Friday, June 23, 2006

Pat - Perpetually Elusive

I decided to make my way back to the same area of the Upper Credit River yesterday (June 22nd) to actually wet a line this time. This stretch of river is for the time being my favourite place to be. From the access point is a short walk where the river's straight narrow run segways to a meandering flow through age old maples, wild flowers, and overhanging trees, where the only sounds you hear are the birds, the rustling of wildlife in the brush, and if the timing is right, the slurping, bulging and rising of fish. It is where I feel "away from it all". But there is one more thing that keeps me going back. . .

It likes to feed near the surface in the mornings between 9:00-9:30, and in the evenings from 8:30-9:00. It always feeds right on the seam, where the tail out of the riffle meets the almost stagnant water. It does not like Hendrickson Emergers, Caddis, BWO Emergers, Stonefly Nymphs, PT Nymphs, PMDs, Light Cahills, or the Kinkhamer Special- at least none of mine. Because I have never seen it in full, I would have to say it is over 25 inches. A fly fishing buddy and I have agreed upon Pat for its name for the sake of androgyny. Once we know its gender it will either be Patrick or Patricia.

I arrived at Pat's pool to find very little bug activity, aside from the mosquitos gorging themselves on the newly found buffet fumbling through the bushes. The air was eerily empty. A fellow fisherman (the only one I would encounter the whole evening) would blame it on the change in barometric pressure. I waited patiently for the usual feeding time - Pat, as if to feel pity on me, entertained with a couple bulges on the surface. I had noticed BWOs floating about a few days ago, so I decided to try an emerger once again. Being in the best possible position to obtain that drag-free drift (although it seems this is never easy where the big fish lie), I put my fly a few feet in front of the last location of surface activity. I repeated this with various flies. I waited. . . and repeated again - nothing. Pat decided not to entertain this silly man any further and remained in the depths for the rest of the night.

It's a good thing not all UC fish are as cruel as this aforementioned specimen.

But how I yearn for the day when I can behold Pat in the cradle of my net and call it by its full name.


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