Monday, November 24, 2008

The Secret to Understanding Women

The million dollar question men always want answered is "What do women really want and how do I understand them?" Being a woman myself, I believe I can usher in some valuable insight. If you understand fish, you know all there is to know about women.

This weekend I was very excited to get out and go fishing. Why? Because I had the new secret weapon. I invented a custom made sow bug. The fish I'm after these days are all about sow bugs. They love them.

The sow bug I currently use is a pattern from the local fly shop. It's called a PMS (ironic, I know). It's a light tan-ish grey color with a hot pink head. The fly works very well, but I knew that I could come up with something better. Those fish would want my fly, they just didn't know it yet.

Little known fact: I keep bug samples from the local river in little glass jars in my sock drawer.
When I designed my new fly I pulled out all the stops. I matched the exact color. I matched the exact size. I put little antennae and tails on it. I could hardly tell which one was real (well, almost). I even weighted the thing with lead on the hook before I tied it up so the 'drift' would be perfect. I tied up about ten of them because I was sure it was going to be the next great pattern. I had to make sure I had enough for myself and for the other fly fishermen on the stream that were sure to come begging for them.

I can't tell you how excited I was to try out my new fly. I had to hold back from pushing my husband out of the way to get to the best part of the river first. I was finally there. I was standing in the river in the best hole and now I was going to catch so many fish my head would spin.

Long story short I fished for an hour with my new fly. During that time my husband caught several fish on the good old standby... the PMS. I didn't catch anything. With great hesitation and sadness, I finally gave in. Those fish did not want what I had. They didn't care how much love and care and meticulous planning and effort went into making it. They didn't want it and that was that. I swallowed my pride, put on a PMS and caught fish.

Now for you men out there that are completely confused... stay with me. I'm about to answer your question. What do women want and how do you understand them?

Why does a fish readily eat something that looks nothing like a sow bug and ignore my fly that looks like the real thing? Why will a fish eat a flashing spinning gold rectangle with red dots on it and not a lure that looks exactly like a fish? Why? BECAUSE THEY CAN. Because they know it frustrates the hell out of you and somehow makes you want more. Figuring out what they want is the fun part. Trying to win them over with what you've got is the whole reason for fishing. It's too easy to just go with what you know works. It's the thrill of the hunt. If I told you what us women want and what makes us tick, it'd take all the fun out of it. It's part of the game and you know you like it. That's why you keep coming back for more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foul Hooked Whitey

Right now I'm sitting at my desk at work, thinking about my fly fishing trip up on the Weber River this last weekend, and smelling the empty plastic container that held my spaghetti lunch just a few hours ago. During lunch the savory smell of the spaghetti was heaven to my senses as I wolfed down the noodles to fill my empty growling stomach. Now the container has been sitting on my desk for a few hours and the smell has become more of a putrid nuisance. Apparently it is too difficult for me to rinse out the thin coating of spicy tomato sauce that lingers on the sides of the dish. I prefer to sit here and be disgusted and annoyed. Funny how an empty spaghetti container can bring me back to fishing. Of course, just about anything can make me think of fishing.

Not more than a couple weeks ago, I thought I had conquered my Weber River nemesis. It became my favorite spot. It had everything I had ever dreamed of: beautiful surroundings, close proximity to my home, plentiful fish that I could catch. Not much has changed really, except for the fact that although it still contains plentiful fish, I can no longer catch them.

But that alone isn't exactly true. I caught fish there, just not legally. You want a foul hooked whitey? Coming right up! This week I didn't catch a single fish by hooking it in the mouth. Not one. Foul hooking fish (on accident, I might add) isn't quite as bad as getting skunked, but it's right up there on the same level.

In each hole I fished, I could see at least 15-20 whitefish. You'd think at least one of them would be dumb enough to eat my raggedy looking sow bug. I watched as the school of fish purposely dodged my flies and lined up to let them pass by. At least I gave them some exercise. Sure I may have been too lazy to tie up some decent looking sow bugs before I left that afternoon, but should I really have been punished so harshly?

