Sunday, October 30, 2011


Cuban Brown & Algerian Buff
with a little umber arundinaria
.. As we enter the last week of fishing in Yellowstone National Park we contemplate the past season and anticipate the next. We celebrate each season's end with a couple of fine bits of Cuban Culture, some personally selected North African Tree Bark, and a bit of oriental grass, (no not that kind.)
.. Personal traditions are weirdly idiosyncratic and demand no justification. An explanation may suffice.
.. Nearly 50 years ago we fished the fall runners on the Madison River with a rod that we assembled in our basement, and smoked our first Cuban cigar.
.. To this day we drag out the old Orvis 8 weight blank that we nailed together with bits and pieces from friends and neighbors.
.. The grip was assembled from cork scraps that we sent home from a then recent expedition in Algeria. It's been sanded to within an inch of it's useful life and looks it.
.. We're sentimental enough to fish today with the same flies we did then and, with some of the same old reels and funky lines of the past.
.. On rare occasion, (not this year,) we put Mr. Young's finest to the test with a well honed bit of silk and horsehair.
.. It pleases us and we go about our business in a nostalgic fog. We usually catch some fish but interestingly, that seems less and less important as the years go by. . .
.. If we had some 'Seal Dry' waders we'd put the clammy old rubber to the test. Not too sadly, though, they have gone the way of all flesh rubber.
.. The neighbors of a certain age humor us. They are kind enough to giggle and chortle behind our backs. Others have less appreciation as they question our choice of rod, line, fly, etc.
.. Woolly Worm, Scarlet Ibis, Wet March Brown, Wet Royal Coachman, Wickham's Fancy, and many others fail to ring true in the face of contemporary verbiage.
.. We're yet to be convinced that a 'crinkled-tail, hoary thorax, zipidedon hackled strangler,' is much better for fooling fish than a Dark Spruce Fly or a Gray Ghost. Besides that we've got a dozen or so jungle cock capes to use up before we're done.
.. The giant fish from Hebgen Lake are late arriving this year - that's the bad news. There seem to be more of them - at least the 20" and smaller ones this year - that's the good news.
.. We've taken a few and even some fish from other than the Madison River. Not a single fly had synthetic material. Silk thread works just fine, thank you.
.. The explosion in Biscuit Basin has produced some new thermal features, a bit of murky hot water and combined a couple of hot springs. Maybe we'll fish visit there.
.. Well, it's cold and overcast is predicted. We're going to drink two pots of coffee, eat fried eggs and potatoes, slather some toast with real butter, and use real cream in the coffee - laced with refined white sugar.
.. Our sack lunch today includes a white bread sandwich with bacon, bologna, and real mayonnaise. We're putting in two three four double Snickers bars and some pepperoni sticks as well.
.. We will be getting a rather late start: our appointment with the hair stylist is for 9:30 AM. We need to sell about a half-dozen Whiting capes to generate enough cash for the winter. Should bring between $3,000 and $5,000 if we're lucky.
.. The key lime pie should be thawed by 10:00 and we'll eat it with spoons made of Nutter Butter cookies. We may even fish some.