Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fishing lore

We pull into the lot at the same time.  In a friendly way, we comment about both of us having the same good idea at the same time.  We share pleasantries. We talk about the stream, and some of our experiences on it.  We lie to each other about the size of fish that we have seen (and caught) on this stretch of water.  We wish each other well, and we stalk off to our chosen places on the stream, respectable but not absurd distances from each other.


As we fish, we occasionally steal glances in the direction of each other.  It's meadow fishing at its finest.  As I cast, I occasionally wonder if he is catching anything?  What fly he is using?  I assume he is doing the same.  Despite the mild curiosity, we fish on; unaffected by one another.

The fishing is good, but not great.  The fish are not coming easily, and it has taken too long to figure out what the bite is.  In two hours of fishing, I didn't see a single rise.  Of those caught, the trout are starting to don their fall plumage.  The colors are starting to pop on their tails and fins.  A deep crimson red.  The kind of red that stops you dead in your tracks.  Gorgeous.  Each fish is carefully unhooked, and examined before it is released.  Gotta savor colors like that; the season is winding down.  Fast.


It gets too dark to fish, so I head back towards the lot; content with the night's effort.  On the way back, we meet up again.  Unintentional on my part, and I am pretty sure it was accidental on his too.  The rest of the walk back is filled with resumed pleasantries.  We both agreed that the fish were hard to find.  There just wasn't an obvious hatch, the usual BWOs had stayed home tonight.  Neither of us caught them all, but both of us were happy with what we did catch.  And neither of us lie about the size of our fish.

As we walk, the talk turns to which  fly was working.  I had luck on a CDC Caddis pattern that a friend made (Thanks Tim!) Fist I fished it dry, then downstream and wet.  The latter was productive.  My acquaintance had done something similar.

As it sometimes will, the conversation turned to tying flies.

The fisherman and I discussed our knowledge of the stream and the small bugs it produces.  I showed him the patterns I usually use, and he showed me the patterns he usually ties and fishes.

Standing at the back of his van, as he examines one of my smallest flies I've ever tied he matter of factually said "this works? I like it, but it is kind of bushy for this stream".  He wasn't being rude, he was being honest and I took it as such.  It was when he showed me the flies he usually ties fishes that it hit me.

I've HEARD of this guy.

His style of fishing tiny flies has been the stuff that other fishermen on the stream have whispered of.  I've heard it many times: "There is a guy who fishes here regularly that uses these microscopic flies and catches fish like a maniac".  Others have mentioned him with the same reverence as Sasquatch: "He stalks the stream, slips into the water like a heron and picks fish out of places the rest of us overlook".  Others have just said it outright--they think he is a legend.

I play it cool.  I don't want to embarrass him and tell him I've heard of him. He gives the impression of a guy who quietly goes about his way, bamboo in hand, and fishes like a fiend.  Not unfriendly, but solitary.  I feel like I have just met a celebrity, but I don't even know his name.  Never came up in the conversation.

We wish each other well, and go our separate ways.

As I drive home, I am obsessed about other legends that I have heard but never confirmed.  But in my obsession, I am also a bit relieved.  This guy lived up to his reputation.  The fisherman was every bit of what I had imagined him to be.

Legends sure are fun.

Til later,

-M

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