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After Hours.

June 22nd, 2014

I know I promised a post on some essential Vedavoo gear. That post is just waiting on some photography to showcase the products a bit better than my written descriptions would. I feel like there is a cliché somewhere to describe such a situation.*

Sensei Morgan-san.

Sensei Morgan-san. He started with a small one to protect my feelings.

My fishing schedule has opened up a bit lately. This is a welcome reprieve from weeks where I couldn’t sneak out at all. Now it’s been more of a matter of how many times I can get out each week, and where and what I’m chasing. I slipped out for a brief but great morning trip with Daniel Morgan from Project Healing Waters last Tuesday. We’d been talking about fishing together since the Somerset show, so it was only a matter of time before our schedules meshed. I immediately forgot where we fished as soon as we got back in the car. This may or may not have been coerced. What I do remember, however, is there were a lot of big fish there, and I’m looking forward to another shot. Daniel remembers the way.

The next day I was due to meet up with Drew and a local buddy with whom we had always talked about fishing. Again, it was just a matter of our schedules coming together. I met Drew and Jason on Jason’s favorite stretch of Oatka. They had been fishing since first light, but my lower body wasn’t going to allow that. I limped up to them on the other side of noon, just as Jason was landing a fish. There were no definitive hatches, though fish were rising sporadically. Rises were mostly splashy, and dry-dropper rigs were the most productive. I had brought along an extra rod and tried streamers in every pool we found. A deep cut produced the only streamer-eater of the day, but he promptly threw the hook. The tug, flash, and shake was more than invigorating enough, however. We carried on fishing, with limited success. Jason and Drew outpaced me on the way out, as I fished a streamer through the upstream water back to the vehicles that I hadn’t touched yet. While no fish played along, I found a very enticing pool as the sun made the end of its daily descent.

At this point, the rises were regular, and the sky was dark.

As I approached the pool, a trout’s head smoothly broke the water’s surface. Its tail calmly followed, and I set down the streamer rod for the dry fly rig. I waited for another rise from the fish, then presented a medium-sized Parachute Adams into the feeding lane. The fish rose, inspected the fly, and returned to its lie, leaving nothing but a small swirl on the surface. I proceeded to present a variety of mayfly imitations, first tweaking the size and then the pattern. I would have gone to lighter tippet had I had it, and had already lengthened the tippet section for good measure. The rises and associated rejections got more and more devoted, closer and closer to eats, until I finally found the right match. At this point, the rises were regular, and the sky was dark.** The result was three fish to hand, and two more threw the hook. Casting was based on sound alone, and so were the hook-sets. But it was highly rewarding. Totally made up for the flashlight dying on the pitch-black walk through the woods back to the car.

*I was going for “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the case of the upcoming post, it would be several pictures, though the written descriptions probably would be less than several thousand words.

**This is my excuse for having taken no photos. And I’m totally okay with it.

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