Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Total Recall

When we take photos of the fish we catch, we lock them into our memory banks. The photo becomes part of us. It stimulates our recall and inexplicably, we can remember every facet of the experience. I can look at this photo and recall exactly where I caught this fish, what time of day it was, and most importantly, the story of the epic battle that took place in getting the fish to the point of being photographed. I can feel the temperature of the breeze, the smell of sage whafted upon it, and whether is was cool or warm. Every fish is different and so too, our momentary experience with it. By photographing our encounter, we do not need to rely on fading memories or those which have justifiably become more gradiose and unreliable with the passage of time. We can record the experience for replay any time and enjoy the moment as if it was yesterday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fishing With a Friend

The sun was already well above the horizon as we sat in our truck waiting for our fishing buddy to arrive. The nearby campground was busy with campers finishing up breakfast and attending to the necessary chores before going off to fish. The weather was warm and only the slightest breeze was perceptible. A great hatch was sure to be in store for us this day!

The wait was brief and shortly, my fishing buddy stepped out of his truck with a friend...a dog. She was a beautiful flat coat retriever, and as black as midnight. At about a year and a half old, she had boundless energy and after a short period of initial shyness, she warmed up to us all and was ready for any adventure the day had in store.

Along the shore, she played with boundless energy and surprisingly, did not distrupt the fishing. Her interest was captured by the many sticks that floated along the banks and she made short work of them, thowing them high in the air only to be easily caught on the way down or crunching them into oblivion right where they lay. Watching her was pure enjoyment. My son's first take was a beautiful 12 inch rainbow from the shallow riffles and our friend didn't seem to care. She was much more focused on those wiley sticks!

Dogs can be such good companions while fishing, especially when they are well trained. They bring a comic relief to the day that is unsurpassed!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I stepped into the water at the inside of a nice long U-turn in the stream with the flow moving right to left. I tossed my fly almost directly across the current, wiggled out some line and let the tasty morsel drift downstream into a nice seam. As the fly reached the furthest point and began to swing across the current, I gave it a few jerks and immediately felt a nice hit. He fought bravely as I worked him throughout the grassy shallows.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Good Fight

Once submerged, my noble adversary was in his element and he wasted no time in heading for the protection of a fallen tree. I, precariously balanced on the most algae covered of rocks, almost joined my foe as I took it on a knee and nearly witnessed his attempted escape from an underwater perspective. Like a waterskier's rooster tail, my line cut the water as it slashed side to side across the stream. In a desperate attempt to avoid capture, the fish went Kamikaze and made a beeline right for me. I reeled in line with all the speed and dexterity I could muster. Just when I thought he would pass between my legs and confound my efforts, entangling me in my own double-tapered web, he made a break and took the newly reeled line with him. My reel sang the sweetest melody that to a fly fisher's ears is akin to nirvana, a song from the gods. Only Scylla and Charybdis could match the hypnotizing sound.