It began as a very unexpected invite. Unexpected, but greatly appreciated. I was to join a group of highly educated professionals on a famous Pennsylvania trout stream for two days of camaraderie, wine, beef tenderloin and hopefully a trout or two. For the most part, my soon to be friends were known to me only by their expensive professional pedigrees. Donít get me wrong...Iím not against pedigrees. I had a Brittany once that had a good one. Fine dog, indeed. But back to my story.
Upon arrival at the famous but unnamed cabin, I climbed the steps to a front porch decked out like an Orvis shop. Many company stores would have been envious of the display. The latest hi-tech rods, vests, waders, boots, fly boxes, landing nets, fly assortments, leaders, tippets, hats...you name it, they had it, and the guys standing around admiring and comparing their well designed display and personal accoutrements were talking about bugs...I think.
I hadnít heard Latin to that extent since I mistakenly entered the wrong, very wrong, classroom back in my high school days. Iím certain that they were talking about the bugs in the famous unnamed stream, because Iíd occasionally hear the word ďtroutĒ or ďfishĒ interspersed in their conversations. I should add that this famous unnamed stream was not an inexpensive place to go. It was private water of the highest quality, so I was certain that it must contain some very special bugs, and my comrades were obviously fascinated with them.
It started raining that afternoon. Rained all night...not hard really, but enough rain to give the stream some color. This didnít go over well with my new pals, but it excited me. For you see, I have never been into matching the hatch. Iím into throwing big ugly things at big pretty things, and the water that was suddenly not gin clear, suited me to a T.
The next day, as they trudged along the stream lamenting the lack of bugs, I was in a literal hog heaven. It was a day that Iíll remember for a long, long time...but it was going to get better towards sundown.
Around 6PM the sun broke out just as I was fishing my way back to the cabin. I could see my forlorn friends standing on the porch, sipping their Chablis when what looked like a fog rose from the water. I heard the hollering and saw each of them frantically rummaging through their vests looking for what turned out to be....would you believe, butterfly nets!
What followed was a site to behold. Five grown men, decked out in their rubber pants (as my wife calls them) giggling and shouting like school-girls as they scampered across the yard to the stream swatting the air with delight as they captured, compared and commented on their marvelous bugs.
I must say that the mood of that bunch improved considerably, as they spent the remaining few hours of sunlight catching up to my total for the day. I was worn out by then anyway, allowing me to sit comfortably on a handy park bench and witness the spectacle. Crazy people in rubber pants. Yes we are.
The Angling Art of Alan Folger