I believe that's the term for it. I tried, but it just wasn't my day today.
I hadn't planned on anything extraordinary today, just a quick trip up the canyon for some practice. The weather here has taken a turn toward the cooler side of the thermometer, but with a nice overcast sky and a slight drizzle of rain, I managed to coax the old man into coming with me, a welcome addition to my day not only for the company, but for his access to some better water with bigger trout for the taking. I also hadn't planned on having him show me up, but then again that happens just as often as not anyway.
The trout fooled me from the beginning today. It wasn't even a fair fight. I picked up a rock from the river and turned it over, revealing a healthy supply of small leeches on the underside. Weighing this against the significant surface action taking place on the stream, we decided to try two approaches. Dad went with the dry already on his line while I tied on a simple San Juan Worm, the closest thing in my flybox to the small leeches on the bottom of the rocks.
I grew briefly excited as I quickly hooked what felt like a strong trout in the deep water along the banks. Just as quickly, the trout wriggled loose to freedom. I stuck to the same spot, vainly hoping that the fish would take another stab at the lame grub I was throwing his way. I let the nymph drift again and again along the bank for another ten minutes before realizing, much to my dismay, that I was heaving flyless 6X tippet into the current!
Dad wasn't faring much better upstream, despite numerous rising fish. We stopped to look at the hatch, which was significant, and narrowed it down to a BWO for Dad and an Adams for me.
Maybe it was simply a matter of fishing in a target rich environment for the fish, or maybe I wasn't presenting the fly correctly, or maybe the Adams simply lost out to the BWO, but the lone fish of the day ended up on the end of Dad's line. I was in a neat position to see the whole thing from start to finish - the perfect cast; the perfect drift; lightning fast reflexes on the hookset; and an efficient catch and release, interrupted only for a photo. Textbook dry fly fishing.
With Battle Poudre '09 waning rapidly as the cold begins to settle in, I find myself increasingly less concerned with catching fish. The flyfishing bug has thoroughly penetrated my thoughts, my dreams, and my emotions. The mere exercise of getting on the river, studying the bug life, reading the water for new holding lines, perfecting fly selection, and documenting the results with a camera bring me as much joy as any adrenaline rush experienced by hooking a fish.