Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday Fishing Report: What, Again?

Yeah, again.
It was Jeremiah's turn this evening. Everything was looking real good when we got there.
The wind had been from the south all day, so I decided to put the canoe in at the south end of the lower lake where it's usually sheltered under those conditions. It was plenty calm there, and fish were beginning to rise. It even looked like the wind would die down altogether and give the fish a chance to show Jeremiah what a real "bite" looks like.
We had time to try big mayflies, of which we saw none hatching, and then change to a Griffith's Gnat, which closely imitated the little white flies coming off. We had some rises tantalizingly close to Jeremiah's fly, one a classic back and dorsal rise. Later, Jeremiah would tell Isaiah about the "red fin" he saw.
Then the breeze picked up and began to blow from the west. Then it swirled around and began to blow from the east. The water was getting choppy except for a strip still sheltered on the east bank.
So I pulled anchor and we headed over to see if anything was still rising there. We decided to have Jeremiah troll the Gnat while I paddled. Several times he told me he thought he had a fish on. I told him to wait. Then he had a real hit. He jumped and shouted "I have one!" Then it was off, and he sat there with that classic look of disbelief and puzzlement. "What happened?" he asked me. "Why did it come off?"
I wish I knew. Oh, I can speculate, and theorize. But while fishing with the boys clarifies what I do know about trout and flyfishing, it also confronts me with what I don't know. When I fish with them I realize how mysterious it all is, really. I like that, myself. I've met technicians and scientists and engineers on the water, people who seem to think it can all be reduced to an equation. Usually they're more than willing to enlighten someone as ignorant and superstitious as I am.
No thanks. I prefer the Mystery.
Jeremiah's trout was on for only a second, but in that second he learned something about fishing--and about that mystery.
But right then we were just feeling encouraged. Then, the breeze shifted to the north and the east bank got choppy. So we just kept on trolling.
Right after I took that picture I heard the wind coming from the north, and a wall of wind hit us, turning the canoe and scaring Jeremiah. He decided we should head to shore before the wind tipped us over. I had a hard time turning the canoe into the wind, but managed it, and we paddled in.
He hopped out immediately and seemed relieved to be on dry ground. He found a dead trout in the wind-tossed willows and began trying to fish it up with a paddle. Not what I had in mind, but fun for him.
Then he got this idea that a dead fish like that would almost certainly attract bears, which would be hard to hear as they crept up through the willows, because of the spooky wind. So he decided he was ready to call it a day.
The wind showed no sign of letting up, so I agreed. Jeremiah insisted on carrying everything up from the canoe to the pickup, maybe because he knew I was disappointed and wanted to do something for me. He's a good kid.
I was a little disappointed, but I'm learning that these things are all a part of the mystery, and that it's best to take it in stride. So we had fun on the way home talking about BB guns (Jeremiah really wants one, and I have lots of BB gun stories from my checkered past) and counting deer.
We found this little herd of bucks and stopped to watch for awhile as they circled and feinted and crowhopped, and went through the motions of the mortal combat they will engage in as mature bucks in rut. Jeremiah really enjoyed watching them. He took this picture.
We counted 26 deer by the time we got home, which broke the record set by me and Isaiah the night before. Jeremiah liked that.
So the wind blew, we caught no fish--and we still had a great time.
What, again? Yeah, again. Thanks, Mystery.

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