There comes a time when even the self-proclaimed "seasoned" veteran fly fisherman finds him or herself being humbled.
Not necessarily because the "fish won", or " it just wasn't in the cards today", or "the fish gods weren't on your side". It's one of those days when you just flat out suck.
My dad, visiting from Missouri, accompanied me on a trip to Basalt along with my mom, wife, and retriever to fish the Frying Pan. After getting settled into our room at the Green Drake Motel downtown, my wife April, dad, and I drove up the canyon late in the afternoon to find a quick stretch to wet a line.
With me driving, we (I) decide to head down Rocky Fork Creek Road with about 15" of fresh snow on it in an "All Wheel Drive" SUV. As I head down the embankment, I quickly realize that I've made a huge mistake. This particular SUV handled like a POS when mixed with snow and gravity. The Toilet Bowl would have to wait, as I decided that if I'm going to get stuck, I'm going to get stuck while it's still daylight. And that I did. Forty minutes of spinning, pushing, praying for upward momentum...the SUV finally makes it back on the main road.
That was the first indication that on this day, I would flat out suck.
As we land in a much safer parking spot along the river, we prepare to gear up. Two failed knots, three dropped flies, and twenty minutes later with the sun dipping, I realize that I most certainly might flat out suck today.
Stepping into the river with the excitement of a seven year old kid, I hastily start choosing my riffles and casting line out quickly to beat dusk. Third cast I clumsily end up in a tree above and behind me. As my line snaps with the entire twenty-minute assembled rig hanging from a branch, I know for certain that today...I just flat out suck.
A lot of this suckiness continued. And although we were able to salvage about a half dozen trout within the short window of daylight that we had, I sucked. My mechanics, decisions, judgement, and wits were all absent. The years and years of experience, adjusting, learning, and knowing...absent. I was a poor fisherman. I sucked.
So my updated fishing report for the Frying Pan is:
If you have a capable four wheel drive vehicle, are flawless at tying knots on the first attempt, are aware of obstructions in your casting lane, and time sensitive enough to be on the river between 12pm and 3pm...then you can probably have a pretty good day.
Good luck out there. And try not to suck.