Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 128

I have fished for a very long time without specializing, without concentrating on a specific fish or body of water. My fishing is nomadic; my concentration is distributing my time with many miles between stops and with few similarities between each venture. And I never really expected to settle down. The thought of slipping into something more comfortable, something I could submerge into and learn, never held any appeal. It took something that was never consistent to make me focus.

I launch from the same place every morning, something I never thought I would do, and I can tell you, within a tolerance of a few inches, where each rock and limb and stump in my creek are. I can close my eyes and make the same run each day. It would be very hard to explain what caused this shift, this fundamental change in my behavior. I have only caught one striped bass.

I know moon phases. I can always tell you how many days we are from a new moon or a full moon or a half moon. I hate sunshine and bluebird skies and I love a light rain that I know will cease within an hour. I know generation schedules. And I know they aren’t anadramous, but their grandfathers were. And I know that you telling me that because they didn’t swim from the sea makes them less special won’t change what I do. I tie flies. Each new fly is my favorite and is more likely to be successful, it will sit at a different depth it’s shorter and longer and more sparse and more dense and has six articulations but then has none. I clean the boat obsessively just to have some outlet of nervous energy and anxiety and I load the cooler and rods the night before and arrange my streamers in rows, aligned by hook point, not by the eye. I wake up at 4.

It could be that this is the only true unicorn I can drive to within an hour, could be that it is the one with which I’ve had the least success. It’s not because they pull; something that pulls and claws through your backing is special, but it’s not worth this. Living and dying by the tug is not the right mentality for this place, it’s the hunter’s mentality, the obsession over details and times of day and size of patterns. That one that I caught did pull though.