Sunday, January 28, 2018

Day Dream

Fly tying - One of the few few activities that makes it permissible to spend hours hours alone day dreaming. You can argue it if you like, but if it really was only about filling a need in your box you wouldn't be tying hoppers in January. No, you tie hoppers in January to recall the warm afternoons of August when you we wade the stream to make the heat more bearable. The grass of the fields has turned to yellow and brown hinting at the fall to come, while the grass on the banks stays green. This brings all the bugs of the land perilously close to where the fish, an odd combo of browns and cutts, wait with their attention turned toward the surface. Ho they see it from under the cut bank is more than a mystery, but you don't spend too much time contemplating the properties of light refraction. Instead, you rinse the sunscreen off your hands before picking out a hopper to attach to your leader. Longer and lighter than you'd like, the leader is just heavy enough to turn over the tan and black Hopper Juan that hasn't been pulled from the box since you placed it there back in January when you anticipated this moment, despite the snow gently piling up outside. 

If there had been more snow, the water would be moving a little quicker and you might've gotten away with a shorter, stouter leader. As it is, you'll be banking on the fish waiting for a hopper to fall into the river with a splash, just like your fake one does when you cast it about a foot away from the bank that has held so many fish in the past. You let it dead drift back towards you, saving the twitches you'll add for later if the dead drift proves ineffective. You see her turn and follow the imitation down stream towards you and though it feels like half an hour passes, she quickly takes down your fly with a determined gulp. You wait for her head to turn back upstream before you set the hook and feel her weight. 

That's why you tie hoppers in January.


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