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Thursday, May 28, 2009

We are testing the MK hypothesis...

"You cannot golf and fly fish without being bad at both." - MK

Escanaba river below Boney Falls dam

One part of the MK hypothesis was tested on the Escanaba River at Boney Falls this evening...

Fly Fisherman? Golfer? Poseur?

This is a pretty stretch of the Escanaba - wide, flat, fed by cold springs, buffered by limestone, and after two days of rain - running high.

MK fishes upstream...


... and catches a brown trout.

MK said the water was as high as he had ever seen it. He guided me to a couple of "newbie safe" spots, minimizing the likelihood of my falling into the "dynamite hole".

We fished until sunset. I had one strike. MK caught and released one fish - a 10" brown. We spend more that two hours in the middle of the icy cold river, casting to the far bank. Many insects and hatches were in evidence on and near the surface.

The remarkable thing - fish were rising all around us. They were jumping in front of us, behind us, next to us. Many were well within my limited casting range. Sometimes two at once. Some as close as seven feet. MK reported that he tried 15 different flies. I tried two different flies and, at the end of the day attempted to switch to a third. The fading light, my failing eyesight and shivering hands conspired to keep the leader out of the eyelet and sent me back to shore.

What to conclude regarding the hypothesis? I'll leave it to The Reader to decide. MK caught one fish and I was skunked, but MK was equally frustrated by his performance, given the level of activity in evidence all around us.

I'll leave you with this:

As I stood shivering in the frigid water flowing quickly past my nether regions - as I focused on threading that damn fly in the dying light - out of the corner of my eye - I saw a trout rise right next to me. Perhaps it was a hallucination - a hypothermia induced trick of the mind - but I could swear he looked at me, and I heard him ask... "You a golfer???"

UPDATE: MK conspired with his daughter Emily to arrange a test of the second part of the MK hypothesis at the Greywalls golf course. The posted results are linked here. Additionally, as noted in the comments, my brother is gripped by the worst case of troutenfreude I have ever seen. It is not a pretty picture.

9 comments:

Robyn said...

papa is hoping you give up the golf and bring home trout for dinner.

Harlan Wallach said...

well... what happened ? did you guys get any fish ?

Jeff Carlson said...

They may be out there still. Last cast....

mw (DWSUWF) said...

@all
Post is updated now with actual results of the excursion.

Harlan Wallach said...

glad to hear about the skunking. I am sure I would have had a 30 fish night.

mw (DWSUWF) said...

@HW

"Troutenfreude" is not a very attractive quality in anyone. I am shocked to see you exhibiting this ugly trait.

For me and MK, the zen-like serenity achieved by fly fishing on the river is sufficient reward.

Harlan Wallach said...

this goes beyond "Troutenfreude".
(excellent neologism btw, I'll be stealing that soon for my blog)

I consider that section of the Escanaba, uniquely mine. I discoevered and should never have shared with MK, BR, or any of the people that know about it know. As such, when newbys land there, it is only fitting that it require many adventures there before any trout are caught. I think MK went like two years before he got his first fish there.

mw (DWSUWF) said...

@Harlan
It occurs to me that the moment of "discovery" of that section of the river occurred on a "float" trip in 1992. It further occurs to me that I was in the canoe with you on that self-same float trip, which I believe makes me a co-discoverer, does it not?

Harlan Wallach said...

you are wrong.

WE put out at the top end of the boney falls basin. This section of water is below the dam. Not at all the same, separated by about 10 miles, and an impoundment, and a dam. so ... no, you were not in on the discovery.