Dad and Mom before she hit the ejection button…
… was this. Dad would ride with me, early in the morning, to a spot on the Madison or Firehole in the park, drop me off and return to pick me up at dusk.
On the first morning, Dad left me where we had parked the day before. It was clear; the temps were in the low 60’s as I watched a flock of Canadian Geese course up the river as I set up my Leonard. I waded into the current and placed several casts of the miniscule yellow mayfly along a center streambed of moss.
Around my third drift, a good fish rose to my offering and pushed upstream. I attempted to turn what was now a very heavy fish before it made the safety of the moss. “Damn”, I muttered as it dove into the vegetation. I had not positioned myself properly to turn my prey away from its safe haven. I spent the next five minutes moving up and down the bank pressuring the fish. I let the line go slack. With a rush, the fish turned down river. I couldn’t stop him. I panicked. The fish was into my backing. At that moment, the fish gave a headshake and the tippet popped. “Maybe five pounds”, I said to myself.
I spent the rest of the day thrashing about with two small Browns to hand. Late in the afternoon, I walked down the road along the Firehole to a large pool I had seen when my Dad and I came up in the morning. I cut back my leader to 3x and tied on a wet Royal Coachman streamer, size # 6 . I clipped its wing to a stub (a trick Frank Arcularius used on the upper Owens River) and proceeded to cast, quartering downstream.
ROYAL COACHMAN STREAMER – (un-clipped wing)
I used a hand twist retrieve initially as the fly swung below me. Then, sped up the speed on subsequent casts. When I had the fly moving at about 4-6 inches per second, the first of a series of small Browns pounced. I was releasing the sixth fish when I heard a horn honk and turned to the road to see my Dad pulling off the road to pick me up. It was almost dark.
On the way back to West Yellowstone, Father reported his exploits at a new town watering hole. My Dad was 65. He was handsome, charming and a good storyteller. It seems a bevy of babes at the local leather sewer had warmed up to him. He insisted that I accompany him back to HQ and meet them. He was right; they were BABES and all in their twenties. They wouldn’t give ME the time of day…
The Story continues here: