Monday, May 30, 2011

Threat Level Orange: Terrorist Hits Flywriter HQ...Again (or, the mangy mutt ate my hackle)

In a precise, highly coordinated attack earlier today, a suspected terrorist lashed out at Flywriter HQ.  Early indications suggest that the attack was carried out by Brooke the Cairn terrier (aka Ch. Cairncroft Brazen Brooke):

This callous, heinous, vicious attack wiped out the remaining brown hackle supply at Flywriter HQ.  Fortunately, our security officials were able to mitigate any damage to the remaining inventory of hooks, thread, chenille, bead heads, pheasant tails, and a large collection of additional hackle.

The attack appears to have been timed to roughly coincide with the anniversary of the events of May 7, 2010, during which Brooke and her long time mentor and companion, Kyra, launched an equally brutal attack targeting stockpiles of white and grizzly hackle housed in the same secured facility.

Brooke has been placed on a watch list in response to credible intelligence suggesting a planned future attack on the vegetable garden.  Despite recent security enhancements to the garden, it remains vulnerable to assault, given the inadequate perimeter fencing.

All anglers are urged to practice heightened vigilance and be on the lookout for possible copycat attacks, particularly from small terriers.

Godspeed, from the Command Post...
The Flywriter

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Confession

It wasn't supposed to go down the way it did today.

As always, I came home from church today in a good mood, making note of the sunny skies and an afternoon completely divorced from any pressing obligations.  It's the way life is meant to be lived, and if I had my druthers, every day would be a Sunday afternoon in late May.  I rounded up Doc, interrupting his meticulous landscaping, and with some gentle persuasion, suggested that the afternoon was meant for ignoring yard work.  Without so much as a threat of waterboarding or other "enhanced coercion," I soon found myself in the passenger seat of his big Dodge, on my way to my own personal paradise.

We arrived to find the Poudre running both swiftly and murky.  [INSERT SOUND OF WIND BEING TAKEN OUT OF MY SAILS HERE].  The realization that runoff season is beginning hit me like a ton of bricks.  With grudging acceptance and a healthy dose of futility, we nonetheless hunted for a stretch of water that was both fishable and promising.  In retrospect, the search was over, almost before it began.  Fighting my own instincts to come up with a plausible and persuasive argument to convince Doc to give it a whirl, I conceded that the water really didn't look too promising.  I decided that no immediate harm could come from putting off an experiment with high water fishing for another day.

Sensing my troubled soul [INSERT MELODRAMA HERE], Doc did what any good father would and came up with a counter offer.  "We could hit one of the bass ponds."  Doc is fortunate enough to have access to a bass pond or two, although he rarely fishes them.  Quite honestly, neither of us know the first thing about bass fishing.  

Here's where the confession comes into play.  I felt a strange sort of deja-vu, although it took me a few minutes to remember why.  I'd been in this very situation before.  The small boat, the smaller motor, the strange sensation of having a rod in my hand, yet not being entirely certain what to do with it - I'd been here before!  Suddenly it hit me.  I vaguely remembered an encounter with bait salesman just about this time last year, complete with promises of "bass crack" yielding undeniable success.  A vision of a rubber worm came rushing into my mind like the Poudre during runoff.  With almost no time to prepare myself either mentally or emotionally, I was fixin' to go bass fishing!

Forgive me father, for I have sinned [INSERT SOLEMN GREGORIAN CHANT HERE]OK, not really, but sort of.  I mean to cause no offense here, and I have nothing against bass fishing.  From my limited experience, it's fun. I don't even have anything against worms, rubber or otherwise.  I'm just a trout fisherman, that's all, and a stream fisherman even more so.  Even fishing for trout in stillwater just doesn't give me the same buzz. 

In the end, I put on a brave face and toyed very briefly with a rubber worm.  Still not "bass crack" by the way.  Being ill-equipped for a bass outing, Doc and I racked our brains for a minute, wondering aloud what we might have on hand that could serve as a tempting offering.  I did the best I could, pulling out two hoppers I tied a couple of months ago.

Lo and behold, the hoppers turned out to do the trick...sort of.  With all the talk of bass in this post, I should point out that I think only one bass was harmed during the making of this makeshift, comical affair.  A whopper it was most certainly not!  Doc even refused to pose for a picture with the little guy.  Instead, we caught what we believe to be a handful of crappies on my homemade hoppers,  which was highly encouraging and ego-boosting by the way.  Encouraging because they floated nicely on the surface, and ego-boosting because they actually drew the attention of a number of fish.  I have high hopes for late summer, when we'll undoubtedly have a rash of terrestrials on the Poudre.

In the end, Doc and I decided that we might just make a concerted effort to have another go at these "other fish" from time to time.  Maybe it's not so sinful after all.

I said a few "hail Mary's" just in case.

From the confession booth...
The Flywriter   


Monday, May 16, 2011

Doc and the Furious Rainbow

Boy.  This rainbow got all NASTY with Doc.

There's a story behind this, I'm sure.  Trouble is, I've forgotten what it is.

I found this short video clip hidden in a bunch of pictures I'd long since forgotten about.  I vaguely remember the day as being one where I basically struck out and just started filming Doc, since he was catching all the fish anyway.  I can't say I remember the fish very well, but from the looks of it, it was a halfway decent catch.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Back Into Focus...

It took a gentle reminder today to jolt my memory and get me back on the stream, where I belong.  

For lack of a better way to put it, life's been full of a lot of garbage over the past month.  In retrospect, it's really a shame, because I allowed the garbage to get in the way of one of the few things that keeps my armor securely in place in my daily effort to keep the wolves of life at bay.   I've been doing my best for the past month to clean house (figuratively) and keep my head above water, exerting all the willpower I can muster to make smart decisions in confronting monsters that keep rearing their heads, and I'm happy to report that many of them have either been beaten into submission or quarantined into manageable quantities.  Still, I have to confess to an inexplicable loss of enthusiasm for the stream and the tying bench over the past several weeks.

Sometime during this morning's church service, an old friend left a voice mail for me.   He's one of the very few loyal followers of this blog, and probably the only follower who isn't as obsessed and crazy as I am about fly fishing.  Someday I'll convert him, but that's another story.  In any event, he mentioned that he stopped by the Flywriter home page and found that nothing had changed for over a month.  As funny as it may sound, those who know me best quite rightly wonder if something's out of whack when I don't report anything new from the fly fishing front more often than every thirty days.

So this one's for you, JDH.  Thanks for the motivation!

There was nothing spectacular about today's quick outing.  I got to the river late this afternoon, relieved to find the water in decent condition and grateful that all the other anglers who have been crowding this particular stretch of river as of late seemingly had something better to do on a cool, gloomy Sunday evening.  While the water is no longer crystal clear, and likely won't be for a few months now, it's still very fishable.  The insect life was pretty thin, and nothing was showing on the surface at all, so I turned to some big, heavy stone flies to start.  After an hour in slow deep runs with no response from the trout, I scouted out a nice shallow riffle and started slinging pheasant tail nymphs.  I had to work pretty hard for awhile, but I finally did coax a couple of nice little browns to the net.  The second one was actually pretty stout, working his way into some fast water and making an exciting downstream run before I steered him to the shallows.

Some sanity always comes back to me when I make the time to do what I love.  Cleaning up life's messes has its own rewards, but I've had enough cleaning up for awhile.  Creating some new memories - that's the sweet stuff in life!  Today was a chance to get back on track.  No trophy fish, no frenzy of activity.  Just some much needed solitude and the chance to sweep some of the garbage aside for a couple of hours.  And everything felt right again.

Game on (again)...
The Flywriter