Fishing is more than a sport, it’s a passionate pursuit that becomes both cerebral and primal. The combination of technique and artistry are unrivaled in any other sport. And this unique attraction sometimes stirs Dan Hydinger’s creative side. Read on for the latest musings from his fisherman soul:
As summer fast approaches more and more anglers are dusting off their fly rods and scurrying down to the banks of their favorite rivers. After a cold winter and some much needed spring snow, the gentle, warm touch of the summer sun on my face is as welcomed as a trout quietly sipping midges off the glistening water. Fly fisherman armed with their winter’s tying bounty rush to the water to cast their new creation. A yellow dog sits on the river’s edge in bewilderment. A wary trout feeds just below the surface on the opposite bank. Eighteen inches? No, at least twenty. Hands are a little shaky, excitement rushes through the body. A measure of line wisps through the air towards its target. The faint words over nervous breath, Oh sh_t!! The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. A straight line directly into the only over hanging tree on that side of the river. The fly was drawn to that tree like an Irishman to a Guinness, or a hobo to a ham sandwich. First cast of the season, first tree of the season. The fly is wrapped around the lower limb as though it was trying to hang itself. A gentle pull of the line does not yield the fly but instead tightens its noose . Fish is still there!! Excited by the prospects, a quick jerk leaves the fly swinging back and forth from the unassuming limb dancing just above the water. Riffling through every pocket of a once organized vest , the last fly box in the lower right pocket reveals a #24 Parachute Adams. Just the ticket. A meal for royalty. With arms fully extended, hands nervously twitching and wary eyes, the line finally passes through the tiny hole. A quick knot, or what was once a quick knot, seems never-ending amongst the excitement and backdrop of beautiful scenery. Ten and two, ten and two. Ten. The fly rides a gentle breeze down to its mark. The snout of a worthy adversary breaks the reflective silence. Gone. The bend of the rod reaffirms what has already been witnessed. A burst down-river throws water to the side like the wake of a water skier. Reel screaming. After a couple more vigorous runs, the beast succumbs to rod and reel. Gently steered to net, the fish slides through an opening rendering it caught, that same hole will quickly signal its freedom. Ahhhhh, twenty inches, twenty inches indeed. The tiny hook falls from the fishes mouth. A quick thrust of the tail, the fish vanishes back into the depths. A deep sigh. All is well on the river!