BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 14

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED

Bass fi shing

THE

most memorable shing experiences aren’t always the ones that brought you the most success. For example, the time you got that sh hook in your hand or when you lled up your chest waders with spring-fed river water stick with you more than that time you got your limit of bass or nally out- shed your buddies. Now that I think about it, you never forget those times you out- sh anyone. One trip comes to mind where I was on a story assignment for an outdoor magazine, tagging along with a guide and two of his clients on a small mountain lake lled with largemouth bass and big rainbow trout. Upon arriving at the lake, it turned out there wasn’t enough room in the boat for all four of us. Not being a pay- ing customer, I walked away pouting and shed from shore with my spinning gear. The clients pulled out their y rods and engaged in fancy whip-like casts, appearing more apt at roping dogies than catching sh. Their lines spent more time in the air than in the wa- ter, which left me wondering if they had a better chance at hooking into a ock of migrating birds. Not realizing how voices can carry across water, these guys bragged to the guide about their y-tying prowess and how the outdoor writer trudging through cattails at the other end of the lake was wasting his time casting spinners, crankbaits and plastic grubs. The rest of their comments, however, were drowned out by the splashing sound of a plump rainbow trout on my line. They gave me a passing glance. I could hear them spewing terminology such as beadhead, woolly-nymphed, elk-haired, parachute caddis, green-draked scud buggers, while another of my casts yielded another nice trout (It seems you need a Ph.D. in entomology nowadays before even considering touching a y rod). This time the y anglers looked on with a bit more curiosity. They were probably thinking something like “lucky cast” or “I bet he wishes he was in this boat”. There appears to be no less than 2,000 names for all the dry ies, wet ies, nymphs and streamers that these guys had on them. Some even sound- ed quite frightening. For example, the Green Butt Skunk is a popular y used for steelhead. I’m not sure I want to run into a Green Butt Skunk or one of any other color for that matter. The Woolly Bugger is another com- mon y they used for trout. I offered a word of advice to them -- be extra careful on your backcasts, especially in the pres- ence of others. It could be quite embarrass- ing being caught pulling a Woolly Bugger out of your ear, let alone your nose. Sunlight glistened off their tippets and gossamer leaders as I pulled several more rain- bows to shore. Now they looked concerned. The

B Y S C O T T S TA AT S

on the f ly?

I L L U S T R AT E D B Y CHRIS ARMSTRONG

monotonous casting and catching of trout on the spinner prompt- ed me to switch to the twin-tailed plastic grub to see if the bass were hitting. Within a few casts, a 3-pound largemouth struck from the edge of the cattails. I started to feel a little sorry for these guys, but that sorrow quickly faded as another nice bass hit. I gured these y-guys must have paid over $200 each to sh this private lake, not to mention the money they paid for their expensive rods, reels and other y shing paraphernalia. And to see the lowly spin- sherman landing all these sh while they hadn’t a hit didn’t make them very happy. When the guide pulled the boat up to me as I landed another nice largemouth, one of the clients cleared his throat and asked the guide in a quiet voice, “Um, ah, got any more of those, ah, twin-tailed grubs?” The guide pulled out two spinning rods and tied on some grubs while they sheepishly set aside their rods and vast stores of ies. The two clients began catching bass and trout and were whoopin’ it up like a pair of excited 8-year olds catching their rst sh. Not much more was mentioned about y shing the rest of the day. By the two clients, that is. I do recall mentioning some- thing about an over-rated technique of shing on the ride home. Several times in fact. The moral of the story? If you’re a shing guide, make sure you always save a seat in your boat for the outdoor writer. BW

14

«

January/February 2011