Monday, May 16, 2011

The Trees Have Eyes

I had a very adventurous afternoon last Friday. I was busy all day as I worked my way up and down the river. There was nothing in particular that I was looking for, it was just fun being out in the warmer weather and the slight bit of sunshine made it even more special. The best part was that there was no one else there to bother me or get in my way until I heard a car door slam.


With great haste I managed to get myself into a predicament where I needed to grab hold of some branches with both hands and steadied my feet for support. Like I said, I was the only one on the river and I am always thinking of safety first.

With quiet trepidation I waited to see what was coming my way. I barely moved and the death grip I had on the branches actually  helped to steady my nerves. I was well camouflaged against a mossy oak background when all of  a sudden someone started talking to me.


"Come on out. I can see you, buddy."


Slowly, very slowly I poked my head from around the tree and realized that my foot had scraped the side of the bark and the noise is what gave my spot away. She sure had good eyes though to spot me 15' up in the pine tree that I had hidden in.

I looked down on her as she commented about my Betty Grable eyes and cute face. Her voice was soothing and I soon realized I didn't have anything to fear. She went back to the car and returned with an apple which she gladly took bites of and tossed them at the bottom of the tree I was in. I totally amazed her as I did an about face and headed back down the tree head first. She laughed aloud as I hit the ground looking for the chunks of apple that I quickly grabbed with my paws and then we shared her late lunch. It was a nice gesture on Mary's part, I rarely get to eat a snack with a human as we racoons like to keep to ourselves.

Eventually,  Mary did get to the river and I watched as she was fishing for some trout using something she called a wholly bugger. There were two different fish that she was going for, one she did mange to hook and a second that broke off, leaving the fly in the fish's lip. Man, that didn't make her happy at all! But she was a good sport and when an eagle landed on a rock scoping things out she stood in rapt attention. She was totally amazed when that bird jumped into the water along the river's edge, grabbed a fish and flew on upstream. She counted her blessings that day and I was one of them!

Imagine that.

So you never know when the trees have eyes and someone, maybe me, will be watching you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Girls gone fishin'

     A friend of mine at a local fly fishing shop had a great idea. She wanted to have a class to teach some gals how to fly fish. Just gals. No guys allowed! Hummm. She explained to me that many times the wives, friends or girlfriends would often come into UpCountry with their husbands, friends and boyfriends. The guys were the ones that were always fishing, the girls just tagged along. So Carol came up with the "Girls Day" for fly fishing. Her vision was to keep it simple, get the gals out on the river, fish and have fun. That  idea sounded pretty interesting to me so I  volunteered my time to help her out.
     So last Saturdy there we were. A group of us gals on the river having a grand ol' time. I met some of the nicest and funniest people and we all got along just great. One lady was there because her son was always talking about fishing and wanted her to go with him. She is 70 years old and ready to take this on. Can you believe it? 70!! Amazing!!! Another gal wanted to learn because her boyfriend always goes and she wanted to be able to have fun with him as well. The reasons were various but the end result was all the same in that they all had the desire to learn.
     We practiced some dry casting on the lawn but it was clear to me that they really wanted to get to the river. Carol brought lunch and after a quick bite and some jokes it didn't take long before we headed down to the water.
     We broke off into groups and spread out, each of the newbies getting a feel of the water. Soon enough there were a few hendricksons flying around which they all thought was pretty cool. They thought it was cool to see the real fly and compare it to the one on the end of their line. I had decided not to fish simply because I wanted to watch. I wanted to see someone land their first fish.
    It wasn't too long before one of the gals hooked a decent brown trout and then a second one shortly after that. Score!!  Then another gal just above use hooked one. The two of 'em couldn't believe it. They wasted no time in getting the fly back out on the water because they wanted more.
     Like all good things the afternoon seemed to go by too fast. We walked back up to the cars, all the while gabbing like we had been friends forever. We exchanged emails and phone numbers and hopefully, with a little luck, we will get together during the summer and fish some more.
     Many thanks to Carol and UpCountry for putting this together. What a great idea.

Crazy pic of girls gone fishin'