Blogosphere Questions & Answers from the Netherworld May 2010 Part 4
The questions keep rolling in from the blogosphere’s deep recesses. Some are legitimate and logical, some crazy, and some are a little on the scary side (see smelly jelly entry below).
This is part four of five. Have fun, and keep the questions coming.
Q: Snagged salmon in the mouth
A: One must enter the arcane and dangerous realm of fly fishers brains to sort this one out. A fly that has been eaten by a salmon will usually become lodged somewhere on the inside of the mouth. This fish is not snagged. A fly that is lodged on the outside of the tooth line, if such lodging is a direct result of the salmon innocently swimming by and accidentally encountering the fly leader, thusly becoming entangled in said salmon’s jaws, consequentishly resulting in a gradual drawing of the fly against the outside of the jaw – this is a case if accidental snagging or flossing. Deliberate flossing is to be distinguished from unintentional flossing, although the end result is the same. Sometimes, a salmon will intentionally grasp half a fly near the tip of its snoot. Depending on whether the front or the back half of the fly is pointed in whichever direction, this is a fair hooked fish with the hook either just inside or just outside the upper jaw near the snootish end of the mouth. Sound confusing? It is, and it isn’t. Snaggers know in their hearts that they are trying to snag, just as ethical and educated fly fishers know that they will, unavoidably, foul some salmon, if conditions cause it to be so. Each of us, when we feel the first pull or when we draw that salmon close for inspection, at the moment of truth, can either make an honest call – or play pretend games.
Q: Soaking steelhead flies in smelly jelly
A: Shame, shame, shame. Not necessary. Not helpful. Counter-productive. Gums up materials. Causes one’s steelhead flies to swim backwards, making any hooking of fish a virtual impossibility. Produces permanent oil stains on one’s Simms causal camp wear. Makes fingers stink. Ruins reputations. Tarnishes outlook on life. Could very well initiate ripping asunder of Earth’s moral fabric, irrevocably. Definitely causes foul nightmares of fly angler eating Zombies. Rest assured, even Lee Wulff and Lefty have pondered this action, but men of strong moral character have resisted. Frank Moore never even considered such a thing, knowing full well that all one needs is a Muddler in the Summer and a sparse Muddler in the winter – sans smelly jelly. Nuff said. Skeddaddle.
Q: Spey clave
A: This is a paranormal phenomenon that has been observed during the last decade on the Sandy River, Oregon, sponsored by Mr. Mark Bachmann of the Welches Fly Shop. Hundreds of crazed fly fishers descend simultaneously upon the Sandy River. A row of clean blue outhouses appear in a neat line-up at the edge of the parking lot. Tents spring from the earth. Purring Honda generators disperse around the area, providing power for lights and sound systems. Men, and increasingly, women in waders roam the grassy fields and gravel bars with long rods. People from all across the west meet andre-acquaint themselves. This is a family friendly event. Stories are told. Fish are re-caught. Fishing trips are planned. Guide trips are scheduled. Rods, reels, and lines are tested on grass and in the Sandy River. Chips, barbecue, potato salad, cookies, water, pop and an occasional clandestine “nip” is available for sustenance. People with international reputations (all good) exchange pleasantries and information with commoners in the crowd. Smiles abound. Flies are exchanged. Business cards, too, are slipped into palms. Resolutions to purchase fly rods, reels and lines are noted or renewed. No cell phone calls are made, as this secretive event is held in a no-coverage hole. Haven’t been there, ever? Shame. Go next year. Be glad you did.
Q: Steelhead flies soaked in eggs
A: This practice is common in Forks, WA. Here’s how it goes. A party of hung-over CEOs in their 60s and 70s meet their fishing guides for breakfast early in the morning. These guys are too old to party, but seem to want to recapture the glory days or whatever they imagine the high school and college height of puberty spouting crazy worlds were like. They do this even f they were meek eggheads on the chess team, telling largely made-up stories about how hot they were in their youth. It is pathetic. A few of them are telling the truth, about 7% – the rest are fabricating. No matter how many millions of bucks these men have stashed away over the course of their careers, they still feel a guttural need to compete with their so-called buddies. They make bets on first steelhead, largest steelhead, and most steelhead each day, as if competition was even an acceptable pat of sane fly fishing experience. They know, secretly, that they will even claim to have caught a fish if their guide gets one on bait or a plug – out of sight from the rest of the group. They will kill a fish if it is legal, and especially if it is a brute. Anyway, here they are at breakfast, all pasty green and feeling queasy after the previous night’s debacle in Big Ed’s suite, when one of them leans over the table to burp, and spills his fly box out of shirt pocket into a platter of half-cooked scrambled eggs. Naturally, the box pops open, the flies embed themselves deeply into the gooey yellow eggs, and it then takes about 45 minutes to dig ’em out of the mess. No time to wash these babies off, cuz it’s time to get on the water. So back into the box they go, all covered in yellow wet gunk. Funny thing is, unlike smelly jelly, soaking steelhead flies in half-cooked scrambled eggs actually increases the odds of hooking an Olympic Peninsula winter steelhead from 0.006 (per day) to approximately 0.009 (per day). Fish biologists would call this a “significant” improvement. I say BS.