Friday, March 22, 2013

The perils of success

After catching the big bow on my 8 weight a few months ago, the idea of presenting dry flies and technical midge fishing proved unappealing. However, last week I learned that there are consequences tied to failing to adapt. I managed to fish three rivers last week, and the results were embarrassing.
First, I got a yard pass to sneak out to the Hi on a Saturday. Perfect conditions and the end of the DH  meant more people on the river than Ive seen in quite some time. I parked at big bend and hiked down the John  muir trail to the stairsteps. The water was a little high and stained, and for whatever reason, i didnt have the stones to wade out to the run i wanted to fish. I got a snit immeditely, but despite 70 foot casts, i couldnt get my line out to a spot where fish were stacked up. I hiked further downstream and ran out of daylight. A disappointing outing on a river that always produces for me.  The highlight of the trip was stopping at reliance fly shop on the way home and watching some of polk county's finest party on the porch while a native son played acoustic guitar singing outlaw country songs with shocking precision. I heard the phrase "you-uns", which always brings a smile to my face.
A few days later I stopped by the elk river for a few hours on a Tuesday. I started chucking an articulated without success. I made my way down river exercising the patience of a fat man at a free buffett. I even hiked down a farm trail to the best part of the river, and proceeded to finish my day walking down the highway back to my car with the horrible stank of skunk trailing my path.
Three days later I arranged a float down the toccoa with Rod and Lloyd. Absolutely perfect conditions and a huge hatch. I decided to catch fish on this trip, so I dropped a size 20 zebra off a Ted stone fly and got five strikes in just a couple minutes before breaking off the dropper. Then, for whatever reason, I ignored the fact that the midge was the ticket and tied on a prince. I caught a couple, but I somehow overlooked the black stonefly hatch, which was nearly blinding. I rigged the 8 weight with an absurd articulated right about the time the water came up. I shucked that 8 weight for he next two hours without a single hit. For he entire float we managed three fish between the three of us. The highlight of the trip was the companionship and a trip to a horrible Mexican restaurant - a tradition the I horoughky enjoyed.
In sum, I need to get back to basics. The next trip will be a trip of redemption!

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