It is really quite impossible to put words to the collective amount of mojo and trilobal we're going to smear all over the fabled waters of the North Umpqua. I can only describe it now in terms of whats been done and whats been felt, not what will be. For one, I have trilobal under my toenails, really, the shit is everywhere, I think there is even a piece lodged in my choad and I swear I tie clothed. The trimmed deer hair of muddler heads and other assorted spun wakers is much more manageable, but still, everywhere I go, it goes...static is a bitch. My fly boxes have likely never looked this nice, at least not from my doing. I have even started to put the bullshit into my flies that I personally don't think matters, like a piece of wood duck, or some pretty pheasant or a couple polar bear hairs, all done just in case. Just in case the fish really are as snooty as they are in my mind, like they are finning down there behind a rock and a fly comes into their window and they think, "ha, who is this amateur? he subbed schlappen for rhea? no fucking jungle cock? cheap saddle hackle tips? rookie." Really, this is what my mind has done with these fish, it's pretty fucked up since I'm the kind of guy who strips deer hair mice on the middle of a lake during a hex hatch, just cause, or fishes a big ass foam, rubber legged terrestrial through a hatch of sz. 18 BWOs...why, because it works. I am sure the same type of shit applies to the steelhead on the NU as to the trout of sconny, the fish usually don't really care if its ugly as long as its edible...usually. And that is the reason I'm spending 15 minutes a fly instead of 5. It's been this "just in case" reasoning. I'll look at a fly and think, 'I don't need to add the pheasant', then think, 'just in case' and I tie it in. Just in case the fish are thinkers. Weird shit man.
Above and beyond all that is the fact that I will be spending 7 days straight on the river, sunday to sunday. It won't really matter how many fish I move or hook or land. It'll kinda matter though, as much as I tell myself otherwise. The goal is to define the trip in another way, not by numbers of fish but by gained knowledge and the experience. Given the crew I will be spending the days with I can guarantee there will be knowledge to be had, and I'm gonna get me some. And on that river the experience is likewise guaranteed, my casting will improve as will my ability to read and wade that fucked up ledgerocky river. And that, ladys and stains, is the purpose of the post. To remind myself that it's not all about the fish. It's not all about the fish. It's not all about the fish. Though, I should say, my 25 year old mind has a severe issue with those sentences, it says, "then why the fuck do you have trilobal in your choad?" And I have no answer, except that it seems to me almost all the rickety old guys of fishing say or write that very thing...it's not all about the fish...and I have this feeling that there is a whole new dimension of fishing reality if you can get your mind to that place. So, I will try.
Disclaimer: If a steelhead eats my dry fly, the "it's not about the fish" shit will be a lost cause! Check back in a couple weeks for my reflection. peace out fools.