Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New year and a greasy slick

Ok so 2011 is out of here and I have to say last year was interesting and alot happened. I moved back to Jersey and met up with a bunch of pretty cool fly fishing people. I came back to open arms and have been accepted by a large crowd. It is nice to meet so many interesting people.
Fishing has been a bit tough due to a year of rain and floods and high water. I did manage some trips though. I caught a few fish and I think that is all you can ask for as a fisherman. I say this because I've seen so many things on the river this year.
It seems as of late at least to me people have lost the idea of what fishing is about. Fishing is supposed to be fun plain and simple. Sure there is a lot involved with it. We all seem to get caught up in what the other guy is doing and why they are doing it. Sure when something illegal is going on it is good to be concerned. What I'm referring to is the lack of trying to enjoy the outdoors. People seem to get hooked on hooking fish. For me if I hook a fish it is a bonus. I fish in one of the hardest ways possible and I catch less fish then other people because I do. I fish this way because I enjoy being out there casting and swinging a fly and hoping a steelhead hits my fly. I try to be polite to others as that is how I would like to be treated. The problem is no matter where you go you are going to run into pains in the ass. I have been sworn at before for standing in a run, cut off and low holed. I have now come to expect it that at some point while fishing I will have some odd thing happen in the day. Well this year I will be turning over a new leaf and trying to brush it off. Why you ask? Because I want to enjoy being outside and going fishing and stop worrying about why the other guy needs to be first or the better guy. I just want to fish and enjoy myself. I just returned from a trip.
I met a few real nice people on the river. This was a welcome change because the last few trips I'd run into some really rude people.
 Vern of Vern-O custom flies was fishing a run and messing with a  new skagit head and I asked if he would mind if I fished behind him and he said go right ahead and let me fish through. That is the kind of people I like to meet on the river. People willing to share and be polite. It makes being out there so much more of a pleasure when you run into someone nice. The next day two guys came up and even asked me if they could cross the river below me. I thought they were coming to ask if they could fish the run with me. I would have gladly let them in. Instead they asked if they could cross below me and I was fine with it because where they wanted to cross was fine. It was so nice to meet some polite people on the river. I later found out they were from out of state. Wondering if maybe some of the guides on the Salmon river could take a lesson from the out of state people being polite!
 As I enter the morning air its crisp bite hits my lungs. The chill wakens my senses, the smell of pine trees brings hints of memories from days on the river past. It is winter and the grey of the woods blend into the background of the sky. The river comes into view, the water looks as dark as a grease slick. It churns and bubbles soothing my soul. In its depths live a silver ghost, secret in nature, and hunting to live. I hunt the silver ghost not knowing if he is present or not. I enter the slick of darkness and it grabs my legs and eases me into the run. As my boots grip the stones and boulders I move through the water casting into the slick which grabs my line and swings my fly into the depths of its own wilderness. I can only imagine what is happening at the end of my line, moving my rod as I try to control the drift of the fly. Cast after cast waiting for the tug or the grab of the silver ghost.
So head for the river with open eyes and an open heart. Fish will come and go as the days come and go but Nature captures your heart and soul. The river is a wayward Drift peace in 2012. Let your reels scream !


  1. Great write Mike. Well done and especially, very well said.

    1. Mike,

      If you are like me, you took up fly fishing because you were searching for something new and challenging...The same reasons we got into bowhunting, the continuing search to get as close to our natural world as possible... To become a participant instead of an observer... Unfortunately we see our competitive nature stepping in more and more. With competition comes the fear of losing or being "lesser than your competitor".. Which leads to jealousy and loathing... How many people do we know that need to be the Uber Fly Fishing God...They cannot accept the idea of being "lesser" of a fisherman...So in their minds, if you cant beat them...Tear them down...
      We also are dealing with selfishness and peoples lack of respect of not only other fisherman but the outdoors...The "its all about me" mentality that has gripped our society. Everyone loves to talk conservation, as long as it is convenient...But how many people trout fish when the temps are too high or fight a fish a little too long because they wanted to catch a fish on 8X tippet or with a 2 wt rod...A total lack of respect to the resource...
      The good thing is there are just as many people who respect the outdoors and fellow outdoorsmen as do not...You and I arent going to change people, so just continue wading the river and creeping along the game trails and enjoy the little things that surround us that half the people miss and will never quite understand or appreciate anyway...DA

    2. We can only be ourselves out there.Hold your ground and enter the greasy slick

  2. Nice stuff, Mike! Fly fishing is the best way I can think of to enjoy the nature that we have left. Assholes are everywhere, but I just take a few more steps down or up stream, and they ain't in my view anymore.