I fished yesterday, or at least attempted to. I knew that the day would be slow to warm. But, the afternoon forecast looked promising. Somewhere above freezing. Not great, but I had to go.
I left home a bit too early. With lots of time to kill I made the fly shop tour in Livingston. Hooks? Yes, I can always use a few more. Fly foam? What for? I'll get some anyway and figure it out later. Ever the optimist, I bought some fly float too. FlyAgra, what a great name. Sure, maybe I'll get to use it in six months or so. A couple of magazines won't hurt either. Ah, the new Big Sky Journal, Fly Fishing 2013. That'll get me in the mood.
I eventually made it out of town. Five minutes later I was at the creek. It was 10 a.m., the temperature a chilly twenty-three. I checked in at the big house on Depuy's, exchanged pleasantries with Betty, and decided to base out of Eva's, one of the small creekside huts. I wasted no time getting wood into the stove.
Better get my stuff together. I am, after all, a fisherman. What to use? Hmmm. Judging by the "breeze" I'd say that this isn't a day for dries or midges. No FlyAgra today. Much as I hate to admit, out came the bobber, nymph, dropper minus the hopper rig.
At 12:30 p.m., fully clad in fishing attire, I threw open the door, ready to do battle with the elements. Because... I am a fisherman. Ambling down to the first piece of water that I rarely fish, I thought "what the hell" and lobbed out a cast. The bobber disappeared and a big brown splashed to the surface. Gone. A couple of casts later, repeat performance. I chipped the ice from the guides.
Downstream, I found a spot where spawning rainbow trout had taken up residence. Disturbed gravel marked the presence of their redds. Some of the larger fish actively chased the others from their territory, repeatedly streaking from the redds in pursuit, and soon returning. It was never ending. Do fish tire? I did, and I was only watching.
The "breeze" now blew in earnest. This part of the creek is straight, and flows north. No meanders here to break the "breeze". My casting was phenomenal. I could cast in any direction. As long as it was…. upstream. How to cope? Keep the rod tip close to the water. If the "breeze" catches it, the entire line and everything attached to it will be blowing somewhere, like ten feet above the surface, leaving bobber and fly's flapping in the "breeze". Do fish fly? Not that high. While I contemplated fish aerobatics, a big brown exited the water right in front of me. It had a tailwind.
Meanwhile, my dropper rig looked like an unwilling participant in a calf roping competition in a rodeo. How can two fly's be so tightly tied together?
Thoroughly frozen, it was time to quit. The feeling, and cold doesn't count, had left my fingers long ago. I walked back to the still warm hut. It smelled of woodsmoke. Happily, I did too.
Some parting shots……….