Ok, so here it is August already. It can
be a very different month for those who
fly fish, depending on how long we have
been at it. Funny how they can be so
different sometimes. Right now many of
you are in the 'honeymoon' stage of fly-fishing.
Just getting into fishing with the mysterious
long rod, eyes blinking at the possibilities,
pulse racing at the mere mention of the sport,
visions of it race through your mind at
unexpected times keeping it all new and
wonderful. And that it is, new and wonderful.
May it always remain so. For many of us it
does, but over time takes on a well worn
patina of sorts.
August. So many things can be done in this
month. All things fly fishing related can
be found, well most of them anyway. You
can find just about any type of fishing
you might like dependent only on available
time and expendable cash. I used to almost
throw myself at August. I examined every
possible nook and cranny of the hot month.
A treasure of things are awaiting those who
will only seek them out. Lakes, streams,
fish, insects in all stages; the flora and
fauna of your world awaits you.
I sought and found good companionship for
my fly fishing seasons, first fishing buddies
and then my wife. In reality there was not
a month that I was not involved with the sport.
Having someone to share ideas and new-found
information with enhances the performance.
Now in August I do things differently, and
at a slower pace. I make plans for some fall
events, fishing in Idaho is one, our trip to
the big tackle show in Denver another that
must be set up.
Speaking about that show. I suppose you have
heard of these things before. It's the one
big show of the year where the buyers and
sellers get together for business. The rest
of the year there are smaller shows scattered
all around the country, most are places where
you and I can get in and buy things, but the
Denver show is only for dealers. Nothing is
for sale there. We go to take pictures of our
sponsors at their booths, to renew old friendships,
find out as much as we can about all the new
stuff for the coming year so we can run back
here and tell you about it.
One of the things I like about August too is
my lawn quits growing. Most of it turns a
lovely shade of tan, weeds and all. Takes
off the pressure to do yard maintenance and
other menial chores. I notice a bit more of
my day is wasted just 'thinkin'. Not about
anything important, just being lazy and
telling the LF that, "I am not! I'm just
thinking for a spell." She humors me, which
is nice for this old guy.
Sometimes when I am writing these columns
to you I lean back in my chair here, tilt
my head up and look at the framed shadow
boxes of flies on the wall over my computer.
Good friends gave me those flies over a span
of years that frightens me to even guestimate
at. But looking at them can take me back in
an instant to other times and different places.
Sometimes I need to do that. Art Winnie...
remember him? Probably not, but a few might.
Oh my no, he is long gone. Most of the names
up there with my flies are gone now. Some were
giants, others only profits in their own little
ponds. Pioneers they were, most I fished with,
a couple I only knew but never wet a line with.
But, the flies they tied for me are precious.
I hope you have something like that, if not
perhaps it is not too late to make some
progress. Pat Russell, where are ya buddy?
You tied and out fished me on the Hex-hatch
with the most 'gaud aurful' sponge rubber
fly I ever saw. And you're damn right I
still have it. Top left hand corner of my
main fly collection. Take care my friend,
may our paths cross again some day. And yes,
I do remember how to sharpen a knife, you
taught me well.
Don Murray, you still kicking? Extended
body parachute hex... you remember, the
one you tied for 'Ike,' one of the best
my friend and it graces a prominent place
in the top row of flies. Be well. It has
been a very long time, very long.
Two flies are in a separate box. This box
is mounted above the other ones, kind of
a place of honor I suppose, at least to me
it is. It contains two very nice flies,
one has some crimson and the other some
yellow, tied for me by Dan Bailey. I miss
him and I very much miss all that which he
stood for; a true giant among men, way more
than ever is credited to him.
And so, now it's back to work for me here
today. This is Sunday the 31st, this column
goes up tonight at about midnight eastern
time. Hope you all find some interest and
maybe an idea or two. Have a nice month,
it's a good one, or at least it can be even
if it is a bit hot out there. ~ JC