Rainy days, who needs them? Okay, that’s a dumb question from a fisherman. Staring through the rain streaked windows, my house looks like it is sharing my emotion. We are both crying because I can’t be out fishing today. Nope, instead I’m stuck indoors worrying about how bad this storm is going to muddy up my favorite fishing hole. Priorities. I have fished in a down poor, I’ve fished when there was nary a sprinkle. Seriously, let’s face it folks. Deep down, we are all fair-weather fishers. You have your exceptions, the diehard who claims he would fish in the middle of the nuclear test at the Bikini Atoll site. “But George, your skin is on fire!” “Yeah, cool, right? Now watch this cast!” We all know “that guy”. I know several of them in fact. My point is, when weather does not permit me to go out and play, I use the time I have wisely. Bill Dance bloopers, tying flies, trying to figure out if 2x or 6x tippet is bigger. You know, the important stuff.
Today before the storm blew in I had a chance to get out and chase some Brown trout with some hoppers. The hoppers I tie are a mash up of a couple different versions I have messed with until finding the right combination of buoyancy, color, and silhouette. In my mind, they really look nothing like a grasshopper, but that fact doesn’t seem to deter the fish. A local water about ten minutes’ drive from me holds a number of sizable Browns. The stream runs through a dusty canyon of sage and scrub oak. To the majority of the locals, little stream serves a couple of purposes. Number one, it is for irrigation. And B, this canyon is a watering hole for the stock that is left to graze here several months of the year. And three, as evident my the old vehicle, i suppose it has been used as a dump site. For a select few, the water is something of a secret spot. We only talk to those who already know about. Similar to the rules of “Fightclub”, only a tad less violent.
In the hour that I was out to play, I had nine fish on, and numerous near misses or long distance releases. All of them caught on the hopper save one. As per habit, I love fishing a hopper dropper combo. The biggest, ere go, smartest fish, was pulled from an undercut bank where he was hiding from the hot summer sun. I believe I earned every fish I caught as I beat my way through the eight-foot-tall brush to get from hole to hole. At one point my ninja skills came out as I ran face first into a spider web as I ducked under a branch. All hope of grace was gone as a chopped, swung and swiped at everything on my or around me. I even had the thought to glance around and see if anyone had been witness to my precious moment. Alas, no one there but the cows. If cows can laugh, I’m betting they were.
The echoing thunder told me when it was time to go. Even though one should never leave when the fishing is good, I am not “that guy”. So, tail between my legs I headed for dry ground. I hadn’t quite made it home when the rain began to fall. Today’s moral of the story, fish when you can, and sometimes when you can’t. And if you’re with me and I find a spider web, you better clear on out in case my super power gets the best of me again. Meanwhile, I will sit by the window and make ready for my next foray into the wild.
Tight lines everyone.