Monday, February 18, 2013

Throwin' Chickens



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...

...again.


...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.

19,998...Sweep...19,997...Sweep...19,996...

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.

19 comments:

Gin Clear said...

Great post, Mike. Have always wanted to chase muskies, but not sure where to find them in New England.

Switching from tying #20 midges to attaching a chicken tail to the largest hook you can throw is always fun too.

Arizona Wanderings said...

Excellent write up. I feel like many of my fishing trips are full of "excepts"

Ben

Mike Sepelak said...

I've not done anything quite like it, Dean. And going from #20 nymphs to 18" boas is a leap no one should make comfortably, tying or casting. But do it anyway!

Mike Sepelak said...

Right on, Ben. Too many excepts, not enough accepts. My fishing days in a nutshell.

Steve Zakur said...

Nice report, Mike. A guy at the Somerset show was tying Muskie flies. I said, "Dang that's a big fly". He replied "That's only half of an articulated fly!"

CW Mark said...

Sweet. Incredibly well written post. Time for the gargantuan jaws for the vise.

Mike Sepelak said...

Small chickens, I'm tellin' ya, Steve. When one comes a little too close you can feel the air moving.

Mike Sepelak said...

The Jaws of Life, Mark. Get the big ones.

Rainbow Chaser said...

Love it, Mike! A man ready to take on all comers, except..................

Mike Sepelak said...

No exceptions there, Mel. Anything! If you are limiting your fly fishing to just trout, you're only taking one small bite from the apple. Better to eat it core and all.

Besides, it's a great excuse to pile up the fly rods.

Clif G said...

Is that a river?

Mike Sepelak said...

Indeed it is, Clif.

cofisher said...

Yep, did it once and slunk off with my tail between my legs...

Mike Sepelak said...

Me too, Howard. But I suspect I'm going to slink back sometime. What a rush to watch these dinosaurs rise! The fish, I mean. Not us.

Brian Koz said...

AWESOME Post!! you have single handedly rekindled my interest to ply the warmer waters I am surrounded by. Great Lakes Musky is on my bucket list, but I know a few great northern pike lakes I can practice on...
tight Lines,
Koz

Mike Sepelak said...

I live to serve, Koz. But don't blame me when the obsession grabs you in its toothy maw. I warned you.

Seth said...

Love it Mike!!! I made the leap to warm water a few years ago, mostly out of necessity, a real lack of trout waters here in Eastern Nebraska. Bass, bluegill are a blast on the fly rod. Muskie?!? Now that sounds like fun!!!

Kirk Werner said...

And herein lie the plethora or reasons why I do not angle for muskies. Of course the fact that we don't have them in my neck of the woods may also have something to do with it, but suffice it to say I'd be horribly unaccomplished as a musky-seeker. A very enjoyable read, sir. A couple of LOLs even.

Mike Sepelak said...

Seth, the vast majority of my fly fishing is warm water as well and I'm seldom happier than when I'm down the hill chasing my home water shoals largemouths. Fun.

And I hear ya, Kirk, but I guarantee that the first time you see one of those four-foot beasts materialize out of nowhere behind your fly you'd be forever effected; unaccomplished or not. Thanks!