Of Luddites, schadenfreude and big fish…

A while back I wrote about the reasons why fishing with sheilas was generally more fun than fishing with blokes. One of the reasons was that with blokes, conversation rarely rises above and beyond football, beer, and which Baywatch babe has the biggest assets. Of course, I hadn’t figured on fishing with Bill and Scott. Now, maybe in part it’s because Bill is from Canada, where people tend to be a little more widely read. And besides, being all tucked away down there, only about one village in a hundred has a TV set, so discussing Baywatch is something most Canadians can only dream about.

Scott, on the other hand, is a bit of an enigma. All American boy, product of the public school system, and so one would expect, raised in the firm belief in the power of log cabins, Mom’s apple pie, and secure in the  knowledge that if it didn’t happen within the borders of the continental US then it probably isn’t worth knowing about. And yet here we were, floating down the river, catching a bunch of big fish on a windy day, and discussing instances of schadenfreude in fly fishing, and the struggle of the Luddites in 19th century England and it’s analogies to today’s dry fly fishermen in the face of the advancing hordes of technologically advanced nymphomaniacs.

Fishing conditions out there are kind of tricky right now, what with the low, clear water making the fish a bit nervous, but it is by no means doom and gloom. A light touch on the oars, and a fisherman who can cast delicately well away from the boat, will be rewarded. The fish seem to be hanging out in the faster riffles, in water about a foot or two deep, rather than in the shallows along the edges. The cooler, cloudy afternoon brought with it a pretty good blue winged olive hatch, although the fish were only keying in on the dries sporadically.

What impressed us most about this day was not the quantity of fish we landed, because numbers-wise it was good but not spectacular. What really impressed was the size of the fish we caught. Pretty much each one landed would have been  fish of the day on a normal day. Maybe the big boys are preparing to sow their oats, packing on the pounds before they are called upon to do their annual Mandingo impression. Although a decent number of fish took dries, in particular hoppers and pmx’s, the good old bead head pheasant tail worked the best.

I love fall fishing, and I would expect the action to stay strong through the end of October at least. So don’t believe the naysayers and ne’er-do-wells who say the river is too low, and the fish too spooky. There’s still plenty of good fishing left in the river yet, so get in touch if you’d like to get out there and see for yourself.

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