Friday, August 26, 2011

It Was a Crap Day

It started early. Breakfast. Time for an omelette. Some juice. A quick post about our arrival in Montana. Hard drive goes up in smoke. Acrid, burned electronic circuitry smelling smoke. 

The laptop is toast for the rest of the trip.

It was a crap day.

We departed for Elk Springs Creek, Hackett Creek, and various small holding ponds that line the Centennial Valley. Ten miles out we stopped. Rigged up. Left my “up close" glasses in the cabin. Everyone else was too keen-eyed to need such things. Babies. Owl tied on my small streamer. Sanders, later, a dry.

Friggin' humiliating.

It was a crap day.

Swore that I’d throw that dry for the rest of the day - whether it worked or not. No more chunks of precious male pride to be surrendered here. But it didn’t matter. Never saw a fish. Nothing all, hot, mosquitoful morning. Only Chris came back reporting as much as a rise.

Fishing sucked.

It was a crap day.

We bagged it early. Went back to base camp for lunch. And my glasses. Then north to Hidden Lake to chase rainbows. Chose a float tube like mine at home. Forgot that my east coast floating is typically on moving water, chasing bass on gently flowing rivers. The water doing the work. Lazy lakes just sit there.

This would take effort.

It was a crap day.

Told Travis to cinch his swim fins tight. If lost, they’d sink. Then kicked out to the middle of the lake and demonstrated it. Spent the remaining afternoon splashing around in tight little circles. Going nowhere fast. Cold. Soaked with sweat. Cramped from single-fin propulsion. Miserable from too hard work and too little angling. Sun dropped below the tree line. Chill crept towards the bones.

The float tube started loosing air.

It was a crap day.

Finally spiraled my way to where Chris was fishing. Noticed rises along the northwest shoreline. Narrow weed beds rimming the edge of the lake. Chris tied on an Adams and began working the edge, bringing two feisty rainbows quickly to hand. Added a couple feet of 5X and strung an Adams myself, an 18. Dropped it gently within a foot of the weeds. The fly sat for a second, then disappeared in the quickest of swirls. A tugging match ensued and ended with the christening of my new Brodin ghost by a fat nineteen-inch ‘bow. Slender but strong. It wasn't the holy grail 20/20 - twenty inches of trout on a #20 fly - but it was close.

A Montana 19/18 was just fine.

It was a GREAT day.

Two quick acknowledgements. My heartfelt thanks to Sanders and Owl for stringing my flies but, more importantly, for rescuing me with their row boat on the far side of the lake. It would have been well after dark before I could have single-kicked home - assuming, of course, that the tube held air long enough. Second, an apology to TU's Tom "Jones" Reed whos loaned swim fin now rests at the bottom of Hidden Lake. I owe you a pair, buddy.


Ken G said...

After the sun disappears over the tree line, I always hope I don't lose the lure to a submerged branch or a rock that won't let go. I don't carry my "up close" glasses with me.

After that, it's just sight seeing and a stroll in the river.

At least your camera didn't crap out.

Clif said...

You poor baby, what a terrible day. Those pictures make it look awful.

Mike Sepelak said...

And there's nothing wrong with sight seeing or a stroll in the river. Spot on, Ken!

Yes Clif. It was torture. ;-)

Chris said...

It's all relative, Mike.

Imagine you're sitting at a desk, with a mountain of work in front of you, looking out the window at the pissing rain and endless grey clouds...

I'm having a crap day!

Feather Chucker said...

It's funny but out of all the people that went. I could see Owl tying on that fly for you. He just seems like a super thoughtful person ready to help anyone.

Sanders said...

That rainbow was quite the savior of the day for sure. A great fish, but a better story about how it ended up in your net. For all of the bad, some good :-)

Chris said...

If they could all be that crappy, huh? Nice work, my friend.

cofisher said...

Nice write Mike. Yeah, I sat here giggling while you were gone, knowing I was having a wonderful time at work and you were stuck in crappy Montana.

Mike Sepelak said...

Howard my friend, as you can see, your lack of sympathy appears to be shared by many. I guess that I'll just have to take my pity party somewhere else.

Maybe down to the Haw for a couple of hours.

I'm sure it will suck too.

Steve Zakur said...

Ain't it wonderful how a nice fish tugging on the line can wipe out a whole bunch of crap whether it's a day at work or a day on the water. All sins are forgiven. At least until we get back home. Well done.

Tbone said...

It's like I always say...if you don't catch one now and then, why fly fish?

Great post Sep...just takes one good fish to turn crap into great!

Dean K Miller said...

Just another fine example that "A crap day of fishing beats any other day out there."

owl said...

No, no be sure..anyone there would have helped out. I just happened to be the person standing close enough to watch and I couldn't stand it any longer. I think I practically jerked the fly away from him and called him old. ;) LOL Ok, not really - but anyone there would have done the same thing, bloggers or TU guys. We only had one really jerky guy there, and I straightened him out when I got him to the other side of the lake. Two big trout, and he was almost human. :) lol

Mike, that was awesome. Sometimes one good fish it all it takes!

PS - the skeeters would have consumed you whole before you ever finned it back, one-fin-like to the take out. That much I'm sure about. :) Wouldn't have taken but about 4 of 'em fer a lil' fellar like you. :)

Anonymous said...

As always....bloody hilarious!!!!!

If I ever get a chance to fish with you I will jump at it.