August 7, 2008

Jinx, modesty and hypocrisy

I swear the post from the other day is messing with me. As if it was some sort of retribution for mentioning something about being in rhythm and harnessing the flow, I have a terrible outing on the water.

In my tribute post, I spoke of all things [coming] together. My outing couldn't have been more contradictory. It started out promising with a couple of small bass (smallmouth) taken on Mr P's carp carrot. I was hoping to see how this assassin of a fly would fare with the carp and buffalo. Well I can tell you that it works, but the resulting humility that ensued was insulting.

I hooked a buffalo to start off, and when I grabbed the line to land it (without my lippa tool), it gave me the mother of all splashings. I was soaked from head to toe and covered with silt and algae. I could barely see through my glasses. The fish flopped around in the water while I fumbled around to grab it. I made my way up the bank leaving my pride, and what I can only allude to as a circus act gone wrong down at the water's edge. I grabbed a photo and released the fish. Over the next several hours, I proceeded to snag my fly in every overhanging branch possible, in blades of grass overhanging the waters edge, get my line tangled in milkweed plants, pigweed, and thistles, and get hung up on rocks, breaking off flies. I got my line wrapped around my rod countless times and couldn't get my leaders tied right not matter what I did. They were limp, lifeless, and refused to turn over. As a result I couldn't buy a decent rollcast for the life of me. Drastic measures needed to be taken. I clipped a few sections of my leader and retied. It helped a little but not a lot. In order to avoid the branches I moved, but not before catching a carp.

After relocating, I settled down for a bit. Things were better, but my internal rhythm was still a bit off. I managed to hook up with several nice carp, until they came.

Here we go again with anglers that lack any courtesy. Two youths approached where I was fishing and proceeded to set up within rods length of either side of me. Now I know they're youth, and that they are important to the sport to retain as anglers for life, but something needs to be done with parents that don't teach their kids respect or manners, like a swift kick to the nuts. It is just not polite to cast right under someone else's line, let alone set up right next to a fly fisherman who needs room to cast his line. I realize that they may know exactly the mechanics of fly fishing and how a line is cast, but for god's sake, it is just common decency to give someone a little room. Besides, who dresses their pre-teen kid in a t-shirt with the logo, "Drinking beer and shooting bucks. That's how I roll."? Really!? This is when I realized the hypocrisy of my last post and the selfishness of my own actions.

I hate other anglers.

Strong words, and true for the most part. I have no problem with internet anglers, as they are not on the stream in my spot, hogging my river. I can give internet anglers all the tips and advice they need. Great if they learn something. But if some chump is out there on the river and infringing on my personal space, get the fuck out of the way. It's bad enough that this roughfisher despises most people to begin with, but if you wanna chat on stream about if I've been "catching anything?" or "oh, you're fly fishing?", here's a newsflash, I don't have time for you.

There. I said it.
I am a grumpy, arrogant, elitist, roughfisher.

I moved back to the other side of the river due to the fact that I couldn't cast with an 8 year old literally standing in my shadow. The only fly that really had any success today was my rubber legged X Factor nymph, which I coincidently lost my last one in a snag. I tied on an orange scud and noticed a a bunch of large buffalo holding in a stretch of water downstream of a boulder cluster, catching a current break. I pinched on a shot and with my best underhand cast (forward spey) on my weak side I shot my line upstream and across, right across those fish. The second my fly drifted over the pod, I instantly hooked up. It was so instantaneous, that I was for certain that I had snagged a fish. It turns out that I did indeed snag the fish, in the mouth.

The rest of the outing was miserable. It was warm, the sun was relentlessly beating down on me, and no matter what I did over the next two hours, I could just not catch a fish. Did my fly have carp stink or what? I was hoping to catch just one more before having to leave. No dice. I clipped of my fly and packed up, reeking of failure. I felt like the day was a failure.

A couple buffalo, a half-dozen carp, and another half-dozen smallmouth. Not a bad body count for any angler. Yet, I deemed the outing a bust because I was out of sync all day and couldn't get a fish to bite at the end. In hindsight, I should have been pleased with the results. It's not like I got skunked. However, a little humility every now then keeps us modest and humble.

Me? I'm just a grouchy, cynical hypocrite. Cheers.