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Michael Gracie

Let’s close this trip out on a good note

INTREPID PHOTOG (WITH THREE CAMERAS, FOUR RIGGED RODS, FIVE LENSES, AND A SIX PACK OF MODELO IN TOW): This looks like a good spot for closing out this trip. I need a really good shot, so don’t splash up the pool when you step in. You’ve been fishing that same fly all weekend … sure you don’t want to change it up? How ’bout a dropper?

YOURS TRULY (WITH ONE PARACHUTE ADAMS, TWO FEET OF 6X TIPPET, AND A THREE WEIGHT RADIAN IN HAND): I’m good.

INTREPID PHOTOG: If there is anything here, it’s gonna be sitting on the right edge. Deeper over there. Sun’s at your back, so watch your shadow. Be careful of that big log behind you. Wanna cast this rod?

YOURS TRULY: Got it. Nope.

Thirty seconds later …

INTREPID PHOTOG: Dude, where’s your fly?

YOURS TRULY: (Sigh)

Another minute goes by …

YOURS TRULY: Satisfied?

MG signing off (because it felt like work, but business was good)

Photo credit: James “You Really Need A Dropper” Snyder

Angler credit: Michael ” No I Don’t” Gracie

Hallowed Waters of Mystery, Intrigue, and Bad Oarsmanship

This.

  • Three #14 Parachute Adams, two #16 LaFontaine Sparkle Caddis Pupa, and one #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis fooling two dozen brown trouts – about $5
  • Five hours of road time and the number of a reliable shuttle service now permanently ensconced in the Rolodex – roughly $120
  • Yours truly getting the boat wedged in a rock wall, culminating in no grand tragedy other than a horrified look on his face …

eddy

Priceless.

MG signing off (because you knew the punch line already)

The Solitary Adams

It was a fitting conclusion to a mind bending three days of floating the Rio Grande with the Duranglers / Trout’s crew. Salmonflies, browns and goldens, caddis, BWOs, and even a few grey drakes were true to form, fluttering with reckless abandon and then crashing to the water’s surface. Pteronarcys californica in particular flew high and mighty, and in numbers the guide staff said they hadn’t seen in a decade. Propagation of the species.

YOURS TRULY: John, what’s your thought on a fly for me today?

JOHN FLICK: Parachute Adams

YOURS TRULY: Size 10?

JOHN FLICK: Don’t be silly Michael. Everyone knows these fish will only eat a 12. I’ll forgive you this once because I know how many bourbons you had last night.

size12parachuteadams

Paired with a bonafide stick in Mark Zandell, proprietor of Tilden On Speer, I kicked my feet up and put the solitary adams to work. It skittered and skated, and moved too many fishes to bother keeping count. I put a new one on after the previous went Titanic, opening and closing the day with nary a smidgen of second guessing the choice. At the take-out one of the compadres asked me if I found using that one fly all day long boring. A short of it flying sixty feet, landing directly in front of a feeding brown, and getting pummeled flashed before my eyes. Anything but.

The Rio Grande system near its headwaters teems with an astounding variety of life. And with exception for the trouts that make it though the winter months’ low, icy flows, it is entirely short-lived; the bugs hatch, spawn, then die, and the river is only row-able for a couple of months a year. To the contrary, the parachute adams is deceptively simple.

And yet eternal. Much like memories of the days just past.

MG signing off (because not all good things must come to an end)