thinking of an old friend

Contributors offers insight into the non-physical side of the Martial Arts, often ignored when discussing self-defense.

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thinking of an old friend

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:21 pm

The sun felt good on the back of my neck! It was good to be in the bush again. Spring was well on the way, break up had started but the river was still low and clear. The snow in the woods was still deep. I was careful to move slowly and quietly. I was careful to keep my shadow in the shadows.

My heart was in my mouth when I first saw him, he was huge! I thought the beating of my heart would be heard, I struggled to calm my self. He was in the open just waiting for me to take him, a gift from the gods, but he was wary.

I slowly moved to a better spot to take him. He had been hunted before, we were close to town, he spooked easy, he was gone! I had been too eager too excited, I had allowed my shadow to be cast in the sunlight, he was gone. He was magnificent, I moved to the shadows again and sat down to wait. It was always about waiting and stalking, it was a great day to wait. I sat there and enjoyed the warmth of spring and watched the season unfold.

He didn't keep me waiting long. He returned to his spot in the sun about five minutes later. I took my time, I watched him feed for a while. I studied his habits , I learned his rhythm as he feed lazily in the sun.

I attempted to approach him a 2nd time…..same result he was gone! I smiled to my self, and thought I guess this is the reason this old boy has grown to such a grand old size. I leaned against a blow down and pulled my lunch out of my pack. As I ate my lunch I enjoyed the sun, the mountain view, the blue green color of the river, the sound of the melting snow pack, the spackle of light on the water. I studied the tracks of a martin along the river bank. It was a great day to be sitting in the sunlight.

I decided to move on and began to pack up when I noticed him back. He had been gone longer this time but he was back holding in the same pool. I'd never seen a 6 lb Brown in this water before. He was a monster, 1.5 lbs was the norm for this area of the river.

I tied on a fly I thought matched the hatch on the river. Blue dun small, I cast it far upstream and let the current carry it to him. Missed by 6 feet, never got a look, several more attempts and I managed to float it right over his head, didn't even look at it. I floated a few more over him and no reaction. Every now and then the brown would slowly rise to the surface and sip another insect from the surface and then sink down to his lie. I tried a few more flies and got the same response. I was getting good at floating them over him but I could not get a rise.

This was a chess match. But no matter how perfect the presentation , no matter how close I thought my pattern matched the hatch on the water I could not entice this crafty old brown trout to take my offering. As the afternoon wore on the brown adjusted his hold from the front of the pool in eight feet of water to a more central position in about 16 feet of water. He was hiding in the shadow of a submerged log. I still had no problem floating them right over his nose.

I was beginning to give up all hope of hooking the fish. I knew if I hooked up I'd have to try and keep him from retreating under the safety of the submerged trees. If the line got wrapped around those logs he would be gone.

In frustration I selected an attractor fly, didn't look like anything on the water. I had tied a few of them a week or so back and had never got a thing on them. Orange floss with brown hackle wrapped fore and aft. Nothing else was working why not. I tied it on and gave it a toss. It floated wide by about 4 feet. To my surprise the brown slowly rose and gave it a look. He didn't take it. I offered it a few more times, on my 4th cast he slowly rose to the surface and slurped it in.

I set the hook and palmed the reel. I stood up and raised the rod straight in the air. I had to keep this hog out off the logs. I was hoping he would run for the back of the pool. But he has trying for the logs, I couldn't give him any slack. He has fighting hard, the rod was doubled in half, I thought it would break. I was getting electric jolts down my arm every time the fish shook. I was in for a fight! Then the rod went slack.

I thought the rod had broken but it was fine, I looked in the pool, the Brown was gone, he would not be back again that day. I reeled in my line, it had broken at the knot. I had stalked that fish for 2.5 hours. Some days the fish win. I called it a day, I packed up and hiked out. It had been a glorious day.

I hunted that fish 15 years ago. I still remember him fondly. I drive by that spot now and then. I wonder if he still visits that pool. He was a survivor, he might be, he would over twenty pounds today if he's still in there.

Much has happened over the years, million dollar homes lie a quarter mile from that stream today. I wonder if the occupants know about their neighbor. They commute hours daily to work in the city. They return home tired and retire early to face the commute the next morning. As the sun sets and the browns begin their evening feeding frenzy I wonder if these two neighbors will ever meet.

This spring I think I'll have to pay that hole one more visit.

Last edited by Guest on Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Yes, but..

Postby gmattson » Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:41 am

Would the memory be as beautiful had you won that match?

Fly fishermen are true artist, giving their worthy opponent a fighting chance.

Interesting how we hear more stories about the ones that got away!

Thanks for sharing your memory with us Laird.
"Do or do not. there is no try!"
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Re: Yes, but..

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 07, 2004 1:21 am

Would the memory be as beautiful had you won that match?
I've asked that question many times, it's kind of like the fourty foot putt that hung on the edge of the cup and never dropped. A valiant attempt put not quite, they stick with you. The Joy is in the trying!

Interesting how we hear more stories about the ones that got away
Challenges for another day George. :wink:
Thanks for sharing your memory with us Laird.
These thoughts give balance to my life, glad to share


Postby RACastanet » Sun Mar 07, 2004 1:43 am

Good story.

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Postby Van Canna » Sat Apr 24, 2004 3:24 am


Just read this. How wonderful to reach into the gentle recesses of your mind.

Thank you for the uplift.

Your friend,
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