Readers Cast


Jason Estrella - June 20, 2011

It should have been so simple; the trout were holding in holes along the river, how hard could it be? Well, I found out that weekend.

My daughter's birth was approaching, just a few months away. I knew I MIGHT be somewhat busy from about a month before her due date until she is about 27. I was going to be very tired every time I had to wake up in the middle of the night and tell my wife, "Hey, wake up, she's crying again," and then promptly fall back to sleep. Yep, plum exhausting.

So, I told my wife I was going fly-fishing for a weekend in New Mexico with some buddies. She agreed it was a good idea. Who knew that holding your breath and pounding the floor could work at 32? So I set up a trip through the waters of southern New Mexico with my friends, Frank and Dave. Frank and Dave are both younger than I am and have that adventurer's spirit. But I am wiser in my opinion and better looking. So it was, the night before we were to depart on our grand journey I did what any responsible 30+ year old does when hanging out with guys still in their 20's; I drank too much and went to bed way too late. They were exhausted as well, they just hid it better.

Our first stop was a beautiful mountain lake with cold clear water and 40 mph winds. Which was funny since I didn't remember the winds blowing before I rigged my fly rod together. I made a cast here, a cast there, and one of these times I was going to get the fly in the water. Finally I got the line in the water without a fly. The leech must have gone back to its home in one of the many bushes scattered behind me. We moved around the lake with no luck, though I did manage to scatter a large group of carp. Oh well, no fish but we had all weekend and lots of alcohol.

We ate supper at a little Italian restaurant where Frank left his $300 sunglasses on the table. He spent part of the next day interviewing the employees using his best mob voice but to no avail. I got up early Saturday morning refreshed and hung over yet again, to fish a section of the river behind our cabin, again with the wind. I had Frank as a fish spotter, which made no sense since he was blinded by the glare. The river wasn't very wide but I am a pro when it comes to fishing small, heavily vegetated water. I even bought a brand new six-foot, five-weight rod just for this purpose. Yes sir, I was in my element. Unfortunately, the river decided to prove me otherwise. I lost flies in the water, flies in the trees, and I think a fly flew off my tippet, mid-cast. I had so much fly line tangled around me it looked like I was covered in silly string. Frank would have thought it was funny if he could see me through the bright sunshine.

So we fished off and on throughout the day, finding holes of trout here and there, but nothing wanting to take a fly. At one point, my San Juan worm actually bounced off the back of a trout with it barely flinching. My casts were accurate, the drift perfect; I didn't even know fish had a middle finger.

The highlight of the trip came on the ride home. We decided to take the "scenic route", which is code for, "let's see how long it takes us to get lost." The area we were fishing in bordered an Apache Indian reservation. We took a dirt road into it because Dave had been this way before. About 20 miles in I asked him if this looked right. He was a little perplexed because he recalled the road being paved the last time. I told Frank to turn around. Heading back to the main highway we got pulled over by a reservation police office. He was a polite fellow and calmly gave us directions to the actual scenic route. After a long ride back we finally arrived home. The only thing I caught was 3 days of hangovers and a stark reminder that I am not 25. But I did get chased by an Apache, and that's something most fellow Texans can't say anymore! 

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