I played "fly fishing guide" last weekend, and God bless them for all the hard work they do. I don't know how in some instances they don't end up grabbing a sport's rod and throwing it into the creek and calling it a day.
The last time I went out fishing with my friend, we ended up at Urgent Care, as the attending physician worked a size 12 Tiemco out of their finger and the "you're supposed to catch the fish, not yourself" jokes made their rounds throughout the room. They also learned another valuable lesson, and that was not to step on green rocks in the middle of the creek, lest you want to fall on your backside. Needless to say, it was a learning experience for the both of us. I learned that a good fishing partner is extremely hard to find, and they learned why I crimp all my barbs religiously. So, when I heard they wanted to go out again this weekend, you could say I was a bit surprised.
Now, I could've dragged them out to SARL, or Irvine or the other "put and take" waters that we have around these parts, but then that would have equated to torture for me, and I prefer my torture to come between the hours of 9 to 5, m-f, or what I like to call, "work." I've had a particular area dialed in deep in the mountains, so we ended up taking the 90 minute trek from DTLA in hopes that today's session didn't conclude with another trip to an Urgent Care facility.
You have two options to travel up and downstream here.
If you are a fan of hypothermia and falling on your ass, you can follow the stream, but you'll be wet within 10 minutes once a huge granite outcropping impedes your progress, and a stream crossing is necessary.
If you're a fan of rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, stinging nettles, and possibly bears, you can try your luck with the game trails that traverse the canyon.
Take your pick.
Because I soil my pantaloons at the very sight of a rattlesnake, I've chosen to make my way up and down the creek by rock hopping, knowing full well that ending up in the drink is a matter of when
, and not if
. Unfortunately, I'm still under the impression that everybody can rock hop at the pace I do, so frustration sets in when you've traveled 100 feet downstream, only to find your lucky companion is still trying to navigate their rod out of the vehicle. Good luck with the willow trees.
So, while my friend finally made their way downstream, I sat there relaxing with my thoughts and staring into some pocket water. Of course, the biggest fish I've seen in this particular creek, and a few of his buddies, had made this spot their home, and precisely at that moment, I was presented with a moral dilemma.
Part of me thought, "Cmon, you're trying to get your friend on some fish. Why don't you wait the 30 minutes it's going to take for them to actually get to you and this spot, and let them cast first."
The other part began investigating an angle that would allow me to get my dry dropper on them, without spooking them in the process. My first ever 'bow and arrow' cast was executed perfectly, and resulted in my biggest 'bow that I've managed from our tiny little streams:
My buddy? She got a few fish to go, but still hasn't understood the value of a stealthy presentation.
But hey, at least they avoided a trip to Urgent Care that day.