Am I funny enough to write something worth reading? I’m good with a one liner in the boat, how about with a multi-liner on paper. Well, here goes.
We are in the lull between spring fishing and summer fishing, a.k.a. runoff. I could tell you about the Mother’s Day Caddis fishing of last week, or the anticipation and excitement of the Salmon fly hatch right around the corner. Instead I’ll tell you “Don’t lend me your rod!”. I probably shouldn’t advertise it but I have a hard time remembering just how many rods have broken in my hand. It has gotten to the point that every time I cast a customer’s rod I say a small prayer and wince just a little bit. I was reminded of rod breakage just the other day when I fished with a regular who retold the story of the time I took a friend of his on the spring creeks. Said friend broke not one but TWO of my high-end rods in a single day….a record that remains unequaled. I admit that 15 years of guiding has made me a little insensitive to breaking rods but that day hurt a bit.
Just as often it is the other way around and I am the breaker. One such event sticks in mind above all others. I was guiding the lower Yellowstone and the hopper fishing had “slowed down” late in the day. I felt that, in fact, the fishing was holding steady and suggested that my anglers were suffering from attention deficit issues and just weren’t attending to the details that meant the difference between a successful drift and an ignored one. After some friendly verbal jousting a challenge was presented and accepted. I took the rod, and my angler took the oars…..bad idea. I feel like I won the argument as I hooked a very nice brown in short order. I hooked him on a lovely 9 foot 5 weight and landed him on a ratty 5 foot 9 weight. The rod’s metamorphosis was quick and accompanied by a sickening sound instantly recognizable to all within earshot. Stunned silence was quickly replaced with laughter. While this could have been looked upon as a tragedy by some, this good sport, simply said “what a great end to a great rod”. It was a good reminder for me that I always try to carry with me on the rivers…it’s about the experience, not about the gear.