Taming A Unicorn

My wife nodded her head patiently, said nothing, and agreed to go along. She hid her skepticism well. We’ve been down this road before. The results have been predictable. In the end it’s just a fickle beast, but I was beginning to think it was a Unicorn. Despite my best efforts, hitting the salmonfly hatch just right on my home water had evaded me for years. The variables have been many.

-No bugs.

-Too many bugs.

-Flows too high or low.

-The river is blown out.

-The fish are gorged.

-Behind the hatch.

-In front of the hatch.

-No hatch at all.

-Everything is just right and they just won’t eat.


At first it just seemed like a good idea, then it became something of an obsession. Finally it all came together. In the end the recipe for success was the same as for elk hunting — lots of time and luck. Like many times before, the variables all seemed to be coming together. The only difference is this time they ate. Big fish discarded their every day decorum for the chance to slam a gaudy black and orange hunk of protein.

I caught my share, just to convince myself it was real, then was content to row, man the net, exchange high fives and hoot and holler with an ear-to-ear grin for the remainder of the day. The pure joy of the occasion was nearly equaled by the satisfaction of finally getting it right.

It’s why we keep coming back.



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