The Rats Nest

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sometimes Things Just Don't Go As Planned

My new boat finally showed up in the Northeast late last week, and I managed to pick her up on Friday.   Did I mention she had a foot of snow in her?  (Should've looked at this as the first sign).
Parked In Her New Home

The good weather came over the weekend, so I pulled her out, hosed her off and removed all the snow.  Kinda looks like a real boat now eh?
Some Decals To Start

Well the plan was to get out and fish this week, and although the weather looked good for Monday, Monday wasn't to be for me.  I just had too many obligations and no help. (Should've realized this was sign #2).

Tuesday was the day, but the weather wasn't looking very good, 1-2 inches of rain.  Rain really doesn't bother me much, I do realize that during this time of the year it can be problematic, but I never let conditions (within reason) deter me from fishing, and I have learned over the years to adapt on the water.  For the most part it has paid off and I can honestly say that through adversity I have evolved as a fisherman, just wish some of my buddies would follow suit.

So the plan was to take out the new boat today, no pressure, no worries, just get out on the water and man the sticks and maybe move some fish on big stuff, something I really enjoy.  I cooked up a nice pot of Hot Italian Venison Sausage, courtesy of my very generous neighbor who hunts,  sauteed some onions and peppers and dumped them in a healthy serving of my wife's homemade sauce.  Hearty food for a wet day; add some freshly baked Portuguese rolls and some mozzarella and now your talking.

Last night rolls around and the companions voice their concerns about the amount of rain and wind being channeled by the weatherman.   Look, I get it, wind this time of year is a bitch, habitually blowing up river making the guy on the sticks work twice as hard to stay on track.  Couple that with  gusts in excess of 25mph can make for very miserable conditions.  After some back and forth banter via text message, it was evident that only one person was going fishing today;  me.   (should've recognized the pattern by now).

Bagging my initial plans, I stayed local and made the quick 12 minute drive to my local tail water, a rather good one too I might add, and decided to make a go of it.  After hearing a mix of reports from various people over the weekend I had a good idea of what kind of water to target to strike gold.

The high note of the day came on the first cast, literally, a big buttery brown over 20", but under 24" crushed my streamer and the fight was on.  Feeling like this was going to be a magical day, a smile graced my face.  Then it happened, "PING", unbuttoned.  Hmm?  WTF?  Oh well, it happens, fish on.  Hero to zero.

I work the run a bit longer and hook up to another nice fish about 10 minutes later, not as nice but still in the 20" range.  Same thing, "PING", unbuttoned again.  Now I'm pissed.   I pull my fly in and check the hook only to find the front hook point to be flattened out like a pancake.  (Seeing a pattern here?)

I clip the fly off and tie on a new one and quickly get back to business.  I end up finally netting some fish, nice one' albeit, but not what I am after.  Now don't take this the wrong way, I've got nothing against an 18 inch brown, it is still fun to catch and I love em all like children, but when I throw meat religiously, the guys in that mid to upper 20 range are more what I'm hoping for.
And On A New Stick Too

After a cool half dozen similar sized fish were to hand, I packed it in and headed for a stretch of water that has been really good to me over the years, and has the propensity to cough up a fish in that magical range.

I started from the bottom and started working my way to the top.  Things were going great till I hooked a small branch on a rather large poplar tree.  As I waded over and realized that the fly wasn't to come out very easily, I reached for the branch to pull her out (big mistake and the icing on the cake).  As I pulled the branch down it snapped and I felt an instant burning sensation in my thumb.  I only guessed what happened.  A distinct and very strong sense of rage and embarassment filled my head and I could actually hear my heart pounding in my melon.   Well you guessed it, the #2 SP11 on the rear section of my streamer was now buried halfway up the bend into the meat of my left thumb, oh and this one had a barb.  I snipped the front half of the fly off off and contemplated my options.

Realizing that my situation just got really shitty, I tried to take her out myself, but once I realized that it wasn't to be, I packed my stuff and went to the Urgent Care Clinic in hopes of saving my day.  Nothing like leaving slowly rising water and what could be really stellar streamer conditions to fix a problem like this.  I mean really, don't think for a second I didn't contemplate sticking it out with this half fly stuck  in my thumb.  Only problem is we're talking about my stripping hand here so all bets were off.

I managed to get right in and out at the clinic, and thankfully suffered no other injury.  A little gauze, and a healthy batch of antibiotics later and I made my way back to where I left off, but at this point it was raining cats and dogs and my stomach was growling.  Time for lunch!
Post Op

I broke out the stove and put the venison sausage in the pot for round  1.  Within minutes I was choking down a very nice meal, and I noticed that I also had the river to myself, bonus.  Well so I thought.

After my gluttony I gave it my best, but my best wasn't good enough as the conditions got progressively worse, and the fish tight lipped.  Sometimes you gotta quit while you're ahead I guess.  I ended up pushing off for the day and went home.

Although I had some minor slip ups today, I still had a good day despite some adversity.  If you've been wondering why the blog has been pretty quiet lately, let the following pictures paint the picture why.  I have been a tying machine, trying to catch up on all the orders I had backed up during the show season.  I have a couple of really big ones I am still working on, so it's gonna get quiet again I'm afraid.

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