Just Another Day In Paradise: December 29, 2010

Just Another Day In Paradise: December 29, 2010

So here it is a 5 AM and the old cat is here beside me and I have my coffee and bunny grahams and somewhere in the world someone is going fly fishing for steelhead today even if it is through a twelve-inch hole in the ice around the great lakes but it has rained for how many days straight here so I have been catching up on home projects and I have been thinking and thinking all of these days about our runs of wild salmon and steelhead on the oregon coast plus wondering how the run of winter steelhead is gong to develop this year and what the ocean is going to do to our coho that stay close off the coast like the sea run cutthroat and how we see how the silvers are trending from year to year but cripes we have to assume that the harvest trout are in the  same ballpark as the coho smolts going to sea in any given year because they have to stay pretty close to shore like half pounders if they come back  after spending only three months at sea and yeah half pounder steelhead stay in the year-round-upwelling ocean off the Klamath and rogue unlike most of our blueback on the central and north coast and oh yeah I have been working on writing chapters for a really exciting book with my buddy who is all like obsessed with some passing piano wire fad and i am sure it has to be a fad because i don’t know about it and i know a lot and if i don’t know about it how could it be important oh sure i know this is silly because there is to much fishing crap out there and no i do not mean crap in a bad way but used the c-word just like saying there is a lot of really fine highly engineered fishing tackle and i just said crap because it was easier to write but not me because i am so totally into cute pink and yellow plastic doo-dads that are over packaged but man-oh-man are they fun for an OCD guy like me to organize in plastic tackle boxes but if managed properly OCD isn’t really a capital D for “disorder” but should be called OCA capital A for “advantage” oh like I was saying you know the 21 compartment boxes we keep our fly tying hooks in and ooooops the pro tube system 40/40 flexi tubes don’t fit in the 21 comp boxes even though the micro tubes do so will have to figure out what to do about that anyway the book is about steelhead flies  but not just about flies because that book has been done to death but about people and steelhead flies and the evolution of the fly tyer and the fly and the heart of the fly tyer and wow that reminds me about the heart of darkness Vietnam obscure reference and there are some really deep places in the hearts and minds of the most talented steelhead fly fishers and fly tyers who we both idolize and pity and how do we approach the really fascinating and terrifying aspects of the steelheader’s passion obsession ultra-focus if we want to keep it upbeat but hell let’s face it no one ever becomes great at anything without making sacrifices and the same is sure true with tying steelhead flies and wading belly-button-deep swinging flies in waters that may or may not hold  chrome side blue back slabs ready to grab a fly or say piss-up-a-rope and so of course steelhead people are just short of salmon people in terms of being complete whackos and then I get all off  on the life history of a fish that has been able to hang on in spite of all the hurt we have inflicted on the rivers and so i am going full tilt  and multi tasking on science writing about fly vises yeah i tied on a thompson model A for decades before i found a regal and then a dyna king and a renzetti and finally a nor vise but the thompson and the regal are sure rock solid hard maybe impossible to really beat and collar hackle materials like marabou and schlappen and how i get cranky when the feather stems get too thick just when i get to the best part of the hackle fibers and such reflecting on how important my family and friends are  to me and the some cool adventures I am going to have in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and every year until i have my next heart attack and get senile and can’t fish like i want and need to and crap-oh-hell and then i get depressed but then i decided to jam in some fun and tie three only three tube leeches but I want to call them tube intruders because that sounds cooler even though I know that my simple tubes don’t really qualify as genuine intruders oh shove-that because I can call them intruders if I damn well want to so there to distract me from the reality of life and the slimy condition of the human race killing the planet by tying Ok four but only four flies and then getting back to the computer winter steelhead flies and stuffing them into my new Eumer tube fly box and putting the cream and pink on the top left side with the shrimp pink and red row underneath and then the blue and purple row on the lower right with the full row of black on the upper right and that will give me two dozen tubes for a single box with trailer hooks in the lid and that should be good for most situations and these are all 4” rabbit and marabou leeches with light cones and Eumer should make a longer box with two rows of needles for my 6” tubes but I guess i will just have to carry the big boys coiled up in a Copenhagen can instead anyway i have been really busy and hope your day is going well too and when I look at the picture at the top of this rant I remember the evening I spent with the salmon this fall and I can imagine them under the surface of this pool even though they would have nothing to do with me and I can feel the tears starting to flow because it is such magic to be on a river with these magnificent fish and god I am afraid that I may not have many more seasons and of course I take my family and friends for granted but they have come to understand that my love for the salmon is what it is and I couldn’t be me if I walked away from the rivers and the fish and oh-boy I have probably gone way to far already so top of the mornin’ to ya all – – – –


3 thoughts on “Just Another Day In Paradise: December 29, 2010

  1. Happy New Year, Jay. May those mighty creatures beneath the murky waters keep tugging at our hearts and teaching us lessons.
    I look forward to reading all that you can write in 2011.

    1. Hey Tyler, really good to hear from you. Thanks for the good karma for the salmon and your encouragement. Looking forward, some day soon I hope, to seeing you again. JN

  2. Happy New Year, Jay……… May 2011 bless you with the mother of all salmon!
    And thank you again for all your hard work and insights during the last year. We all learned a lot and shared some laughs.

    – Mitch

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