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  • Sunday, May 05, 2019

    A Distant Land

    SALTY STUFF
    Sandy Stuff
    salubrious south
    GENERAL PRACTITIONER
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    .. Once upon a time in a far distant land we would fish for those critters with scales at Ponto State Beach, Swami's Beach and, in Batiquitos Lagoon.
    .. Those fish were stronger than trout but not quite so colorful.
    A FISH OF MYSTERY
    .. Ah those fish; minds of mystery.
    .. One at a time, schools of hundreds, on the surface, down deep, in the surf - all kinds and all places.
    .. And oh, the smorgasbord that those fish would revel in: sand crabs, shrimp, prawns, worms, octopus, snails, little bits and large bits - whatever comes their way.
    .. What a mystery is the mind of the fish! An even deeper mystery is the mind of the fisher. Fish are opportunistic predators and gobble what looks good and is close by. Fishers are tradition bound and read books about what flies they should use.
    PONTO PRAWN
    .. Fish are alert and twist and swim to meet the occasion of a food source. They wait, they pause, they sprint, they slash, they experiment and learn.
    .. Fishers use flies of tradition: this for the surface - that for subsurface. This for Spring and the other for Fall. Fishers are good with the accepted conventions of their peers and the feather merchants "that know!"
    .. Our neighbors are a bit more adventurous. Even we will often flaunt convention as well. We are not rebels. We mostly use conventional tackle and, mostly use conventional flies. It's the herd instinct that engulfs most fishers of the fly.
    .. But there are times when deviation and rebelliousness take over. At those times we have an attack of creative thinking capricious whimsical thought.
    PONTO PRAWN
    .. Our neighborhood trout eat more than just the fly imitations offered up by feather merchants and guide books. They eat snails. They eat leeches. They eat crayfish. They have a widely variable diet.
    .. {{SEGUE}} Years ago,  (the tradition continues today,)  a savvy owner of a neighborhood camp ground and fly shop sold crawdad imitations for fishing on the Madison River, [LINK-C1.] With a little effort on the interwebs it is possible to find folks that know about the crawdads in our waters, [LINK-C2.]
    .. There have been occasions when just the four of us took enough mud bugs to have a pleasant evening on the river sands and enjoy a sunset accompanied by a course of heads and tails. Not your typical Montana shore lunch dinner.
    SWAMI'S SHRIMP
    .. We are now in the midst of the "SPRING SORTING." This is a time when the accumulated flies of decades are put in some sort of order.
    .. We bumped into some Pacific Coast beach flies that have lain unmolested for decades.  By golly our trout should eat them.
    .. So we now have a new sackful of alternate fly patterns.
    .. Off we go.
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    .. Sunny and 60's. The transition to local chaos is underway. Cars from foreign lands are taking the shopping streets by storm. Fancy rod tubes and windshield mounts are sparse but visible.
    .. It's full Spring and the melt is on and, fishing is in the air.
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    WALLPAPER:  Caraway Rye Bread