Vail Daily letter: Hooked you
January 19, 2013
Imagine it’s mid June and the Eagle River is having one of its famous caddis fly hatches, bugs fluttering around everywhere. Each bug is being eyed by an aggressive hungry trout.
You are standing on the river bank in your waders. The river’s run-off has subsided enough so that you don’t fear for your life just standing by the raging waters. Your favorite caddis dry fly imitation that you tied on a cold day in February is attached to the end of your line.
You carefully get yourself in a position to make the perfect cast that will not spook the fish and places your caddis fly imitation up stream and in the proper feeding lane of the trout. You confidently make your cast. After five minutes or so of getting your fly untangled out of the bush you failed to notice behind you, you once more make your cast.
Your fly lands in the proper feeding lane, and you quickly mend your line up stream to prevent any unnatural drag on the drift of the fly. As your fly drifts in a perfect presentation toward the trout, you see him slowly moving upward and eyeing your fly.
Then it happens, the trout moves so fast you can hardly believe it. He hammers your fly in an explosion of fish and water. Now, if you haven’t totally panicked and are still on your feet, you will have stripped in slack line off the water, lifted the fly rod tip and feel the weight on the fish in your hands.
To me that moment when you have fooled the trout into taking your fly is the most exciting part of the fly fishing experience.
I see this as a great analogy to the anticipation and excitement that happens in the minds of those that write letters to the editor using provocative language. The excitement is to see the reaction to the fishing expedition. I know, I recently wrote a provocative letter that started off with a benign reference to God and our children (the perfect cast) and presented a reference along the lines of how the devil gave us Wayne LaPierre and the NRA (the bait).
Little did I anticipate that the bait would be taken by my good friend Tim O’Brien. And did he ever hit the bait hard! He gave me quite the shellacking.
So Tim, if you are still fumbling around with that hook in your mouth, let me know. I have a very good hook extractor that I use to remove big bunny fly hooks out of the toothy grins of Northern Pike.
Pike on the fly. Now that takes the excitement to a whole new level.