Spring Branch, August 2012

Home water: it’s not glamorous, it’s not the lifetime trip destination river, it’s not necessarily action water, going there doesn’t even need to be about fishing.

The stuff of this aquifer flooded my cells for the earliest years of my life. Bubbling up from the rocks beneath where my grandparents lived and my mom escaped a bull through a split rail fence and my dad coached high school softball, down coulees as sudden and hidden as a Himalayan valley, draining into the aqueous highway below the Harpers Ferry lock and dam where generations of my family drowned worms in a blue Lund and listened to whippoorwills and the Soo Line at night all summer long.

My daughter is as much of a tourist here as I now am. We throw pellets to trout in concrete impoundments and watch them swirl and thrash and swim towards us and away from the rightness of their instinct. The fences around the spring-fed races are electrified at night to keep herons off the product. We’re all transfixed for different reasons.

There’s a pool downstream of the pens where the diverted water rejoins the branch. In the last days of this dry summer a mixed pod of wild browns and specs seems to hold in clear air alongside the cerise stripes of hatchery rainbows thousands of miles and generations from their mountain home. We watch from the high bank, rod unstrung. The Monster drops leaves on their heads and watches only the streamborn fish scatter.

Hella bronze

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This iridescent pencil popper is what propels me. Break your back and crack your oars. Somewhere there’s a >20″ Microptera specimen that your author tussled with for a long time before the hook came loose at the boat and it took the googly doll eye with it, and from hell’s heart I stab at thee. On a brighter note: T-Can ringadings her first bronze power and Slint trick nets an otherwise LDR’d bass, eliciting fist pumps from the bow. Just nice be out, Moby Dickmunch.

All photos except “Squatto-12” courtesy of Slint. Arigato, Slint.

My first video

It is what it is … home movies, mea punter culpa. Shot on a Flip, edited in YouTube, and I’ve learned some things: bluegrass abounds in fly fishing videos because it’s about the best and most simpatico option offered in the YT video editor; the clips of rising fish look better when watched on a large player; midges can be bidges; and the Dark One looks so good walking away in Simms it’s almost a shame he’s ever coming back.

2011

archived report: October 14, 2006

 

 

 

 

Fresh it ain’t, but flows this week on the ROP are a lot like they were this week in history. Seemed like a good time to go back and review what we’ve learned, and reflect on the importance of keeping records.

[in keeping with this blog’s rigorous editorial standards, pool/run names and identifying landmarks have been redacted]

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tricos 2011

Hey, white winged curse, see you next August. Season lasts a few more days, but I’m thinking about muskellunge, I’m thinking about casting practice before the ROP, I’m thinking about the tying and the brewing and the million chores of fall. Maybe some hooky for one more float before Squatto goes to his wintering grounds.

We had some high water and higher temps, and then we had cold temps and it was never perfect. We had some tiny spinners to lose in the glare and too many Plauditus for you to focus and one awesome creek-born motherfucker with long meat-eating trout jaws that came out of a 4-foot pool to smash a #12 yellow humpy.

Let’s let the lazy slurps of humid-ass dawns at Stonehammer keep us warm this winter. Let’s let the urgently greedy swipes on the lower Kinni on an obligationless shoulder season morning be goodbye.