Posts Tagged ‘flies’

By this point in the evening, you’ve come to respond to the faceless voice from the poling platform behind you as though it were the voice of the Almighty himself.  Earlier on this February day you reacted to it’s instructions like they were learned suggestions.  Hearing, “2 o’clock, 45 feet out.” you would hesitate, peer into the water, try to confirm the truth of this phrase.  But you learned this wasn’t a question, or request he was presenting, and you had better not act like it was.  You had to take it on faith alone.  He is Moses from atop the Mount, staff firmly in hand, and when you waited for proof that those statements were true, if you waited to act on knowledge instead of faith alone, it was too late.  The school was scattering, the Reds were on the run.  You were trapped in the Hell that is only seeing the target after it has made itself no longer a target.

“Ok, 11 o’clock, 50 feet out.” Is the lastest commandment.  You stip furiously.  While He poled you around, looking into, what is to you, the unseeable, you have been blind casting; flailing about because action seemed better than non-action.  It probably wasn’t.  So now  you are left with too much line on the water and a frantic need to obey.  So you strip as fast as you can, until you have a manageable amount of line on the water.  And then you try to defy gravity.

The rod is drawn quickly back.  You line hand is hauled down and the water sucks on the line with all the tension it can muster.  Your 9 foot long rod is bowed beautifully.  Suddenly it is no longer a floppy willowy stick, it becomes a fiercely well engineered piece of equipment.  Arching to exactly the right shape to drag 25 feet of line smoothly away from the greedy water and send it flowing back in a perfectly straight line.  If you were a better man, this is all the energy you need to shoot that line perfectly forward to 11 o’clock, 50 feet out.  While this is His word, you are not a Righteous man with ease.  You will have to work at it.

So, you bring the line forward and shoot out 10 feet of line, stopping it short of laying it down on the water and sending it back into another back cast.   On your forecast the second time you shoot more line and again reverse course, drawing back into a backcast.  By now, He has got to be impatient, you start to think.  He gave a simple command, and yet you dally.  Your floating flyline can walk on water, and yet  you whip your fly around in the air rather than following the command.  You are working feverishly to get the fly to 50 feet.  A better man could have done it long ago.  But that man would not have had to work like you are.  Strained to obey.  This straining has certainly cost you fish in the past, and He MUST be frustrated.

On the third try you are at 50 feet and with a snap against the pole, you shoot your remaining line.  The snap, you know, means you have worked too hard, exerted more energy than is necessary.  You had one too many false casts.  With more faith in yourself, you could have shot to 50 feet on 2 false casts instead of 3.  No, matter, the fly in in the water.

The instant the fly hit the water, He said, “Ok Wait.” and you do.  You gaze into the distance.  Straining to see the Truth as He does.  To see the fish, know it’s direction and how close it is to the fly.  To eat that apple of knowledge and thus relegate Him to the man that pushes the pole, rather than He who Knows.  It is a goal you will never attain.  You think maybe you see a shadow where He is gazing, or a flash.  That is as close as you will get on this day.  “Ok, strip!” is the third command and you stip your line.

Three, foot long strips in, and the line goes taught.  You raise the rod tip quickly and firmly; saying in your head, “Just come up tight, don’t try to rip his face off.”  Now the fight in on.  Silently, behind you, without your knowing, a fist shoots up into the air.  A small celebration from atop the mount. It was your success He was after and your success He is cheering, unbeknownst to you.


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1.  There are only a select few people that will wake up, look outside and see a rain/snow mix, notice that the high for the day is in the low 40’s, and say audibly to themselves, “My god, it is a perfect day out there.”

2. They are right, unless they mean for duck hunting.  Those guys are just crazy. (see #1)

3. You can’t warm your hands with a cigarette lighter.  Yes it is a flame.  Yes, in theory, it should produce heat. No it will not warm your fingers.  It will, however, turn your skin black.

4. No matter how much warmer the water is than the air temperature, it will not warm you hands.

5. It doesn’t work the second time either. (see #4)

6. You can tell yourself you are just resting the water and letting the fish return, but if you are in your jeep with the heater on, smoking a cigarette and listening to sports talk radio, you are warming up, period.

