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Earning the Name (or: How I Roll)


January 2, 2009 (with any luck)

Well, I’m out day before yesterday at —— and find a school of like 3, 4 dozen bones pushed into maybe a foot of water. Ok, take your time here; fish aren’t going anywhere — just wade slow and quiet. A few minutes later I’m standing within casting range and the fish seem unconcerned, ignorant of my presence. Now, aim at the edge of the school. Don’t get greedy. Do this right. I make the cast and immediately hook one, but it comes off only a few seconds onto the reel.

That happens.

The fish aren’t totally spooked though. They swirl around a bit and then push back onto the flat a little ways to the leeward. Fine. I stalk them again, and cast, and cast, and cast. They’re spooky and barely moving in that circular way laid-up fish do sometimes. I’ve got to wait till they’re at the far end of that circle and then fire a cast in close so when they turn the fly is sitting there waiting for them. This goes on for a while: cast, strip, nothing, wait till they turn, cast, strip, nothing, wait. I might have missed a couple short strikes in there, but it could have been the grass–I’m having to let my fly sit for like almost a minute before stripping, so the fly and leader have plenty of time to foul.

By this time I’m pretty keyed up and thinking, Right. Next fish touches this fly I’m hammering it. Which is exactly what I do. I’m using the new XTR and it’s stiff as hell, so when the fish takes off I’m really pulling on it. Zzzzzziiiiiipuhhh… silence. What the…!? I reel in and see a perfect little pigtail where the wind knot I knew was there, knew was there from yesterday, had finally popped. Genius. I stalked those fish for like 15 minutes, made like 30 casts and blew it cause I was too lazy to retie?

That is truly, sadly, far-too-often how I roll.

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