Not a lot needs to be said about fishing alone. It takes you back to why you started in the first place; solitude, the sound of moving water, silence.
It seems like every picture you take in the middle of the night when mousing or hex fishing looks as if you’ve just seen a ghost, an alien or are possessed. It’s mostly because you can’t see a thing and aren’t quite sure when a picture is going to be taken. You don’t see many during the daylight hours…until now. It was a nice trout, not a giant or beast. Nice color, the eat was pretty nice also. Not sure why Midnight Trout Face appeared midday but it did.
We streamer fished a local river this day. We moved a few around but this is the only one that fully committed…and Bob showed his MTF sun up.
Joe and I decided to meet up half way between where we live to fish a popular steelhead river. Was a perfect day. Cold enough to keep other anglers off the water and late enough in the year to offer many opportunities at fish. We hit the usual spots and found fish throughout the day. At the 2nd spot of the day Joe busted out the grill and heated up some cinnamon rolls. If you’ve never had cinnamon rolls on a seasoned grill do so soon. After landing a few steelhead on a cold day, hot coffee and these things went a long ways.
It was getting late in the day and we came to a run that has a well known name but it should be changed to “Joe’s Spot”. He’s hooked and landed more fish from this spot that any other person I can think of in any other location. For those of you that have fished with us you know exactly where I’m talking about. As usual about 5 drifts in he’s hooked up. There’s a new giant tangle at the bottom of this run and this steelhead was going there no matter what. It made its way deep into the wood and was hung up. I made a few wild attempts at netting the fish but with it 4 feet down and between a pile of timber it wasn’t going to happen. I looked up and Joe had strategically place one hand about a foot up from the cork and pulling hard. I’ve done it myself and knew what was coming next…SNAP! Just as that happened the fish busted loose and was out of the wood, still buttoned up. We somehow hand lined this fish in and netted it. So as far as baked goods being a superstition for good or bad, the jury is still out on that one.
Donkey, swamp donkey, donkey donkey….dragon, monster, giant, tron, unicorn, beast, hog, magnum, bruiser, pig, goliath. All names that have hit the fly fishing scene over the years indicating a big fish. It almost sounds like the McDonalds ad from years ago for a Big Mac…two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, etc…..maybe we should add Big Mac to the menu of our big fish. These names are interchangeable with trout, steelhead, musky, bass…your friends, whatever.
If catch a really large fish you can even combine the terms for added effect. Can you imagine hitting a giant, swamp donkey, magnum hog? Either way I got out with a few friends this day and we found a few fish. I was lucky enough to land just a regular old big steelhead.
Superstitions are mostly associated with sports but they also carry over to many other things including fly fishing. I’d say one of my biggest superstitions is hats. I’ve got a few hats I absolutely won’t wear fishing. Every time I’ve worn these couple of hats I get blanked, blow a bearing on a boat trailer or lose a rod. I even unhitched a boat in my driveway and it rolled down into my house while wearing one particular bad luck hat.
I had recently been sent some swag from Cameron at The Fiberglass Manifesto. With this gear there was a trucker hat with a sunfish on it. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give this hat a shot at making the cut. It sat on the dresser for a few weeks until I decided it was time. I wore it on a steelhead trip and although the day was relatively slow it proved itself late in the day and found a spot in the starting rotation.