The season of dreams for fly-fisherman has arrived. The various bugs rise from the riverbeds only to reproduce and then die no more than a day later. The hatches occur at different times and the trout rivers turn into troughs for the local residents, meaning the fish and the fisherman. The leaves are changing color and the sun strikes at a different angle, leaving a fresh, yet decaying perspective on life and fishing. The end of fall can be seen in the same moment it began. No enduring summer or endless winter days here. The end can be seen clearly. Fall will eat itself from both ends and the fly fisherman knows this. Maybe the only thing he definitively knows.
This week I was able to go to the river for an afternoon of fun. The bugs never hatch heavy on the small stream I fish on, but the trout are noticeably eating more flies. The audible effect of slurping can be heard if you sneak up on a hole in the river. I’m beginning to know where the fish are in the stream, and am starting to develop a first name basis with a few of them. I’ve taken some of the flies that I have learned to tie to the stream with me as well. These could be the wrong flies (and they probably are) but as a beginner I’m really just working on my casting technique and letting the current take me. I’ve certainly found that the fly doesn’t matter as much as the cast does. I’ve caught a few fish on flies that looked terrible because I had a good presentation, as fly-fisherman like to call it.
I think it is important to note that the stream I fly fish on isn’t a true fly-fishing stream. In fact if the scenery wasn’t pretty and the trout were half the size they are, I wouldn’t consider fishing the stream a couple of times a month like I do. But the elements are the contrary so I can put up with surrendering five flies a trip to the cottonwood trees. I’ve been catching some more brook trout the last two trips to the valley as opposed to thebrowns that I usually catch. I’m not sure why this is but the brook just seem to be much more active. Other than being baffled about this, I am learning a good amount about the skill. Where the fish are in a pool, how to cast from various angles, how to land a fish without injuring it, and how to leave the upper end of the valley with proper lighting so that I am not shaking hands with cattle in the pitch black on the walk back.
In two weeks I will be heading to the big water in Wyoming with my Grandpa in cousins to fly fish a trophy stream. I’m sure my practice in the last two months will help me along in some areas, but I’m also sure that I have developed bad habits that will be exposed on a large river. Nevertheless, if I can keep pulling in pretty brookies like this ten-inch one on my home water, I’ll be content with not catching a twenty inch rainbow in two weeks.