The truth about fly fishing,…


The truth about fly fishing,…


Left to right: John Kirk, Chris Kilian, John Dillon, (way in the back that’s Len Kilian yelling at them to move to their left…), Rich Larkin, Scott Gee, and Lew Bowers.  Bill Tripp and Jack Hume, not present here,  are off  looking for a liquor store and some jerky…


Here you see my fly fishing buddies trying to clear their favorite pool for dynam… er, I mean fly fishing. Although there won’t be any log drives THIS spring, mud season is coming fast.  It’s that period between winter and black fly season, preceding three weeks of bad skating and the return of winter.  This is when the runoff raises the river level to a point where if any of us slipped while wading and fell in, you should come looking for us where they speak French.  

Fly fishing is a curious sport where grown men don plastic panty hose, wade around in raging torrents, and flip tiny thread wrapped hooks into the water, where they catch on everything except fish.  My friends and I can do this for days on end,…and do.  At the end of the day, we return to camp to repair our torn waders, and rub liniment on the bruises we acquired from falling down on the rocks because we insist that we can still wade as well as we did 20 years ago.  Since the level of frustration isn’t quite sufficient, we then attempt to tie flies so tiny you need an electron microscope to see the damned things, in a dingy cabin lit by a pulsing flouresent light that would trigger an epileptic fit in most European Royalty.  (note: Rich Larkin still thinks European Royalty equates to a positive urinary experience.)  This ritual is generally followed by either Scott cooking us enough Mexican food to feed the 3rd Marines, or Larkin and I trying to burn the place down with a turkey fryer.  Dessert is optional.

After a good bit of moaning and complaining of gastric distress, and amid oaths to never eat that much again, (oaths rarely adhered to at dinner the next night), we generally retire to lawn chairs in front of a fire Lew has built that could double as a navigational beacon for passing NASA missions.  Often at this juncture, we break out our instruments and attempt to play songs,… songs I can remember neither the words or chords to, as the last time I played them people wore feathers in their caps, wore green tights, and carried daggers.

Now we move on to the main event, the entire troupe partaking of single malt beverages and smoking fine cigars while Kirk tells jokes requiring so many different ethnic accents you think you’re drinking at the UN.  We’re looking for an ENT specialist to join the group, as this usually causes us to expel the single malt beverages nasally, causing great pain and creating quite a mess.  This part of the ritual can go on until the wee hours, and usually does until someone exhibits a glimmer of good sense, and decides to retire, as tomorrow always brings more of the same.

You too can participate in this ancient sport!  It merely requires purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of equipment, most of which you’ll never use, being prepared to lose a battle of wits with an animal possesed of only four more chromosomes than a parsnip, and a fairly good working knowledge of first aid, antacids, and emergency smoke signals. – Chris

About adkchrisshaw

Adirondack singer, songwriter, and storyteller
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1 Response to The truth about fly fishing,…

  1. adkchrisshaw says:

    I’ve never done any serious fly fishing, but I did belong to a fishing group — it was called the No Turkeys Club — for a while (when Jackie and I lived in Greenfield) and it was our custom to head off to some remote destination at least once a year for some serious fishing. One time we chose a fishing camp on a remote lake in northeastern Quebec … the only access was by a float plane from a small town on the St. Lawrence estuary.
    Anyway, the point of my telling you this is that I took along a bottle of Talisker, but none of the other seven fishermen showed any interest in it. Strangely, though, every morning I’d discover there was less in the bottle than there had been the night before.
    The camp’s generator went off at 10 p.m., so most of us hit the sack by then. But two guys lit a candle and kept playing poker into the wee small hours. Naturally, I suspected (and confronted) them, but neither would admit to sneaking a few sips of my precious single malt.
    Only years later (after the culprit had died) did I learn who the guilty party was.
    And I never understood, because I’d offered the Talisker to everyone. I’m not as religious a fisherman as others, so I can’t say this with any certainty, but I believe that there is something in the character of anglers that encourages them to be a bit unreliable when it comes to dealing with the truth.
    (On the long ride back to Greenfield, in two cars connected by CB radios, the Talisker thief kept telling us that stopping to eat at McDonalds was “not suitable for a man of my caliber.” The rest of us agreed that his caliber was that of a b.b. gun.)
    p.s. I have a photo of our group and our catch on the wall of my den. Although I was the least experienced of the eight of us, I caught more trout at that camp than any of the other seven.

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