“Hey! Keep it tactical Shady.” And a smile. I miss it dearly. Talking tactics is one of life’s great joys. I learned this from years in a fighter squadron but looking back I understand why talking tactics was so special. I realize that while the endeavors and communities are different, the men and women who move through them seek similar goals. Progress. Knowledge. The betterment of the whole. And, yes, a touch of competitive spirit that pulls us forward and requires our best. Engaging these “tacticians” in the fly fishing community and sharing those experiences has become one of the great joys of my journey with Wadeoutthere. Talking tactics with dedicated fly fishing men and women who passionately share their knowledge and listen for those ideas they know will move them forward. People like Domenick from Troutbitten.
The first time I fished Mammoth Creek, I drove past them. The fences were weathered grey and white cedar bleached by the sun. Faded and torn, the old coral melded into the tall grass along the river. Part of the landscape. I noticed them just before the gravel road took me up a small hill behind wide oak trees that reached over and made a tunnel for my small white truck. I drove on until I knew that those worn posts had been the landmark. “The Corals”. Then I travelled further through the beams of light that penetrated the trees and strobed off the white gravel until I found a spot where I could make a three point turn and drive back through my dust cloud towards The Corals and access to the river.
When I pulled off the road and parked next to the South Platte River, I knew I was returning to a special place.
I am constantly surprised by the river.
It is one thing to not catch fish while nymphing. It is another to be hooking up all day and then come up short on a great spot.
How do you know if your nymphs are making it down to the strike zone along the bottom? Why not just take a look?
We drifted on the river in and out of shadows below the cliffs. It was a cold morning. I knew it would be hot later. It had been the same thing the day before.
It was just cold enough at night to build a fire in the wood burning stove. It was in the corner of the cabin and my brother had set the flue to burn all night.