Although I got to fish more than normal last week, I couldn't share any fishing or river reports because of the death of my laptop. However, now back on line it's time to do a little catching up.
FISHING WITH DAUGHTER MISSY
On a Thursday I had the pleasure of taking my daughter Missy to the river Blue. It would be Missy's first time to ever see Blue River, first time to ever hold a fly-rod, and first time to try and capture a bow.
She did all three.
Missy was a quick learner when she was a kid, very articulate and simply sharp and these days she still carries those attributes. We started out the hard way just upstream of the crossing. On Missy's right were over-hanging tree branches and on her left was the same. In front of her was the task which was to make a twenty foot roll cast upstream with a nine foot leader attached. Now... for many of us that may not sound like much of a chore but to a newcomer it can almost insurmountable. Also, Missy was fishing a tandem rig which would also cause some problems but instead of sighs there was laughter with both of us laughing at ourselves.
The fish simply weren't on the bite at our first spot so I told Missy to spool up and we headed for the flats below the Island. Here, Missy would start casting down and across and taking the swing.
I think one of the hardest things for a newcomer to recognize is the strike itself and this would prove to be the case for Missy. There would be a number of opportunities lost but never did she waver and then she brought her first ever trout to hand.
For me the pleasure of the day was simply getting to spend time with Missy doing what I love to do and hopefully something she will come to love.
It was a good, good day.
Thank you Missy.
SATURDAY - AN ILL FATED ADVENTURE
It's rare when Miss Carol and I get the same day off but Saturday would be such the case even though I had to hit work early but only stay for a while.
Both of us had been suffering from the stuff that winter time brings - chest colds, bronchitis, aches and pains, and generally we felt quite ill. However our rationale was that we'd feel just as bad sitting at the bunkhouse as we would standing in the river so to the river Blue we go.
Evidently we misunderstood the weather forecaster the night before because Saturday was suppose to be clear and dry. There was a steady rain when we left the bunkhouse but somehow we convinced ourselves it'd be gone by the time we hit the river. It wasn't!
Walking through the steady rain into the south wilderness we stopped to fish Coyote Pass and Miss Carol took the upstream side where she'd capture three bows. I fished the downstream side and struggled to capture just a couple. After thirty minutes or so the rain became too much and Carol took to the bank. Since the fishing was so slow here I asked her to walk just upstream a bit to the Cove.
At the Cove, Miss Carol took the upstream side as did I but there was nothing going on with the exception of the feisty smallmouth I battled from the shallows. Again the rain sent Carol to the bank and I went downstream thirty feet and started casting upstream into a falls. It was here the bows waited and it was dynamite action for a good twenty minutes. These bows have backs and tenacity. They fight like there is no tomorrow and in the current they can simply make your arm begin to ache. The rain continued, Carol looked miserable, so we started to head back.
Back at Coyote Pass the rain had briefly stopped and I asked Carol if she wanted to fish some more. Even though she didn't care to fish she wanted me to, so I asked her to watch me fish pocket water because it's something she'll someday enjoy once learned. In a hundred yard stretch of water I fished a bugger like a nymph but free-lining the bugger - no indicator. It was cast, drift, lift mend, drift, flip mend, strike and then hook-set. It was magical almost. Bow after bow came from pocket after pocket.
After a run of fifteen bows battled I found myself drunk from the joy of the pocket battles. Inebriated by the infinite possibilities this thing called fly-fishing offers, I swaggered... swooning like a young lass would upon her first deep kiss.
The day was complete.
THE NEXT DAY
Sunday was totally different from Saturday. The morning announced clear, bright sunlit skies so I headed to Blue once again. Again, the weather forecaster seem to have it wrong. On Saturday the forecast called for strong winds but there wasn't a whisper. On Sunday, the forecast was for rain but the sun was shining. However on Sunday... Saturday's winds come to bear.
Starting at the flats below the island casting down and across a bow came to hand right out of the box. Three or four more gladiators would be battled but the engagements were not hot and heavy. The wind wasn't hot either but quite heavy and agonizing.
Thinking there would be a wind break at the crossing because the river forks upstream I head for the rock on the upstream side of the crossing. Here, a strike indicator goes on about four foot deep. Casting upstream and mending, mending, mending - this is the type of fishing that young Kody says can put you to sleep. I agree... it can... unless the fish are biting. And they were. The fishing wasn't hot and heavy - just steady. Again though, the wind was simply too much and I lost interest in crossing swords with the wind Gods. I wanted to strike steel with bows but the blowhards drove me away.
AN HOUR ON TUESDAY
A work related task sent me the way of Tishomingo on Tuesday and I just knew I could squeeze an hour's worth of fishing in at Blue.
Today I would fish Ted's Pool for the first time this season. Last year there was a particular spot at Ted's Pool that was rewarding to me each and every time. At this spot the idea is to cast upstream thirty-five or forty feet and let the bugger sink and drift while keeping in contact with the fly. This water is, I believe, some of the deepest water on the river Blue. It has to be twenty or more feet deep. My problem on Tuesday in fishing here was I couldn't add split shot because my pliers were lost on the previous outing. Ten or twelve casts were made without even a bump -the fly simply wasn't getting deep enough in the column.
I spooled up and waded through the brew of this coffee cup to the rim where the shallow water waited and here I found bows in the pockets. Not a lot of bows but enough to make my hour worthwhile.
Before leaving I noticed a few risers but the rises weren't predominant even though the rays of the sun revealed a huge community of mayflies floating in the air. I just happened to look down into the river and noticed a steady stream of nymphal shucks. They looked like tiny white or clear crosses and they just kept coming, one after another after another. It was a really neat thing to see.