Do you love big bluegill?
I made a blog post earlier today about Life, Lessons and the Perspective of Big. I also got another more practical lesson on the fly rod while I was at it.
The selected spot for todays Angling Adventure was one of my favorites, an intimate place I know very well. Most of the time I have it to myself and today was no different. However, I was pretty a sure a fly rod would be a tough thing to manage there. As it turns out I was right.
I've never been real good at listening to myself, however, even though I do talk to Me an awful lot. Some people would say it's good to stick to a plan. But these people are probably sitting comfortably at a computer somewhere or sipping lattes at Starbucks. They have never been here, I assure you. Regardless, I pushed on. The worst was yet to come.
The spot itself is a hike from the road, about half a miles' trek. So, I set out wrestling one rowdy dog, Katie, two rods and a gimpy foot made worse by the wet weather we've been having. I muttered something about, "... forgot to take my dam*ed Aleve this morning..." and pushed on. I'm not one to quit that easily.
There isn't much open space along the banks around here - and even less along this particular trail. The branches are right in your face and the dog, well, she has a hard time staying on the trail. I keep her leashed, because she is old and will wander off. But every bush and tree branch is a place to get tangled when you have a big dog on a leash. Clattering and cussing and trekking along, I managed to NOT end up on my face in the mud. Don't laugh - it has happened.
With much fanfare, we finally made it to the Spot:
Looking at it now, Im amazed at how fly-rod hostile this place is. From a boat or kayak, well, maybe not so much. But from the shore, look out! What in the name of Glory was I thinking. But your view is different when the Hope of Catching* is hot on your mind. Again, I persevered.
*In my mind I had some idyllic vision of pastoral English fields, cut through by clear rills of spring freshened water.
Trout leap and clouds dance across the sky in my dream scape. I will probably never get fully into reality when fishing, I suppose.
Setting to my work, two flies were immediately quickly gobbled up by the Brown Water Gods and an equal number of tippets lost. Good thing I tie bad knots, or my leaders might have gone, too. I may be persistent, but I'm not stupid. I wised up quick. This was no place for a fly rod. The water was more mud than, well, water, and the casting space was, well, non-existent.
Nearby, someone had set up an impromptu "fish camp" that I thought might offer a little precious casting room:
THE FISH CAMP
A half-decent attempt was made to make order out of things with a nice trash can, benches and a now full rain tarp. Sitting under that hing was taking your life in your hands. I guess the previous occupants never heard of a ridge pole. What they got was a rain CATCHER, not a rain cover. But I'm certain they meant well.
You can see Katie The Wonder Dog by the bench, surveying the scene for a dry place to lay down. She didn't find one. In better weather, catfish anglers are probably enjoying themselves here. Fire in the pit, lawn chairs and beer; yessir, this is probably as close to our forefather's as you are going to find in this modern day,
But it is no place for fly rod casting, as you can see. The banks surrounding the area are no better, either. See in the background? More of the same.
The lesson here is simple: Know your enemy.
At least know when to leave the fly rod unstrung. I'm still gonna bring it, until I get tired of toting it for no good reason.
By then it will be winter and I'll be done with it anyway,
Tight lines - Hope You All Got Out!