July 21ST Double R Fishing Report
Monday, July 21, 2014:
In a nut shell, when the early morning breeze tapered off this morning the overcast sky prompted some small Baetis and a smattering of Tricos to hatch and fish were intently working the buffet. Hardly any Members were out on the field water or The Pond, where fish were rising, too. In both locations, Callibaetis duns and spinners seemed to interest the trout as well. Even the large Brown trout seem to be readily taking small sparsely tied imitations off the surface. Anglers have been scoring well on beetles and ants; if you can’t seem to successfully match the hatch on a given morning or afternoon, throw out a small terrestrial as the fish are clearly looking up. Tomorrow should be as cool as today’s weather so look for the three mayflies to continue to hatch in about equal numbers until the 90 plus degree heat resumes on Wednesday, when the Tricos and Callibaetis should take over.
ON “OLD” FISHING BUDDIES AND OLD “FLAMES”:
This week four college fraternity brothers will be visiting me in Picabo. Back in the proverbial Day, we were inseparable partners in crime, partying and the pursuit of the female gender. It was, after all, The Post Sixties. The Five Musketeers dispersed to Oregon, California, Colorado and South Carolina. This reunion will be the first time the five of us have all been together in one location since we graduated in 1974 and, given that it took us 40 years to work out the logistics, it probably will not happen again. None of my fraternity brothers fly fish so I will likely spend most of the three days giving futile instruction; I usually don’t drink while fishing, but I may need to make an exception.
Like just about every serious fly angler, I have a number of men and women with whom I’ve fished for years. One good buddy and I have fished together at least one a season for over 25 years in Oregon and on Silver Creek each September. Another showed up yesterday (on his way to The Big Hole and the Missouri, bearing a case of his “Stream Keeper’s Reserve” Pinot Noir made from grapes he grows in the Willamette Valley. Another buddy and I have fished together since I introduced him to The Deschutes on the one year anniversary of his remission from Lymphoma. Then there is a woman friend who has been fly fishing Yellowstone National Park streams since the mid-70s, and whom I have turned into an expert soft hackle angler. Of course, I fish with local anglers and those friends who make an annual pilgrimage to the hallowed waters of Silver Creek.
A friend recently asked me what I would prefer, three days with an old fishing buddy or 72 hours with an Old Flame. You would assume that an increasingly heavy set, graying one legged man now in his early sixties would jump at the chance to “reunite” with a love from his now distant youth, wouldn’t you? Well, not exactly, as the passage of years has made me less tolerant and attentive to the vagaries of the female gender, and I am increasingly more difficult to tolerate than one can imagine. The pleasures of the flesh may no longer be a panacea for seemingly irreconcilable differences in philosophy or each other’s outlook on Life. One’s priorities change as the decades pass. For more detail read (or re-read) Russell Chatham’s wonderful short story, “The Great Duck Misunderstanding” found in his Dark Waters collection.
With long term fishing buddies, one is not reliving or grasping at past relationship high points. You are back out on the water, sometimes new and sometimes familiar, both of you attempting to solve the Riddle of the Day. Necessarily, there is something serious and engaging to talk about around the evening camp fire, over fine spirits and paced by a good cigar. This debate does not inadvertently rub salt into old wounds which one would think should have healed by now. The bond between you remains fresh and new; it is not being relived.