Friday, December 14, 2007

The Return to the Oasis - Day 1

4:00am any other day is a fine time to get up to go fishing but today it’s feeling early. Work was busy the night before, so I got home later than usual. I had to tie some flies just in case. Yes, I am well aware that I probably won't have a need for them or ever fish them but you never know. It has also been a great way to unwind after work. Its not like I can get home at midnight and go right to sleep with the night fast paced energy still going. The average guy who works 9-5 goes to bed after the evening news, five hours later…oh, and sleeps for 8, Wow, I am sleep deprived. I have a tendency to get involved when I tie, often I find myself tying something completely irrelevant to the original plan and before you know it, its 3:00 am. … The alarm goes off at 4:00am. So there I was, awake with one hour of "not really falling all the way asleep" sleep. Tired and anxious to get on the water I made it to the rendezvous, the front porch : ) The boys arrived bright-eyed and bushy tail… right… everyone was late, very normal for these two., LOL. By the time we all piled in and loaded the gear it looked like we just bought a small fly shop.

The open road felt good despite the lack of sleep. Arriving in town, we found our dive hotel, grabbed a few fishing licenses, debated on buying Matt a funny t-shirt, got gas, Red bulls and coffee. Matt is home studying for a school exam, poor Matt but smart Matt, Nick wanted to get him a souvenir and Nate and I agreed. The water was still an hour away. The drive seems like your in the middle of nowhere, maybe its because it actually is. The jagged mountains created a brilliant backdrop for the sunrise; the sky is long, open and unpolluted filled with colorful clouds that even an artist couldn't paint. It was a peaceful feeling think of fish and gazing at nature, the type of feeling that made the hair on your arm stand up. Looking across the flat plains you noticed small groups of trees. It was obvious that they were strong and has weathered timeless windy days and brutal winters. But the sky is what really caught my attention; it said a thousand words in one glance.

Gearing up on the river you couldn't help but feel the energy, we were stoked. Now we needed to unload the shop and shuttle the vehicles. This trip requires two cars. There was supposed to be four but Matt couldn't go, school thing. Someone had to drive along one way. Unloading the pontoon boats was rather easy, rigging three rods each was rather time consuming but we managed it. The day felt great, then two cars show up, clients out and guides unloading the boats. Great…. that's the second boat I have seen head down before us. This particular areas has very few fish, might not be a good thing for us. On the water excitement was flowing at full bore. We were all throwing streamers with furry. Cast after cast, strip after strip, we hit every bank, nook, cranny, shelf, hole and run that we could see. Four hours later the fish tally was at…a whopping 0, nothing, nada, zilch and that Italian name that I can't pronounce. It was amazing… simply amazing. But he scenery was nothing short of spectacular. Bald and Golden Eagles could be seen through out the day. Hawks, Owls and other birds were out and about.

After another few hours we all met up at the bend. Nate had gotten a few smaller guys on sippers and Nick and I had nothing, no tugs. Nate had thought that he saw something "red" down the river. So we shoved off and headed towards the sighting. As I walked up I noticed two red fish swimming around, it seemed as if they were playing "tag". I made a few casts, nothing, made a few more, nothing. Changed flies and hooked into a fish, finally. He jumped out of the water and you could clearly see this crazy looking red fish, with the fly in the corner pocket I might add. Well, there as a wall of rocks poking out, as the fish came closer he went right for the rocks, just like they always do. I did what any idiot that hadn't caught anything all day would do, I got anxious and tried to yank him over the rocks. That wasn't such a good idea. The fly came ripping back at me, fish off. I was shocked and then remembered they have soft mouths… that's the excuse I am using on that one, really I should have had more patients and landed him in the slow waster right in front of me. Waking to the rock wall you could see a dozen of them. We all threw at them; I had no luck and walked away in frustration. Nick finally picked one up, a beauty Kokanee Salmon (freshwater). Nate got into them as well. I re-rigged at the boat and then walked down stream… and back up. Went back to the spot where Nick and Nate were but I had no success. We pushed on in hopes of Rainbows.

To our surprise by the end of the day the numbers were shocking… less than a few fish. We pushed out in the dark, hungry and tired we made it back to town. What we found was that the entire town was shut down. No place to eat but the local gas station. The pickings were slim; this was not your city corner store with all the goodies. This was very, very disappointing to say the least. We made due with less than par microwave food. I grabbed a few Hot "not really food" Pockets that sucked, should have snagged twenty Snickers bars, at least they satisfy. It was pretty funny though, by this time I was loopy from being sleep deprived and tired from making 300.2 casts : ) Tomorrow is a new day.

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