However, this morning I pretty much felt like hammered dog poop that had been baked at 350 degrees for a couple of hours. Every orifice of my body was bone dry; eyes felt like I relived the Dust Bowl - I was purely and totally dehydrated.
Along with Chris Adams and Mercurio we spent almost eight hours on the river yesterday, which is four hours longer than normal for me, and four hours longer than my body tells me I should try and stay. However, when fishing with friends I like to try and "hang".
|Blue River coffee shop.|
Arriving at the Ruff Diamond at 7 a.m., Ralph already had the best darn coffee on the river ready to go. Chris arrived about five minutes later and the two of us visited with Ralph for a few minutes. Ralph shared with us a neat project he has underway that will help many a fly fisher on Blue River once he gets it done.
Today would be the first trip of this trout season for Chris and he was excited, anxious, and ready to get on the water. I suggested he go ahead and get us a hole in the south wilderness before the crowds arrived. Of course, Chris was happy to oblige and off he went. Merc arrived about a half hour later and after meeting Ralph, Merc and I shoved off to catch up with Chris.
It was rather cold early, but a brisk walk into the wilderness warmed us up and we caught up with Chris at Coyote Pass. About a minute after arriving we watched Chris hook up with a bow. Merc and Chris took the upstream side of Coyote and I went downstream. The two of them were plucking a few bows from the water they were fishing while I was still searching. The first bow I'd catch was a mess. Poor fellow had a hook down his throat with the line and large split shot hanging out his mouth. Of course all that crap became bird-nested around my tippet. I managed to free the fish of the line and split and let him go thinking the hook will pass.
If you ever want to see some meticulous work, then ask Chris if you can have a look at one of his fly boxes. There you will find some imaginary and creative flies; full of vivid color, form, and fashion. He is a gifted and artful artisan and his creations seem to catch fish.
It wasn't long until Chris found one of those magical, mystical pools of water that yield bow after bow. Chris said it was a "trout hotel" and if that was the case the hotel was at full occupancy. To me, it looked more like a trout party and Chris was the party crasher! Merc and I stood by and watched Chris plucked bow after bow from this rather small pool of water. I would've sworn he pulled twenty or more trout from this pool, but I believe he told Merc it was only seventeen. Only seventeen? Geeezzz Chris!
Chris has a pattern he ties using a Bubba Jig, that was surely created by some good ol' boy down south. He gave me one of his creations, but I didn't fish it wanting to save it for later. Looking at the Bubba Jig, the shape looks remarkably like the shape of a fish head... so it's reasonable to think that maybe this imitates a small bait fish. But, I think the pattern is actually considered a nymph. Wapsi has Bubba Jig's available.
Now Merc is hard to keep track of. He seems to like to explore a pocket, pool, or run, plucking a few bows and then moving on upstream. At Coyote Pass he plucked three bows and then headed upstream, where he would pluck a couple of more bows and so on and so on.
|There were some nice size bows yesterday, but most of mine were standard stockers.|
I wasn't having quite the success my two amigos were having in catching trout. Two hours into it, I only had four trout to my credit. It wouldn't be until I reached the Ancient Boulders that the fish would come my way. The Ancient Boulders is pure pocket fishing and it was one or maybe two bows per pocket, and there are quite a few pockets. However, the wading here is treacherous - the toughest wading on the river. If you fish the Ancient Boulders please take a wading staff.
Merc got on my case about not having studs on my wading boots and I know he's right - I'm just an accident waiting to happen, and I can't afford any accidents.
Chris and Merc went on up to Dividing Line Falls and got out on the sandbar. However, there was a huge crowd at Dividing Line and this water would yield no fish for the two of them.
It was time to head back downstream and Chris went up ahead. I walked back with Merc, but he spotted a place he could roll cast off the bank, so I left him to the water and headed to Coyote Pass to take a rest and wait on him. He shows up about thirty minutes later having landed eight more trout rolling off that bank.
Back at the parking area, we broke out the beer and visited with Matt, the area manager, for a bit. It was a darn good day. Truthfully however, Merc and Chris gave my old ass a pretty good spanking in catching trout, but they did it diplomatically. And, if you're going to get an ass spanking... a little diplomacy sure does help.