January 27th, 2003
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
Planting a Seed
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .
By Cary Morlan (aka Linemender)
I had an interesting and enjoyable weekend this summer.
On a Friday my sister-in-law Kate and her husband Doug made
a trip over from Seattle in their new 27 foot Winnebago.
They usually come over at least once a year just to hang
out and catch up and share stories about kids and family.
Their new RV is absolutely gorgeous. It is their fifth
rig and will surely be their last. I say that after
finding out how much they paid for it. Surely a couple
can only afford one purchase like that considering one
of them is retired and the other only has seven months
So my wife and I spent a couple days enjoying dinner out
and a bar-b-q at my son's while everyone visited. The
evenings were especially fine as we would sit in the
shade of the Winny and enjoy the cool evening air.
Now just last week I had received my new Three Forks
Combo from Cabelas and have been itching to get out on
the creek for a test drive. I was afraid I would have a
hard time evading company to go fishing without looking
like my priorities were askew. I knew full well that
Doug had no fishing license and was not a fly fisherman
anyway, however I had convinced myself that he would
enjoy going out to the creek for a couple hours just
to enjoy the beauty of my little paradise. The tough
part was going to be convincing him. Now Doug is a
very amiable gentleman and besides if he didn't go to
the creek with me for sun-up he would be sitting in
the RV by himself from the time he arose around 5 am
until we rolled out at 8 or 9. If I'm not going fishing
I'm sleeping in.
Doug had fished wet flies with a spinning rig and a bubble
on a previous trip to Yellowstone where he didn't need a
license so there was a smidgen of interest in accompanying
me to the Rocky Ford Creek. Curiosity and my promise to
get him back in time for breakfast and a 9 am departure
for home were enough to get him to agree to an insightful
adventure into my little piece of Heaven. Needless to say
I was excited for a couple of reasons. I get to use my
new rod and I get to introduce someone to what I consider
one of the most wondrous experiences of all time, catching
big trout on little dry flies.
I awoke a 4:30 and brewed a pot of coffee and when I walked
out the door at 4:55 Doug was sitting in the window of his
RV just waiting for me to exit the front door. With travel
mugs full of coffee we hit the road for the twenty minute
trip to the creek.
The last few Sunday mornings I have made it a point to arrive
as early as possible. Not many people have been as anxious as
I to hit the water at sunup. Although there have been
fishermen camping in the parking lots they usually don't
seem to arrive on the banks until around 7 or so. I'm OK
with that for it lets me walk my favorite beats to see
the morning feed as it commences. As I explained to Doug,
I like to find those real active early feeders sucking
down breakfast from the surface as the first of the
morning's hatches begin.
As has been the case the last 6 weeks, the Raiders of Rocky
Ford were at it hot and heavy, making hay while the sun
shines so to speak. For the next couple of hours they
would have prolific hatches to feed on before the surface
activity quiets and they are relegated to scuds and nymphs.
This period of activity is my Nirvana. I invited Doug to
pull up a rock while I affixed my leader and fly to my
line. This is a time to check out the local denizens
and decide which I am going to attempt to entice first.
I could tell by Doug's expression that the rising fish
had gained his full attention and there was anticipation
in his gaze that may have exceeded mine.
The tricos were coming off franticly and the bows were
trying to keep pace. At this hour of the morning I have
a hard time follow anything that small on the water for
the sun has yet to clear the ridge and with the surface
being in the shade both fish and fly were hard to see
in the course of a drift. It is for this reason that I
tend to use a slightly larger PMD to begin so I may
overcome the vision problems I tend to have until Del
Sol peaks over my shoulder and I can go to the Polaroid
I could probably use a BWO as well but the PMD is a little
more visible hence it is my starter. The key is just to
get it through the feeding lane as the fish is rising
and they frequently are so intent on not coming down
empty handed that close counts. Wanting to believe
that very much, I continued to cast over a nice fish
in the middle of the creek that had his bib on the moment
we arrived. Believing that patience and tolerance were
the order of the day I continued my offering. Doug,
obviously less patient than me, directed me upstream
to another fish working a back eddy between a large
boulder and the brush on the shore. Looking like I
actually know what I was doing I made the perfect cast
three feet in front of the fish and a second later was
rewarded with a hook up to a nice 3 pounder. I loved
the way my new reel sang as line was stripped by the
suddenly demented creature whose morning meal had been
disturbed. The rookie appearance of my 3 wt was a success.
It cast those no-see-ums much softer than my 5 and had
all the backbone I needed to bring a fish to hand. The
biggest kick however was the look on Doug's face.
Not wanting to be late for breakfast and obligated to return
Doug for his timely departure, I was more than happy with
one fish under ideal circumstance. I made a few more casts
to rising fish as we worked our way back to the car but
nothing very serious. I was stoked about sharing the thrill
of the hunt and the fight with my brother-in-law. With him
retiring in seven months maybe one of those 3 wt Three Forks
combos would be just the ticket for a retirement present.
You know if he took up fly fishing he just might invite me
along for a jaunt about the country in his new RV.
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