Sunday, May 27, 2012

Big Flatbrook Fly Fishing Brown Trout on Wooly Bugger Streamer

I'll tell you a few interesting things pertaining to fly fishing at the end of the story. Not pointers--my son and I don't have much experience with fly rods. But I figuered something out that pertained yesterday.

Came home from work to find my Pressure Sensitive, Ronnie Laws, c.d. had arrived. Looked forward to hearing "Always There" on the ride, a tenor sax jazz piece I loved at 17 and whenever I've heard it since. Noticed that besides having an element of rock, the piece even seems to hint at disco, although that was the first time I noticed--it's jazz. Title's perfect because the sax flies along on that hyper-sane level where memory seems to be forever present. The places where we have been, and since, while there we were part of the place, and the places remain with us and us with them. Always There. That's the title. 

It's like what I noticed earlier in the day Friday and posted about. The glacial stones did not seem to mark the passage of time, but the lingering of it, a presence greater than diurnal. Some readers may be familiar with the name Salvador Dali, the 20th century painter who made a great show of himself: "The only difference between me and a madman is I'm not mad." "Persistence of Memory" is his best known painting. But the way it affects me by all those melting clocks is not hard, bracing, and uplifting as is this jazz piece by Ronnie Laws. The title of Dali's piece and especially the images of melted objects suggests experience all too limited to the mind's breakdown in delerium, however advantaged by deeply altered fluid reminiscence. Dali needed delirious states for his creative process, but "Always There" is like the physical reality Albert Einstein described, and that in some sense the past remains, in fact, within existence. It's as if Laws brings the past forward into the direct and immediate present. That's been my response anyway.

We got to Newton--it's a straight, long ride on U.S. Highway 206--and into a very severe thunderstorm. We saw one of those sign holders that make you feel indignant that a company is willing to make someone suffer such boredom and humiliation to physically hold a placard by the road, rather than employ him at something productive. At least those who wear red gorilla costumes and the like may actually have fun annoying the hell out of at least some of us who see them doing tricks roadside day after day where we have to drive by. But this guy was in shorts and a shirt and lightning had just struck 100 feet away. Rain was so torrential that my wife felt uncomfortable, and we had stopped to wait it out in a lot along with other vehicles doing the same, viewing this guy across the street. Of course there was no way to appropriately invite this guy into our Honda Civic with my wife not really knowing what he might do. She's extremely sensitive about the likes, and besides, the point is, he was doing his job. But what a job description, huh? 

Did anyone in the comfortable building with no threat of their lives getting snuffed out by a lightning strike for minimum wage even think of asking this guy to come inside where the conditions were more humane? He had no rain gear on at all. No, I doubt anyone cared to even notice. Is this American capitalism? No. They say it is to keep up appearances. It isn't Maedeval feudalism, perhaps it's the death of capitalism in American feudalism, which may be much, much worse in the end than it was in Europe. 

Can a just form of capitalism be achieved? A system for all social classes? I think so. But most people seem so drugged by the hypnopaedia of the hucksters trying to rob not just wallets but people's very lives that most have no idea what kind of economy and political system we have, nor do they care. The evil seems too great for them to wrap their minds around, and those who are foisting this evil on the world know that they have a chance to get away with it. Republican or Democrat, neither seems to be the party of capitalism, neither progressive, and will we be resilient through the grass roots or be enslaved like this guy offering his wet body to the next lightning bolt to keep his absurd job? 

If a minimum wage job seems worth dying for because no one will provide a half hour's decent reprieve, then the intent seems, conscious or not, to take life. The guy stood out there like some gruesome modern art display. You say it's his fault because he didn't say, "The hell with it," and quit? Maybe he was steadfast to keep the little edge on the market he has, and someone should have given him a half hour in a dry place to return when the storm ended. People hold their jobs these days, or they're on the streets. Oh, it's not slavery. He's paid! Wink, wink.

We turned from Route 560 onto Flatbrook Road, tried a few stretches in light rain with a Muddler Minnow and stonefly nymph. We had a look at a spot down an improved road, and wound up at Roy Bridge, parking in the lot below and fishing this area intensively with bead head nymphs, sure trout were present, getting no takes. A couple of fly fishermen had been fishing the hole above and we let them be. After about 45 minutes--we had gone below and I had seen a splash from above--I felt the day seem to resolve itself, felt we would leave in a few minutes. Matt snagged a nymph on a downed tree in the stream, in the middle of deep water where I had snapped off my large brown Wooly Bugger with a bright purple tail and bead head after getting two or three casts. He said he was going to swim and get both flies, but freed his fly a moment later. I said he could have my Bugger if he got it.

I was surprised the water rose over his head. As I had mentioned, by then I felt finished. A trout had kept rising the whole time we spent there. I tied on an Adams and aroused no interest from the fish as my interest sort of drooped away. I looked at the Adams on water surface and instead of seeing something that had potential in those drab, brownish patterns of color and shade tied just so, it looked almost infinitely useless, felt as if I could fish that fly here in the pool eternally--with some trout in the pool--and nothing would ever happen. 

The sheer stupidity of purposelessness touched me and we were going to be out of there in minutes. Occurs to me now it's the sort of situation that so-called capitalists are now so desperately trying to evade, as to hire as if they have forgotten they have human brains, to hire without productive design, such as making that young man stand with lightning strikes yards from his soaked body and placard with hideous, running ink, a colored series of gashes that looked like Van Gogh actually had gone mad. If you view a Van Gogh painting, you will notice that every stroke is mastered by firm intention.

I walked around deep water, and having forgotten the pool already, asked Matt, "Are you sure those were bass you saw?"

"I thought so."

I pitched a cast with the Adams in a little run, a small brown immediately rose for it but didn't take. Tried a nymph, nothing, but with renewed initiative, headed upstream to the large pool at the bridge. Three guys banged brown trout on Rapalas. Below the bridge you can use spinning tackle. Matt had that Bugger. Best I could do was tie on my largest stonefly nymph and strip it like a streamer. Nothing. Maybe a tap.

But fairly soon I went back to the car and asked Matt if I could borrow his big brown Wooly Bugger. I knew he had done his fishing and just wanted to dry off. That purple tail especially excited me. A reflection strip would have been better. But I stripped the streamer through that fast, deep run Matt swam across and after maybe half a dozen tries and one tap, set the hook on a firm strike and landed a brown nearly 12 inches long.

An experienced fly fisherman would have caught a lot more a lot sooner, but that was my last cast and we left, myself satisfied that I had figured a little out at least. Water was slightly stained. Those invisible, subtly drifting nymphs were useless or close to it at least for these recently stocked browns.



  1. Of course we could have a rule and reg saying no human being shall hold a placard anywhere, anytime, anyplace. But I don't think that is a solution.

  2. Or we could say no human being shall implement a solution anywhere, anytime, anyplace. But I don't think that's written on any placard.


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