Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Something Tubey For the River

I tie on an HMH vise, and I like it a lot. I think I might have chosen it on my own for its classic design and sturdy functionality, but I had a little help. As soon as I decided to tie my own flies, my brother John, a co-owner of HMH Vises, gave me one. For free. When they got into tube flies he also gave me a complete tube tying set-up. I tied a few tube flies for awhile, but drifted away from them.

Now a new DVD from HMH has me thinking I need to revisit tube flies. The DVD will come with their tube tying kit and is designed for people new to tube flies. A teaser just came out on Facebook and on their website, and the rest will be posted in installments.

I admit, I was hooked as soon as I began to recognize people I knew or knew of. People like Craig Uecker--I fished with him and John on the Grande Ronde a few years ago, and Selene Dumaine--she ties superb salmon flies. And of course my brother, with a very nice Mainer Largemouth. He was proud of that big boy.

And then this guy. I don't think he told me I would be in the DVD, but what a treat to watch myself catching a nice trout in one of my favorite places on earth, what we call "The Back Channel" on the fabled Henry's Fork.

You can bet I remember that fish well. The day was working toward evening and the water was speckled with PMD's. Not a hatch, but the remains of an earlier hatch. There were plenty of little fish rising, but we were looking--unsuccessfully--for the tell-tale rises of big fish. We were hoping especially for some bank risers to begin working.

Then I saw a rise that seemed just a little different from all the rest. It was out in mid-river, and it was tiny--just a sip--but it was steady. The pods of little fish were cruising here and there, but this rise stayed put. So I cast to it and got a take. Just the tiniest little sip. I figured it must be a little guy after all. Even when I raised the rod and hooked him there was just a little tug. I think he was as surprised to be hooked as I was when he suddenly exploded. He lunged and ran and almost broke off before I finally got my act together and worked him to the net. All that commotion--and the fact I often talk to fish, especially when they're getting the best of me--got John's attention and he waded over with the video camera in time to capture me netting it.

That fish still had some fight in him when John snapped this photo.

What a beauty.

That was a nice fish, and it's fun to relive those moments. But that wasn't my biggest fish of the trip. That one came later.

But that's another story. Meanwhile, I'll look forward to the release of the rest of the DVD. And I think I'll get out my tubes and get a jump start on something tubey for the river.

1 comment:

  1. Jim
    Those trout are some of the best I have seen, colorful and healthy--thanks for shairng