Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fishing Report From the Upper Delaware

FOR FISHERMEN AND WOMEN, nothing is more exhilarating than getting out on the river for the first time each spring. When you come together with flyflishing friends you've know for over two decades, it's even more fun.

So it is that I arrived Monday night at Hale Eddy, NY near Hancock, to begin a three-day fly fishing trip with a group of men from the East I've fished with in Wyoming for years. They are a great group of guys and excellent fishermen. The company is wonderful and sense of humor level is ratcheted up to dangerously high levels. If you can't take the heat of being kidded mercilessly, you'd best flee for your life, while the getting is good.

Yesterday four of us who arrived early did a 10-hour float on the West Branch of the Delaware in unseasonably warm weather, as in 85+ degrees. The sun was shining and anticipation was high. All in all, real fly fishers say they could care less whether they catch fish....they're just glad to be out on the river again.....

In theory we all saythat, and boy does it sound good. And it's partly---partly---true. But in reality every one of us wants to catch a big fish. So what happened yesterday?

It was truly one of the roughest days of fishing I've ever experienced. The word brutal might be putting mildly. To a fly casters there is nothing more dreaded than high winds. Yesterday winds blew steadily at about 15-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. To say it was difficult casting is an understatement. The hardest part was watching our guides rowing downstream against the wind for a large part of 12 miles of float.

Two drift boats of us finally got to our takeout about 10 pm in pitch black dark and light rain. Only maniacs would call it a wonderful day. That must mean that we are all indeed maniacs as everyone declared it a very good day in spite of the very difficult conditions. Almost no fish were caught.

We'll all be out on the Delaware again today in winds forecast to be high. However, I've put my female foot down and told the men, I'm going to be off the river tonight by 8 pm. Or else. It sounds good in theory. We'll see how it works out.


Gerard said...

Real fishermen don't listen to girls. If they wanted to do that, they'd stay home.

gcotharn said...

Tame those foolish men! Like a lion tamer cracking a whip in a cage of cats. 8:00 PM! Crack! Civilize em! Like the Widow Douglass and Ms. Watson with Huck Finn.

Were I a woman, I could imagine few things better than being on a river with a group of such men; few things better than being invited into the boys clubhouse, and being a special object of attention therein.

A thing that you realize, and a thing many less experienced women do not realize: you like it that the men have spirit and testosterone foolishness. You like it that they need some taming. If they needed no taming, if their spirit were absolutely and completely and perfectly civilized: you would not like it as much. They would not be as attractive to you. They need taming. Yes they do. And they are lucky to have you there to provide it. They are also lucky that you, in your wisdom, will not hope to completely tame them; that you will, instead, fully enjoy and appreciate their untamed aspects.

I'm not writing this to tell you anything you don't already know, and likely know better than I ever will - as you see men in ways which I cannot; and from a perspective and a from a life experience which I cannot share. I'm writing this, I think, as an appreciation of fine and wise women; and as an appreciation of the untamed men who love them; and as an appreciation of God's river.