Sips are great, those matter-of-fact top water takes – no wasted motion, no unnecessary airtime. They’re discreet, business-like and well-mannered. You can almost imagine a trout dabbing his lips with a napkin after a sip.
Slurps are fun too, partly because they seem so mischievous, like opening a trapdoor under a pizza. The bug is riding along on the surface one moment, then falling into a hole in the river the next.
Everyone loves the flying leap, so playful and exuberant. It’s adolescent to be sure, but so is rock and roll. Headlong abandon is contagious, no matter who brings it to the table.
The subsurface intercept is more of an acquired taste, for a nuanced connoisseur. There’s little drama in a head turn or short gliding strafe. But such eats are the bread and butter of the fly angler’s craft and worthy of studied appreciation.
For all the ways a trout can take a fly though, for my money, nothing beats the holy-hell, who’s your mama, Katie bar the door, pushing a bow-wake, feeling it in your nether regions, adrenaline spiked, full can of whoop-ass, smack-down attacks that come in the Fall.
I assume the phenomenon has something to do with brown’s, brookies and lakers being in the rut. Or maybe it’s the coming winter scarcity inspiring the next level of urgency. I’m not a biologist. I don’t know.
What I do know is that the chance to dance like that, is not to be missed. And though the card fills up fast each autumn with birds, elk, deer and pronghorn, it’s worth setting aside a few days for the aquatic hunters too… and buckling up when you do.