Thursday, June 07, 2007

About Time

After a night of fishing last week with very little to report (other than watching another fly fisher take fish from under my nose repeatedly - like someone punching me in the stomach repeatedly), last night was one worth recording.

I arrived at one of my favourite stretches of water and pulled in behind a camper that I've seen parked there for a few weeks now. As I was backing in, the inhabitant began to yell in fear of me barrelling through his front door, despite being 5 feet away. I thought that this might be good opportunity to introduce myself. I peaked into the quaint little abode and said hello.

He was a well mannered gentleman in his late 50's who had taken the passion of fishing to a level most of us only dream of. He was the former owner of a taxidermy business that he sold in the early 90's. Since then, he has been spending his summers parked streamside, whether it be in the Catskills or at the river he calls home - the UC. He was a wealth of information that no book could contain, nor Google could compare. He bore the knowledge that I figure could only be attained through his literal breathing and living of everything flyfishing.

Although on a typical day, I can't get my waders on nor my rod together fast enough, I took my time this evening, and fished through this man's knowledge and the journey of his life by the river.

I did eventually get my waders on and rod together, however; and I did do some fishing. It comprised missing a very big take at my first stop, and losing a beautiful 15 incher after fighting it for minutes, just as I thought it was as good as landed. As I looked up from this defeat, bugs began to come off and come down in exorbitant numbers; there were duns, there were spinners, there were caddis - you name it. I was smiling once again.

A Resting Gray Fox Spinner

I quickly made my way to Pat's Pool to see if he/she had noticed the buffet before us and I was welcomed with bulges and breaks in the surface. I positioned myself downstream from the activity, and tied on my closest match to the falling spinners. I waited for another rise, and I casted just upstream of it. My fly meandered down to the strike zone and gentle swirls and waves formed around it - tell-tale signs that they were intrigued. I repeated the cast, and again it approached the strike zone. Suddenly an unmistakable eruption surrounded my fly and it was taken under. With my mouth agape and I immediately snapped my rod tip up as the fish was heading down, and my line mmediatley went limp. The fish must have thought it was still connected as it leapt completely out of the water. It was behemoth.

Seeing the fish made it all the more painful to swallow. A fisherman on the opposite bank saw the acrobatic display and confirmed its enormity. I sulked. But the breaks in the surface continued and I quickly pulled myself together and tied on another. They continued to swipe at it but none fully took. I cast upstream again and my fly meandered on the surface film when a small dimple formed taking it under. I raised my rod tip with more composure this time and the headshakes began; then it was the tearing runs around the pool. I tried desperately not to think about the previous two losses and I managed to remain calm and waited for him to tire. I pulled the net from my back and slipped it under the beautiful 15 inch Brown. . . finally, I had won one.