From the first times I can remember,
fishing was about something material.
Numbers of perch, buckets of smelt,
how many fillets, pounds of assorted
fishes, and then the sizes of things
like salmon became of importance. Yes,
certainly, I can remember the fun of
getting ready, going, actually fishing,
coming home, cleaning the fish and
putting away the fishing gear. But, mostly
it was about fish bodies, caught, lost,
I was mentioning to the LF last week that
I sure need to get out to the 'Fish In' in
May. I will start sorting and stacking gear
a week ahead of time. No waders, but a couple
of Sage five weights, SA Trout lines, the
right flies and I guess the new QC cane rod
for the LF. Probably make a big heap on the
davenport in the livingroom. We were
remembering how we used to get ready for
such things and what they meant to us both.
We also agreed that some things have changed
for us and we are not at all sure we like them.
First, it's just not the same. Oh yes,
there is the anticipation of the trip,
the fishing and the folks we will see
there. But, no longer is there some of
the mystery attached and we miss that.
Here is the enigmatic part of it all. We
are told to get to know a piece of water
as well as we can. Ok, so we do that. We
know when the stream will be clear of weeds,
when the insects will hatch, when they will
fall, which ones the trout will take and
when, what size flies to use, what rods to
take, and what size line and leader to use.
Now, I can remember plenty of times when
the main plan for the weekend was to try
to figure out what the heck they were
feeding on, what size, when, how, where...
you know the drill. The mystery was part
of it. A big part and we miss it. Not
everywhere, but in some places. Oh, it's
still great fun to go and play with the
fishies, but somehow not quite the same
when the mystery is nearly gone.
I will try to inject some problems back
into it of course. See if I can get the
trout to accept a different fly perhaps.
I have tried a Royal Coachman on occasion
just to see what might happen. All too often
if it was about the right size, the darn
thing seemed to work just fine.
I can remember fishing a section of beach
out here for salmon. We would wade out from
shore, pitch our offerings into the churning
surf and hope the gods attached something to
them. After a few times of this though we had
gathered enough information by watching what
the bait was, what size and color etc. and
were able to create a fly that has proven
I guess that's an important part, the mystery
thing. If it gets too easy, some of the fun and
'magic' dissipates. I guess when we get to know
a place too well, we really need to make it
tougher on ourselves or look for new places
where we will have to start all over. When
you think about it, what's wrong with that
idea? I guess what matters most now is the
mystery. ~ JC