The trouble with doing the washing.
Here we sit with the trout fishing season opening on the crystal clear waters of the Limietberg Reserve only days away and it has started raining. Of course we all need rain and I like to console myself that in the end it isn’t so much just rain but “housing for trout”. The early season periods over the past few years have been dogged with high water levels and unfishable conditions and this time we have been lulled into a false sense of security by some unseasonable bright and sunny weather.
I had been thinking that for once we might actually get out on the water for the official start, that was until I had to do the laundry. There is nothing so attractive to a lurking cold front than newly scoured bed linen on a washing line, the effect is magnetic and those rain clouds come sweeping in from the deep south in search of damp cotton like descending Mongol hordes, only carnage on their minds.
So as I sit the proposed trip to the streams in a week’s time hangs in the balance, of course it could still be OK, it hasn’t yet developed into the holocaust of previous seasons and one still has to be ready just in case this is a false alarm and the waters will be running low and clear after all, but it is worrisome.
The early season is a special time, not only has one been stuck indoors with the fire blazing, whipping up flies by the dozen but gradually one’s psyche takes a knock, my patience wears thin and I become all the more “the grumpy old man”. I need to go fishing now and more importantly I need to go fishing on a river. There is something about moving water, the wending currents and holding fish that is just that little more magical than pounding out a line on a stillwater. Plus of course if the fishing on these catch and release streams is ever going to be easy then it is early in the season.
To be honest it is rarely easy even then, years of catch and release fishing have artificially manufactured a population of overly educated trout and whilst they might have their guard down they won’t have forgotten all the lessons from the previous season. Perhaps though the higher water affords one some modicum of advantage, the faster flows hiding to a degree the failings of one’s presentation and offering a better chance of deceiving a lunker.
Then of course the first few trips up a familiar stream reveal subtle changes, the odd fallen tree creating a new lie, the flow of the currents altered by the scouring effects of winter floods. New opportunities appear and occasionally old favorite haunts of the trout regress leaving the angler with the challenge of relocating the best water. These changes as said are rarely gargantuan but there are changes none the less and for a week or two one is finding one’s piscatorial feet again.
We used to plan a trip away for the first weekend of the season each year in celebration of the event, but of late that has died due to constant battles with foul weather and unfishable conditions. Right now I am still hopeful, the rods are ready, the lines newly appointed with fresh leaders, the reels with a new coat of lubricant. The fishing vest has been sorted into yet another manifestation of what I think will be an efficient distribution of various bits and bobs. I have cut down on the fly boxes this year and worryingly seem to have spare pockets which currently don’t have a portfolio but in the end it all hangs on the weather.
I am even wearing the same clothes for days on end in an effort to reduce the need for laundry and I haven’t washed the car in months I don’t want to incur the wrath of the Gods at the eleventh hour. If the water is low enough I will be out there in a week’s time and I suppose if not then it will just have to wait. Part and parcel of fly fishing is being in touch with the natural rhythm of things, the water flow, the hatches, the behavior of the fish and in this case the weather. There isn’t much to be done about it and over the years I have realized that prayer whilst offering some consolation is ultimately ineffective. The rivers will be ready when they are and that is about it, but at least this time around, when they are ready I shall be too… now what have I done with those darn wading boots? I am quite sure that they aren’t “in the wash”. 🙂
Coming soon on Smashwords.. “100 Tips, Tricks and Techniques”.
I am expecting to launch my new E book on Smashwords before the end of September, it could be earlier but of course if the weather permits I am going to be out fishing not stuck in front of the computer 🙂 But it is in the final stages of proofing and contains a lot of bits and pieces which should be of help and interest to fly fishing types. Keep an eye on my page at Smashwords Link
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Thought for the day:
“Competition Fly Fishing is rather like sex”….. “It doesn’t matter how well you are doing, you always think that everyone else is getting more”.