This gallery contains 22 photos.
The Wonderbat 106-6/7 (the flagship model of Gronkworks Fly Fishing LLC‘s virtually unheard-of Spwitch series) is a … rod rebuilding project? Aftermarket modification? Butt-heinous ugly? A repurposed cheapo Sierra Trading Post 10′ 6/7 weight that some bright-eyed and dauntless future blogger looked at and thought: “You know what would really set this off? A detachable fighting butt that’s long enough to work as a bottom grip.”
Truth in advertising: this happened a long time ago. I busted the end cap off the reel seat, replaced it with one that had a threaded female fitting for the detachable fighting butt, and epoxied it in place over the end of the blank (no photographic documentation of this process, sorry). Unfortunately, the head that would make this hoopty kick was still years away, not even a twinkle in Scientific Anglers’ eye.
But now it’s here, and the Wonder Bat is here, and the fall run is starting, and the 320 Skagit Extreme shows promise after some grass casting, and the Dark One, pervert that he is, is already out of Babylon and finding fish.
The smell of freshly-spread hog manure on ochre September fields was heavy in the air on the banks of the Big Muddy, but the biggest farmer stood in the bow on what was probably Squatto’s 2012 smallmouth float swan song, and that farmer is blogging before you now. Continue reading
One of the things I love about trout fishing is how sometimes it’s better to be persistent than good. Continue reading
In which your author continues his drifty-rowing apprenticeship, beers are mortgaged before the sun is over the trees and the Dark One proceeds to party, Storm Shadow appears and does St. Croix bujitsu on topper eaters for ten entire consecutive minutes of hot popwater action, and a rigorously halfassed beef jerky taste test proves conclusively that Jack Link’s Carne Seca is still the one to beat.
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.
Perhaps it would be good to flesh out and add some backstory to the characters you have and will encounter here at Just Nice Be Out. Or not, but indulge me. It’s hours before opener and the rivers are blown out.
In no particular order:
Dark One, who art in Fulton,
unpunctured be thy Simms.
Give us this preseason thy shop talk and thy plans.
Drink my stout today that you may forgive me
bumming a stout from you some hatches hence.
Bring on the bugs.
Far-off and maddening spring, when it’s all next, next, next. Bust out enough of this pattern to loan or lose in a week, block out the time and square away obligations to catch this hatch, re-up on tippet before the first trip, then get to the river as much as you can and soak it up like a solar panel. No. Sedentary winter, cold and slow, is perilous with reflection, hours and hours of Taurean dark streaked comet-like by tumblers of distillate, its accretion of seasons as imponderable and no less miraculous than your own.
My first trout came, as I reckon it here from this chair, when I was twenty six and out of work, spending a summer learning to fly fish in spring creeks. Continue reading