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Michael Gracie

Practical Jokes On Me: Crab in the Pocket Edition

Somewhere between the Kanektok and the Snake, I lost my fishing jacket. Eventually, I discovered it’s locale, and it was returned to me. During a recent excursion, I decided to shed the pack, stacking a pile of streamers, a few tips, and a pair of gloves in said jacket.

Standing middle river, I reached for the box. Tied a new color on, then noticed the chest pocket was cramped when returning the fly box to its rightful destination. This beast was the culprit…

King Crab

Where did this crab come from? What did it mean? Who put it there?

(more…)

Not a drop of whiskey was spilled during the production of this fishing report

Cap-Lures - The Future of Fly-Fishing

The Future of Fly-Fishing (click)

Winds in excess of 35 mph battered the motel room window – we woke having consumed barely an hour’s sleep each as a result. The weatherman declared the speed of the moving air would subside instantly after 9am. The optimistic one reminded the crew that the suffering would soon end. Swung weighted flies across from a slate wall barrier until 10:15, and while marching to open ground thereafter the breeze hit a solid fifty and stayed that way. Worse, it was now coming from all directions, simultaneously. Draw a circle? Lay down a “D”? Lob a poke? It didn’t matter – by lunch countless flies had hit the back of the head. The tally was one grab.

Moving upstream didn’t help matters – the banks were crowded under the same guise – and before the sun had even shown intentions of setting we were charging towards less stressful circumstances. Still wadered up from the ride, we picked up a meager supply of fish before dark, thoughts of pizza, booze, and bedding consuming us (and soon visa versa) thereafter. A dessert is discovered, bellies are filled, and whiskey (which is purchased in quantity because of county tax differentials) is taken down in moderation pending concoction of some arbitrage play. Still, couldn’t stop thinking about the potential efficacy of swinging Cap-Lures.

(more…)

The Old and Bitter

YOURS TRULY: I need that signed document as soon as possible.

THE IMPETUOUS: I sent it two weeks ago via Priority Mail.

YOURS TRULY: Ok…thanks.

[two minutes eleven seconds later]

THE IMPETUOUS: Have you checked your mail in the last two weeks?!

YOURS TRULY: Uh…I’ve been fishing.

[nine seconds later]

THE IMPETUOUS: That’s what I thought.

YOURS TRULY: Hmm…almost sounds like nagging.

THE IMPETUOUS: I hereby declare that is precisely what it is.

[smiles]

The old and bitter hold steadfast on the shop floor, waxing irritably of bygone days i.e. before anglers wore Buffs on the rivers. Then claim they are the reason Buffs exist to begin with. The audience would rather choose their flies and GTFO. Sitting at the bench, mumbling to yet another derivation of the RS2, dreams of book contracts dance in their heads. Only five copies will ever sell. Damn that YouTube.

No time to sum up a fishing story. Because there isn’t one. Gas prices are too high, enthusiastic friends are few, and/or the lawn needed mowing.

THE OLD AND BITTER: You put in as much time as I have and you would be old and bitter too.

NOT SO INNOCENT BYSTANDER: Not a chance. Nobody is getting dragged into that grave you’re digging but yourself.

The rest are having the times of their lives, casually deferring the tales to those that can tell them better. Getting hassled for having so much fun, and finding fun in that too.

MG signing off (because Chupacabras exist, and so do old, bitter fly anglers)

Who believes fishing stories? Not I.

Your fishing buddy says “Dude, every time I looked over you were hooked up.” Every time you looked over at him he was hooked up too.

At one stretch you bring five fish to hand that would make many anglers green with envy. You did it in five successive casts.

Several strangers linger within eye shot and you catch at least one pointing over at you. Soon they seem to just disappear.

You’re standing forty feet apart, hitting a lot of doubles. So often in fact that you can no longer be bothered with pulling out a second net.

Rainbow trout

Twin rainbows? Naw...just another double.

Fly-fishing isn’t supposed to be about numbers, but you tally up the weekend score between you two anyway. It’s in the triple digits.

MG signing off (because he still cannot believe it himself)

One time battle: water skiers vs. brown trout fry

Only happened once because the trout are now dead!

Wyoming Gov. Dave Fruedenthal figured ten water skiers in Lowell were more important that tens of thousands of young brown trout. He ordered the flows to the Bighorn River cut to 1,500 cfs (i.e a trickle), and now an entire year’s worth of wild fish are gone. Adding insult to injury (actually, death), the spring spawning rainbows had to move someplace else too. A further blow (as if you needed one) – within two weeks of Wyoming Waterski Fest 2008 the river management authorities realized that there was a record snowpack in them hills, and they pumped the flows up over 8,500 cfs. Now the kayakers without health insurance couldn’t even enjoy the river.

Two questions:

(h/t to Moldy Chum)