Archive for April 29th, 2008

29
Apr
08

Flyfishing’s Habits (known and the curious unknown)

I have smoked a briar for years (at least 22 years). I started because I loved the smell of my dad’s pipe tobacco and the process of preparing and smoking the pipe was satisfying. I don’t smoke the pipe that often in the course of a year. When I am camping and of course fishing or doing yard work, I light my briar and enjoy the moment. I raise this whole process because I wonder if any of you have had a similar event occur related to a tradition, obsession, addiction that impacts your flyfishing experience. I will recount one episode that embodies and explains a seemingly pleasant pastime’s impact upon the psyche. I was fishing a Central Oregon lake on a cold and windy April day. All was well with the world: the fish were swirling in the shallows and could be caught by walking the shore or from the pontoon boat. I was so excited and pleased by the immediate successes I had that I had forgotten to light my briar…part of my initial venturing forth onto the lake, settling in and working the fly’s magic. So, I drifted along in the breeze and filled the pipe’s bowl and tamped the tobacco down just so and reached into my pocket for the lighter and….NO LIGHTER!  What?  I checked again…nope…no lighter. I checked the cargo pockets of the pontoon boat…no lighter.  Well, damn!  This was unsettling (should it be?) No. But it was. This is when I discovered the entrenched nature of this past time upon my routine. I was really out of sync and sorts. The fish were  there and cooperative. Was that enough? No. I needed to light that pipe. No one was near to borrow a light and, at any rate, they all had quit smoking years before. So, I rowed/kicked back to the shore and extricated myself from my gear and went to my p-u and searched high and low for a lighter. None. Geeeez, the consternation. At last, I found a book of matches….say six matches. Certainly not enough for a days worth of fishing. I lit one and whoooph, out from the wind. I turned to shelter myself from the wind and whoooph out again. So, this following moment is the one etched in my mind of how desparate and psychologically dependent I had become upon that lit pipe: I hunkered down beside my truck out of the wind and expended two more matches lighting my briar. I recalled how frigging hyped and determined I was upon getting that pipe lit, come hell or high water. I then chuckled to myself at my heretofore unknown dependence…I had always had matches or a lighter. So, the second part of this obsessive tale is that I now have several lighters with me when fishing and backups in the truck. For crying out loud! I know, I know. It is a pathetic tale. I have lost pliers, forceps, tippet material, etc. and dealt with it. But nothing ever equaled that day in showing me how much a part of my flyfishing experience that darn briar had become.                      

29
Apr
08

Up to my ears! Anticipating the season (Flytying & Flyfishing)

This time of year is filled with anticipation: stillwaters opening up in the next few months, steelheading still going well, identifying and tying those flies that were either depleted or found wanting (reduced numbers or needed improving) last season. For example, I have to tie the full gamut of Callibaetis stages in the next month or so; replenish scuds, tie more wets and emergers and fine tune my Czech Nymph tying. I have spent little time on the Polish Woven Nymph. I bought the materials and experimented and then drifted off into Cz nymphs and Callibaetis patterns. What I have done is pulled out a whole bunch of materials for each of my target patterns and currently have a chaotic plan of attack that I know will lead to materials everywhere…a mess!   I am up to my ears in plans, anticipation and excitement. I love this time of year.      




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