Monday, May 27, 2013

Fly Fishing Solitude: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass after Sunset

Brown as the mud my wading shoes shuffled.

On the spur of the moment, I grabbed my fly rod and camera and headed over to the local North Branch Raritan. The evening settled down to a nice, calm blanket of mild fading luminosity after lots of sun and warmth this afternoon, and I thought maybe the trout would rise. I also felt I needed to get away from working on my novel, rather than plough ahead. Sometimes I feel like I should be planting crops rather than constructing something with language.

It so happens that the highlight of the weekend came Saturday at the Clarence Dillon Public Library in my Bedminster hometown, vegetable gardening with my wife. We rent a plot. How appropriate that the local library has garden plots to work. When I start to feel overly ambitious and my presumably great novel takes me out of everyday life, it's a good thing I have some fishing very nearby.

I got to the stretch after sunset. Trout didn't rise with abundance like going on two weeks ago, but pretty soon a brown trout took my brown caddis parachute, size 14 I think it is, and jumped off. I caught the brown photographed, a rainbow, and a smallmouth bass on the same fly, then lost it to a tree branch. By then I needed my headlamp--had it on my head--to tie on another parachute, feeling opportunity slip away like the water passing underneath most of me as I struggled with hackle to get the tippet through the eye loop, wearing my reading glasses.

I went back to casting, cutting close to branches on the back hand, and hooked another trout I fought for a while before the hook pulled. Very few trout rose and as darkness seeped into everything like coffee, even fewer rises dimpled the surface despite brown trout being nocturnal.

I did see some big, whitish mayflies before dusk really came on, but only a very few. They would have been about a size 6 or 8. I felt happy the trout wanted my brown fly with the white parachute that made it possible to see the fly even with deepening dusk.

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