It's about this time of year that I start to wish it was spring.
Yeah, I know. I'm not alone.
I wish I could just load up the waders in the back of the truck, tuck some flies in my vest and head off to the river. I might be able to do that now, but not without long johns, a hat, scarf and those annoying little gloves with the fingertips cut off. I'm sure people like them; I see others wear them all the time. I don't get it.
But I can't.
Surely I can do better than a fly-fishing sport show (although that can be really fun and informative), or plopping down in front of the television to watch someone else have fun (which usually leads to a nap). For the past several years I've headed to the basement – yes, the same one we use as our naturally air-conditioned oasis in the summer – and open the drawers on the fly-tying table.
Funny, but it's a cyclical thing. I don't head down there in the heat of the summer, when it would be a welcomed break. I don't usually go down there before the new year. Maybe I'm just hanging on to the last remnants of the old year. But after Jan. 1, we all start looking for the new – new year, new fishing experiences, new abilities to do the things we couldn't last year.
Picking up a book – perhaps one I've gotten for Christmas – I'll look at a new fly, something a little flashy; something, of course, guaranteed to catch tons of fish. The first few (OK, maybe the first dozen) will be pretty suspect. Hopefully, I can weed out the stupid trout with these early in the season. They'll look better when I get my tying fingers under me again. If I can just work through those first few flies, it'll be like riding a bike, albeit with a few skinned knees.
I try those outlandish flies, tie a few, put them in the box. But it will, most likely, come back to my old standard fly.
The yellow Adams.
We all have a "go-to" fly. I guess I've probably got two – Charlie Meck's Green Weenie and the yellow Adams. I'll tie the Weenie when things aren't going well and I've just really messed up one of those flashy flies. Ya gotta love lime green chenille.
But in tying the Adams, I'll use a few more skills. And, truth be told, get a little more satisfaction out of it.
I know, there are certain times of the year when you just "have to" use a certain fly in a certain size – as I witnessed last year on the Ausable during the trico hatch. Steve and I tried everything, snipping and cutting everything we had in our vests (with the exception of the No. 28 tricos, which we didn't have). They weren't taking it.
But I have had luck with the yellow Adams. While it might not be a Meck creation, it imitates any number of foods on the trout buffet and I usually pull it out when nothing else will work. The results can be hit and miss, but when the trout hit – boy do they hit.
I pulled it out on a different stretch of the Ausable one night when I couldn't see to tie on the size 22 blue winged olive emergers the fish were supposed to have been taking.
That's why I need to tie more; the fish and I had some fun that night, leaving me with several shredded Adams.
So while I guess I'm wishing for spring, I guess I could give it a month or two. I've got some work to do.