It was really nice to take an old friend fishing today. I stopped by Dennis Menscer’s rod shop Saturday to pick up the two new tips he made for my wounded Granger flyrod, and I was more than anxious to get it back on the water. I decided to visit another old friend, a little out of the way pool that had been far too warm to fish all summer. It seemed like the perfect place to welcome my new old rod back.
The wind began to rise just as I waded into the low, clear current, but I knew the Granger had been designed for windy western waters and would let me put my flies on target. I selected a Grizzly Beetle to knot to the 6X tippet, figuring that the wind would deliver plenty of terrestrials as it blew ever harder. I saw one brief movement, a barely perceptible little vee in the slick surface, lofted my back cast and let the line unroll to drop the fly a couple of feet above the spot. I watched the hackle catching the morning light as I tracked the fly, lifting as it simply vanished. The trout reacted immediately to the arch of new and old bamboo as we began our dance.
The cane protected the fine tippet, absorbing each head shake and run, ultimately guiding my quarry to the waiting net. It was a beautiful wild brown trout, a bit better than eighteen inches, and colored up profusely in preparation for autumn. Welcome home.
A second trout stretched my leader only briefly an hour later, with just enough of a hard pull to let me know another nice fish had come calling before the fly came free. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the direct rays illuminated the entire river bottom, and I guessed that my fishing was done. Still I lingered a while, making a few more casts to drift a fly over each submerged boulder that the sunlight revealed. Its not that I expected another trout to take the fly, it was more of a long goodbye to my old friend.