As a seasoned angler, I've learned a few things. Preparation is key to a good trip, and I always check (and double check) my gear before hitting the road. Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the Mackinaw River put in spot last Saturday, only to discover Dave forgot the single piece of gear any angler can't do without - his rod. Amateur.
While he hurried home, I enjoyed an hour and a half of peaceful solitude. I watched fish rise - some of them big, I watched deer sip cool water and I didn't catch a damn thing during this period of frustration and tranquility. The fish were rising everywhere and I couldn't convince them to bite any of the half dozen flies I threw.
The day was pretty slow, but the weather and river were great. We spent about eight hours fly fishing downstream and back. By the time we climbed out of the river, we had a mere two fish (well one and a half) counted. I managed this nice 15.5" hybrid striper. He didn't fight much, it was pretty disappointing really.
My bass was in current near an eddy and bit one of the rabbit hair and hackle flies I tied the other day. A few hours later, Dave managed to catch the target species, albeit not the target size.
Dave's was under a log, and succumbed to a Holschlag Hackle fly. It was a pretty crumby trip for me, so I can't imagine how Dave felt. I just keep reminding myself a day fishing is better than.... well most things really.
Next time I think I'll start at the same spot, but work upstream a ways to see what I find. Hopefully by then I have some waterproof waders.
Side note: Last night I read an interesting InFisherman article about how fish utilize their lateral lines in tracking and identifying prey. I learned something I think I can apply to fly fishing and fly tying. If you happen to see the latest copy on the stand, pick it up. The article in question is just a page long and is on one of the first pages. You'll have educated yourself becore the clerk knows what's up.