All of these lines across my face - tell you the story of who I am - so many stories of where I've been - and how I got to where I am - but these stories don't mean anything - when you've got no one to tell them to - it's true - I was made for you. B. Carlile

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dreamy and Giddy

"If I am not going to catch anything, then I'd rather not catch anything on flies."  B. Lawless

So, I have been fishing all my life.  I can remember squalling in between my father's legs while the jon boat pushed off into my family's pond.  It was my first time in a boat, and I was terrified.  I soon became comfortable in/on the water and began fishing for bluegill with cane poles, bobbers, and crickets.  I was hooked (sorry for the play on words).  Who could have known then what my dad was stirring up in me?  I guess I can thank/blame him for this hobby/addiction.  I say addiction because I think about fishing a lot.  Probably too much.  I had a friend ask me the other day, with a condescending tone, if I dream about fishing.  I answered "no" then came clean and said "yes" (head hanging and shoulders drooped).  It's not that I am ashamed for liking to fish but it probably verges on obsession and that probably isn't always a good thing.  Anyway, I have since ventured into the world of fly fishing.  The high church style of fishing in some anglers' eyes.  I can see it.  There are circles of fly fishermen that have a snobby ere that irritates the (enter prefered noun ) out other anglers: fly and non-fly.  I am rambling again.  What I am trying to say is that I don't want to be one of the above curmudgeons.  I like to fly fish because, for me, it puts me a little more in touch with the whole process.  The casting, the visual aspect of luring, the motion or lack there of in enticing a fish.  These are the things that make my palms sweaty and cause me to dream. 

My favorite moment in the entire deal is the half second that a fish strikes.  It sounds stupid to put all this effort into a half second of time I know.  For all the driving, casting, spending money, sunburn, mosquitoes, snakes, and whatever else goes into this stuff, I should get excited for more than just a half second segment.  Well, I do get excited about all the rest.  I love the scenery.  I love being on the water.  I love fishing with friends.  But, I get giddy over the "take." That moment when a fish decides it likes my fly and my presentation and clobbers it, sips it, or even spits it out.  The drama that plays out in that tiny amount of time is why I do it.  Even if I don't actually hook the fish.

The best way for me to be more involved in this process is by tying my own flies.  I sold this to my awesome wife by telling her that would save us money.  I wouldn't have to buy flies if I tied my own.  Well, this could be true if I wasn't constantly scouring the shops for all kinds of materials and colors with which to make things that entice fish.  By tying my own flies I can make tweaks that give a fly a different movement or a more real representation fo what particular fish are eating.  I spend most of my fly tying time trying to create flies that I can see in the water.  Because I want to see the fish eat it.  I am even satisfied watching the fish refuse it.  As long as I get to see it, I feel like I am involved.  And that is the half second I do this for. 

Before we moved I got my brother to build some furniture that would assist in this endeavor.  He is an excellent wood worker, and I get to use his handiwork on a daily basis.  Yes, I tie at least one fly every day,  and I even dream about fly tying every now and then.

My brother's skills.

My skill is cluttering nice things....just ask Natalie

The cabinet that matches the desk.

So here is a sample of some of my functional "art". 

I can't wait to use these last 4 in November.  These I tied especially for my new favorite; the redfish.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

August Visitors

"To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today."    Anonymous

More visitors!! Bare's parents were able to join us for a few days, and we were excited to show them around.  We spent a lot of time in the car, but got to visit two national parks and see a lot of the beauty that southwest Montana offers.

Glacier National Park

Flathead Lake

We were searching for huckleberry pie, and this quaint bakery seemed like the perfect place, but she had sold out. We did get Flathead cherries, and found this recipe for a ymmy Bing Cherry Pie

Yellowstone National Park

We loved having the Barefields here, and look forward to showing more family and friends around!

Best When It's Cloudy

August 4, 2011
"Nothing grows faster than a fish from when it bites until it gets away."     Anonymous

Float trip down the Big Hole with Chris Williamson and Brett with the The Stone Fly Inn