Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Night to Remember

It was Wednesday afternoon, and I sat at my desk intently checking the clock in hopes that it would be soon time to go.

Today I would make my way to fly fish the Upper Credit River. September 22nd of last year was when I last set down my fly rod and brushed off the Centrepin gear in pursuit of Kings, Coho, and Chrome - and for that it has been a great season. I have fought and landed (occasionally) some fish whose determination, acrobatics, and spectacular beauty will stay with me for seasons to come. But as the Kings and Cohos have come and gone through the circle of life, and as the last Oncorynchus Mykiss' check out of their honeymoon suites and make their way home to their respective Great Lake, it is time for me to follow my summertime passion.

Finally, I looked at the clock once more and it was time, and with a sigh of relief I arose from the confines of the workday. Whenever the reality of standing stream side is imminent, I'm almost certain I enter a state of temporary insanity (although my wife thinks this is a chronic condition) because I can hardly think straight from the excitement. There is a period of about 1/2 hour prior to leaving the house where I am most accident prone (I won't get into it now), and have the tendency to forget things that are fundamental to fishing - you know, things like a fishing rod. I'm well aware of my condition, and thus try to pack my things ahead of time. Today, I didn't have the opportunity to do so, and I'm quite pleased that the only thing I left behind (after multiple trips back and forth to the truck) was my net.

I arrived stream side by 5:30pm and the sky had already begun to darken with clouds low and looming. 3 cars were parked at the access point before me. I quickly suited up and made my way downstream. A few metres down, I entered the river below the tail out of a small riffle and was immediately amidst a swarm of insects, almost choking on them - I had literally walked into the middle of a Ephemerella subvaria hatch!

It wasn't long before I heard the unmistakable sound of rising fish. Juvenile Brown Trout were rising along the slow side of the seam, while the larger fish were porpoising in its fastest, deepest sections. Their flash of brilliant brown sides were a welcome sight after months of being away. With shaking hands I could feel my impaired mental state creeping in once again. I threw my first sloppy cast of the season a few feet upstream of the last rise of a big fish, and my Hendrickson dry fly skated recklessly across the surface. . . and then the surface lay still. But not for long. The fish could not let this temporary buffet escape them and they were soon rising again in rhythmic fashion. I pulled myself together and cast again ahead of the last rise and gave it an upstream mend. This time it drifted in sync with the bubbles and debris floating on their natural course downstream. A brown flash glistened beneath the surface and milliseconds later, the fish erupted viciously to take my fly under. In disbelief I raised my rod with the strength of a little girl. I was connected! But with 3 head shakes, we were unbuttoned - "Damn it - why did I set the hook like such a pansy?", I cursed.

Again the surface became still. . . and again, within minutes the feeding frenzy resumed. After connecting and quickly disconnecting with several 7-9 inch fish, I was beginning to wonder if I forgot to tie my flies with hooks.

Just downstream another sizable (but of course not as large as the first) candidate started to rise just downstream. I slowly made my way down and tied on a Klinkhamer Special. Within a few drifts the fish porpoised out with mouth agape, taking my fly. The fight was on! The fish shot about the pool and I fumbled from months without the fly rod in hand, but after a few close calls and acrobatic leaps, she graciously came to hand. My silly ear-to-ear grin that only a fish could illicit was back. I momentarily admired her beauty and I quickly pulled out the camera and shot a picture in the low light. The layman would call this a very poor picture, but I will reckon that it is art ;o)

The feeling of taking a fish on a dry fly of my own tie is something that I had almost forgotten. There is something grass roots and poetic about it that I love. I revelled in this moment and casually made my way to another small riffle where fish continued to rise. A colourful little fellow took my Klink.

As I released this gem, the last few rays of sunlight had gone, and an older gentlemen was making his way back upstream. We acknowledged one another with a nod and I asked him how the fishing was.

The elderly man looked at me with a youthful smile, and said, "I can't complain. . . it was a good day". I smiled back and said, "It sure was".


Blogger Trotsky said...

That Bug loks a lot like Morin.
I hate working for a living.
NIce FIsh..
....all you guys are creeps.

8:57 AM  
Blogger BCM said...

Thanks Trotksy.

"That Bug loks a lot like Morin" - - it looks like I may have a name for my dry fly -how does "The Morin Special sound? - LOL!

9:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home