Monday, February 18, 2013
The Fish of Ten-Thousand Casts, my ass. Darrin stuck one in two. Boated his first musky on the second pitch. While on the cell phone with his wife. With a trout set. No big deal.
This shit’s easy.
Easy, except when you’ve been dreaming of musky for fifty years and now the beasts are right under the boat.
...except when you’re chunking eighteen-inch drag-queen feather boa chickens on 400 grains of cold, stiff fly line after months of twitching 4wts with #20 nymphs.
...except when a saw-toothed wind is somehow hitting you full in the face no matter which direction you turn and the six insulation layers that you’re bundled up in are not getting the job done.
...except when four feet of torpedo-sleak, tiger-striped, waterwolf glides up behind your pink bird, five feet off the boat, and every orifice puckers, watertight.
...except when it unhinges its jaw, and time stops…
...except when it starts again as the fish shuts its maw, turns slowly, and slips away because you do something, always something; pause the fly, raise the rod tip, fail to switch directions abruptly enough, or simply hold your freekin’ mouth wrong at the worst possible moment.
...except when Blane says it’s 50/50 whether the beast will hit during the retrieve or need to be enticed at the boat and you find yourself praying to God for the former so that you won’t see the approach and freeze like some scared little bitch...
...except when you move another fish and Blane pleads, “Get it back out there. That’s the biggest muskie I’ve ever seen,” and you can tell by the tremble in his voice that he means it.
...except when your wrist and forearm and shoulders and traps scream from burying the rod tip, deep, and sweeping-right, sweeping-left, doing it again and again and again. Stirrin' the river with a swizzle.
...except when Darrin nails one in two goddam casts, putting it all on you to bring the boat's average back to ten-thousand.
Yeah, this shit’s easy.
Note: My thanks to Blane Chocklett and Jake Grove at New Angle Fishing Company for a mighty fine day on the water, chasing the big uglies. Can't wait to get back on the bow. And thanks as well to my traveling companions, Bill and Jim. Always a pleasure, boys. And finally, to my buddy Darrin Doss, for joining us short notice and for some great pictures, including the bottom one in this post. Nice fishin', dude.