On the fly: Bad-luck charm?
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
WOODY CREEK – With my fishing license scheduled to expire Saturday, it seemed as good a time as any to get that first trying day on the river over and done with.
My usual fishing partner has been trying to bait me into digging out my fly-fishing gear for a couple of weeks now with the not-very-successful argument that we never catch anything the first time out and that the sooner we get past the inevitably inauspicious debut, the better.
For me, the first outing of the season is a sudden reminder of everything I put out of my head last fall: Oh yeah, those waders leak, the thingy that holds my sunglasses around my neck when I slip them off is broken, I’m still out of prince nymphs – that sort of thing.
But when another friend who’d been boasting about trout overload every time she hit the rivers this spring called to say she was fishing “private water” in the Woody Creek area, I agreed to hook up with her. I tossed my gear, in utter disarray, into the trunk of my car and headed upvalley.
I didn’t even bother to change out last year’s leader before I took a total stab in the dark at fly selection, tied on a stonefly nymph and some other nymph and started fishing pocket water on the edge of someone’s backyard, which always feels a little awkward.
I quickly caught a little 7-inch-or-so rainbow trout on the stonefly, and that was all she wrote. I changed out flies several times, trying a variety of don’t-ask-me-what nymphs. One of my problems with spring fishing is using nymphs (underwater insects); it’s a total crap shoot. Not only do I not know what to use, but I don’t even know what I am using because I can’t remember what any of them are supposed to represent in the bug world.
It was hardly a memorable start to the season, but I was somewhat mollified by the knowledge that my companion got skunked, which is a real rarity. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that happen before, as she’s a far more accomplished angler than I am.
I stopped in Basalt on the way home to purchase a new fishing license for the 2012 season, confident that I had the season-opening clunker out of the way.
The following evening, my friend left a message on my phone. She’d fished elsewhere on Sunday and hauled in fish left and right.
I think her luck had a lot to do with leaving me at home.
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