It's damn near gone. The finality hits me like a brick every late fall. I'm never "done," but I can feel the change in weather, daylight, my thoughts, and my daily routine. Next weekend's clock change is a downer. (Daylight time all year would be my choice) I get a little choked up cleaning off all the rods, rinsing lines, tossing lines, putting flies away from "the patch." There's not enough empty slots to return all those flies to the boxes from which they were plucked. What's up with that? Now I need another box just for those chewed up flies I likely won't ever tie on again. But I better keep 'em just in case, just like all the other boxes of used, chewed, coming-apart "shit-flies" I have going back to the last century. Obsessed fly hoarder. OK. I admit it. Besides, sometimes I can look at one and remember how it got all chewed up; the river, the run, and the trip.
Access to one of my home rivers closes Monday. I'll fish a day here and there when the weather lets me, and the desire is there, but I'm unloading the trailer too, so they'll be day trips. I'm also thinking, ridiculously, "What flies do I need to tie/restock for spring? Baetis and midges looking OK for late winter? What about PMD's for June? Got March Browns?" Like I need another fly in my life. Might need a new 444 line though. Is Hardy still going to make the Featherweights? The Asian ones are cheap now, relatively speaking. (Just don't do it, 3 is enough!)
This is my way of hanging on, knowing the arctic blast is coming. It's these kinds of connections to the fishing itself that make surviving another winter possible. I'll start counting down the days to certain significant upcoming dates. The first day temperatures reach into the 50's in February. Springing forward the clock in March. Memorial Day weekend in Island Park. The Ranch opener (7 1/2 months!) My four high-season PMD days on the creeks. Looking forward keeps the sanity.
In the mean time, I've cast to some real nice fish lately. A lot have ate, more often than not actually. I've hooked some, and by some miracle it seems, even touched a few. These fish and tiny flies lately have been getting the best of me for some reason. It's been a struggle since I left the MO and the Beav. Might be the last really good ones for a while. Maybe. But there's no polar express in the 7-day . . .
|Flat and slow|
|"A" game water|
|Might be my fish of the month.|
|Definitely the fly of the day, hour after hour, they ate it.|
|Think I got this at Anderson's last month. They liked it. Quill body. More for 2017?|
|Good eats late on an old standard dubbed, hackle tip wing, over-dressed BWO.|
|Clear "PHD" channel|
|It took the right presentation to fool this one. You had to be there. Wait, you can be there, there's proof!|