It’s become absolutely critical that I forget something essential on each fly fishing trip, and this time the axe fell on the Pentax Optio camera loaned to me by Singlebarbed after mine found its way into the hands of an airline employee.
Technically, I get half points for remembering the camera, but I’d mistakenly slid a 16MB SD card into the slot, which was good for exactly one photograph, yet wouldn’t let me delete anything.
(In my youth, a move like that would have qualified for a “Way to go, Einstein.”)
So while the small stream was muy beautiful (in a small, prehistoric-looking canyon sort of way); and many colorful trout were caught; and I intended to shoot stunning streamside photos of the Orvis 8′ Superfine Touch I’m reviewing… all you’re going to see is this clunker (burned-out highlights and all):
My Casio Commander cell phone was in the truck, so I retrieved it and learned just how poorly suited its camera is to the Split-Second World of Outdoor Photography.
So instead of colorful photographs, I’m going to paint bright, colorful pictures with words, as in:
- The stream was like really, really beautiful. Like awesome, you know?
- The trout were small but they were really, really beautiful. Like major-league sick/phat/awesome, you know?
- There were wildflowers that were really, really pretty in many awesome shapes and sizes.
There. Your minds are probably reeling under that onslaught of vivid imagery. The rest of your day will seem gray and lifeless by comparison, but that’s normal.
You’ll be fine in the morning.
The Gritty Details
I checked last year’s posts an discovered I fished this same area a month earlier — and the water was lower last year.
In other words — due to the high snowpack and cold spring — we really are running a good month behind last year.
Fortunately, the trout seem healthy, and they were perfectly willing to eat a dry.
I caught many of them.
I wanted to kiss all of them.
And I lost the biggest of them (true story).
It was like running across a great friend from your college days (assuming your college days were decades ago), and discovering you picked up exactly where you left off, no hiccups or false starts.
So while the drifts were not easy (they almost never are on a small stream), the fish were wild, the stalking mine-emptying, the exertion innervating, and the sense of gratitude (on the part of the fly fisherman) was an almost palpable thing.
It’s good to be back. Good to see you, old friend.
The Gritty Gear Details
I thought I’d finished my review of the 8′ 4wt Orvis Superfine Touch, but realized it needed a test on a truly small stream — one where getting more than a foot of fly line past the guides qualifies as an ambitious cast.
How did it work? Look for the review this week.
Since I’m in testing mode, I also dragged out the Patagonia Sun Hoody, which once again performed admirably (no buttons, pockets, Velcro or anything else to snag fly line).
I’d love to parade the fly I fished as the end product of a lot of painstaking trial and error, but this was a small stream filled with fish hungry for both spring and a meal, so they ate all three patterns equally enthusiastically.
Wally the Wonderdog was his usual self; staring hard at the water in a vain attempt to spot trout, and then attempting to retrieve them once I did hook one (which was probably a lot less often once he dove into the water, which happened about half the time).
When he wasn’t chasing trout, he was dashing from tree to boulder to bush in the hopes of finding something dead to eat/roll in, tail wagging hard, tongue lolling to the left (he lost his left canine when he fell down a mountain).
He’s older than he used to be (we all are), so after he basically hovered off the ground for a couple hours, he collapsed in the back seat of the Bronco and was asleep before I got the fly rod taken apart.
Live hard, sleep well, lick your privates.
Sounds like a recipe for life.
See you on a small stream, Tom Chandler.