg dropping, hatching, flying creatures. Bugs so thick you are blinded by desire. In this case foreplay is packaged in a well-greased eleven foot leader. Ready for surface action.
To watch a trout sip your dry fly is to understand perfection. Sheer like Hustler Magazine apparel for tippet, a Dwight Howard driving from the free throw line single-handed dunk for a cast, and a drift so drag free that Lockheed is using it to model the next stealth fighter. Wrapped into one, ready and raring to rip a lip upon serving.
Last weekend’s adventure was comprised of checking the weather, noticing expected highs near 80F, and then scratching our head from the parking lot as carload after carload of anglers donned waders, vests, full-on packs, and marched the 200 yards to the stream to sweat their ever-living butts off. We on the other hand traveled Tibetan monk style, with a handful of PMDs and a few Barr’s Emergers similarly colored, to lay a Letterman-esque embarrassment upon anyone and everyone who dared stake out water within an eyeshot of us.
Somewhere along the way someone noted that it’s all about being there. To which I declare hogwash. Fly fishing is about catching fish, and doing so means being prepared. If group after group of anglers step into holes, get skunked, and we follow up by charging into those same spots and clearing a dozen or more fish out of the place in the next hour (while they watch in dismay from the sidelines), so be it.
Doing so with dry flies is just icing on the cake. See you at the bar, masters of the obvious. [Note: obvious means a plethora of fish, visible from the bank, in a certain hole on the stretch; not so obvious to the tourists crowding the hole is that said trout have seen every pattern in every fly box from here to Timbuktu.]
Commiseration, camaraderie, companionship? How’s about a couple of thirty fish days using rods labeled “noodle” in black Sharpie across their tubes? Taking an hour thirty for lunch, and quitting at three. Or just leaving Sunday at noon, passing dozens of geared-up muthas fiddling with their fly boxes. As you head to the lot…with a shit-eating grin on your face.
If I need another friend I’ll pick my dog up from the sitter’s. Heck…I don’t even expect to make friends with the trout, and as the PMDs and midges were blanketing the water so thick we considered trying to walk across their backs to the other side of the river, the fish weren’t exactly inviting us over for tea either. It was undeniable dry fly mayhem.
The world is a constant balancing act – yin and yang, right and wrong. The fishing was out-of-this-world, and many trout now have sore mouths. Two nights in a row the Colorado State Parks service booted camping spot reservations to accommodate us, and some anonymous folks might opine that a certain sheriff’s office needs to get their officers brushed up on a obscure law of our land entitled the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Trout feasted on a seemingly never-ending meal, fit for kings…
And the anglers responded, likewise aristocratically…
We forgot, however, that the fish don’t have to share space in a barely two-person single wall tent.