Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dozin in a Tornado Watch

It was while dozing in the embrace of thunder rumblings, unaware of a tornado watch imposed by the weather gurus, that I remembered forty or more April Fools' Days that marked the first day of trout season in the mountains.
Now...if you do not believe it is possible to doze through a tornado watch, listen to these points:

(a) My mother took me to a big window in the middle of an electrical storm when I was about six and intoned: "No use to be scared of thunder, because if you can hear the thunder, the lightning that comes with it has already struck somebody or somewhere else...." Then she showed me how to count Chattahoochees to see how far away the lightning was.

(b) I am mostly deaf...
Back to April Fools day trout-seeking, Of the forty or more opening days, only about 16 were truly fruitful where the creel weight was concerned. Half of them were rainy and somewhat windy (from the East--falling pressure). And, I never did well in a trout stream in the rain. Plethora of natural food coming downstream, you know.

But I HAD to go. The Brits have their August 12 for grouse. I had April Fools' Day for rainbow and brook trout.

My beautiful Betts, pf the snagged waders and prize rainbow in the Nantahala went with me on the first (and her ONLY) April 1 after we wed and her pronunciamento was "They picked the right day for you trout nuts !"

One misty day, I invited an old Indian dog trainer, Bert Black, originally from Big Cabin, Oklahoma, to go with me.

(They ain't no rainbow in Oklahoma" I thought.)

Well, when we got to the river, Bert took an old mildewed fly-purse with moth-eaten shearling lining out of his jacket. It had four warped black dry flies in it. No assortment..just the tawdry, inky curiosities.

"Oh, heck Bert," I said. "Lemme give you some of my worms...a couple of my spring lizards...."

He laughed, shook his head, ties on the sorry looking thing and we split up. He even went downstream.

Three hours later, we met at the car. I had one diet sized specimen. Bert had five rainbows, from 10 to 14 inches. Natives, colored like their appellation.

I stood there in the misty morning...educated again.
And I never found out how he did it. There isn't any larvae "stickbait" available in early April, is there? I didn't see any grasshoppers or crickets around for him to "tip" with.

It was just another April Fools' Day in the Appalachians.

No comments: