The devotion and loyalty I extend to my FAOL
readers goes above and beyond all sense of
reason, you know.
Yes, I think you should all praise my name. Having
pontificated here for far too long over the last
few months regarding subjects only vaguely related
to fly fishing, I decided this week that you, Loyal
Readers, deserve better, and I felt like a reprobate
for letting you all down so sadly.
So Tuesday I had about an hour and a half to kill
between work and a meeting I had to cover that
night. I rushed on home to the Rez, picked up my
tackle and rushed back to town. There's a couple
of ponds off the highway that are usually pretty
good in the spring, but I was unsure if it was
time for them to "turn on."
I arrived and set up my gear, noting with dismay
a stiff northwest wind. Now, since FAOL is based
in Washington, due northwest of me, I decided this
had to be an omen of good will, a strong show of
support for my Loyal Readers. Gleefully, I tied on
a Jitterbee under an indicator and marched to the
The wind was chill against the nape of my neck,
and casting was a chore with a light bamboo rod.
I managed to get enough line out at last to gain
a little distance, but kept wondering what that
snapping sound was on my backcast. I realized
that, even though I had lined myself up with a
clear area behind me, the wind was pushing my line
to the southeast, and I was clipping a cast iron
lamppost with the beadhead of the Jitterbee. At
first this disturbed me, but then I figured tungsten
could handle it.
There I am, flailing water in a small pond that
is close to developing whitecaps, hoping for a
bite to show my Loyal Readers that I am their
humble servant, their chronicler of my native
waters, their friend and ally in this great,
wonderful world of fly fishing. My ponytail is
wrapping around under my chin with the wind, I
am trembling because I forgot my jacket in the
truck over in the parking lot of the government
building in front of these two ponds, and the
lamppost behind me is developing a decidedly
southeast slant. But I fished anyway.
No interest in the Jitterbee was apparent, so
I switched to a small concoction I had tied of
mostly crystal chenille, flashabou and a beadhead.
Looks like a disco globe under two dozen spotlights
while rotating. This not only failed to receive
any hits, but started tapping the lamppost behind
me a little lower than the Jitterbee did, further
augmenting the slant of it into a sort of disjointed
When finally, near dusk and time to go to my
meeting, the wind calmed down enough to let
the surface of the pond mellow a bit, I saw a
few rises. Excited, I switched to a small popper
with rubber legs. Rises continued, often within
inches of my popper, but no cigar. I switched to
a little scud, no luck. I switched to a No. 6
By now I am thinking that I will be needing to
submit my resignation to Jim and Deanna on grounds
that I am no longer competent to write fishing
columns since I am apparently incapable of catching
a fish. The easy way to end this column right now
would be to lie my pants off and say:
"On the very last cast, an enormous upswell of
water erupted, and a bass long as my forearm
danced on the pond's surface, popper firmly
lodged in his lower jaw" and describe the valiant,
courageous battle the followed to bring him to hand.
However, none of that happened. It was time to
go to my meeting, and I had received not a single
strike. I'm cold as the dickens, my feet are wet
and my shoes muddy, a condition I will have to
retain during the meeting of the port commission
in ten minutes. At port commission meetings we
members of the press do not have tables to sit at,
so we sit with the audience, our legs and feet
clearly visible. Meaning my wet and muddy shoes
are clearly visible, while my shirt is neatly
pressed and my pants nearly immaculate. The shame
I put myself through for you guys!
So I'm taking down my rod and putting it away,
when a voice says, "Hey, you just having fun
I look around, and there's a young fellow walking
over from the second pond, holding a bass of about
three pounds. "You want him?" he asks.
"Naw," I say, through clenched teeth. "I was just
playing, like you said."
"Man, I knew he was right in that spot!" he said,
letting the bass go again - into the pond I was
just fishing. "I threw a spinnerbait at him several
times and he wouldn't take it, so I tried a plastic
worm and he wouldn't take that either. Finally got
him on a chrome and blue Rat'l Trap!"
As I said goodbye, my tackle bag full of hundreds of
dollars worth of flies, reels, lines, leaders and
a pretty nice bamboo fly rod, I just shook my head
to myself sadly.
Next time I have some time to spare, I'm going
back to that pond. I know there's at least one
bass in it now. Who knows? I may be able to write
about that single pond and it's sole occupant for
the next six or eight weeks, at least.
The things I do for you folks...you know I gotta love you.
It's out! And available now! You can be one of the
first to own a copy of Roger's book. Native Waters: A
Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat
Order it now
or Barnes & Noble.com.
Roger will also be giving away three autographed copies to
readers. Stay tuned, for an announcement on the Bulletin
Board on that soon.