Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gotta love the Marsh

I love that smell.  It’ll never be bottled and hanging out on the top shelf of Victoria's Secret, but the marsh has a distinct aroma that I dig.  It’s that smell that first greets and welcomes me to the game.

I love the game.  The search for those elusive reds that seem to appear and disappear effortlessly.  It’s the ultimate game of hide-n-seek.  At times, the sun will have them glowing like fire in the water.  Other times, the eyes search so hard they sting from the strain.

I love the eat.  That moment in time when cause and effect are perfectly balanced.  A romantic vision of tight loops, presenting handsome fly’s, to unsuspecting targets.  The tranquil marsh turned into a battle ground of rage and fury as the offering is victimized.

I love the conflict.  It’s complete anarchy, a tug-of-war between man and fish at the end of a fly rod.  Fly line ripping off the reel one moment.  Then the red turns and doubles back.  While you struggle to reacquire the lost line, you watch the red dive under your kayak.  There’s no tapping out, either clear the bow or watch your fly rod get shattered. 

I love the playing field.  It’s a place of natural beauty that becomes the ultimate obstacle course.  Marsh islands, oyster reefs, pilings and your own kayak are in play.  The winner is the one that can negotiate the obstacles the best. 

I love the surrender.  That moment when the game has been played and the victor chosen.  We shake hands and wish each other well because there are no losers today.  Watching my opponent swim away is the ultimate sign of respect.  The next encounter could go differently.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cold Flows and Wild Rainbows (with video)

I was the first in our group to arrive on Friday.  As I drove down a dirt road being paralleled by a barbed wire fence, I wondered if I was lost.  I was looking for what was described to me as an “airplane hangar” but all I had seen were a few deer and a mysterious glow on the horizon.  After a few more miles, a large building sitting in the middle of an empty field came into view. 

As I pulled into the driveway, I was searching for some sort of welcome sign, a greeting, a dude with a cold brew or anything to assure me I wasn’t about to disturb the guy from, “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”  Over the last 3 miles, the only signs I had seen were no trespassing, keep out and something that looked like the head of a wolf on a stick.  Not exactly reassuring.

Wild fire just over the river

Then I saw what I was looking for, two drift boats parked in the grass.  Confirmation that I was in the right location.  I was trying to locate the lights inside the door when the lights of an approaching vehicle caught my eye.  This could get interesting if that’s not a SUV carrying a raft. 

I was reflecting over my current situation, will it be quicker to dig out of a Missouri jail or wait for my wife to post bail, when I saw the flycraft on the roof.  Thankfully, the answer to that question remains a mystery…to you!  I’m sure the extra high, high fives made the other guys uncomfortable but I was just slightly relieved at the thought of not being a fugitive.

Nice caddis hatch had a few browns rising 
Instead of having an HBO miniseries based loosely off of my illicit fly fishing habits we spent the next two days detangling windknots, celebrating the small victories and losing three flies per trout caught.  The potential complications of life as a criminal were replaced with cold flows and wild rainbows.

Short video from the trip: