Friday, July 17, 2009


Fly rodding involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for the just the right conditions: light, stillness in the air, humidity, time of day, feeding activity. I am always taken back by what appears to be. A stretch of river absolutely lacking in feeding activity can come alive in the course of a few minutes. Wait a few minutes and things can change. Where you'd think there couldn't be a fish-one appears.

I sit and drink tea while I wait. Will the wind settle down? Ponder the state of man? Did I remember the bug juice? Sip tea. Fight the urge to fish the water. Did I choose the right pattern? Sip tea. Check the sky. Not dark enough, yet. Wonder about whether I locked the car. Too bad, I'm not going back to lock it anyway. Stretch the shoulders. Think about who won the ball game. Check out the fish that rose next to the log upstream. Watch the mink as it snakes its way downstream, ducking under branches, submerging then emerging next to the moss covered rocks. It scrambles up onto the trunk of cedar that has grown curving out from the bank. Shaking its body body in a quick blur, the mink clears the water from its fur and moves on nosing its way through the ferns and sweetgale. Sip tea. The wind is calming. Mental flossing directs your attention to those occurrences that happen all about you. A mosquito flies off so heavy laden with my blood that it nearly drops into the river before it gains enough altitude to fly off--I usually feel their faint sting.

First Brown Drake spinner of the night takes its clumsy flight over head then others appear, followed by more. Its getting darker and more still. Did I mention that I drink tea while I wait?

The first fish takes a spinner as it struggles in the surface film. I watch another fly flutter an inch, writhe, then disappear in a swirling rise that looks like a miniature toilet flush. Other fish join in. Each has its own distinctive take and sound. Splashy and bold, soft with a distinctive sipping sound, gentle dimpled ring. In the course of a few minutes there are more than a dozen fish actively feeding. I've waited long enough.

I've been away from the computer fishing the June hatches and guiding. The keyboard is foreign to the touch and being indoors is starting to feel confining. I gotta get out again.

Keep a tight line,

Steve Therrien

1 comment: