April 20th, 2009

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Aching to Fish
By Dr. Hugo M. Gibson, Montana

It doesn't matter what you call it; the shacknasties, the cabin creeps, cabin fever, spring fever, or whatever. The point is, is that it's the time of the year, whether you're an outdoorsman or not, that you just have to get outside. And let me tell you, I've got a bad case of it Doc‚ I think the worst I've ever had.

"How's that?" You ask.

'Me time,' I just haven't had enough. I'm not talking about the kind of 'me time' you get when you're hunkered behind your vise tying flies, or when you're deeply absorbed in a book. I'm talking about outside 'me time,' the kind you get when you're fishing. I'm tired of living those little fantasies of a beautiful trout gently slurping the fly I'm tying while fishing the hatch of all hatches on the river of all rivers. I'm tired of it, and I want to go fishing. I want to go and see if I can find that hatch on that river.

So, here I sit, at 5:52 am, typing up a storm because I'm so excited for my fishing trip this morning that I can't sleep. I've been awake since just after 4:00, tossing and turning, knowing that I had almost four more hours before my alarm was to go off, but it didn't help. Every time I closed my eyes all I could see was my fly line gently settling on the water, my fly landing perfectly in the current, and a trout leaping half way out of the water to eat it. I tried everything to clear my mind, everything, but nothing worked. It never does. I suppose I shouldn't have gone to bed at 9:30 thinking that morning would come quicker if I was sleeping. It doesn't, it still takes just as long, if not longer.

I've already got everything packed and ready to go in a little backpack. I'm staying out all day, so I've got a small propane cooker, a cast iron skillet, two plates, silverware, garlic salt, venison steak, onions, potatoes, water, a coffee pot, coffee, creamer, sugar, and toilet paper‚I just can't forget to take the venison out of the fridge before I go, or I'll be willingly forced to eat a few trout for lunch‚hmmmm, fresh trout with sauteed onions and potatoes, bloody hell, I might just have to leave the steak here! My eyes are getting a bit heavy‚ I think I might have to just lay back for a second.

Well, it worked, kinda'. It feels like I only slept for about 30 seconds, but it was sleep nonetheless. I've got to stop writing now and get my tired butt out of bed to cook some breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day you know. Bacon, eggs, corned beef hash, and toast, with a little coffee to chase it down. Sounds like a good way to start a day of fishing to me.

Breakfast was magic! It's amazing how getting up to cook seems to energize me for what lies just ahead. I was out the door and greeted with a magnificent sunny morning. Just a little bit of wind, but not so much that it would make fishing difficult. It's definitely a 2wt day today. It should be the perfect rod for the little stream I have in mind. I'll sneak up downstream of the deep pool. Work my way around it and get in position to cast to all the trout that love to sit in the bendy little riffle just up stream from there‚ I can just see it now.

What a day it was. I can't say that I've had a lot of "perfect" days on the river, but I've had a few. You know, when you can just see all the rises in your mind while you're driving there, and then when you get there it's almost exactly like you'd hoped it would be. I have a few days like that that come to mind. A couple of them were on the Au Sable in Michigan, one on Flat Creek in Wyoming, another on a tiny little mountain stream just outside of Laramie, a couple others too. I wouldn't say today was textbook perfect, but it was close. I finally got to quench a little of my cabin fever. I fished in some lovely country, caught some spectacular fish, and was completely worn out when I got home. The only problem with a day like today is that it ends up leaving you wanting more, but then so does every fishing trip.

I suppose all there is to do now is to go and tie up a klinkhammer to replace the one that all those trout destroyed and wait for another sleepless night like the one I had last night. ~ Hugo

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