Sunday, July 25, 2010

perfect day

A fervent believer that many of life's most important lessons are best learned on the business end of an 8-foot leader, I brought the whole fam damily out to finally meet one of my most favorite places on the planet.  A place so special I've now brought exactly three people to experience it's qualities: two related by blood, the third by the (unshakable) bonds marriage, luv you Roughriders!

So imagine my dismay to round that last corner on that remote dirt two-track to find a battered Jeep parked roadside, sporting this:

Not that I have anything against TU mind you, being a sometime member myself, volunteering for streamside restoration work in the past.  It's just that an emblem such as the above plastered on a battered fishing rig, surreptitiously parked deep in the outback is the surest sign that your 'secret' fishing place aint so secret my friend.  

Not by a long shot.

Almost as bad, in the near term anyways, was the thought of the family's introduction to 'my' dream stream fishing instead now behind an accomplished angler, ie from fishing feast to famine.  Double whammy, not what I had in mind for the day, to say the least.  

So you could understand my conundrum Saturday morning, staring discouragingly at the Interloper's Jeep, trying to work thru the day's Plans B, C, D.  

Not one of which held a candle to my intended plans of showing my favorite people all the reasons I love this place: the remote wilderness, the crystal water, the streamside wildflower show, and the cutthroats, my lord the cutthroats!

Determined not to be outdone before we were even out of the gates, this cagey angler summoned all the cunning I've honed over years of clandestine bushwhack-fishing to mitigate the strip-mining angler ahead of us, and salvage the day's fishing.  Kneeling down and sweeping some pine needles aside to clear a space in the dirt, I gathered my team, using my bowie knife leatherman 'juice' multitool to quickly diagram the dire situation facing the Team that morning. 

Allright Team, we're this Royal Wulff here, and down thisaway is some of the most unspoiled and pristine cutthroat fishing in the Rocky Mountain West.  In between,  these wooly buggers represent one or more bogeys of indeterminate number and temperament, exact location unknown.  Now what we do know is the suspect is an angler of some accomplishment, most likely capable of pricking or otherwise putting down every quality cutthroat for 4 river miles.  ...Honey are you listening?, where'd your mother go?...

My Team somewhat reluctantly reassembled, Low Holing the interloper was quickly debated, discarded for odious reasons.  Hate it when that happens to me, know what I mean?  No if we were to salvage the day, it'd take thinking like a coyote to catch a coyote, if you get my meaning.

Now OK, if it were me, I'd most likely head into the stream somewhere around here, and fish up.  It figures then, that we try this area, as no sane angler would attempt to bushwhack the stream through that underbrush...ready, Break!

So mid morning finds us finally gearing up streamside, on the brink of marital divorce a gorgeous plunge pool, nursing bruised shins, forearms from the precipitous bushwhack hike down to the stream.  Team member She Who Stands With A Fist Mrs Wulff sits strangely silent, curiously a bit removed from the group while I rig up a coupla 4wts for the day.  No doubt plotting her revenge contemplating the beauty of Nature all around her.

The boy, for his part, quickly assumes the role as  fishing guide to his sister while she breaks-in her new wading gear in a convenient pool.

Preamble complete, time to get down to business!

 (Just to show the troops what they might expect for the day mind you), I casually flick the Royal Wulff, #12, into the heart of the nearest pool.  Just as if scripted, an obliging mouth breaks the surface to inhale the fly.  Both kids gasp in unison, duly amazed: fish on, fish on!   

Now you see kids, that's how it's done...
you'll have to forgive a father his affectations- those of you with young kids know from where I speak :-]

with my best girl
First up, my best girl.  Her first time in full wading gear, working hard to stay upright in the bouldery current.  We practice casting a bit, miss the first coupla takes.  Soon enuf, her first fish for the day struggles against her determined reeling, is soon netted by her brother the guide.  Nice cuttbow, one of the biggest for the day.

her smile says it all

The boy's up next, a bit more comfortable with his greater experience.  The fish still hang out just beyond the reach of his budding casting stroke for the most part, so I eventually help work his stroke to get the fly upstream far enuf.  Which turns the tide, and the boy is soon tight to a beautiful full-blooded cutthroat.
Jones.  Dr Indiana Jones
Mrs Wulff is up next, and expertly stalks a promising pool.  She shakes some of the rust off in the first coupla takes, eventually tightens up on one of the pool's bigger fish on the BHPT dropper.  Good work Hon!
angler, compleat
And so it goes throughout that gorgeous day, the  morning waning into afternoon in that timeless manner when everything is simply...what's the word?  Perfect.  Yeah, perfect. 

perfect day

coupla cold ones back at the truck

Late that afternoon we meet our interloper fellow angler on the hike back to the truck, another small stream cutthroat enthusiast.   

We swap a coupla stories, fishing spots even, finding more than a couple that we have in common.  Nice enuf fella, young, single yet, fishing his brains out every weekend all over hill and dale.   

Reminded me of someone back in the day...


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