Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 54 - Hot Tips

First of all, I must say that I'm a little excited about reaching Day 54. That number is somehow connected to me in a myriad of ways. In grade school I rode bus 54. In Boy Scouts, my troop number was 54. There's a few other connections but at this time I can't remember (it is 11:33 PM, and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open).

Yesterday I received a hot tip while out on the stream. It was about what pattern is "hot" right now. So today, I spent some alone time with my vise with some music playing in the background. I ended up tying that particular pattern and then tying up a few more that I had success with yesterday (since towards the end I had either snagged the sunken log, or the overhead branch and broke almost all of them off).

I started thinking about tips, and wonder if this is how certain fly patterns migrated across the country. I also thought about how often times these tips are said only after a glance over the shoulder. Somehow in my groggy mind these two things seem to contradict each other. I mean a tip should be kept on the down low, it should be kept quiet, and left to be a mystery to other anglers as you reel in fish after fish (all the while you secretly smile and think you are the next trout whisperer).

Despite this exclusive knowledge, or maybe in spite of it, news travels around. They are whispered in secret at the coffee shop, or shared in hush tones by the water cooler at work. Occasionally a smart fly shop owner may give cryptic ideas about what was hitting last week (which when you look in the fly bin you see dozens of that pattern tied waiting patiently for your fly fishing spending money to purchase (suck-er!)).

There are patterns in my fly box that I have purchased because someone or another told me that they were the hottest thing on the stream since God made the mayfly. And if you know me and my search for the Holy Grail of Flies, I've purchased it wide-eyed and hopeful of big trout. Of course, the tip never said anything about the time it had to be fished, what color that pattern had be in, whether or not it had to be tied on the short shank curved scud hook, the long slow curving heavy wire of a nymph hook, or that the hundred year hatch (that incidentally only last 24 hours) was on. Let alone how this pattern had to be fished: cast short over the fast moving riffles, or fished on a slow retrieve in deep pools, or the bottom hackles clipped short so that it rides better in the water.

Regardless of the outcome, these flies have crept across the United States and into our fly boxes. Sometimes they take on modifications such as color, experimental material, or proportion differences. Sometimes they skip whole states and go from the Appalachian Trail to the streams of the Rocky Mountains.

Whatever the case may be, I'll be happy with my cheese colored Y2K's that I tied up today. I usually drift them just above the river bottom just past the tail of a riffle. But please, keep this little secret to yourself. And remember, when you start catching fish and the others anglers are starting to scratch their heads in befuddlement of your angling powers, try not to smile to hard.

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