What chaps me more than anything is that I know whenever I have a less than stellar fishing trip, 90% of the time it's my own fault. Just like this smelly spaghetti container sitting under my nose, I sit here and suffer because I'm too indolent to fix the real problem. It's impossible to be a phenomenal fisherman and remiss at the same time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Had To!

OK so I know you're all like, "Why doesn't she write about anything but fishing?.... BORING......" Well my answer is... TOO BAD! That's the only exciting thing I ever get to do so that means you all get to hear about it!

I mainly just wanted to post the pictures and brag about the gigantic fish that Seth and I caught last weekend, so if that means I have to write a little bit then so be it. In all fairness, Seth kicked my butt on this trip. I had a pretty crappy go of it until the very end of the day when I caught a huge rainbow. They all seemed to be lining up to jump onto Seth's line. Oh well, I've had my fair share of extremely good fishing days, so I figured I'd let him have one!

We fished on the inlet of Echo Reservoir (I believe it's still considered the Weber River up there). I spent most of my day being pissed off and untangling my line. Seth spent the day whooping and hollering about another giant fish. He was pretty excited and having a lot of fun, so I still had a good time nonetheless.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Need

I miss the emotions I felt as a kid. I watch old home videos of Christmas mornings when I was growing up and almost feel sad for the loss of the ability to exude pure thrill. I can't figure out why I have such a hard time showing people my genuine appreciation for things that they do... showing and telling them how much I love and adore them. There never seems to be words to say how you feel and really get across that deep emotion. Maybe we are so afraid of looking foolish or being rejected that we hold back. We hold back our thoughts, feelings and inner reactions to events in our lives because we are afraid of how other people will see us. Children don't have those fears; they let the world see everything.

Recently I found a path back to those childhood emotions that eluded me. The genuine show of feeling that you need to express or you will explode. Something so intense that there is no time for your brain to stop and ask for approval of the display that is to come.

It's amazing.... Amazing how much a fish can change your emotions. The frustration, anger, pain, madness, embarrassment, rage, joy, elation, happiness, hope, excitement, camaraderie, euphoria, satisfaction and pride that you feel, all because of one little fish.

If you fish, I mean REALLY fish, you know what I mean. How you can be out in the fresh cool water of a river on a chilly fall day and just look in awe at your surroundings. How your heart jumps when you see the first fish of the day dart from under your feet to the dark eaves at the edge of the water. The indescribable joy and excitement that comes from landing that trout you've been after all day. The anger and frustration you feel when everybody seems to be catching those once-in-a-lifetime fish but you. How you can be ready to break your rod in half and go home when a tiny six inch Brown jumps on your fly and teases you into staying six more hours.

That rush of childhood emotion... that's what it is. It's what keeps us all coming back for more. It's our drug, our addiction. We need it.

Meet the Fishing Pros

As many of you know, Seth and I have been taking a fly fishing class. We learned mainly how to fish with nymphs and even learned how to tie our own flys! (You can see one of the beautiful flies I tied in the mouth of the fish above!) We had our last class this past Monday, and on Saturday we went on a class field trip up on the Weber River to practice our skills.

As part of the field trip, the teacher and a few of his helpers would work their way around to all the students to make sure they had their rods and line set up correctly, the casting was good, and most importantly, that they caught a fish.

Seth did really well the whole time and caught a lot of fish from beginning to end. It took me a little while to get the hang of things, but after a very frustrating hour or so, I too began to get the rhythm down and caught fish as well.

We caught browns and whitefish... some in the mouth and others foul hooked in various places. We had a great time and actually ended up going there again ourselves the next day. We couldn't believe how many fish we could see in the water. We were catching them pretty regularly and they were fighting really hard. It was one of the best times I've ever had fishing.