Friday, September 24, 2010

Hard Work Pays Off (and other lies your parents told you)

It has been a few weeks ago now that I got my ass kicked out on Clear Creek. Had the entire day to figure things out and turn my fortunes around. It was a week day, too…so I had the canyon all to myself. No excuses. There was nothing hatching, but so what? I didn’t want to fish dries anyhow. I dredged the whole damned canyon with nymphs and streamers. All I could find were little brown trout only slightly larger than the streamers I was heaving. But I knew I had a pocket pair of aces up my sleeve. And they were not a box of hot new flies, or (heaven forbid) natural fishing talent. No, sir. My only trump cards—on a river and in life in general—have always just been stubbornness and persistence. So, I put my head down and ground out the rest of the day on Clear Creek. I re-rigged. I waded into all the hard spots. I Czech nymphed. Then I added split shot. Then I dug deep into the bottom of my pack…looked around to be sure no one was watching from up on the road…and tied on a strike indicator. And on the next drift a very large brown trout rose and ate my bobber. Instinctively I set the hook and foul hooked the fish in the tail with one of my dropper nymphs. I fought the snagged trout for a second or two…then snapped off the entire rig. Awesome. Just fucking awesome. But I did not quit. I waded to shore…slipping and falling in over the top of my waders and bashing my bad knee hard enough to wilt me into a little, fetal ball in about eight inches of water. And I still did not quit. Once I was done writhing in pain and wringing out my wet shirt…and vowing to strangle whomever it was at Simms who felt the new Vibram soles on wading boots was a good idea…I re-rigged and kept after it like it was my business. I kept at it because it is my nature. It is what I do. It is because I have always been assured that hard work pays off…or will set me free? Arbeit Macht Frei. Yup. Total bullshit. Will just set you up to have your tattoos turned into lampshades... More often than not all your hard work will get you is a poorly-focused photo of a river and a noticeable limp. But you never dream of throwing in the towel, do ya?

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