Sunday, July 25, 2010

Days 11b - 13

You read the title correctly: "11b." I actually went out again on day 11 for some evening fishing out at BWCA with my adoring wife. She is still new to flyfishing and occasionally chooses a regular casting reel/pole over her fly outfit (and that is ok), and this night she did exceptionally well with it.

On her very first cast she pulled up a beautiful 12"+ LMB, and she continued to do this over and over again putting me and my fly to shame! In this one spot she brought 4 to hand and lost one.

Finally it was my turn to start catching, and for the next 20 mins C and I went back and forth catching great bass and having an amazingly fun time.

The climax came when we caught 2 at the very same moment. Hers, for the record, is the one on the left in the photo. She kicked my ass and I couldn't be happier!

Day 12 was a nailbiter. I got a call from my boss the night before asking if I'd cover his closing shift at work. Knowing that the morning stuff still had to get done at work, I worked a 6-10:30am/3-10pm split shift. This put my fishing into a mid-day frantic rush. I knew I was going into day 12 having brought something to hand everyday, and thought this might be the end of that. I went to Tilles (again...ugh) and got this cute little BG. While getting a fish each time out is not part of the requirements, it'd be a nice tagline at the end.

For Day 13 festivities, Chris and I headed out to a lake with a known Hex hatch this time of year. Our goal was to fish the evening and wait out the hatch for a finale. Chris tore it up on Redear, BG and even a cat...while I watched with fishless cast after fishless cast. We laughed about it and had a really great time just being out there hanging out. It'd really been too long since we'd last fished together.

My fishless streak ended with this 10" Redear girl on a hopper. This was one of my three or four fish for the night (I lost count of Chris'), but what a fish to get. This made the night for me.

A few hours into the fishing, watching the sunset around some beautiful clouds over Chris' shoulder (as he was undoubtedly unhooking another RE), I commented on what looked like what I imagine the cloud that Jesus comes back on would look like. Naming it the Apocalypse cloud, Chris and I discussed:

Me: "With that cloud over there, we'd better get our affairs in order."
Chris: "I'm out here fishing, aren't I?"

And that pretty much summed it up. The Apocalypse we expected never came; a hell of a storm sure did, though.

About 10 mins after this was taken, the water went from calm to bluewater. Lightning that lit up the sky, lit up the boat, and lit up the shore flashed like a strobe light. We kept fishing, of course, because the fishing got better as the storm approached. Sure, we were at the furthest point from the dock; sure, we had no rain gear; sure, we have wives and families. But as I said in a conversation I can't fully record here, "I haven't seen what the fish that lives over there looks like." When the lightning became too ridiculous for us to continue and it got too dark to do anything except when it did lightning, we started back.

About 3 minutes into our ride back across the lake, we heard the wind in the trees. We knew we were in for it and started frantically gathering up our things and bagging everything we could. A gust of wind stole my favorite and very sentimental fishing hat and sunk it into the waves before we could swing back around for it. My Tilley is gone.

Arriving on shore still dry, but wind beaten to death, we packed up the boat in record time and got the hell out of there. Once it started to really rain, we didn't even say "bye" and just drove off. I got a call a few minutes later from Chris that the office had some leftover brats from that days expo, so we pulled into a lake's parking area down the road. We stood out there in the rain looking at the backside of the storm we had been in--I think it hit us then, as we ate our cold brats--what we had just escaped. We just looked at each other and laughed. My hat died a good death; we caught some amazing fish, and survived some serious weather. Damn good night, I say.

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