Thursday, November 09, 2006
Madison Finale: Day Three
Sculpty the Woolhead Sculpin
Last night Sven cooked enough tortellini to feed an army. Way to much for our small detachment but we piled it onto our plates anyways and smothered it in garlic infused, marinara meat sauce. Good stuff. Currently an odor reminiscent of that meal wafts out of my waders. I hope that it doesn't attract any bears.
The old men are lined up on the bank near The Geezer Hole. I walk down stream of them a ways before I cross over. The character of the river begins to change as I hike into an area known as Beaver Meadows. The stream gradient flattens out allowing the river to wander across the valley floor. The resulting bends and pools make good holding water for the big rainbows and browns that are migrating up from the lake.
I cast my sculpin pattern across the river. A deep slot cuts against the bank on the far side. My cast is such that the fly will drift sideways in the current, showing its full profile to any fish layed up there. I've found a perfect stretch of water and my presentation is flawless yet I'm still taken by surprise when the fish takes.
Rarely does an angler of trouts feel such a hard pull at the end of his line. The big trout erupts through the surface exposing her spotted brown flanks as she twists from side to side. She zigs and zags across the run, my line slashing through the water behind her. I now know how big and beautiful this fish is but I'm unsure of whether or not I'll land her. I manage to keep it together.
Minutes later I slide the gravid beauty headfirst into the current. Fully rested and recovered she swims effortlessly towards the stream bottom, her twenty inch long form fades into the depth.
I hooked at least six more of those big run-up trouts this afternoon, of those I landed four, one rainbow and three more browns. Walking back to my truck I recall how I presented the fly and how each fish took it. My fly was swung, dead drifted and stripped up, down and across the stream. I cannot decipher which presentation those fish prefer but I have determined that they are fond of sculpins and will take them any way they can get at 'em.