>My first time.

>Today was pretty awesome. I suppose it started yesterday. Every free Saturday (which rarely occurred, in the past, but they seem to be opening up) we go to Front Range Anglers across the street from our house. You see, every Saturday from 10 to 12, they have a free fly tying class. They provide coffee and doughnuts (yes, a cop showed up) and someone shows you how to tie specific flies. Yesterday, Vincent Su showed up with his 720 Vise. It is a perfect vise for tying parachute flies. He was an engineer and it shows, he has developed this vise to rotate in many possible ways making it nearly possible to hold your thread still and move everything else to tie your flies. The steep ($270) price tag was enough to scare me away. Here is a video of Vincent in action:
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7763859&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
After the demonstration, we went home and made a few of our own. We also headed to Boulder Creek where we each pulled out a fish of our own. With the high temps (low 50s) it was like a real spring day. However, the point of the story is that today was awesome. I dropped Mojdeh off at the YMCA and went fishing. We all know that it is bad luck to bring women or bananas fishing, so I thought that I would be in for a good day.
Now I have my usual spots where I expect to see some fish, but my first area is hit or miss. I know that the little guy living there has hit a green belly humpy in the past and I made a green parachute something or other after Vincent’s class, so I tied him on and tossed it in. The first cast was right in the middle of the fast water, the presentation looked good, but there won’t be any fish there. My friend lives on the right side. He stays in the slow water behind a big rock. So I put it where he used to be. Only a second later, he moves over to it, looks for a second, and chomp, eats it. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I had tied that fly. I had just convinced this living, breathing, swimming fish that the collection of turkey feather, metal, string, and God knows what else was a bug! It had worked! I tried not to dance (for fear of falling on my face and losing my fish) but I am sure that I was showing off my teeth to the whole world like I had just left the dentist. I landed the fish, took a couple pictures, and was ready for the next one.

The last few times I have been to my next hole, I have either seen fish, spooked fish, or been skunked. I have never pulled a fish out of this hole. I crept up and saw a couple of nice sized fish hanging out. I was careful of my shadow, used my apparently great fly and tossed a few into the swirling eddy. Nothing. I think I got a refusal (where the fish swims up to your fly and then realizes that is isn’t real and swims away). Maybe not. So I changed flies. I tied 3 new flies last night. Time to try the orange one. This one used CDC (duck butt) feathers. It sank more than the fish or myself liked. They ignored that fly as well. Being patient, trying to keep my shadow away from the fish, and trying not to fall through the ice into Boulder Creek was tricky. I tied on the elk hair caddis that I recently made and wondered if the first fish had been a fluke. Cast number 3 had the biggest fish of the day rise up to the surface, take a look at my imitation, and make a meal of it. I played him downstream hoping that someone would ask my what fly I was using for all of this catching magic. Landed, photographed and released. There were two fish in that hole, so I thought, “Why not?” I tossed it out to the other guy who also went for it! I got excited and pulled it right out of his mouth. That scared him to the bottom so I moved on.

The next hole was stacked. Slow moving water and about 8 fish feeding. Some even bigger than the one I just landed. As I am watching these fish feed another fisherman was working the hole I just left. Poor guy. I am feeling invincible until I catch the tree above the fish. There is no way to get my fly without scaring all the fish. So I go and tell the “poor guy” downstream that he should come and get these fish. Then a couple of kids show up and start banging sticks on the ice scaring all the fish away. We parted ways, I retrieved my fly and was back on my merry way. The day continued to get warmer and the fish kept feeding. I caught 5, missed 3, and could have stayed for a couple of more hours.

I even tried Mojdeh’s mouse pattern because you never know what can happen. Unfortunately, today was not the day for a giant fish to be dining on mice. There is always tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to tie some more flies and think of ways to thank Fishy Steve.

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