7. Time spent warming up is time not spent fishing. (see#6)

8. I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize.  Yes the fish do hate you. Yes that is why they pick this weather to feed most actively. Yes they do laugh when your frozen hands can’t tie on a new fly.  Yes they also laugh when you are too cold and wet to effectively set the hook.

9. Perversely, the clouds clearing to let in sun light can actually make you colder. Yes it is a flame. Yes, in theory, it should produce heat. (see #3)

10. There is nothing wrong with wearing long underwear, jeans and then hip waders all at once.  Unless you are heading into the diner for breakfast after a few hours of fishing.  They frown on that.  Apparently, no shirt, no shoes or TOO MANY PANTS… no service.

11. Smartphones are almost always not waterproof. No matter how much they cost.

12. Falling in the river is bad. (see # 3, 4, 5, and 11)

13. Sometimes warming up in your jeep isn’t a terrible idea.  (see#12)

14. If you have been cold enough, warming up hurts worse than getting cold did.

15. Man you can catch a lot of fish and get some beautiful time on empty water on a drizzly day late in the fall.

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Attention Science:  I would like to formally announce one of the greatest finds in the history of history.  Newton… Einstein…  Mr. Wizard…. Bill Nye… Move over, there is a new sheriff in town.

Tonight I discovered a species of fish previously unknown to Science.  The fact that it is previously unknown is not surprising.  In what must be the greatest act of camouflage in the animal kingdom,  this species of fish looks EXACTLY like every other species of fish.  In fact, in all ways it is completely indistinguishable from any other species that science has discovered.  All ways but ONE!  This new species never ever eats.  Nothing, not ever.  I know this because I have seen the fish and have thrown every damn fly, streamer, nymph and terrestrial at them and they NEVER EAT IT.  Clearly they have adapted to never eat. It is the only logical explanation.

I know what you are thinking, “Dan you are a genius! But how can this benefit me?”  Simple.  Now that modern science has learned of the existence of these masters of dieting, guys in white coats can simply take out whatever lets the fish never eat and stick it in people!  Or better yet, stick it in a pill and let the person take it themselves as that sounds less painful!  Then we will never have to eat again!  Think of the lives that will be saved from choking alone.  Not to mention accidents in Mcdonald’s drive thrus, fights over forgetting your wife’s order on the way to Taco Bell and coming home with the wrong Gordita, and the hours wasted saying, “I don’t care, where do you wanna eat?”

I know what you are thinking now, “Dan you have removed some of the worst scourges of our time, but I enjoy eating. What should I do?”  What you should do is stop being such a nearsighted, selfish, nincompoop and shut the hell up.  Farmers that have been saying they were going to retire next year since they were 60, but at 108 still haven’t gotten around to it, can finally catch Wheel at 3 in the afternoon.  Ethiopian children will all sing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in unison as now never eating will be cool rather than stupid.  AND we will no longer find any constraints to growing human populations!  we can put 100 billion people on the planet now!!

Again, I know what you are thinking, “Dan I am sorry for being such an idiot before.  This is obviously the greatest thing to ever happen, but what precedent is there for fishing changing the world?”  What precedent is there??  Jeez open a history book every once in a while.  Fishing made permanent settlements possible on coastal regions in cave man days.  Which was good because T Rex couldn’t swim very well.   Lobster fishing is the only reason Maine exists.  Plus, what about Moby Dick?  Also, crabfishing (which is kinda like real fishing) gave us The Deadliest Catch and got Mike Rowe a Ford sponsorship.  And he used to sing opera!  Think about that! An opera singer slinging Ford F450’s!  Now that is the kinda miracle that only fishing can bring about.

Ok I know what you are going to say.  “Dan do you think putting your head on Mt. Rushmore would be gaudy, if we did it before the Nobel Prize arrived?”  No, No I do not.

In conclusion, there are fish everywhere that never eat anything, as far as I can tell.  This discovery will save mankind from itself.  Eat THAT Malthus.  Or better, DON’T eat that!

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