I finally had the opportunity to fish with my Pops this weekend. I've been begging him for time on the river since the spring, and though he had plans for later in the day, he gave me yesterday morning. Now, there is something that you should know about my dad - he is somewhat of a dry fly snob. Actually, he won't fish anything but dry flies - mostly you just place your fly near a rising fish and watch and wait for it to come to the surface and eat your fly. I, on the other hand, have mostly fished with my man friend - a fishing guide - who is in the business of making sure that people actually catch fish. As this is the case, I have fished mostly with nymphs - two flies submerged at different depths with an indicator (a glorified bobber) so that I can tell when a fish strikes one (or both) of my flies. As my father is quite devout in his application of elevated angling, he went to the river with his preferential setup, and I, just hoping to hook one, took my customary rig.
We drove to the water together on our 4x4 golf cart, headed for the hole where I told him I'd been getting some good action lately. We parked the cart in the tall grass just up the bank, and got out to collect our gear. Now, as I'm standing at the cart going about the business of pulling on my wading boots, I asked Pops what fly he had on his rod, to no answer. I looked up just in time to see him disappear, hobbling thought the pine trees like Sasquatch.
By the time I got down to the river, he'd posted up right at the base of the hole by the big rock where I like to start. Miffed that he'd poached (Squatched!) my favorite spot, I went down lower and screwed around til he got bored. He wasn't catching anything and started bitching about his fly. Finally he asked to borrow one of the dries he'd given me, and sat down to re-rig. He told me I could have my turn at "yeh motheh's rock," since apparently mom had had a good day here once upon a time (something about ritalin and 40 fish while the boys ate lunch).
Well, I pulled 5 rainbows out of there before he demanded I hand over my rod. He fished that hole for thirty minutes with my "dirty mynpho" set up and then accused me of having bent hooks after he lost three fish. We checked - my hooks were in good shape. Finally he claimed his hand was asleep and that he was going to be late for golf.
Needless to say, I couldn't leave well enough alone. As soon as he left for his 18 holes, I headed back to my one, and caught the biggest, prettiest brown trout I've ever managed to land solo. And on my dirty nympher no less. I got a certain level of satisfaction from texting him a pic of the brown while he was on the golf course.
According to reports from lunch, he'd admitted that I'd "smoked his ass" and was turning out to be "one hell of an angler." Coming from my dad, who knows pretty much everything there is to know about fishing, that's about the highest praise I could hope for.
Not that we're keeping score, but I was 5 (10 on the day - including the brown, a whitefish and a rainbow that looked like her girl parts were falling out) to Pops' zero. While I doubt that this disproportionate level of success will last, I'm going to enjoy it for all it's worth. For now.