Thursday, December 29, 2011

Anticipation and Consideration of Potential

As noted previously, the days are getting longer now. We trudged to the bottom of that valley and are now climbing up the other side. Thankful for that. And now even brighter as things move toward winter fishing and anticipation builds. A few days ago a guy stopped by my desk and we bitched a bit about sports and we drifted back to the 2009 debacle in which the phony Saints advanced to the Super Bowl and proceeded to be handed the most bogus Super Bowl trophy of all time and then get their team picture taken with Obama and then rally the beaten and trodden-down peoples of New Orleans two years after a hurricane came through. The specific mention here was that he felt robbed of the opportunity to anticipate a game-winning kick when Childress ran twice for zero yards and then sent the wrong play in and set up Favre to throw the game-losing INT. He asked me if I thought he’d have made the kick and I said yes but his take was that it didn’t really matter he just wanted to sit for thirty seconds, anticipating a game winning, Super Bowl berth field goal attempt. Just the attempt would have provided him the satisfaction. The robbery was the snatching of that opportunity. This idea applies very broadly, especially in the case of various fishing undertakings. Could you say that you enjoy thinking about what you are going to do on the stream, sometimes nearly as much as you enjoy actually doing those things? I can say it. In fact sometimes I start jumping around and yelling when I see in my mind what I’m going to do. The days leading up to a big carp trip are a good example: we are gonna light that shit up, no doubt. Etc. Days coming into some time on the stream: looking ahead to walking alone, working riffles and holes with tandem rigs, muttering under breath. Etc. There’s a lot to the buildup. And you could say that if you are bound to this stuff in a genuine way, damn near everything has an element of build up to it. You talk with people about fishing. You read about streams and bugs. You jot down notes about places you need to check out. Places that are good for kids to fish.

There is the potential to go out on Sunday or Monday and watch the bend in your rod while standing in a deep valley of limestone cliff faces. That’s what I figure I’ll do. Technical note and/or stating what is known to most but maybe not all: winter trout season in MN opens January 1, 2012. If the end of the world somehow jumps ahead of schedule to any time before that day I’m going to be bummed out.

Here are a couple elements of anticipation and consideration of potential:

(1) When I got on the #14 bus at 4:38 PM today, I was carrying among other things: a blaze orange hat, a backup hat, leather gloves, LaCrosse knee boots, Leaves of Grass, Fishing the Four Seasons, Delights and Shadows, the Fall 2011 edition of The Drake, a digital camera and two note books. Some of the stuff is just standard backpack component. But the boots and the camera were needed because I’ve already started fishing in some respect. From 12:00 to 13:30 I walked a bit of private property, looking at a stream reach that is largely mysterious. We have trout streams and we have non-designated trout streams. This was a non-designated, non-trout stream with the potential to be a trout stream. Bit of a fantasy. Tucked away; on no maps. Trout stream but no trout. What could be maybe. Important consideration.

(2) When I got home last night I said “I wish I had enough money to buy some beer” and then later on I tied fifteen standard HE with blue beads. While doing this I sat with my wife, watching a movie. And drinking leftover sangria, then Black Bottle scotch, then the last of the sangria strengthened with some gin. Over the course of the last few nymphs, the motions of setting down the whip-finisher, then the bobbin, etc. became very fluid and it felt like I was thinking about them after actually executing the movements. Then ate some sauerkraut and pickles from Big Red Barn.

And finally, here is what I will do on either Jan 1 or Jan 2, 2012: I will go to a stream near my house. No snow shoes because of the oddity of this year, even though I want to try out the newly-lended bits. I will walk quite a ways down into a deep valley. I will be alone. I will work my way up a series of pools anchored in a great vertical fall over a short reach. I’ll slowly nymph every alley of each piece of water, starting at the short side and moving across. I’ll promise myself I’ll set the hook on any oddity, due to winter lethargy considerations. And then I’ll do so. My guides will freeze. My fingers will move slowly. I will swear a lot but not mean anything bad by it. I’ll catch some fish; some nice fish too; probably some BNT between 11-13 inches. It’s unlikely that I will take them out of the water. Rather I’ll hold them in the current; take a picture or a few; watch them swim away and then go home.

Some tying, after a long hiatus

Stream recon work


Anonymous winonaflyfactory said...

mmm...I'm going to get a jar of pickles right now... then I'm going to tie a dozen nymphs. I'm right there with you man. Hope your Sunday is enjoyable and the wind dies down a bit.

5:24 PM  
Blogger e.m.b. said...

"I’ll set the hook on any oddity..." Indeed...I'm learning this about nymph fishing. "Fish sense" I believe Gierach called it in Zen and the Art of Nymph Fishing.

Enjoy your river...cheers.

(and now, I'm craving pickles)

5:49 PM  
Blogger John Montana said...

Go get em J.

I will be out Monday, on the likely still flood stage rivers of the Oregon coast, dodging Bigfoot and looking for steel.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice dubbing blend.

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Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

The pickles are key. Whatever the hell you did when making them: do it again. We ate the entire jar and drank all the "juice."

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