Stepping up to the plate to help educate novice fly fishers tomorrow morning in the basic skills needed to play and land a fish means shoving aside the desire to fling a fly at oh-dark-thirty on Opening Day of Trout Season 2010. (The offer of a free lunch had something nothing to do with volunteering.)
Unfortunately, there’s 125 miles between the classroom and suitable trout water, which means — without too much traffic — I won’t put a fly in or on the water until sometime after 4:00 p.m. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. That magical twilight hour can mean good times on a few of the rivers and streams on my list.
The plan’s a bit in flux until Saturday morning, when older son Sean will decide on his departure hour and whether he’ll stop at the Bass Pro Shops store in Manteca…and how much time and money he might spend there. (Thankfully, he doesn’t have to worry about a wife discovering that Bass Pro offers something for everyone.) His timing will determine on which water will begin his annual attempt to out fish the old man.
It’s certain that we’ll mix it up a bit this year. Water flows will dictate whether of not we visit the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River. The regular, local spots are also on our list. So is Brook Trout Stream X, a small trickle of a creek discovered last year thanks to two local retiree/fishermen, who gave specific instructions to ‘…go down that there road ten miles and you’ll find it.’ No mention that nine of the ten miles would be Forest Service road. We’re hoping that after a long winter that these wild brookies might be a tad hungry enough to be fooled by adequately presented dry flies.
We’ll have the new waterproof camera with us, hoping it’ll be baptized photographing some decent fish.
Our days are about to flash by at a more frenzied pace, but there are fish in our future and more than a few waters — a well-known lake in Northern California, a Washington river, and untold Sierra rivers and streams — in which we’ll wet our fly lines for the first time. We’ll reacquaint ourselves with familiar waters along the way. Then there’s the long-planned Tioga-to-Sonora Pass Motorcycle Fly Fishing Tour.
We’re packed and ready to go.