August 1st, 2005

By James Castwell

Ok, so here it is August already. It can be a very different month for those who fly fish, depending on how long we have been at it. Funny how they can be so different sometimes. Right now many of you are in the 'honeymoon' stage of fly-fishing. Just getting into fishing with the mysterious long rod, eyes blinking at the possibilities, pulse racing at the mere mention of the sport, visions of it race through your mind at unexpected times keeping it all new and wonderful. And that it is, new and wonderful. May it always remain so. For many of us it does, but over time takes on a well worn patina of sorts.

August. So many things can be done in this month. All things fly fishing related can be found, well most of them anyway. You can find just about any type of fishing you might like dependent only on available time and expendable cash. I used to almost throw myself at August. I examined every possible nook and cranny of the hot month. A treasure of things are awaiting those who will only seek them out. Lakes, streams, fish, insects in all stages; the flora and fauna of your world awaits you.

I sought and found good companionship for my fly fishing seasons, first fishing buddies and then my wife. In reality there was not a month that I was not involved with the sport. Having someone to share ideas and new-found information with enhances the performance.

Now in August I do things differently, and at a slower pace. I make plans for some fall events, fishing in Idaho is one, our trip to the big tackle show in Denver another that must be set up.

Speaking about that show. I suppose you have heard of these things before. It's the one big show of the year where the buyers and sellers get together for business. The rest of the year there are smaller shows scattered all around the country, most are places where you and I can get in and buy things, but the Denver show is only for dealers. Nothing is for sale there. We go to take pictures of our sponsors at their booths, to renew old friendships, find out as much as we can about all the new stuff for the coming year so we can run back here and tell you about it.

One of the things I like about August too is my lawn quits growing. Most of it turns a lovely shade of tan, weeds and all. Takes off the pressure to do yard maintenance and other menial chores. I notice a bit more of my day is wasted just 'thinkin'. Not about anything important, just being lazy and telling the LF that, "I am not! I'm just thinking for a spell." She humors me, which is nice for this old guy.

Sometimes when I am writing these columns to you I lean back in my chair here, tilt my head up and look at the framed shadow boxes of flies on the wall over my computer. Good friends gave me those flies over a span of years that frightens me to even guestimate at. But looking at them can take me back in an instant to other times and different places. Sometimes I need to do that. Art Winnie... remember him? Probably not, but a few might. Oh my no, he is long gone. Most of the names up there with my flies are gone now. Some were giants, others only profits in their own little ponds. Pioneers they were, most I fished with, a couple I only knew but never wet a line with. But, the flies they tied for me are precious.

I hope you have something like that, if not perhaps it is not too late to make some progress. Pat Russell, where are ya buddy? You tied and out fished me on the Hex-hatch with the most 'gaud aurful' sponge rubber fly I ever saw. And you're damn right I still have it. Top left hand corner of my main fly collection. Take care my friend, may our paths cross again some day. And yes, I do remember how to sharpen a knife, you taught me well.

Don Murray, you still kicking? Extended body parachute hex... you remember, the one you tied for 'Ike,' one of the best my friend and it graces a prominent place in the top row of flies. Be well. It has been a very long time, very long.

Two flies are in a separate box. This box is mounted above the other ones, kind of a place of honor I suppose, at least to me it is. It contains two very nice flies, one has some crimson and the other some yellow, tied for me by Dan Bailey. I miss him and I very much miss all that which he stood for; a true giant among men, way more than ever is credited to him.

And so, now it's back to work for me here today. This is Sunday the 31st, this column goes up tonight at about midnight eastern time. Hope you all find some interest and maybe an idea or two. Have a nice month, it's a good one, or at least it can be even if it is a bit hot out there. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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