Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another for My Fly Hall of Fame

As it turns out, I don't think my Hendrickson dry fly will be finding itself in a tree (if I can help it). In fact, I'm tempted to place it in a glass case and keep it as a prototype.

I made my way up to the UC this afternoon hoping to catch the Hendrickson hatch. The hatch seems to be occurring between 5:30-6:30 as of late. Today I arrived streamside right at 6 expecting to be engulfed in a cloud of these fabled mayflies. I envisioned trout rising recklessly to feast on the buffet coming down the conveyor belt. Yet, just when I thought I had these little fellas figured out, I arrived to find just a single mayfly fluttering overhead - it appeared to be amused by my look of perplexity. Not a fish would touch the surface.

I sometimes forget that there are no guarantees in fishing.

As any great fisherman would have done, I uttered a few profanities and sat on the bank and sulked for a moment. But the babble of the gentle flow, the song of the red-winged blackbird, and the beauty of this magnificent river quickly brought me solace. I sprung up and tied on a #12 Prince Nymph, and began to work a nice looking seam. After a few bumps and misses, I managed to keep one on.
With 4 cars already at the access point before my arrival, I decided to quickly make my way further downstream in the hopes of finding some less pressured water. As I made my way down, I noticed the lone mayfly that had earlier been mocking me was in the company of friends. I continued downstream, and they became more prolific. They made their presence known as they bounced off my face and neck. One found his way behind my sunglasses and frantically fluttered about my eyeball as he tried to find his way out - I simultaneously lost my balance in the shin deep water and came close to performing a swan dive in the flow ahead. It was now 7:30 and the hatch was underway - better late than not at all. I picked up the pace toward my destination - Pat's Pool. Upon arrival, I was welcomed with a nice sized splash at the tail out (at the far reaching end, of course), and it was time to tie on my Hendrickson dry. As anyone (well just me) who knows this pool will tell you, it is not an easy pool to drift a dry fly for more than a couple feet without drag. It is adorned with multiple seams, varying depths and speeds. I slipped into the water just downstream of the tail out, and positioned myself for maximum stealthiness. Knowing that I only had one chance and with more false casts than was probably called for, I shot the line out upstream of the last rise. I could not see my fly from the glare set by the tired sun as it approached the horizon and I watched the surface intently for any disturbance. The fish rose, and I instinctively rose my rod - just in case. I immediately felt a heavy weight on the other end and the head shakes began. Quickly, I gathered the line onto the reel to justify the cost of the disc drag. The reel sung as the fish shot across the pool (yes, it was worth every penny). After another run downstream, he began to tire and I slowly guided him back up. This time I remembered the net and I skillfully (yes, I impressed myself) brought him to hand. What a fine specimen. I admired his beauty for a moment and set him on his way back home.

As I revelled in this victory, the elderly gentlman from last week and his fishing partner made their way upstream to Pat's Pool. The elderly fellow began to recall the big fish of past years and of his memorable encounters with land owners and their dogs. One fish was a 24"er that he landed 2 seasons ago from this very pool (could it be Pat?). I placed my Hendrickson dry in the hook keeper, and we chatted and shared a few laughs for a little while. My day was complete.

I think I'll tie a few more of those flies. . .


Blogger Trotsky said...

That first Brown looks really sullen and dejected....
Why are you so mean?

9:32 AM  
Blogger BCM said...

I'm not mean. . . I'm going to do everything in my power to treat every fish in that pool fairly by catching that fish's siblings, parents and extended family before the season ends.

I am an equal opportunity fisherman.

9:49 AM  

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