Saturday, April 30, 2016

The craziest Spring hatch

As I'm sitting here at the computer today it is snowing outside and I don't have a care in the world.  Now if it was snowing inside, I'd have a problem and fishing and writing on this blog would be the least of them.  Contrary to past posts, I'm not going to complain about the weather.  
Since I haven't tossed a caddis yet this year and it is caddis time here in Colorado, the snow just might give me a reprieve.  I'm probably missing a great blue wing olive hatch, but I digress. 
In my experience, Spring brings out the quirkiness in fly fishermen. Let me elaborate. 

The poet Margaret Atwood once said, "In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."  

Although we can all  understand the meaning of Margaret Atwood's above quote, I think she missed the mark. For me, the quote should read, "In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like fish."

I say this in all seriousness for several reasons. I'm reminded of an incident that happened here several years ago while visiting the Hatchett Brothers. Around here, we call the two brothers Dull and Duller. Every year the brothers hold their annual Spring Fishing Extravaganza at the pond located on their property. This particular year, Winter was being particularly stubborn in letting go it's grasp, which made no never mind to the brothers. The Extravaganza drew every able-bodied man from around the county, not so much because they loved the goings on, but because everyone was anxious to see what ridiculousness the brothers could come up with.

This year the plan was to plant some humongous bluegills. Attached to each fish was a prize in the form of...well, you'll see.

It's important to remember that this was early Spring and the pond was at that in between stage-half ice and half slush and open water. The sun was as brilliant as it can only be when the temperature is a smidge above freezing and steam is rising off the water.

The folks that had shown up to fish for prizes were well lubricated and in a joyous mood, ready for the festivities to begin. We all listened while Dull and Duller explained that the fish and prizes were in the stock tank in the back of their pick up. They proceeded to get into the truck, aiming to back the truck onto the by now slushy ice and release the fish. While we watched in stunned disbelief, the truck slowly descended into the pond, stock tank and Hatchett brothers all.

Before anyone could make a move, bluegills fluttered and thrashed their way to the top...miniature bottles of Old Crow duct taped to their backs. As you might imagine, everyone who dared got a prize, everyone enjoyed an Old Crow and bluegill fish fry and at the end of that beautiful Spring day, everyone smelled like fish. 
Reprinted from So Much Water, Spring 2016     

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