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Never fall in love with a fish!

Posted on July 12 2018

It's a mantra I've been preaching for as long as I remember.  Your best chance to catch a fish is always on the first cast. As soon as the fish becomes aware that you are there, the odds swing heavily in his favor.  I know, I know "He's still rising", but he gets to look at that fly from only inches away and if there aren't six legs on the water with the tail in the air he ain't eating.  Tip your cap and move on, find another riser, there's lots of easier fish to cast to.

Well today I sinned.  Fell in love with not one but three fish.  Here's how it happened.  Got in the water at one of my "secret spots", the pool between the Gentleman's Club and the grass island just upriver.  The waxwings were working the far side of the island (a sure sign of bugs) and no one was fishing.  There were sulfurs, olives of all sizes, yellow drakes and isonychia on the water and  the fish were having an early dinner.  Despite the down time cleaning algae off my dry fly after every cast, I hooked six fish within the first hour.  Landed but two, one broke me off when he got into the grass and the other three just came unstuck.

The devil then had his due.  Somehow he got three of the fish I had lost to move right back to where they were when I hooked them and start feeding again. "Be damned",  I said,  "let's teach them a lesson they won't forget." and for the next three hours I threw everything in my vest at them without a hook touching a fish.  Oh, they came up and looked when my change of flies interested them, but not one mouth opened on any of the offerings.  Meanwhile the three fish consumed nymphs, emergers and duns by the hundreds.

If only someone was there to tell me "Never fall  in love with three fish".

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