Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sunburst Stimulator

While I enjoy living out in the middle of nowhere, sometimes simple things lead to big frustration. Amy has taken two trips to town in the last two days in an attempt to get a new cordless phone to replace the one that blew up due to a lightning strike. When you buy something new that doesn't work and you are 30 miles from town it really sucks! When you go back the second time and get another that doesn't work it sucks worse. When you also get an oil filter for the mule that is wrong that doubles your pleasure. When you take the old filter in to show them the second time and return with the wrong one again, you want to shoot the parts guy who swore it was the same filter. I guess I will take my second trip to town since May and see if I can come back with the right filter. If you are still reading this whiny blog you may wonder why I am telling you this. After Eli and I failed to change the oil filter on the mule, that frustration led us to the river for a little fishing before dark. While Eli picked flowers and threw rocks I slid out just below the island to see if any trout were in the mood for a little dinner. I picked this spot because it is the only place on our property to keep an eye on a 5 year old while having a realistic chance at bringing a few fish to hand, and bring a few fish to hand I did. As I tied on my new favorite fly (the golden hot flash) followed by a bloody mary dropper, I became excited as I noticed a little haziness in the water. I have found that the fish are more apt to ignore my tripping and fumbling around if the water has a little color to it, and tonight looked like it might just be perfect. Not long after my first cast I was slow to react as my indicator took several dives on successive casts. Daddy I need to go poop I hear from the bank. Luckily we were just down from the bathhouse so after a quick potty break back to the river we went. Just as had happened before, perfect casting technique (Eli is a witness) was rewarded with a sudden pause in the indicator and this time I was ready. I lifted the rod tip high and was met with a quick downstream run as I caught a glimpse of pink flash near the surface. After a quick battle I brought the 15" rainbow to hand and had Eli take a picture for posterity, promising him that he could reel in the next fish. Several casts later another rainbow was hooked and after reeling in the slack line I handed over the rod to Eli who courageously fought and defeated his first fly rod trout. Several other fish were caught and several were lost along with the bloody mary whose only trout was the first trout of the evening. While this was the only bloody mary I have ever owned I was not disappointed for this opened a spot on my line for my newest creation, the sunburst stimulator. This is a fly tied on a #6 hook with red and black chenille two short rubber legs at the hook end, and silver flash tied almost like hackle where the wing case would be. Once again I got bored when I was tying up my golden hot flash, and this new fly was the result. I tied this on as a dropper below the golden hot flash and went back to fishing without much faith in the little feller. As before, the fish continued to bite and a tiny streambred rainbow was caught as was a 10" brown, but each time I brought the fish to hand my disappointment grew as the sunburst stimulator continued to dangle from the golden hot flash that was nestled in the corner of each fishes mouth. Then it happened, as the sun faded over the horizon and fog settled over the North Fork, a perfectly placed cast was met with a violent flash beside a large boulder which had been the lunker's lair. I lifted the rod tip high and the pain in my tendinitis stricken right elbow told me this was not your run of the mill fish. I could see the a dark silhouette thrashing amidst the rocks in this run and new it had to be a brown. With no choice but to follow I yelled for Eli to circle around and meet me on a gravel bar just downstream. Skillfully playing this fish while talking Eli down to my location, I was finally able to bring a fat healthy 18" brown to hand. As I held the fish in the water I had Eli grab the camera out of my pocket and take a picture of me with my prize. Unfortunately Eli had taken the memory card out of the camera and the built in memory was full with pictures of Christmas from two years ago. We found one or two to delete, and amazingly the fish waited patiently as I gently held him in the current just knowing he would dash to freedom before we could get proof on film. Eli stepped back took aim and took the first picture in which I had no head - delete. Second picture a quarter head - delete. Third picture - half a fish -delete. Fourth picture -most of my head and good picture of fish, we'd decided we'd better not press our luck and headed home with proof. Unfortunately the picture did not capture the fly to which this lunker fell, but the excitement of catching an 18" brown was amplified many times over when I brought this fish up only to see that peeking out of the toothy grin of this broomtail was the red glow of the sunburst stimulator.

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