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  • Monday, July 19, 2010

    Just Too Nice

    NO WIND? - C'MON!

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    .. Took a rare float down the Madison River with one of the neighbors over the weekend.
    .. Three old friends in the same boat: ourselves, the neighbor of course, and an old FF755, (for those in the know.)
    .. As days go, it couldn't have been nicer. As for the fishing, it was perfect. As for catching, kinda slow.
    .. Obviously too much perfection just will not be tolerated by the fly fishing gods. After all, how many days in a year will mom let you comfortably throw a small 5wt. on the Madison River?
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    .. Early on at the boat ramp there were so many swallows eating bugs that the sky darkened as they flew overhead.
    .. There were way too many kinds of bugs to count. Several kinds of Caddis, Yellow Sallies, PMD's, Drakes, Crane Flies, and others absolutely unknown to us. The promise was stupendous.
    .. Flat out of the gate, (not five minutes on the river,) a pudgy 15" Rainbow Trout ate a Caddis Cripple.
    .. The bugs were everywhere. The water looked like an entomology exam. The air was dotted with flashes and glints. The swallow poop rained down on us like spent shot rattling off a honkers wings. GADZOOKS, this was as buggy as the Madison River can be.
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    .. Well, as it turned out, the catching was tough. Different flies for different river segments. Deer Hair Caddis, then emergers, then down with a nymph, then back up with a dry Parachute Adams.
    .. The anchor got a lot of exercise as flies were changed. Our neighbor exhibited rapid and superlative knot-tying skills. Rigging and re-rigging and re-re-rigging kept us both busy.
    .. Bobber or no bobber? Strike indicator or no strike indicator? Single fly or dropper rig? Giant nymphs or very small nymphs? How about a double dry rig? The mental exercise outstripped the physical exercise by a considerable margin.
    .. Little fish predominated in the catch. Most of the river's giant fish, those with sophisticated refusal techniques, gave everything a close look and definitive rejection.
    .. Some days it's a one fly proposition and all the fish just love it. Other days, (like this one,) a bit of river watching is more in the order of things.
    .. Well, the hinges on the fly boxes proved their mettle as we opened and closed them far more than usual.
    .. One surprising development was the lack of Mountain Whitefish in our catch. We just may not have gotten deep enough in the water column on our nymphing runs.
    .. All this by way of saying that, just because there are many bugs, the assurance of many and easy fish is not guaranteed.
    .. But, the day was beautiful. Catching was plenty good enough. And the wind waited until we were well off of the water to pay us a visit.
    .. At a couple of our parking places we visited with some enormous honkers. These guys really know how to pack it on.
    .. They were not too bothered as we cast amongst their feet. This is complacency of a new order. A dime will get a dollar it ain't that way come October.
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    .. River traffic was typical for this time of year. Not too few, and not too many boats bobbed along the hundred mile riffle. No one was skunked. No high counts were recorded.
    .. Of course all this was subject to modification in the darkened corners of the local pubs.
    .. Our conversation was about anything and everything but fish. We don't get to visit with our fishy neighbors much during this time of year. They fish we work; their fishing is work, our working is fishy.
    .. It was a very pleasant way for two of us to pass the time. The neighbor doesn't have to dispense fishy truth all day long & we can be as cranky and crabby as is our normal nature. And; local gossip, problems of the universe, politics and the weather could be freely and honestly addressed as we bobbed along. The old Fenwick did it's job in silence.
    .. Our conversations were amply punctuated by the occasional fish and all the problems of the universe got solved - not a bad day on the water.
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